Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3
Author: J.R. Ward
Pages: 464 (Kindle edition)
Release Date: September 5, 2006
A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.
Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…
Zsadist is definitely the most interesting brother so far. His emotional scars are far worse than the ones on his face and back. We got bits of his history in the previous books, but none of that compares to what comes out in Lover Awakened. As his twin said, "He's not broken. He's ruined." And it's easy to see why after his horrible past as a sex/blood slave. What he went through for so long is awful so it's understandable why he can't get close to Bella even if it's what they both want. Phury adds a bit of a complication since he also is attracted to her.
There's also the problem of Bella's kidnapper. Even though she gets rescued early on, Mr. O isn't going to let her go so easily. He's a man obsessed and finds her to be the perfect replacement for his dead wife. This "lesser" will stop anything to get her back. I was definitely interested in this story line. Mr. O's unstable mental state was fascinating and scary.
John's back! I'm so glad there's more of his story. Even though he hasn't hit his transition yet he's facing many difficulties. First there's the nightmares; are they just dream, or memories? He also can't look at Beth, the queen, without seizing and he feels like he knows her from somewhere. He was also so insecure and unsure of himself when he started training, I just wanted to give him a hug! He's such a sweet character, but I know that's going to have to change when he goes through his transition.
If bathroom breaks and sleep weren't necessities, I never would have put this one down! Z's story was amazing, heartbreaking, overjoying, infuriating, just about the whole range of emotions. I loved seeing him slowly overcome his past and be able to have a real relationship. I loved that Bella was so strong and never gave up on him. I loved Phury's (unhealthy) devotion to his twin! I just loved everything! Yes, I shed more tears! I can't help it!