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The Immortal Rules
Julie Kagawa
J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11) - J.R. Ward I learned something very valuable when reading Lover at Last. I cannot, no, I should not rate a JR Ward book after only one reading. Her books in this series, especially the last few, require more than one reading for the full effect.I love an intricate plot, but I was so incredibly aggravated with Lover at Last at times, especially when the storyline changed abruptly to another that I was less interested in. If you have read this book, you know what I mean. Just when the scene became really interesting, the action would shift to a different character and storyline.On the first reading, those changes brought the story down for me. I’ll be honest and say I probably skimmed a good number of those in-between scenes, just to get back to Qhuinn’s story. Lover at Last really is Qhuinn’s story in every sense of the word. It is his journey to accept and love himself. JRW does an absolutely beautiful job of taking him through the paces of discovery as he comes to terms with his feelings not just about Blay, but about his family, Layla, and the Brotherhood. It was a heart-wrenching journey. I didn’t go into this book a Qhuinn fan, but I finished the book one. And to think I wasn’t going to give this five stars. It would be a no-branier to rate it a five had this book only had Qhuinn’s story in it.Qhuinn / Blay / Saxton -- I’ve got to put these three together, because even when Saxton wasn’t on the page, he was still “around” and he provided a great source of external conflict between B/Q. But it was really the internal conflicts that sang here, with Qhuinn working through lingering affronts from his past and his uncertainty regarding Blay’s place in his life. I just loved the back and forth between Q and B as they both searched for their happiness. It was especially interesting to see a different side of Blay as he tried to protect himself from getting hurt again, and I was glad that JRW mostly kept her distance from that and left the focus on Qhuinn. Every moment between Q/B seemed realistic, especially the final argument (omg, what a scene) that really shatters Qhuinn. I loved it all between these two, and I even gained new appreciation for Saxton. These are three males of worth.There were plenty of subplots to keep things moving along and set up ongoing angst for the upcoming books too. I liked them a lot better on the 2nd and 3rd read of this book.Layla / Xcor -- I did feel much sympathy for Layla’s initial condition, and it was probably one of the few things that made me tear up in this book, but I do tend to see her as a traitor when it comes to Xcor. I understand the attraction between her and Xcor, but I absolutely don’t want to see Layla betray the Brotherhood in any way. How this is all going to work with the young, I have no clue. Trez/ iAm -- this was probably my second favorite storyline in the book. It was great to get to know more about these guys, and I’m really glad that they are on the Brotherhood’s side of things.Assail -- I’m not thrilled with Assail’s business dealings with the lessers, but I have to give him an honorable mention for total hotness in his pursuit of his little burglar. I’m not sure what Sola is all about here, but I’m looking forward to more heat between Assail and Sola in future books.Wrath and the Brotherhood -- so much foreshadowing here with the heir to the throne conversations. I can’t wait to see how Wrath is going to lose his shit over this. His part of Lover at Last made me want to go back and reread Dark Lover and fall in love with him all over again.It was great to see Phury in a very strong stance in protecting his Chosen. Phury gets a bad rap sometimes, although he’s always been a favorite of mine. I was really glad to see him shine in this one. I loved his directness with Qhuinn, and even his initial aggressiveness toward Q was appropriate. Their conversation in the car was one of my favorite scenes.So, after a few rereads, I’m rating this book 5 stars. There’s a lot here. Read it again if you don’t think so. For the first time in a while, I really can’t wait for the next installment in this series.