“Fate was not easy… but it got things right. Eventually, everything that came to pass was exactly how it was meant to be.”

J. R. Ward, Lover Mine, p. 615

John Matthew has been my favorite character pretty much since the moment he showed up in Lover Eternal when he went seeking the help of Mary. I was so happy once I got to the point in the series where it was his turn to be the center of all the chaos that the brotherhood seems to have. I suppose happy really isn’t the right word since I was worried about Xhex and what Lash was doing to her as well as anxious to know how things ended up between John Matthew and Xhex.

I couldn’t seem to read fast enough with this book and it didn’t help that my damn job always seemed to get in the way which was frustrating. Sometimes I really hate having to be an adult.

By this point I already knew that John Matthew was Darius reborn and just like Lover Awakened and Lover Unbound, some of the story is that of going back in time to when Darius was, well Darius, and we get to find out how he was back when he was part of the brotherhood. Granted, JM is, in a way even if not in an official capacity as of yet, with the brotherhood so I guess it’s not too different from current times. Besides how things were handled by the brotherhood that is. I really enjoyed the parts where Darius and Tohrment came together and became the strongest of friends (I still get a bit giddy just thinking about Tohr being back), and going through a pretty tough time together.

One thing I really look for in a series, no matter how many books is within the series, is if it comes full circle so you’re not left hanging and wondering what in the hell has happened. And one this book definitely does is come full circle. The biggest of those circles is that John Matthew, a.k.a Darius, knows Xhex from his previous life. JM just doesn’t realize this as his memories were wiped by the Scribe Virgin when he was brought back as John Matthew, and Xhex doesn’t know about it either as she was just a baby at the time. My jaw sure as hell dropped (and I may have screamed a bit) when I realized who the baby was that Darius had helped bring into their world. However, that wasn’t the only shocker of the story, but we’ll get there.

Like a few of the previous books, I ended up crying a bit during this book. Not as much as some of the others, but there was a part that tore my heart out. It was when John Matthew and the brotherhood were still in the process of trying to find where Lash was holding Xhex as Lash had her shielded well with the powers he has come to have all thanks to his father, The Omega. They were finally able to find out where Lash was keeping her when they came across a siting of Lash’s second in command, following him to the brownstone that Lash had taken over. They had gone all over the place, looking in every room, doing their best to find her and thanks to the forcefield that was blocking Xhex from the outside world, they couldn’t see her. The part that made the tears fall with this book was when John Matthew went into the room that Xhex was being kept in, seeing the blood all over the walls and the room a complete disaster. He had gone to the bed and picked up one of the pillows, he could smell her scent on the pillow. The tear-jerker? She was there, Xhex was right there beside him, screaming as loud as she could in order to try and get it so he heard her, make him realize that she was right there with him. She even touched his cheek, which he felt a tingle when she did, but of course he didn’t see her or realize that she was the one touching him. It absolutely killed me when he turned and left the room as she cried out for him to not leave her behind.

She didn’t stop fighting to get free though, and that’s what I love about Xhex, she’s a fighter. Soon after John Matthew and the others had left the brownstone she was finally able to break free of the force that was keeping her in as Lash was seeming to become weak, making it so she could finally force her way free and run. Taking herself to her own basement place that she had let JM stay in the time he needed to get away from everyone. And you can make damn certain that she isn’t letting Lash get away with the shit he pulled with taking her, with brutalizing her in ways that not one of them expected, as Lash is not your normal Lesser. She, like usual, she battles her way back, maybe not back to the exact person as she was before he took her, but she still had quite a bit of her old self in there (which does land her in some hot water with JM during some points) that got her through more of the hard times that are ahead of her. One of those moments, her getting to put Lash back where he belonged. Back into hell with The Omega.

There is so much that goes on within the pages of this book it’s hard to cover everything, not to mention I don’t want to give too many spoilers away as I always want to encourage others to read the books as well and find out all the wonderful things that the pages hold. I will give a bit more though, and I’m sure anyone could figure it out really due to how the books have been going, but John Matthew and Xhex do end up getting mated. She finally comes to the conclusion of how much of an ass-hat (her words even) she is and how she doesn’t want to leave JM, ever. She wants him to be her hellren. One of the best parts, Tohr goes back to his mated house, the one he had with Wellsie, and gets the same dress that Wellsie, as well as Beth, had worn for their matings to their hellrens. He gives it to Xhex to wear to mate John Matthew. I mean, how absolutely, tear-spilling, sweet is that! Oh, and you would never guess who Xhex’s mother is (and I’m not telling!).

About Lover Mine

John Matthew has come a long way ever since he was found living among the humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself as well as to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no-one could fathom what his true history was – or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a completely different face and very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war between vampires and their enemies, he will need to call upon both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate – and rescue the one he has loved for lifetimes.

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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