Saturday, February 25, 2012

Silly Fun: Lover Unleashed

LoverUnbound, Book FiveJ.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books comprise ten or so linked paranormal romances about the super-macho, designer clothes wearing, eternal vampire dudes who are so awesome they rate extra letters in their names, mostly extra "h"'s.  Rhage. Qhuinn. Rehv. Hhubhert (OK, I made that one up.) The language is unrepentantly over-the-top, and no one is denied a happy ending.  Or lots of sex.  Sometimes the silliness doesn't cover the ridiculous relationships or situations and the books drag, but Lover Unleashed provided me with constant amusement, alternating between hilarious sentences and extreme situations that left me giggling out loud.

The plots in these stories are buried deep beneath the prose; I think some people fell in love, while in the background some other people realized their love might be possible, and some other people recommitted to each other. Oh, and some sinister people lurked about but they turned out decent at the end. But the important thing is that the brothers feel each other, that the woman gets to speak in archaic and goofy cliches, that people make enormous sacrifices while mentioning their designer cars, clothes, and drinks, but then find that their sacrifice wasn't necessary and is in fact returned while love shines down on all. There's some interesting bits around a spinal injury, and for a while it looked like someone would find true love in a wheelchair, but that got shelved quickly.

I did like that in Ward's quest to find a new couple, she had to bring up a formerly minor character.  Manny, the hero, was the minor crush of a heroine of a previous book, mostly there to let that hero show off his jealous side.  Now he's dragged back into the Brotherhood, hurt that the girl let him think she was dead, but of course he gets over that when he realizes that she is, in fact, dead.  Just a kindly, gentler dead that doesn't interfere with her love life or surgical practice. See what I mean about all sacrifices getting repaid? I think you can pick these books up anywhere, since all the characters tend to grimly review any important backstory whenever they stride on stage.