So on February 27th, I read Lover Revealed by JR Ward. It's official release date was March 6th, but Wal-Mart has a habit of putting books out early. Not my Wal-Mart, though. Nor the other four Wal-Marts at the top of the list that walmart.com gave me when I put in my zip code. But the fifth one, a thirty minute drive out, had it out. Since it was my birthday, I decided to be a bad cellie and buy early. I have been itching for this book since the beginning of September and I just couldn't let my birthday pass without reading it.
For all of you who have not yet read this book, stop reading this blog. I am NOT a spoiler-free zone. The book has been out for over a month. Read the damn thing already. Also, unless you have read the whole series and frequent the author's message board, I might lose you. I am a rabid fangirl and I will let it show. (So hi to all the cellies)
Anyway, I started it at about 7 pm, after putting my daughter to bed. She woke a few times because she was getting her first tooth, so I will forever connect my first child'd first tooth to LR. But after we finally got her down for good, I read nonstop and finished it at 3:30 am. WOW. Just WOW. I love this book. I love everything about it. EVERYTHING. Lover Revealed is Butch's story. I've always loved Butch, ever since Dark Lover. He fits in with the Black Dagger Brotherhood naturally, as a dear friend to them. Butch doesn't see it that way, though; he sees himself as being on the fringes, not in the thick of things. He has a warrior spirit trapped in a human body, and later on we find out why. Butch is the product of an affair with someone who had vampire DNA. Amazingly, he is related to Wrath, which I thought was GREAT. And Wrath seemed very happy and proud that Butch was of his blood. Wrath even took off his sunglasses for Butch when they found out. I got way sappy. So what they are able to do is force a transition. This means that--YES!--Butch ends up a vampire. This may seem a convenient solution to a lot of problems with Butch and Marissa's relationship, but it was actually hinted at throughout the three preceding books.
Marissa is a gorgeous fragile slip of a female vampire--or so she thinks. She ends up flexing that newly-discovered backbone on a number of occaisions. In the beginning she's a little exasperating to someone who hasn't read the whole series because they didn't see how she was when she was still tied to Wrath: he never loved her, so she thought she was unlovable. He never desired her so she thought she was undesirable, that there must be something wrong with her. These feelings of inadequacy were exacerbated by how she was treated by the glymera, the vampire aristocracy. They're total assholes, but that was the society she grew up in. Poor thing. Anyway, she has some serious self-esteem issues for a while. But she eventually develops her "rule number one": no one defines her but her, no one makes choices for her but her. This is a very good thing. It results in her burning her entire haute-couture wardrobe, among other things.
So Butch and Marissa are dayum hot together between the sheets. H-O-T-T, hot! What I love about their lovescenes is that Butch is always so careful not to push her, to not make her uncomfortable. He is one of the most considerate lovers I have ever seen in a romance novel and it's perfect for Marissa. There does come a time, though, where she finds her sexual confidence and matches him.
We see a lot of Rehvenge, that ultra-hot, bad-boy, half-symphath, drug-dealing, club-owning pimp who is also Bella's brother. I LOVE this male. He has a serious thing for Marissa and he treats her so well. He gets his clock cleaned by Butch at one point because Rehv fed Marissa, but that was great because Rehv had always been mystified why Marissa loved a male who wouldn't feed her and when he finds out that it was Butch, whom Rehv likes and respects, Rehv lets the punch slide. And, well, Butch was dead drunk at the time. Rehv has one of my favorite lines: very near the end, when Marissa basically sticks it to the glymera mucky-mucks and takes rightful control of her family's vote on the Princeps Council, Rehv says, "Hot damn, girl. You are so the shit." I can't wait for more of Rehvenge. YUM.
We get a great scene between Zsadist and Bella where he's chasing her around the mansion. I think I reread that scene three or four times before I finally moved on. It was so sexy and sweet at the same time. To see Z go from that angry mysogynistic victim of horrible sexual abuse to a sexually confident male who can also instruct trainees on the finer points of explosives was really remarkable. I fell in love with Z even more in this book. Lover Awakened will always be my favorite because it was just so damned good, a lovestory I will never see equalled. But LR still rocked.
But the most compelling aspect to this book was not Butch and Marissa's relationship. It wasn't that Butch became a vampire. It wasn't the glimpses we got into this amazing world that JR Ward has created. It was the relationship between Butch and Vishous.
I put my take on their relationship on the boards, so I won't repeat too much here. But getting to the bottom line of it, Butch is the first person for whom Vishous has felt anything and this new emotional attatchment confuses the heck out of him. One thing I hate is that when many people talk about V's feelings for Butch, especially when they talk about when V bites Butch as part of the Butch's induction into the Brotherhood, is when people use words like "homoerotic" and "bisexual." Why do I hate that? This blog entry is already too long, so I'll pull a WARDen and say...