“I am ahvenging my shellan. I am ahvenging the shellan of my brother. You have no standing to prevent me. This is my right as a warrior.”

J. R. Ward, Lover Awakened, p 376

In Lover Awakened you really start to get to know a lot of the other characters that are within the brotherhood and those they care about such as the mute, John that comes into play in the second book, as well as Phury, Butch, and of course, Bella and Zsadist. I can’t seem to make myself put these books down for long either as they get better with each one (so far book two is still my favorite though). It took me two days to read this book and that’s only because I sadly had other things I needed to get done as well. In this third book you really get to find out why Z is the way he is, and it’s heartbreaking.

In this book you find out the hard truth of what has happened to Zsadist and how he has come to be as evil as he is. However, you also find that he does indeed have a soft spot, at least when it comes to Bella, it was just buried deep under the broken pieces of him from being a blood slave. In the previous two books, Dark Lover and Lover Eternal, you find that Z has nothing but darkness within his soul. The others can even feel the coldness radiating from him when he is around as he has so much hatred, especially for females. There are even rumors about how he feeds from females in order to survive, but only human ones, and then kills them. He does keep a female’s skull in his room after all. He can’t seem to feel a personal connection with any of the brotherhood either, not even his twin, Phury, who shot his own leg off to save his brother from the Mistress that was keeping him as her slave all those years ago. He doesn’t back down from his brotherhood duties though; he still lives to help protect the vampire species, even if it is by his own rules most of the time.

This especially comes true when he comes to find out that Bella, the only female he has ever really wanted to be around, has been taken by a lesser and holding her captive for six weeks. Z tries everything he can to find Bella, that is until they became lucky enough to hear from a civilian that was also captured by that same lesser only being able to escape thanks to the help of Bella. The civilian then contacts the brotherhood to let them know where to find Bella and Z doesn’t hesitate to go get her (well, at least after the sun went down). From the moment that he got her back to the mansion where the brotherhood resides, Zsadist took it upon himself to care for her. The others don’t like this all too much, however, as they know Zsadist’s reputation, especially when it comes to females, so they obviously fear that Bella is not in the best of hands. I was glad that he put up a fight to keep her with him though, as even as he fights hard against his feelings for Bella, he is so gentle when caring for her.

I couldn’t help myself but hope that Bella would be able to break through the walls that Zsadist has put up to keep himself from everyone else as I could see her being the gentle soul that he needs so badly. They have quite a rough patch between the two of them pretty much the entire way through the book but I expected that since what Zsadist had gone through isn’t the easiest thing to cope with and get over, especially with the slave bands being tattooed on him for the rest of his life as a reminder. I did get pissed off at Bella’s brother though, Rehvenge, when he tried to put a sehclusion on her. Thankfully he held off on following through with it once he found that the lesser was trying to get into the family home. I would be beyond pissed such as Bella was if my brother tried to pull that crap. And I know that not all books have a happy ending but it would have broken my heart if Bella and Zsadist didn’t come together at the end as they really are meant for each other even though Z did pull a lot of shit to keep her at arm’s length. The best part in my opinion though is that Bella got the opportunity to get ahvenge herself in the end.

I really do encourage everyone to not only start from the beginning of the series as this helps with getting familiar with what is going on but to continue on with the series as it seems to get better the more you get into it. I’m already halfway through book 4 about Butch and it’s been hard to put down (which I’ve had to sadly as I do have to work at some point I suppose).

About Lover Awakened

As a former blood slave who has to bear the markings of his past, Zsadist is continually filled with suffering. He is renowned for his unquenchable fury, especially against females, as well as other sinister deeds, and feared by humans and vampires alike. With anger as his only constant companion and terror his only true passion, that is until he rescues the beautiful Bella from their enemy, the Lessening Society.

Bella is entranced by Zsadist the moment she first lays eyes on him. Unlike most who are scared of him and the scar running down his face, she can’t help but stay away from him. But even as their desire for one another takes hold, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance for what was done to Bella drives him to the brink of madness. Now it’s up to Bella to help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past so they can find a future together…


A list of J.R. Ward’s books can be found on her site here – Book List – The order of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) books can be found here – BDB List


Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it?

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