Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9) - J.R. Ward 3.5 stars - FYI, this is a rant which might be slightly harsh. Read at your own risk.

I think this book should have been called Lover Revisited or Lover Retold because this book was probably 60% about Vishous and his issues, 30% of Payne and Manny and 10% of other peeps like Qhuinn, Xcor, Luis and Veck. Now, I loved Vishous I really did. He was my boy but after this book? I don't love him so much. I feel like Payne and Manny got cheated out of their book because Vishous took over. I was disappointed. I was so excited about Payne having her own book and then I get more of Vishous. Which, I mean, is cool but come on! His story was told already! We didn't need to get another one of his!

It was hard for me to rate this because I honestly, truly, loved Payne and Manny's story. BUT I really hated the constant need to go back to Vishous in the middle of a Payne and Manny scene. It was annoying. Like, give me a break. A sex scene with Vishous was done without a break in between but the sex scenes with Payne and Manny? Those were broken up right in the middle of when the good stuff was happening between them. That pissed me off!

I loved Payne and Manny. A good part of their story is her hurt and crippled. Manny is brought in to fix her (because he's a surgeon and all) but he did more than just surgery on her *wink, wink*. It was hot. Payne is totally badass, in my opinion. I mean, she's a bit emotional but I think that gave her a little something else that Xhex had been missing. But really, she was crippled and thinking she'd never walk again. Who wouldn't be a bit emotional?! I loved Manny. He intrigued me in previous books but I didn't like him as much then as I do now. Now, I love him. He's probably my favorite male now. Well, maybe. Hard to decide between him and Rhage. Vishous is just soooo low on my totem pole now. Sadly. I enjoyed Payne and Manny's story, though. It was sweet and heart-breaking but not overly so. They made the book interesting for me. I totally thought it was awesome that Manny is Butch's bro and a relative of Wrath. Total shocker there. And I'm really glad that Payne is able to keep Manny young because how sad would that have been if he died way before her?! I wonder if they'll have kids now....

Qhuinn is really something else. I like him but I'm getting sick of his and Blay's story being told in the background over, how many books is it now? 4 or 5 books? It's getting a tad annoying. They need their freaking story already. BUT I liked how Qhuinn was able to accept things now he couldn't in the past. And can I get a hell yeah that he's celibate for a majority of the story?! About freaking time. Now, he just needs to make the moves on Blay and I'll be satisfied.

Layla. Man, she better not end up with Qhuinn somehow because that ending? Yeah, that ending made me lose my confidence in Qhuinn ending up gay. And I will be really pissed off if that's the case.

Vishous and Jane. Well, I already ranted about that earlier but I really did not like either of them in this one. Jane annoyed me in the beginning the way she was pining away after Manny. Lady, I don't need to know how much you miss and love another guy that's not your mate. I just don't. I will probably get crucified for this but I hated Vishous in this one. He was a whiny little bitch and I really did not care for his constant dwelling over shit I thought was solved in his book. I got sick of it. There was no point to it. He and Jane really, really needed to get the boot from the story. They made it less enjoyable. I actually ended up skimming his scenes once or twice. Oops! Okay, so he got a little better by the end, less annoying at least, but it still didn't make up for how much he ruined my enjoyment of the story.

I used to love how JR Ward would leave us hanging on the scene changes. It annoyed me but the anticipation was always sweeter when I found out what happened next. In this one, though, I felt like it was all wrong. The POV shifts happened at the wrong times (like right in the middle of Payne and Manny having sex even though that never happened while Vishous was having sex! Fucker!). It grew tiresome and made me roll my eyes when the scene would shift and it was all so Vishous could pop back in again.

There wasn't much suspense in this one. I can't actually remember how much suspense was in previous books but this one was low on the suspense until the last quarter of the book or so (when Payne showed she really does kick ass!) But that was fine with me because Payne was hurt and Manny is not a brother, he's a doctor. I felt like the ending was a bit too fast, though, and not extravagant enough for what's been previously written in the series. I did enjoy Xcor and hope to get more of him and his bastards soon.

In the end, I loved this book but I didn't. I loved Payne and Manny and I even liked Xcor, Qhuinn and Veck but this was not Payne and Manny's book. This was Vishous's and that really pissed me off. You wouldn't know from the blurb (which is more than misleading) you were getting a Lover Unbound sequel. You'd have never guessed and if I had a clue about Vishous taking over Payne and Manny's story, I probably would have enjoyed the story more but instead the more I read the more it angered me because I waited all this time for Payne and Manny and instead I got a story that was essentially already told. It's sad and the way Ward is taking this series is seriously making me lose faith in it.

Still, I will read Lover Reborn because I've waited even longer for Thor's story than I have for Manny's and Payne's.