Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood) – book review

Lover Revealed
by J.R. Ward
Release Date: March 6, 2007
Publisher: Signet
Book #4 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series
Number of Pages:  482
Paranormal Romance
Ages 16 and up
CW: child neglect, kidnapping, murder, torture,
suicidal ideation, homophobia, panic attack, misogyny
Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world—to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He’s got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. If he can’t have Marissa, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers…

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him…

There’s never been a doubt in my mind that Butch has been through some things in his life that led him to be so cynical and disillusioned when he was a police officer. As this story unfolded and more and more of his upbringing is revealed, my heart broke for the young boy he used to be and the hope he had to one day be enough for his family. It doesn’t forgive some of the methods he used to get things done as a cop, and he doesn’t ever try to make such a claim. He is extremely honest with himself about the terrible things he’s done in his life. There’s no sugarcoating or excuses from him. Having watched him grow into a different man since moving in with the Brotherhood, I know Butch just needed some true friends to be able to be the person he was meant to be.

Marissa had a lot of love growing up, but she was cosseted. Nobody ever gave her a chance to come into her own, and that’s sad when you think about the fact that she’s hundreds of years old. Marissa always did what was expected of her even if her heart wasn’t in it, leading her to think something was wrong with her. After all, if she’s done all the right things year after year for hundreds of years, why is she still unattached? Marissa had the bad luck to be paired with someone who wasn’t right for her and it gave her a complex.

Since both Butch and Marissa have feelings of inadequacy, and they sense that in each other, they hold back way too much. Butch because he doesn’t feel he is worthy of Marissa and Marissa because she thinks she will somehow come up short with Butch. While they cannot hide their attraction, these two have off-the-charts chemistry, they can hide their inner thoughts and feelings.

As much as I love this series, the homophobia is rampant and annoying. Because the friendship between Butch and Vishous figures so prominently in this book, that connection between them is even more obvious. That also means the characters have their backs up a bit more about their relationship, leading to some tiring homophobic language and ideas. I cringe every time because I just know that language would not be used if these books were written today.

There is so much going on in each of these books which keep me wanting more, more, more. Of course, I want to see everyone in the Brotherhood happy and mated, but there is so much more to this world of vampires than finding their mates. In fact, having a mate is a bit of an inconvenience in their line of work. There are a whole lot of books in this series, I only hope the level of storytelling stays as stellar as it’s been while the stale and tired language goes away.

4 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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