The ruthless and brilliant brother Vishous possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that does not include her...
As we begin Lover Unbound, Vishous is still heartbroken over Butch. Thankfully, even though Butch is aware of V’s feelings for him, he doesn’t distance himself one inch. Butch is still there for him. Butch and Marissa are living with V at the pit and while Vishous wants them to leave, he’s torn at the thought of not seeing Butch constantly. V’s also plagued by the fact that his visions have dried up, something he always wished would disappear. Be careful what you wish for.
As Vishous uses his penthouse to blow off some steam with one of his subs, we get a glimpse of what made Vishous who he is today. We find out who is mother is. Shocker! And that his father was an evil vampire who ran a psychopathic training camp for soldiers. Vishous was handed over to him at the age of three. The Scribe Virgin tells him he is to become the Primale for the race. Which is, to mate with the 40 or so Chosen on the other side, in order to procreate and make more Brothers for the race. Vishous, a hard core Dom, is against it to the last corner of his soul, but agrees in the end in order to guarantee the future of the race.
While I love Vishous, this was a very dark book for me. To find out what he went through pretransition and shortly thereafter, at the hands of his own father, known only as The Bloodletter, was incredibly sad and heartbreaking. I really love Vishous. Love that he’s brilliant. Love that he’s a Dom. Love that he’s a techie and wears a baseball cap. I feel incredibly invested in him as a character. You realize as you read Book 5, that Butch is the first person who he has let into heart; Butch is the first person who has cared for V, the male. Not the Brother. Not the soldier. Not the vampire. Just cared for him because of who he is. In his 300 plus years of living, this is a new concept for him.
Desperate to burn off the twitchiness that his D/s session didn’t siphon off, V goes spoiling for a fight, alone. When he ends up shanked in the gut and a bullet in his chest, a bystander calls 911 and Vishous ends up in a human hospital in the hands of incredibly capable trauma surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb.
When the good doctor gets V open in the OR, she barely blinks at the fact he has a six chambered heart, two more than humans. She repairs the bullet holes in his heart with aplomb. While following up in V’s room afterwards, the chief of surgery, Dr. Manuel Manello stops by and drops the bomb that he doesn’t want Jane to leave to go work at Columbia because he has feelings for her. It’s at this moment an intubated V wakes up and thinks Mine. Uh-oh, now we know we’re in trouble!
The Brotherhood makes quick work of finding out where V is and get him out of the hospital in short order, kidnapping Jane at V’s request. While Jane is afraid, she has a spine of steel. She won’t take any crap from the guys and she is still in charge of her patient. Even finding out that vampires exist and much about their world, leaves her unruffled. She thinks it would be wonderful to study them. Vishous thinks her brain is sexy. But slowly, she stops thinking of him as “the patient” and begins to see him as V. Sexually-alluring, mysterious, broken, quick healing, quick witted Vishous. And eventually we get a little action in the bathroom. Then V makes love for the first time in his life:
Happiness is short lived when he realizes he has to scrub her memory and send her home. The couple doesn’t want to part. But as a parting gift, he takes her to his penthouse and we get one of the most erotic scenes I’ve ever read. Hot! Once Jane goes home and her memory is wiped, she thinks she’s losing her mind. She feels longing and loss from something she never had. V can’t stay away from checking on her every night. Will the couple find a way or not?
While I do give this book 5 Kisses, I struggled with the ending a little. It seemed a stretch that I had to talk myself into. But I’m a firm believer in taking the leap. If you’re going to read fiction, you have to be willing to immerse yourself in whatever world the writer creates. I’ve found that with Ward’s writing, when something gives you heartburn, you just need to let it sit for a while. A half a book or so is the perfect antacid. It all seems to make sense and what aggravated you, isn’t such a big deal anymore. I plan to continue the series. Ward’s writing is too scrumptious to resist.
What I liked about Lover Unbound:
- John Matthew transitions! Finally! Sorry – spoileriffic, I know, but..yay!
- Jane. Smart, savvy, brave, dedicated, take-no crap Jane was a breath of fresh air.
- Vishous gets over his heartbreak.
- Butch and V’s humor. See excerpt. I just love them.
- Serious maternal revelations. Shocking!
- We get to see a little more about the Scribe Virgin’s world. She loves birds. Who knew?
- The medical stuff is accurate. I rarely read a book that gets it right.
- We get to see more of my favorite trio, John, Blay and Qhuinn. I can’t wait for more of them.
- The scene where Vishous has Jane Dominate him. I love Switch V.
- Z keeps surprising me.
What I didn’t like about Lover Unbound:
- The ending left me a little empty, but I’m over it now.
- I want to see more of the couples I’m invested in. I want more closed door with Beth and Wrath. I see so little of Rhage and Mary. I feel gypped!
Here’s a little bonus pic I love:
Butch popped a misshapen smile-on account of the crack in his upper lip. "Sorry, buddy, you can't shake me even if you tried."
V blinked a couple of times, horrified at what he was about to say. "God, you're going for sainthood, you know that? You've always been there for me. Always. Even when I..."
"Even when you what?"
"Fuck. Even when I was in love with you. Or some shit."
Butch clasped his hands to his chest. "Was? Was ? I can't believe you've lost interest." He threw one arm over his eyes, all Sarah Bernhardt. "My dreams of our future are shattered-"
"Shut it, cop." Butch looked out from under his arm.
"Are you kidding me? The reality show I had planned was fantastic. Was going to pitch it to VH1.Two Bites Are Better Than One . We were going to make millions ."
"Oh, for the love."
Butch rolled over on his side and got serious. "Here's the deal, V. You and me? We're in this life together, and not just because of my curse. I don't know if I'm all into divine providence and shit, but there's a reason why we met. And as for that whole you-being-in-love-with-me thing? It was probably more about you just caring about someone for the first time."
"Okay, stop right there. You're giving me hives from this caring/sharing shit."
"You know I'm right."
"Fuck you, Dr. Phil."
"Good, I'm glad we agree." Butch frowned. "Hey, maybe I could have a talk show, since you aren't going to be my June Cleaver anymore. I could call it the O'Neal Hour. Sounds important, doesn't it?"
"Butch, you and I just beat the crap out of each other."
"You started it. And actually, it would be perfect for Spike TV. UFC meets Oprah. God, I'm brilliant."
"Keep telling yourself that."
Butch's laughter was cut off as a gust of wind whipped through the backyard.
"Okay, big guy, as much as I'm enjoying this, I don't think my tan's improving much, considering it's pitch dark."
"You don't have a tan."
“See? This is getting me nowhere. So how about we head home?"
There was a long pause. "Shit... you're not coming with me, are you?"
"I don't feel like killing anyone anymore."
"Oh. Good. The idea that you might only cripple the guy makes me feel a fuck of a lot better about leaving you here." Butch sat up with a curse. "Mind if I at least see if he's left?"
"God, do I really want to know?"
"I'll be right back." Butch groaned and got up like he'd been in an accident, all creaky and stiff. "Man, this is gonna hurt for a while."
"You're a vampire now. Body'll be fine and dandy before you know it."
"Not the point. Marissa is going to kill us both for brawling."
V winced. "Crap. That's gonna leave a stain, true?"
"Yup, yup." Butch hobbled off. "She's going to knock our heads."
V glanced up to the condo's second story and couldn't decide whether it was a good or a bad sign that there were no lights on. Closing his eyes, he prayed that the Porsche was gone... even though he had no expectation that it would be. Man, Butch was right. Him hanging here was a situation with police tape around it. This needed to be the last time-
"He's gone," Butch said.
V exhaled like he was a tire deflating, then realized he'd gotten a reprieve only for tonight. Sooner or later she was going to be with someone else. Sooner or later she was probably going to be with that other doctor.
V lifted his head, then slammed it back down into the frozen ground. "I don't think I can do this. I don't think I can live without her."
"Do you have a choice?"
Nope, he thought. No choice at all .