Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3)
by J.R. Ward
The third book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover Awakened is the story of Zsadist and Bella. Which somewhat started in the previous book, Lover Eternal, when Bella, a civilian vampire, was abducted by lessers. Zsadist is the brother whom everyone is terrified of, and no one questions his reputation, not even his twin brother Phury. Zsadist is considered a lost cause by everyone except Bella, as he is scarred inside and out by his time spent as a blood slave for more than a century. Even Zsadist considers himself unworthy, with nothing to offer but tortured memories.In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, a deadly turf war rages between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
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 his only passion-until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.
Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for each other begins to overtake them, 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 obsessed with finding Bella. He feels as if he owes it to her, meanwhile he is keeping this from Wrath and all of the other Brothers. He is almost out of hope in locating her, when another civilian vampire escapes from the lessers' and reports to the Brotherhood that Bella is still alive. At that time Zsadist, along with the other brothers, plan a strategy attack to save Bella. After several attempts he finds her being held captive and in an awful condition. Finding her like this fills Zsadist with extreme amounts of rage and brings back unwanted memories. He thinks of himself as dirty and unworthy of any female of worth, especially Bella. However, could Bella be the one to actually save Zsadist from his inferior thinking and inner pain and suffering?
This story is proof at just how much love can change, transform and redeem a person, before meeting Bella, Zsadist didn't think he was worthy of love or capable of compassion or kindness and his deeply scarred face was just a reminder of the daily hell he lived and the horrors of it. Bella looks past the scars and is not scared of him or repulsed by him and that is something that Zsadist is not used to. By loving Bella and her loving him in return, it changes him in many profound ways.
When Zsadist and Bella are finally together something beautiful begins to transpire. Zsadist begins to transform in several ways. He allows himself to very slowly go through a healing process that is very painful, emotional and agonizing. All the while, Bella accepting Zsadist for who he is.. his scars, toughness and darkness, she is choosing him completely and wholly...telling him and showing him that he is a Male of Worth and is beautiful to her. In some of the most emotionally charged scenes ever written she pursues, he retreats, she pursues, he retreats..until he just can't any longer. The relationship between them is brilliant. There were plenty of times where I cried throughout this book. I felt empathy, compassion, and rage over the past that Zsadist had to endure.
This is not a light read. The abuse in Zsadist's past is described in some pretty graphic detail. The love scenes are more emotional than physical, and the Lessers bring about destruction and terror to the Brothers and civilians. This was an amazing book from start to finish. I recommend these books to adults and will continue reading the next one in the series.
Read an excerpt HERE!
Rating 5 Stars
Purchased from Barnes and Noble
Paperback, 434 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by Signet