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Lover Enshrined

The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6
Narrated by: Jim Frangione
Length: 17 hrs and 39 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4.5 out of 5 stars (4,018 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

In Lover Enshrined, a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood must make a decision that could save - or spell doom for - his race of vampires. Phury knows his share of pain, but can the Primale of the Chosen experience love as well?
©2008 J.R. Ward (P)2008 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Erotic paranormals are ... frighteningly addictive." ( Publisher's Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    58
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    38

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,447
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    565
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    158
  • 2 Stars
    28
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    33

Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Really Love These Books!

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is very addictive reading! Once you've read one, you'll be clamoring to read the next. But be forewarned, these aren't your regular run of the mill romances. These books are darkly emotional and explicitly sexual.

Like all of the other books in this series, several storylines are developed. We get introduced to a new Lesser, Mr. D, and follow him as he does the work of The Omega in a most surprising way. We also learn more about Rehvenge, a preview of his story in book 7. Newly transitioned John Matthew and his buddies are also followed. I'm very invested in this storyline. I really liked following the story of these guys from their pre-trans stage to post-trans. And I'm so looking forward to their stories as they become warriors and also fall in love.

I have noticed that some people have been disappointed with the love story between Phury and Cormia. I have to disagree. The romance between them was satisfying. The book may not have spent as much time on them as the other pairings were in previous books, but their romance develops slowly, romantically. Their story is just as emotionally charged as the others. By the end of the book, you are aching for them to get together.

A note to those who are thinking of starting this series in the middle: To really appreciate this series, I recommend starting from the beginning and reading the books in order. (Dark Lover, Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, Lover Revealed, Lover Unbound, Lover Enshrined, Lover Avenged) My personal favorites are Lover Eternal and Lover Awakened, but all of them are great.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not the best but not bad either

Like another reviewer, I have really enjoyed this series. While this book is not one of my favorites it wasn't too bad. Books 1-4 are better and improve with books 7-10. I felt I had to read this book for minor character development. Overall I don't feel like I wasted a credit.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The latest of the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels

I have enjoyed this series, but this novel was probably my least favorite. Phury is a tortured character and, at times, very unlikable. I thought it a bit of a stretch that the Brotherhood put up with him so long. This novel changes the entire dynamic of the series with its new future for the Chosen and presents great possibilities for new characters.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Drugs Make You Stupid! You Shouldn't Do Them.

Any additional comments?

Ward's books so far have centered around a Brother and the woman he is attracted to, while giving the reader snapshots of all the other members of the Brotherhood - and the ongoing war with the Lessers. This book differs in that although the book is supposed to be about Phury and the Chosen, it really doesn't center on them. Their romance is presented more as one of the many side plots to enhance the overall forward movement of the series.

Was the book good? Absolutely! Although I was getting a little frustrated at all the near misses, and misunderstandings... and downright stupidity of some of the actions of Phury. (He's an addict - so some of his choices are naturally going to be completely stupid). Actually, I don't think I would have liked the book as much as I did if Ward had kept the focus too fine-tuned to Phury or Cormia (sp?). With their lack of being able to fully communicate their thoughts and feelings to each other, it would have made the book one long, frustrating waiting game.

But Ward not only introduces us into Phury's world, but she also centers on John and his freinds - the Lessers and the war, which is about to take a scary turn! And the lives of the Chosen as a whole. So we are "entertained" while we wait for Phury to get his head out of his ass and for Cormia to realize she has a voice.

This book certainly propells the over all story forward and gets you excited to see how the Brothers will tackle all these new challenges. Downloading next book NOW.

Jim was Jim. :) If you have made it this far into the series, I am sure however you felt about Jim in the begining has shifted from being "he's not the best choice" to "comfortable familiarity".

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The name is misleading. Not a romance.

Ward obviously realized she was running out of "brothers" to hook-up with their mates and decided to broaden her horizons. I resent that she did it here, with Phury's story, because he got VERY short changed. And so did the readers who thought they were going to get another romance. (Or listeners in this case.)

In every book she spends time setting up future stories, but in this book she spent WAY too much time trying to put flesh on a bunch of fringe characters that I still just don't care that much about. She sets up future conflict with them, making THIS story more about the STREETS and less about the sheets - so to speak. In previous books, the reverse was true. I wasn't thrilled with the change. I felt like I had been a victim of bait and switch.

Less than half this book deals with Phury & Cormia's story. Which frankly, SUCKED.

And Phury - who always seemed to be one of the more noble Brothers in previous books - takes a nose dive here, character wise. Of course, Ward had to come up with some conflict to keep the future lovers apart, and the result was lame and tame. She turned Phury into a dysfunctional drug-addict who loved throwing major pity-parties. But his self flagellation reached such ridiculous heights, and seemed so out of character, it was irritating. And Cormia was too meek to be much help.

The author even makes up a new "character" that berates Phury nonstop in his head. The "Wizard" - and where that name or the persona came from is still a mystery (outta left field) - is so extremely annoying, I started fast forwarding through his little tirades. It was bad enough that Phury was wallowing in so much false guilt, but to add a lecturing little voice, with a British accent of all things, took it to eye-rolling heights.

Also out of character seemed to be the Brothers over reaction to Phury's problems. In previous books, other brothers have had dangerous behaviors and they were tolerated and/or accommodations were made. But not with poor Phury. They suddenly got very judgy and it seemed less like tough love and more like turning their backs. I didn't buy it.

But then, the author wasn't interested in involving the Brothers with Phury that much, because this story was less about the Brothers, and more about ALL the other characters. Meh.

When Phury & Cormia finally did get together at the very end, I wasn't sure why. What changed? It was just the end of the book so Phury decided to pull his head out?

Talk about anti-climatic... He finally makes love to his female, and after centuries of guilty abstinence you'd think the author would spend a bit more time on it! I know she is capable of more, so the anemic encounter between Phury and Cormia at the last was the crowning let down in a book full of them.

It's hard to find a good romance that's not just formula, and this series has been good, to this point. Mostly. I had to work to get past the stupid, eye-rolling slang and the blatant commercial product placement. And book 4 was kinda boring... But, I've really loved some of them.

But, I won't be reading another in this series if Ward keeps on this track. I'll be reading the critical reviews carefully next time! Honestly, I'm starting to think half of the rave reviews must be from the author's friends and family.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite Brother....

I have become quite addicted to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series but this book was difficult to get through. Compared to the other brothers, I feel Phury's story was given far less attention and development. This book included a great deal on additional story lines which can be fine but they often eclipsed the main story. So here is what I liked and didn't like.

Likes:
- John Matthew starting to come into his own, along with Blay and Quinn
- The final resolution with the Chosen is ultimately satisfying
- Ending between Phury and Zhadist

Dislikes:
- Too much time spent on other storyline development. Lash, Quinn's situation, John Matthew, Bella and the baby, and Tor and Lassiter...the last in particular could have waited to the next book.
- Phury's story is not really a love story...frankly Cormea did nothing for me at all and I really don't see her as an agent of change for Phury....this is really about him overcoming his addiction
- In regards to Phury's drug addiction, I think this was really overplayed and over-reacted by the Brotherhood. As another reviewer commented, all the Brothers are really broken and frankly Zhadists self-destruction before Bella was as bad as Phury's and they did not kick him out...and what about Tor just up and taking off after Wellesly. No one really tried to help Phury other than yell at him and Zhadist was really hypocritical in cutting him off after all he did himsef
- I felt that this was more a rant on JR's part against drug addiction and Phury's self-loathing just made me want to smack him
- We got gipped with the birth of Nala...after all the lead in and worry about Bella we get a line..."Oh by the way, the baby was born fine...let's celebrate"..Hello! This is the first Brotherhood baby, tons of storyline about Zhadist worrying and Bella being in danger and we don't even get to see what happened. I thought she was not even due yet.

So...I enjoyed this book reasonably but would not listen again and found it a weak but necessary contribution to the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

No romance between Phury & Cormia

What disappointed you about Lover Enshrined?

- The love story between Phury and Cormia. So MANY MISSED OPPORTUNITIES where the author could have shown their love growing --but it seemed like it was automatic. Considering that it had been 5 months --I don't believe that "they love each other." The sexual encounters --if you call it that, is not the same as getting to know each other and finding out that you love and care for them. There was no growth what so ever. And it definitely wasn't love at first sight.
- The wizard --the annoying voice in Phury's head. It angered me more than feel for Phury. It would have been better if it was monologues to himself.
- The Brotherhood not facing of with his problems. No intervention and he needed one. He was given an ultimatum after his OD on H by the brotherhood. It looked like they just turned his back on him. His actions angered the brotherhood but they didn't dig deeper to see why he was on this downward spiral. It's unbelievable that the brotherhood would just do this to him considering what he has done.
- Cormia --so many opportunities for her to reach out to Phury and she didn't press. When people seemed resigned to not want to talk about what's bothering them --sometimes, spending time with them and offering them silent solace can help. It shows the other person that you care and that you will be there when you are ready to talk. This didn't happen. She's self absorbed. She may not understand the ways of the world outside her comfort zone, but she has no idea what was going on with Phury and made no attempts to find out. I REALLY HATE THIS CHARACTER. I hate her for that. Phury deserved much better from her. She's utterly clueless. Having said that, without her finding her own self, I can't see her falling in love with Phury. Does she even know what that is considering the isolated life that she had. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

What was most disappointing about J.R. Ward’s story?

-This was suppose to be Phury and Cormia's story. Subplots are great --but when the audience loves the subplot more than the main story --then you have a problem. If you are looking for this epic lover story between Phury and Cormia --you are not going to get it. That is what's so dissapointing about this book.

Have you listened to any of Jim Frangione’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He's good, but his feminine voices isn't really where it's suppose to be. If he doesn't like doing female voices, I would recommend having 2 narrators --one for the male parts and the other for the female parts.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

ANGER AND DISAPPOINTMENT.
- Lack of love story between Phury and Cormia = Very angry and disappointed reader/listener.
- The Wizard talking instead of Phury just doing his own monologues. That would have been better.
AWW Moments
- Blay, Quinn, and John Matthew --The Blackdagger Brotherhood -- the next generation :)
- Scene with Wrath, Beth, Quinn, and John Matthew
- Rhage's rant about the Glymera (A little bit of an LOL moment too)
- Thor and Lassiter

Any additional comments?

I have never ever been so very irritated and so very disappointed with a story until I've read Lover Enshrined. I thought that the reviews were exaggerations but no --it really was such a terrible continuation to the story. I hate --absolutely hate what they have done to Phury's character. It didn't do him justice. I had to fast forward so many times because the Wizard was just getting under my skin way too much and that's saying a lot since isn't the Omega the main thing that we want to hate? I mean I hate the Omega too but the Wizard is pretty much up there with him.

And the Wizard --my goodness, the most irritating things I have ever read. Honestly, if I had a paperback of the book, I would have thrown it across room --hard --several times. --Actually, make that a lot of times every single time this "character" would show up. Had I not liked the other characters in this book or had I not wanted to continue reading Blay, Quinn, and John's story, I would have thrown the book outside, drive over it several times, let the sprinkler have at it, and stomped on it several times. Man, the wizard and his irritating voice makes me want to pull my eyes out.

**POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD FROM PREVIOUS AND BOOKS AFTER LOVER ENSHRINED**
What the author has written about Phury --it just makes my skin crawl. The wizard as his imaginary "friend," --if it was alive, I would have punched him right in the nose. I cannot believe that no one talked with him sooner during those 5 months and make him talk. I'm really surprised that they didn't. I mean, they (Butch and Phury) were able to make V reveal what happened when he was chosen as the primale. I can't believe that they didn't make him see how great a man he is. Reading about him suffering makes me want to jump into the story, give him a great big bear hug, and lock him in a room until he knows and gets it into his thick skull that he is an amazing man of worth. I would have made him talk and understand. The brothers know each other well enough that they should have seen and done something for Phury. And where is the building love story between the 2????? That is my biggest problem with this book. Even though I was annoyed with the Scribe Virgin at V's book, at least the love growing between V and Jane can be seen. I thought I missed a scene several times but no, their love is very much NOT palpable or believable. Not to mention that I still believe that Phury would pick Belle over Cormia any day. And the brothers --him leaving the mansion is quite sad. I wish that he would have just stayed there with the brotherhood --it's not like they were lacking any room. I would have been okay with the book if you can really see the love growing between Phury and Cormia and you know that they really are meant for each other, if Cormia has some sense in her to have gotten into Phury's face about issues --whether it be subtle or in your face, if the brothers have found a way to reach Phury sooner than the 5 months --especially Zsadist and V and maybe with a discussion with Cormia, and if Phury stayed at the mansion. Him being away just doesn't feel right and it is quite bothersome.

Cormia --o dear. She is a sweetheart but naive. She has confidence one moment and the next --she doesn't. Lack of individuality. I think that she would have been better of with John Matthew because they could have grown together. Actually Xhex or Payne would have been better fit with Phury. While Cormia's softheartedness might have worked on another guy --Xhex or better yet Payne would have been a better fit. Actually, that's it. Since John Matthew and Xhex has a little bit of chemistry going on okay. Xhex and Payne would have probably gotten into Phury's face about his problem --way sooner than 5 months. (Side rant: I would prefer for JM to be with Sarelle though --she liked him before the transition unlike Xhex. And I think she insulted him once or twice too? And while I'm at it, Wellsie and Sarelle shouldn't have been killed of. If Ward wanted to show Thor as a tortured soul too, she could have done it another way. Same goes for Lassiter. Lassiter could have entered the lives of the brotherhood another way.)

The lesser, the Omega, and Lash --> interesting but it always sickens me every single time that I read a scene about them.

Quinn's family --> I'm sorry that they died but I still can't believe what they did to him.

The annoying and snotty glymera. It's people like them that give good aristocrats a bad reputation.

The saving grace for this book:
- The relationship between Blay, Quinn, and John. Epic set of brothers. They got the whole "one for all and all for one" thing going on.
- Blay and Quinn. Epic relationship. Book 11 should do their story justice.
- Tohr and Lassiter. Anticipating his return and reading about Lassiter is a good read.
- Rhage's mini rant about the glymera near the beginning of the book. (Another side rant: Got to say --Rhage's rant was the best part of the book for me. --I just can't see the "epic love" with Phury and Cormia. Phury absolutely deserves the best. Cormia is not it. Unless any of the chosen has found their individuality --no none of them deserves Phury. He needs someone that will cherish him and get on his face when needed. Cormia needed to grow more. I'm glad that they feel happy with each other but their "love" pales in comparison to Wrath/Beth, Thor/Wellsie, Rhage/Mary, V/Jane, Zsadist/Belle, and even Butch/Marissa. She should have gotten up in his face several times to make him see more clearly.

My other rant about the other books since I'm already on a roll --
- Scribe Virgin. Isn't she suppose to be all powerful and wise?? No --after reading what she had done to V, she is just awful. AWFUL!! Absolutely awful!!! AWFUL!! I can't say it enough. And after reading what she let happen to V by the Bloodletter, I'm even more pissed of that Z --for that matter, all the brotherhood were made to strike Rhage and for what --caring to love???. She so does not deserve the adoration or devotion. And lest I forget the primale crap? Oh, and let's not forget that her "worshippers" aren't even allowed to ask questions unless they have a death wish.

- Primale crap. I have never cursed so much while reading this book. I can't believe that they would make one of the brothers do such a thing. It's not like they didn't have any other option --before they were mated and after Wrath ascended to the thrown. The sex drive of the males weren't lacking. If the brothers --and those before them were allowed to interact more freely and frequently with the Chosen --considering that they are fertile all the time, they wouldn't need a primale. They can let the males tire themselves out. Considering what happens during the needing --it wouldn't be that hard to let them do their thing. I would have let all the brothers and chosen go and do their thing when they fall in love with someone. If they didn't have any other option then yes, I say that their practice is legit even though it sickens me to my very core --but there was another way, they just didn't do it. And by the way, by letting the "chosen" be taken against her will --makes them as bad as the Omega. I'm glad that V and Phury had some sense in them.

- All the Chosen --Lack of free will. Obedient little slaves. That's what they really are. Brainwashed into thinking that there isn't something better out there. I thought Cormia has some backbone when she gave John some advice but no, I just found her annoying. They lack individuality. I can't believe that they don't know this. And like I said, unless they find themselves --they do not deserve to be the other half of any brother.

- And I thought Marissa was annoying --Cormia, the Wizard, and the Scribe Virgen takes the cake.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I love JR Ward

I have loved the Blackdagger Brotherhood since the 1st time I read Dark Lover the first book in the series. This is the 6th book in the series and I've never been a huge fan of Phury however this is a must read (or listen) because of all the important information about other characters in the series. These books are very well written and are not a typical romance! They have an amazing storyline and I have enjoyed being able to listen to them. I hope Audible will make book #5 available soon and book 1# is being made right now so I hope they include that as well!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I really liked it.

I really liked this audio book because it was a very different take on vampires. I loved how everyone in this book was honestly as messed up as folks in real life. Seriously, these characters are train wrecks, it was great.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Please, please, please get the others!

I wont lie, this is not my most favorite of the BDB Books. There is so much in the way of transition in the world that has been created that you simply will not get if you do not know the books that came before. I have to admit, I did do the happy dance that this is here just because I am such a HUGE fan of JR Ward. I really, really, hope Audible gets the other books in the series.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful