Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)Lover At Last by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Eleven brings us Qhuinn and Blaylock’s story. This book is aptly named Lover At Last because we have only been getting glimpses of their tumultuous relationship over the past several books (years) since they were first introduced as pretrans trainees back in books four and five.

So much has happened between the time we first met them and now but you do get the gist of their history throughout this book because therein lies the crux of their problems.

While Blay does have some trials to overcome in this book, Qhuinn received extra unwanted second and third helpings of trials and tribulations. At the end of Lover Reborn, Qhuinn serviced the Chosen Layla during her needing. Our first update on the status of that union bodes ill. Next, a routine recon mission at a Lesser camp ends up revealing a horrible blessing. Lastly, Blaylock and Qhuinn have a super heated confrontation in which Blay calls Qhuinn out on the life he has been leading which makes him question why he is the way he is. Once he opens himself up to finding the answer, he is finally able to accept who he truly is and live his life for himself and find happiness.

However, it is not all bad to worse for Qhiunn. Wrath rewrites the Old Laws which opens the door for Qhuinn to be inducted into a new family (hint, hint). Blay’s trials center around his imperfect relationship with Saxton and the implications for a future with Qhuinn but he also struggles with being honest with his parents about his love life.

This book is highly emotionally charged; a firsthand account of Qhuinn dealing with the rejection and then loss of his family, the complications of Layla’s pregnancy, Qhuinn’s ‘self-awakening’, Blay coming out to his parents, and several other surprises that would be spoilers…

We also get to see some more of Xcor and the Band of Bastards and Assail who both take center stage in the side stories J. R. Ward loves to throw in to lead into future installments of the series.

Needless to say there was a ton going on in this book and it has the page count to support it (almost 600 pages) so it doesn’t feel rushed. It seemed that the universe was forcing me to take my time to savor Qhuinn and Blay’s story instead of rushing through it like I wanted because it took me a while to get through it (almost two weeks which is a lifetime for me). However, I loved every minute of it and when it ended, I was grinning like a fool.

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