Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9)

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9) - J.R. Ward While this may not be one of the best in the series it still has enough strong elements to have it be a good story. I liked the romance between Manny and Payne but they could have had more of the book devoted to their relationship. It was okay that Manny's feelings for her went from 0 to warp speed in a minute and Payne's virginity didn't have her be a helpless, swooning heroine. She is a formidable character and I'm looking forward to her role in future story lines. I just wish the two of them had more pages devoted to their relationship in this one. The Old Country warriors are an interesting twist to the leadership structure of the vampire world. I know there's more to tell but this storyline ended pretty flatly. They were boring but the havoc they may wreak will be interesting going forward.Jane and V's storyline was absolutely brilliant. I wasn't happy with his previous story and this one makes up for the short hand dealt earlier. V's relationship with Butch continues to be complex and it works.The Qhuinn/Blay/Saxton storyline really suffered. While we gained insight about Qhuinn's point of view, most of the scenes involving these three seemed like fillers. Ward should be applauded for how she has created a compelling, same-sex romance that is just as hot and poignant as any other. The story just limped along here. I'm hoping they have a stronger presence in the next book.The multiple storylines have typically converged seamlessly in the past. It felt as if they just reached a conclusion that is more a "to be continued" than a fluid ending. I liked the stories but I was surprised when I found myself on the last page. I think this is more a 3.5 star rating but I'm tipping it to 4 because the characterizations were so strong and V and Jane got their air time.