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Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward | Romance Novel TV

 

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    Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
  • Author:
  • Published: May 27th, 2008

Ward_enhsrinedhome Reviewed by Marisa O’Neill

5 out of 5 stars

Ok, so I finished reading Lover Enshrined. I had to sit on the floor and read it – because I kept falling out of my chair! It’s amazing, wonderful, thoughtful, provoking and takes you on an unknown journey that keeps you turning the pages until the last page; finally, incredibly satisfied and breathlessly wanting to know more. If I wasn’t falling out of my chair I was reaching for the tissue box because there were just as many moments that were extremely poignant and heart wrenching. It’s the kind of book that ruins you for other books for many days after because the characters are still playing around inside your head. The kind of book you’ll know you’ll be re-reading – and not only this book – but you know one week this summer you’re going to do a J.R. Ward marathon and re-read them all. For those of you who have read the series – Lover Enshrined is epic in its scope, and unlike the other books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, it doesn’t just expound on the culture and world already created, it takes the world building and the characters to a whole ‘nother level. For those of you who have not read the series, what are you waiting for? Its summertime and this may be a good time to start a J.R. Ward Marathon. You can still enjoy Lover Enshrined if you have not read the previous five books, but it’s a much richer experience if you’ve read them.

There were so many moments in Lover Enshrined that made me stop and go ‘WTF’, or ‘shut up’ and I’m talking from the first two pages. Alright – very short run down – Lover Enshrined is the sixth book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series – this book is Phury’s book. Phury is the tortured twin brother of Zsadist, he’s also a vampire, a virgin and has the added title of Primale. In other words he is the ‘male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive’. Phury’s duty is to mate with all the Chosen (that means all the females who are of the chosen aristocracy and can ‘propagate their class’ – thereby creating more Warriors to fight the vampire’s enemies). Whew, follow that?

But! Lover Enshrined is so much more – which is why I find it hard to give you a brief synopsis. Yes the book is about Phury and his ‘heroine’ Cormia, and yes it is a book about how they come together. And – however – it is also about Phury and his relationship with his brother Z, his relationship to the Brotherhood, his relationship with the individual brothers and his relationship with himself; especially with himself. It’s about self-discovery, traditions, change, and sacrifice. One of the elements I love most in this series and in this book in particular, are the relationships between the males. There is a sense of camaraderie and, well, I’ll say it, brotherhood, that is deep and abiding; and for me, in many ways, the true ‘romance’ of the book. I was particularly drawn into the ying yang/ push pull of Phury’s relationship with his twin brother Z – talk about heart wrenching. But here’s the thing about that, the harder the fight to save and/or create a relationship the deeper the reward.

On almost every page of this book – everything is of consequence and anything can change in a moment. J.R Ward isn’t following a formula; she doesn’t give Phury a nice neat little book – in a way the book is much larger than Phury’s story and becomes a vehicle to take us to the next level of the Brother’s world, preparing us for the next chapter – building to the end.For me, Lover Enshrined is all about change – from what has been ‘enshrined’ to the point of near extinction, to revolutionary change in order to survive; weather that’s changing the system, or changing your beliefs, or changing your habits. And let’s face it, change is hard – and in LE Ward doesn’t back down from it – she makes you confront it. Phury’s story isn’t tied up in a neat little package, she makes Phury work for everything; and in turn she makes us experience it. I have to say, Ward took Phury on a journey I did not want to go on – it was hard, but the pay off is huge.

I’d say most people don’t readily embrace change. Even when something isn’t working, sticking to the old is comfortable and in many ways comforting. Lover Enshrined blows it all out of the water – it’s all about embracing your fears, facing them, making hard decisions and living with them, even if you’re not ready. It is eloquent, poignant

Ward brings back some characters we haven’t seen in a book or two, as well as introduces new ones; and there are some major characters whose stories unfold right along with Phury’s. Each character in the series is a part of the larger whole, and each character has their role to play. No wasted words – everything contributes to where the series is taking us. Ward’s introduction of characters is seamless and woven into the fabric creating a rich tapestry that is yet to be completed. The process of watching it being made, sentence by sentence, page by page, book by book, is phenomenal. The Brotherhood’s mission – keeping their race alive, their culture in tact while embracing the new, the here and now – is a journey I’m captivated by. It’s a journey I’m glad to be on. It’s a world that makes me want to invest my time. It’s a world unlike any other.

In J.R. Ward’s Lover Enshrined – relationships are pivotal, they propel the story forward. They happen between men and women, brothers, friends, quasi enemies – it made me wonder, what are the requirements/elements for a relationship between two people? What makes you fight to keep them alive?

22 Responses to “Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward”

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  1. Maria
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 7:10 am

    Aye, yai, yai – Marisa, could you have asked a harder question????

    First, thanks for the review… I was fortunate to read Lover Enshrined, right after I ripped it out of your hands… LOVED IT. And she is taking the world into a whole other realm.

    Relationship requirements… tricky one. There’s GOT TO BE RESPECT. There can never be the feeling that you’ve lost yourself and are now taking orders from someone else. You know, “Oh, I better not do, or say that, he/she will kill me”. Essential for me, that I respect the person I’m in a relationship with, there is total truth, and I’m not afraid that every little thing I do will upset them.


  2. MaryKate
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 7:10 am

    Marisa – Great review. I’m hoping this book will be shelved early when I go to the bookstore tonight! I’m going to ponder on your questions, and get back to them, but I wanted to ask you one of my own.

    I’ve talked to a couple of other people who have also read Lover Enshrined and they felt pretty strongly that Ward is moving away from romance and into something…else. Neither of them were able to categorize what the what is, but they felt like the books no longer really qualify as romance because of the breadth of the world.

    What’s your opinion??


  3. Marisa O'Neill
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 7:36 am

    Maria, it is a hard question – and yes, I agree with you respect is one of the top 10 things a relationship must have in order to thrive.

    MK – Hard question – I wouldn’t say Ward is moving away from romance – but in LE – ‘romance’ is not the sole purpose/focus of the book. It really has so many levels and dimensions to it. There is romance in it – oh yes, and we do have our H&H, and they do get a HEA – but there are so many people populating this world, and so many issues they confront that it is larger than that – and for me that’s a bonus. Would I categorize it as strictly romance – no. Is it a romance – yes. Did that clarify it for you???


  4. MaryKate
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 7:55 am

    LOL! No. 😉 But that’s OK, no one else I’ve talked to has been able to categorize it either. I’m just looking forward to getting my hands on it and reading it for myself.


  5. Rachel
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 12:08 pm

    Great review! Now I need to get them all and read the series!!! 🙂


  6. Marisa O'Neill
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 1:20 pm

    Rachel – I’m a big fan – loved the book, love the series – so yes definitely get the books, find a quiet corner, put your feet up and enjoy the ride!


  7. Anna Campbell
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 1:31 pm

    Marisa, is that a gloating little smile I see on your face because you’ve read this and I HAVEN’T!!!! Whaaaah! And your review just makes me more desperate than ever to get my hands on this. She’s such an amazing writer. I agree with you – it’s the bond between the brothers that is probably the most compelling element. And I love to see how when a brother falls in love, that puts pressure on that essential bond between them. And none of that is to say that the romances in these books aren’t breathtaking. What a great review!


  8. Anna Campbell
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 1:32 pm

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, I think you should definitely read the stories in order. It’s wonderful watching the characters change and develop over the series, often in surprising directions.


  9. Maria
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 1:39 pm

    You know Anna – Marisa took me kicking and screaming to read my first paranormal romance, I mean – I just couldn’t get into vampires and romance. I just couldn’t even imagine it. I’d come from historicals, contemporaries, romantic suspense, time travel, but never paranormals. Well she finally managed to put a JR Ward book in my hand, and I haven’t looked back. I pretty much devoured all the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and scores of other paranormal romances. I love them!


  10. Anna Campbell
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 1:59 pm

    Maria, about ten years ago, I read a lot of paranormal romance but I just drifted away from it. And the whole vampire thing never really worked for me – I could never get over the fact that they were DEAD! Ugh! But because of all the hype about the Wards, I bought the first one, fully determined to put it down after the first chapter, which of course, I wouldn’t enjoy. Well, five books later… I was lucky too – the first couple of paranormals I read after coming back to them were Dark Lover (wowowowowow!), Nalini Singh’s Slave to Sensation and the first of Kathryn Smith’s knights of the grail series. Nothing like a few good books in a particular style to get you started on a major glom, is there? So our experience is similar!


  11. Marisa O'Neill
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 4:16 pm

    Anna’s in the house, woo hoo!! Anna you’re right reading the books in order does give you a great sense of where they’ve been and makes it a much more compelling experience. I totally agree with you about Kathryn Smith’s books – paranormal AND historical, winning combination.
    Nalini Singh’s books – i don’t share those books with anyone – oh sorry Maria, did you want to borrow one? Anna after you read LE, you’ll have to email me and let me know your thoughts, I’m dying to REALLY talk about this book with someone who has read it (oh, sorry Maria).


  12. Anna Campbell
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 4:34 pm

    Marisa – clearly I was right about the gloating smile! – it should turn up from Amazon any day now. I’ve got some great stuff due this month. I think the postman is now scared of knocking on the door to this wild-eyed female who shrieks “WHERE ARE DA BOOKS???!!!” I’ve still got Caressed by Ice to read – I’ve heard so many good things about it.


  13. Marisa O'Neill
    on May 28th, 2008
    @ 5:10 pm

    Anna – I’m a lunatic this month – there are so many GREAT books out that I want to clone myself – oh wait, sorry Maria.
    Actually, this past Sunday, Maria and I were sitting in her back yard with about 35 books on the table, reading away. Maria would be laughing out loud, and I’d be reaching for the tissue box. A neighbor walked by and asked if we were having a lawn sale, and if we were selling books. I jumped up from my chair and said “Don’t touch the books!” Maria looked at me like I was on drugs – I had to profusely apologize to this woman and explain to her that we were ‘working’ and the books were in a specific order, which to read first, which to send to our fabulous reviewers, which were going to be Guest Authors, etc. I don’t think she’ll be stopping by next Halloween with her kids – ’cause you know that lady, well her crazy sister is always over there and she has this thing about books.


  14. Gannon
    on May 29th, 2008
    @ 7:13 am

    I am simply DYING to get my hands on this book! Hands down, one of my absolute favorite series! I’ll make sure I have the tissues handy…and a pillow on the floor!


  15. Anna Campbell
    on May 29th, 2008
    @ 12:15 pm

    Marisa, I’ve been chuckling about your madwoman reaction to that poor lady! Maria’s reputation in the neighborhood will NEVER recover 😉


  16. marisela coll
    on May 29th, 2008
    @ 6:58 pm

    I did love this I dont think she is moving away from romance she just had a lot to tell us by the way i felt the romance in this was good even if she did not spend the whole time on it. I cant wait for the next one does anybody known when it is due out. I would also like to recomend Lynn Viehl series it is also great.


  17. Marisa O'Neill
    on May 29th, 2008
    @ 7:24 pm

    Welcome Marisela – we’ll be posting an interview with J.R. Ward and she will be here to answer questions on June 9th. And let me tell you she has some GREAT things to say – so drop by and ask her yourself!

    I have read Lynn Viehl’s book – and I’ve enjoyed them very much!


  18. Anne A
    on May 29th, 2008
    @ 9:56 pm

    I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS DAMN BOOK TO COME OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT IT NOW!


  19. Merlene
    on May 30th, 2008
    @ 10:01 am

    Maria – Great review. I’m like everyone else, can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I’ve got two on order, one to keep in pristine condition and the other to read to death. This one will end up all dogeared, smudged and well worn.

    Marisa – as for the “don’t touch the books” I’m with you girl – these books must have subliminal message throughout the pages – we have all gone mad!!!


  20. Marisa O'Neill
    on May 30th, 2008
    @ 2:42 pm

    Merlene – so glad you liked the review. I have to say a good friend borrowed by other BDB books and I made her sign her life away, promising to return them. One of them was autographed by J.R. when we did the first interview with her – and I smack myself on the forehead for letting it out of my sight.


  21. Cindy C
    on Jun 9th, 2008
    @ 6:14 am

    I think chemistry is definetly required in a relationship and the suprises in it keeps it alive.


  22. Marisa O'Neill
    on Jun 9th, 2008
    @ 8:05 pm

    Cindy – I couldn’t agree with you more!

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