Lover at Last is Blay and Qhuinn’s book which means that this is mostly a heavy M/M romance book. If this is not your thing then I’d suggest to actually focus on the romance itself.
In addition to being the first M/M book of the series (obviously not counting the scenes in previous books with Blay, Qhuinn and Saxton because they weren’t the focus) this is also the first that I can remember where there is so much going on that not every plot thread is wrapped up.
Don’t worry, because this is a PNR and not an UF, the romance does have a quite literal HEA but there are plots involving side characters that remain very much open, one in particular being almost a cliff hanger.
Given that Lover at Last does focus on Qhuinn, because of what’s gone on before, a large portion is also devoted to my favourite Chosen; Layla. Actually, due to the state she finds herself in (trying to avoid spoilers here!), a large part of hers and Qhuinn’s story is quite tense as in “how will they get around this?” Actually, when the solution to the predicament presents itself, it’s quite obvious, almost a “Duh!” moment. So obvious in fact that the person involved didn’t even think of it!
There is also the continuing story of the Band of Bastards and Xcor’s continuing plot to usurp Wrath’s throne. The delicious dilemma that gives me as a reader the hope of his redemption is that any action taken against Wrath is likely to put his beloved Chosen in danger. What sets Xcor apart from the majority of men in his position is that he won’t do anything that endangers his female. Even giving her his contact information and saying that it’s okay to pass the information on if it keeps her safe. And adding to the dilemma? She feels the same about him despite him being a traitor.
Assail continues to be a wild card but with the introduction of a new human character; Sola, his life just got even more complex in addition to trying to maintain his neutrality in the brewing war between the Brotherhood and the Band. Like Xcor, he’s both good and bad at the same time. Whilst he does nothing to help the king he also doesn’t assist Xcor but then he has also taken out Caldwell’s drug dealers only to take their place. And then Sola enters his life, another morally grey character who looks to balance Assail very well.
In addition to all of that, fans of iAm and Trez will be happy because a good portion is devoted to them and their history as Trez’s former life begins to catch up to him. It’s discovered that they are not quite normal vampires but are not sympaths like Rehv and Xhex either. But whilst Trez tries to escape his fate which involves sex with pretty much every woman he encounters his flight stumbles when he meets the Chosen Selena.
I did say that there was a lot of threads, all decent and all suck you in! This does lead to a lot of switching of points of view but it keeps the pacing fresh. Usually it would be obvious whose relationship would be focus of the next book and we appear to have the choice of Xcor, Assail and Trez but J.R. Ward has already announced that the next book is called “The King”. Another first in that ‘Lover’ as been dropped from the title.