Well, well, well, I'm nearing the end here! Can't believe it! This is the book of Payne and Manny aka Dr. Manuel Manello or as Payne calls him about half of the book "healer" :) I really liked that she called him that, so old fashioned and respectful.
Payne FINALLY get to return to real world and leave the sanctuary behind, too bad it's only because she broken her back and needs medical attention that might not even help her, leaving her a prisoner in her own body. From the start, Payne tells V that if the operation doesn't succeed she wants him to kill her (great for V getting to know he has a sister then realizing he might have to kill her in less than a week...). Jane doesn't think she can handle this kind of operation that's why they contact Dr. Manuel Manello her boss but also a good friend from her "living days".
Manny is struck by Payne from the second they meet. They have an amazing "click" between them and the both of them doesn't want their time to end after she recovers enough from the surgery to return to the brotherhood compound. But there's nothing she can do, she has to leave him behind..
After being scrubbed Manny can't really go back to his life, he has been scrubbed too many times (he was also scrubbed when V came to the OR and Jane left with him) he feels like he is losing it. Payne is in also not in a great shape since as it seems the operation didn't work as well as she wished meaning she doesn't want to live. On a last chance kinda deal V goes to Manny to bring him back to Payne in the hopes that love will change her mind and it does but in a really interesting way (that's the place to say that V is a total douche bag towards Manny AND Payne right up until almost the end but that's the regular problem with V - it's always about him.. he has always been a self observed bastard..)
I loved that we have a strong woman who isn't afraid of what she wants and I love that her man - Manny - loves her as she is - the sort of Alpha Female. But that doesn't mean that Manny is a "pussy", no! he is a strong guy who needs a strong woman by his side (boy oh boy would I love to meet a guy like that in person.. I'm no Payne or Xhex but I'm sure as hell an "Alpha Bitch" which means most men can't handle me.. and I'm mostly bored with them..)
It's cool that even though both siblings got a special power from their mother, the powers are somehow different, in my eyes, they fit the personality of each. That being said, I must say that after reading this book (again) I don't understand what the Scribe Virgin's problem with Payne. She loves to fight, yeah, but she isn't feral. She is very respectful, she has morals, she is not a bad person or a cruel one, she has a soft compassionate side which we saw even in the previous book with No'one and Layla. She is just not a "womanly woman". it's really stupid locking her up because she knows how to wield a sword.. There is so much more to her than her fighting skills, if she was inducted into the brotherhood 200 years ago she would have probably flourished. She would have been able to be a part of a family, people who care about her, can train her but also teach her about living, she could have interacted with females of the warriors and I'm sure if it would have been thus she would have found a mate (probably a warrior as well...). She is surly what they consider a female of worth.
There is a sweet side story of Manny's new hobby - horse racing. While I'm not into this particular sport I love horses! so it was fun for me reading about them and seeing the relationship between Glory (the horse) and Manny and how it resolves.
There is an interesting connection between two characters (both having a POV in this book and that's all I'm going to say! :)) something that makes a lot of sense and kind of brings all the guys together.
I'm giving this one 4.5 stars because I felt the subplots took too much paper from the main characters.
There are A LOT of V and Jane, which is obvious when speaking of a book of his sister but I felt that V's difficulties took too damn space. For me his book (Lover Unbound #6) and story was completed. Like all brothers he has things he has to deal with, alone and with his female but I didn't think we had to go there with him in a book which isn't even about him.. but you know me, meaning you should take in mind I dislike V... it's always ALL about him, he is the most important guy, the smartest, and the ***est of them all (too bad annoyest isn't a word..) I felt bad for Butch having to deal with V's problems. It was too much Z and Phury all over again.
Another side story I don't understand the need for was Detective José de la Cruz and his new partner Thomas DelVecchio (aka Veck). They are investigating a human serial killer. and? what was the purpose of this subplot really? The books are quite long as it is, so adding a subplot which has no meaning what-so-ever is really unclear.. As I understand the Warden wants to do something with Butch and de la Cruz in the future so she probably didn't want us to forget who he was and still.. there was no reason to give it so many pages..
Well, at least he had no Lessers as a POV that's a good improvement!
What we did have as the "bad guys" - the "Band of Bastards" (from here on - BOB), they are what was left of the Bloodletter's warriors from back in the old country. I know that they have a lot of fans but they are just stupid brutes.. Well, except for Throe being the pathetic guy their leader Xcor keeps laughing at. I did like the way the Bloodletter's death was resolved though. But I do think that Xcor is WAY over his head if he thinks he can throw Wrath from his chair! He is too stupid to do what he plans to do. It's exactly like in A Song of Ice & Fire - You can be a great warrior and an amazing leader everyone follows into battle aka Robert Baratheon but when put on the Iron Throne he isn't the great King everyone would have thought he'd be.
Quinn keeps being tormented in this book. He tries to sort of "find himself". He strikes a friendship kinda deal with Layla is really good for him (though he mostly think it's "for her benefit") because now that Blay is involved with Saxton he has someone outside of their circle he can confine with.
Only thing left to refer to is the narrator. You know I really disliked him in the first books, but actually in the last 3 books he was really great! I wish he would have different voices to characters, especially F/M but except for that, he's really doing a good job.
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I'm only writing the name of the book, the characters and a link to my review if one is available. I'm still thinking of how to organize it all together..
*** #09 Lover Unleashed - Payne & Dr. Manuel Manello (Manny) ***
#10 Lover Reborn - Thorment & No'One/Autumn
#11 Lover at Last - Quinn & Blaylock
#12 The King - Wrath & Beth