Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7)Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I could, I’d give this book more than 5 stars. Whilst the previous two; Lover Unbound and Lover Enshrined are fully deserving of the five stars, I gave them, this book is simply better and is closer in spirit to the first four in this series.

This book deals with Rehvenge who is a well established character in the series, owner of Zero Sum, drug dealer, pimp and all round bad ass alpha male. Quite possibly the only reason that he’s not a brother is because he’s a half-sympath which is something only he (obviously), Xhex and the Sympath Princess know about.

Sympaths are a breed apart from vampires and they feed on emotions as well as being sociopaths and are shunned by the rest of the vampire race.

Ehlena on the other hand is a new character to the series having only been introduced as a nameless nurse in Lover Enshrined. A former member of the vampire high society both she and her father are now living almost hand to mouth after they are betrayed by distant relatives and shunned by the society. But she’s the one that Rehvenge hopes and wants to see when he has to go to the clinic to pick up dopamine to control his sympath side.

What follows is a beautiful love story as Rehvenge pursues Ehlena whilst at the same time trying to protect her from who he is and his current life. Of course, this being the Black Dagger Brotherhood, nothing is simple when he finds that he has no choice to tell her in the hopes that it will drive her from him, again to protect her. And it works. For a little while anyway. But the heart is what it is and it’s not long before they both realise that they need one another.

Whilst that’s going on, there are also sparks flying with John Matthew and Xhex as their bitter sweet relationship heats up. Wrath and Beth also have a decent amount of page time as their relationship solidifies as he learns to be a better king for his people.

There’s not much that I can say about this book that I’ve not already said about the other books in the series. However, Rehvenge is the first non-brother whose story is told (Butch doesn’t count seeing as what happened in his story) and as such there is no direct conflict between him and the lessers but rather between him and his secret.

Ehlena, too, is unlike any of the women we’ve encountered to date. Other than the fact that she was a former member of the high society (which leads to a rather beautiful twist), she’s just a normal, single vampire trying to hold down a job whilst looking after her ill father and trying to get a date.

But, and it’s a good but, as expected with this series, there are some very nice, very hot scenes in this superb seventh novel.

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