Lover Enshrined, Anger Unleashed

Lover EnshrinedSo a few folks have pointed out the hiss and snarl that’s going on at the Amazon.com page for JR Ward’s newest book,Lover Enshrined. If I had to sum up my reaction to some of these reviews, I’d have to say, “What the crapping damn hell is going on here?” I’ve never seen an Amazon review section where there’s roughly the same number of reviews for each level, from five stars down to one. The laudatory reviews proclaim it a bold new direction for the series; the one-star reviews are ready to sit on low benches and mourn the passing of their favorite series from auto-buy to never-again.

Combine that with the email asking me if I’ve read it yet, and the comments here and there that have mentioned readers who are dying to discuss it and I’m officially curious. So, then, let ‘er rip.

Caveat 1:

If you don’t want spoilers, don’t read the comments.

Caveat 2: I politely ask that you refrain from one habit that really makes me feel squidgy: don’t presume to know what Ward was thinking or what motivated her. It’s not about the author; it’s about the book. If you didn’t like the book, please explain why. If you’re disappointed, ditto. But please don’t make statements about how she’s only in it for the money, she’s scamming the public, yadda yadda. I’m not trying to host a slamfest about Ward. I’m honestly curious why rabid fans are heartbroken about the book. Because damn, there’s some rabid heartbreak out there. They’re emailing me. They use a lot of vowel of anguish. Or, ahnguihsh. Or sohmthingh.

Candy adds big words: “The distinction between author and book may feel artificial sometimes, because the author is the creator of the work, and any critique of the book is necessarily a critique of the author’s work, which in turn reflects on the author’s (perceived) abilities. But focusing on the text, interpretations, reader expectations and reader reactions is ultimately a much more fruitful enterprise, because nobody knows Ward’s intentions other than Ward herself.”

Within those boundaries, you want to bring forth your opinion? Want to discuss? Bring it on. I want to hear what you have to say.

Categorized:

The Link-O-Lator

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    closetcrafter says:

    Teh 1st chapter or 2 left me scratching my head initially thinking that I mistakenly picked up a book that wasn’t attached to the series, then I got into the swing of things, but without any spoilers:  IT’S A HOT TRANNY MESS

    It’s all over the place, it randomly checks in with all the characters and then visits details of secondary characters in a fashion that makes you think, was my last book missing a chapter? Why does it seem like she is reminding me of something I should have previously known, but I don’t?

  2. 2
    jmc says:

    Okay, I read the book and liked parts of it (Qhuinn, Blaylock, John Matthew and Xhex), while hating other parts (Phury, Cormia, Rehvenge, the entire Lesser/Lash thing).

    1.  Dude, penile systems?  Spell-check please, unless she’s talking about a reproductive or urological problem, “penal” is probably the word.

    2.  Head hopping—at least 9 povs—does any book need that many?

    3.  The texting and tween girl language coming out of the mouths of the BDB reduces their badassitude.  Laters?  Makes me think of Pink from Bend It Like Beckham.  And the faux Texas thoughts/language of Mr. N was cringe-worthy.  Plus, it reminded me of Foghorn Leghorn

    4.  I get the whole change or die theme, but the complete destruction of the mythology and world building seems not well planned to me.  Of course, it’s Ward’s mythology, so she can do with it as she wishes.

    5.  This is me personally—I’m tired of vampire series in which the women see, for the most part, to be broodmares.  Where was Beth, other than one scene with Wrath?  Where was Mary?  Where was Marissa?  Jane was around, except, wait, she’s a freakin’ ghost.

    I’m finished with the Khool-Aid.

  3. 3
    closetcrafter says:

    I of couhrse, whill continue to rhread them

  4. 4
    Sayuri says:

    Personally I loved the book. Yeah, there wasn’t a lot of actual romance in that Phury and Cormia didn’t have a lot of together time, but they both had to grow before that could happen and we got to see that. It wasn’t the insta-love that was V and Jane. (Which really chapped my nads, so to speak.) I found it much more satisfying than V& Janes romance.

    At this point I am much more interested in the world and the over-arching story. Yes, Phury’s book was mainly set-up for other characters and thier plotlines, but Phury has had plenty of facetime in other books, so I figure it’s all good.

    I don’t have a problem with the series vying away from the strictures of ‘romance’ and the ‘HEA’ and more toward an urban fantasy slant. I’m invested in all the characters now and I don’t really care if they don’t all get thier shellans or whatever. I just want the story to continue so we get a resolution. I’d like to see some Omega ass getting kicked, true?

    It wasn’t perfect but then no book is. I just really enjoyed it. John Matthew has gotten HAWT. But why do I still feel like a cradle snatcher?

  5. 5
    Melissandre says:

    My copy is in a pile of books I’m saving for my trip to Europe, but I have read a few of the comments on Amazon.  My reaction:  where have all these people been?!  They are very upset about multiple subplots, but Ward has been branching out with subplots from about the second book.  Those subplots became more prominant in Butch and Vishous’ books, but they’ve been there all along.  In fact, I like the fact that Ward sets up her future books; her sequels flow together instead of being choppy and episodic.  Maybe there are too many subplots in Lover Enshrined, but people shouldn’t be acting surprised at their presence.

    Some people are mourning the loss of romance in favor of urban fantasy.  Maybe it’s just me, but books that use the word “shitkickers” as often as these don’t seem like pure romance.  I’ve been much more interested in the Brothers’ varied transformations from emotionally scarred alpha-males into partners in healing relationships.  If this continues to be the theme of Ward’s works, then I’ll continue to buy them.

    These books have never been perfect, but they are perfect mindless escapism.  When confronted with a vampire-loving colleague going through a messy divorce, I lent these books out as therapy.  They were just what the doctor ordered.  If two English teachers can read the books without cringing too much, I don’t see why other people are so upset. Iht’s jhust a boohk!  Qhuit whinihng!

  6. 6
    Shanna says:

    I really liked it. I thought it finally moved the series forward with a great big leap. I also like the bigger parts devoted to John Matthew. Phury I could do without. I thought he just needed to get over himself already. I wish Cormia would have got a clue and found another man but when you’re a cardboard cut-out of a character that’s hardly reasonable. I agree with what’s been said before about the heroines, *yawn*. But I still love the BDB dudes.

  7. 7

    I’m reading this book now.
    J.R. Ward’s BRD series was one of the first vampire series I got to read.

    LOVED THEM! I’m all about the alpha males and these guys really kick ass.

    Ward’s writing technique is different switching between scenes and characters like my 3 year old daughter switches outfits, but it’s nothing new for this current book. It keeps the suspense running because the character switch usually happens right when you’re getting really involved so you run through the next scene so you can get back to the scene you are really enjoying. It’s kind of like watching a movie or tv show. They usually don’t follow a direct line through a story, they jump around and they eventually mesh together making perfect sense.

    So far I’m loving the book and I’m not even a quarter of the way through. John Matthew is easily one of my favorite characters and I’m so looking forward to seeing what happens with him. Phury is such a good guy I’m really hoping things work out between him and Cormia.

    J.R. Ward is one of my favorite authors. Nothing she does will disappoint me in this series.

  8. 8
    Shannon says:

    I have to say that I loved this book. I thought it was a lot better than Lover Unbound and Lover Revealed.

    I’ll admit that the Phury/Cormia relationship left me feeling like things hadnt exactly gone anywhere, but their interactions with other characters worked very well for me.

    All those multiple subplots and storylines and Big Revelations? Thats what I really liked about the book. I didnt want it to be about just Phury and Cormia because to be honest, I wasnt all excited about either of them. That the book was about the BDB world, not just those two characters, is what appealed to me. I loved all the secondary characters, especially the JM/Blay/Qhuinn storylines. The stuff with Xhex was awesome, the scenes with Rehvenge a great set up for his book (next in line, IIRC), and it was nice to see the Chosen behave as something other than a doormat, if only for a part of the book.

    Plus, the wonderful appearance of Lassiter? I had been waiting for that since he first showed up on the message boards, back before Lover Awakened I think it was, and he has remained my favorite character even once I dropped off the boards. 

    All in all, if the romance was lacking, really the books arent about that. They’re about the BDB world, and I felt that this one really delivered. It left me wanting so many storylines so badly there really isnt any way I could say I didnt enjoy it.

  9. 9
    rebyj says:

    I liked it much better than Lover Unbound and it does move the stories of John Matthew , the lessers and Rhev along quite nicely.
    The product placements made me laugh out loud , the first 50 pages were FULL of name brands, even toothpicks.

    I didn’t think much of Phury and Cormia’s love. I didn’t get it, they were barely in the same room with each other and her interactions with John Matthew and Bella were more heartwarming than her scenes with Phury. That said, the direction the book takes with the BDB over all is well worth the read in my opinion.

    As Melissandre said, ” These books have never been perfect, but they are perfect mindless escapism.”

    I Totally agree!

  10. 10
    darlynne says:

    Wasn’t there all kinds of howling when the last seasons of Buffy were so dark (which was perfect for me, btw, as I was in my own really dark place at the time)? Why does it seem we’ve been down this road many times: fan devotion transmogrifies into more than disappointment when a writer’s vision goes somewhere the fan doesn’t like, didn’t anticipate and now takes as a personal affront by that same writer?

    I really liked the book, didn’t love it, although I’ll be reading it again shortly. Haven’t read the amazon comments and won’t because I cannot listen to the on-going outrage of some readers still over Lover Unbound. Honestly, my disappointment, let me show you it—and wave it around while I’m at it.

    This is not the same series as begun by the first three books, I get that, and I do miss the banter, the humor and the passion. Lover Enshrined is so much darker in mood and theme—drug addiction, sexual abuse, murder, eye-popping blackmail—and so much broader in scope. It feels real and true, as much as a book about vampires can, and it feels urban, which appeals to me.  If this is where the BDB world is headed, how do you make that light and romantic?

    I like the writing, I always have, no matter how over-the-top others feel it is. I love the characters, the details about them that we’re given—this new crop has enormous potential—and am fully invested, no matter where they go. More grit, less romance, I’m OK with that.

    It’s also not my name on the cover, just as—surprise!—mine does not hang over the gates at Disneyworld. I open the book the same as I pull the bar across my lap and let Ward and Walt show me what they want me to see. My choice is whether or not to ride, not to yell that they should have gone thataway or added more dips to the tracks.

  11. 11
    Suze says:

    Shannon covered my reaction pretty well.  I’m about 3/4 of the way through, and I’m pleasantly surprised.  I’d thought Ward had jumped the shark (just learned that phrase, and now I’m using it EVERYWHERE!) because Lover Unbound was really disappointing.

    The worldbuilding was always shyte, the lhanghuage was always laughable, and there are plenty of better-constructed novels and series out there.  The BDB books, however, have always been very engaging (except Lover Unbound), and that’s where the series’ strength lies.

    She really hit the mark with this one.  She also has addressed the Scribe Virgin issue (if it’s blasphemous to ask her a question and, y’know, be insufficiently reverent toward the goddess, why do ALL the brotherhood and their SO’s get away with it?) and set that up for growth and exploration.  Although I noticed a few times Cormia said Virgin Scribe, which made me go, huh?

    Anyway.  I liked it.  Am liking it.

  12. 12
    Has says:

    I can accept the change of tone – its definitely morphing into Urban fantasy than straight paranormal romance which I think some readers are having problems with. But I didnt like some parts of Lover Unbound because of the ghost thing and I wasnt keen on Butch’s book but I am interested in the other characters like Rhev, Zhadist and co.
    But I think Ward has a problem writing interesting, strong female characters. I just wished they were more developed as the brothers are.

  13. 13
    Josie says:

    I really enjoyed this one despite quite low expectations after the huge pile of WTF that was LU.

    If you are intending on reading these for the romance I think you are going to be extreeeemely disappointed though – Phury and Cormia literally went from almost no interaction to OMG we’re so in love – HEA!

    Oh and I’m with JMC on the teenage-girl-speak, that just cracked me up.

    However, the story moved at an absolutely cracking pace – I’m loving what she’s done with Lash (finally the Lessers could be more than ‘oooh, we’re the scary mean guys – be afraidz’), the JM/Quinn/Blay story is shaping up to be my fave part and I’m dying to know what she’s gonna do to Rehv.

    So yeah, I would totally recommend this one but you are going to be very disappointed if you’re in it for the love – unless it’s of the ‘love for my brothers’ kind. And I think it’s getting obvious that, sadly, the girls are wallpaper in this series only.

  14. 14
    rebyj says:

    I’ve been reading the Amazon forum comments and reviews.

    One thing that bugs me somewhat is that some there are saying that Lassiter and Payne are characters that you’d understand IF you read at the JRW message boards.

    Now, I’m all for fandom but when a book I purchase is only explainable if I read at the author’s forum then something is off.

    I had no idea where Lassiter came from. Vampire’s and Lessers and assorted gods and goddesses but now a fallen angel? Is he a christian angel or what? Is he going to be a main character in a future book? Is he even anatomically correct?  ( anyone else see Dogma? LOL)

    Payne’s appearances in the books have been so fleeting that I’m not interested yet other than the thought that she seems to be bad ass but how much you wanna bet she gets “saved” by a big strong man later?

    I’m a little irked ! Are there any other author’s that write stories that you only really understand if you’re a rabid fan who spends hours and hours reading message boards?

    How about a forward in the book that explains those kind of things to unaware readers?

  15. 15
    Annmarie says:

    I loved it.  But I love urban fantasy.

  16. 16
    katiebabs says:

    I am still a Ward crack addict but the love story between Phury and Cormia was so weak IMO. Overall Ward is a master storyteller and gave me enough WTF and HUH moments to make me want to go read the next book, which is about my absolute favorite character in the series, the limp pimp, Rehv.
    If you are a Ward crack addict you will read this book regardless of what anyone else thinks and her sales will be through the roof.
    I give it a B-.
    Lassiter and Payne have been mentioned on Ward’s boards and even Lassiter had a bit of a role play from time to time. I think Ward wants her series to be interactive where you go on her boards and interact with her characters. She also gives away TMI also.

  17. 17
    Qadesh says:

    Okay, now I’m getting it.  The brou-ha-ha I mean.  I haven’t read it yet, simply because I didn’t know it had been released and I thought LU was such a damn mess that I was giving myself time to decide if I wanted to jump on the crackwagon again. When I saw the comments on Amazon, and I only read a couple, I was a bit disappointed.  I was really hoping things would get back on track with LE, seems I’m bound to be disappointed on that front.  Le sigh.  However, I’ll probably once again buy the crack and see if I can still hang with the Brothers or not.  If not I’ll have to be happy with endless rereads of books 1-3.

    However, I want to point out that this shifting of the series from a HEA romance to urban fantasy is not limited to JR Ward.  I started reading Eileen Wilks’ World of the Lupi books, which are shelved in romance, and she has done the same thing.  Book one has a traditional HEA, book two revists the characters from book one and then book three has romantic elements, but really is almost straight urban fantasy.  Is this part of some bigger trend with the editors at the bigger houses?  Maybe they see it as straight paranormal romance is dying out and thus they are setting up a shift to urban fantasy with decreased romantic elements?

  18. 18
    Jolie Dreyson says:

    My real problem is that this book (a definate Urban Fantasy) was marketed as a romance.  And I bought it as such.  I am more disgusted with myself for thinking that maybe, just maybe, Ward veered off a bit with V’s book and would move back into the romance.  Having enjoyed the series I really wanted to continue with the BDB.  So I bought it.  And read it.

    I don’t demand “pure” romance, and I have no problem with “shitkickers” and subplots and various POV’s…  but I do expect a romance.  Especially when I buy one labeled as such. 

    When I read a romance, I’m demand a great storyline.  In reverse, when there’s a great storyline, I still demand the romance.  Just my reading preference.

    Adios, BDB.

  19. 19
    Annmarie says:

    I understand Jolie.  The book classification or misclassification is an issue.

    I do wonder about readers that have a limited budget for books (thank God I don’t) and only want to read/buy romance.  How fair is it to them to spend time and money on a book that is not what it is advertised to be?

    Sure, there is romance in LE but it is a small small part of the plot.

  20. 20
    Qadesh says:

    That’s what I have an issue with Jolie, if these series are moving toward Urban Fantasy and are no longer going to contain the central storyline of a couple who ultimately have a HEA, why are they being marketed as Romance?  Shouldn’t the correct place to shelve them be in Sci-Fi/Fantasy?  I’m still on the fence about reading it, but the HEA issue seems to be bothering me more.

  21. 21
    Jolie Dreyson says:

    Qadesh, I’m thinking the same thing.  I’ve seen authors go mainstream, but still push the book as a romance. 

    Annmarie, exactly.  I think much of the disappoinment is from the romance fans.  I felt like a small bone was tossed to me to keep me interested.  They got me on this one, but never again.  There are too many great romance books out there I’d rather spend my time with.

  22. 22
    katiebabs says:

    My main question is, if Ward slowly goes away from the romance label, would she sell more book? Perhaps she feels that only being known as a romance author with urban fantasy undertones, limits her audience?

    But for her next book with Rehv, I see heavy sex and romance in that one because his actions and the way his character is being set up.

  23. 23
    Talia says:

    I too was disappointed in the lack of connection and romance between Phury and Cormia.  I do like how JR wrote in his addictive behaviors without sugar coating them.  JM and Xhex have me very intrigued and I will more than likely buy Rhev’s book.  Not the hardback, but the mass market when it is finally released in that format.

  24. 24
    Qadesh says:

    Isn’t this ultimately nothing more than a bait and switch?  Get the consumers addicted to the BDB so that they gobble the books like candy and then, poof, change the genre.  So that ultimately you are no longer buying an orange, you’re now buying an apple.

  25. 25
    katiebabs says:

    Why Qadesh, I believe you have said it perfectly!

  26. 26
    Qadesh says:

    katiebabs, you could be correct, however how many men will read them if they know they started out as romances?  Sad, but true.  But I suppose she could be following a bit of the LKH series model with these latest changes.  By that I mean the abrupt change to an existing series.

    What?  I did?  Wow, that’s a first.

  27. 27
    Bonnie says:

    I dunno what everyone’s so heartbroken over.  I am LOVING the book and am only halfway through it.

    It’s got everything.  Drama, romance, violence, intrigue….

    What more can you ask for?

  28. 28
    Tamara says:

    I read it. I liked it better than LU, but do I love it as much as the first four, hell no. I felt in this book Ward at least tried to put more flesh on her world and her lessers. I dunno why she waited until Book 6 to decide that she needed to do this. Oh wait it’s cos so many people snapped over the hot mess that was LU. 

    its’ also about damn time Lassiter showed up in a book. He’s finally canon instead of being a wanna be in the books character. I’ve never understood why I had to go to her message board to get the full story. One would think the story would be in the books given their length.

    JRW writes the best BDB fan fiction, eva. It’s all on the message board.

    To comment further on Katiebabs message board statement, I’d just like Ward to put everything in the books and more importantly, not brainstorm ideas depending on the mood of the ‘cell.’  I lost it recently when Ward alluded that Quinn’s HEA might be male after the reaction to the kiss. WTF? Make up your mind!

    Also, I’m not sure I want to interact with a bunch of fictional characters who have separate lives outside of J.R.Ward’s head. They need to stay INSIDE the books, not out wandering the streets in upstate NY. LOL

    But really back on point, the Phurmia portion of LeN just bored me. Perhaps if I didn’t already read their ‘mating’ ceremony on the message board they would have had a much meatier subplot. It was a Phurmia book, but damn if they were only in it for a minute. Don’t even get me started on Phurmia’s first sex hookup.  WTF was THAT?

    The JM/Blay/Quinn stuff was wonderful. If it wasn’t for that and Rehv, who IMO brought the ‘bad’ back in badass in the beginning of the book, I wouldn’t have finished it. The first 28 pages are made of ridiculous:  The Wizard/ringwraith (Wizard of Oz meets LOTR crazy), The texan double negative pitchfork maulin lesser, and Cormia’s name brand toothpicks. Really? Do the toothpicks REALLY need a brand name? How utterly ghetto fabulous her books are!

    Omg, I’m ranting..LOL

    I liked it, but I had to roll with the ridiculous to get through it.  Obviously I didn’t drink enough Khoolaid to squee with delight and give it the Amazon five stars! I’d give it three and that’s being generous!

  29. 29
    Sandra D says:

    Oh noes, I have this book sitting right here in front of me! I’ve been looking forward to reading it because I’m hoping after the disappointment Ward heard from her readers over the last one that she gets this one right. Now I’m torn two ways, do I read the comments and find out if it’s worth the time, or do I not read them and read it anyway. Bleah, oh well, not like I have a huge TBR pile anyway right?

  30. 30
    MaryKate says:

    I gave it a C+. I’ve decided that the style that she’s gone with in the last three books just isn’t working for me.

    Ward, to me, epitomizes the everything and the kitchen sink style of story telling. I just feel like the world has almost gotten away from her a bit. If I’m counting correctly she had eight (8!) storylines cooking during this book and that’s not counting the minor offshoots. I think the overall story is suffering for the massive world she has created. I honestly *loved* the first three books, but have been disappointed enough by the next three that I’m going to stop buying her. She’s had more opportunity than I give most authors to win me back as a reader.

    I’m interested to see where she takes the story next, but I think that I’ll wait and just read the spoilers for Lover Avenged and if they intrigue me enough I’ll pick it up in a UBS. I just can’t justify spending the money anymore.

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top