Content Warning: Abuse of Prescription Drugs, Drug Use, Alcohol Use, Violence, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Character Death, and Addiction
I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t like Rehvenge before his book. I had no interest in reading this one and honestly just wanted to get it read as soon as possible so I could get to Lover Mine (because I adore John!)
I was wrong.
Rehv is a very complex character dealing with a great amount of mental and physical torment from the life he leads. Just him being the owner of a night club is where 75% of those content warnings come from for this one. He comes off, at base level, as just a drug dealer and a thug who has his own interests in mind.
Then we see the world from his point of view. We’ve already met his half-sister, Bella, in Lover Awakened and know he cares a lot about her. But in this novel, we get to see his relationship with his mom and understand why he keeps the secrets he does. After reading this one he’s just more… human.
And then he meets Ehlena.
Ehlana is a perfect example of how J. R. Ward can write a dynamic female character and not have her be the stereotypical “strong” dynamic female. Ehlena is feminine and sweet, but she’s strong in her own way. She has her own job and is the sole provider of her household where her dad is ill.
Ehlana is extremely multifaceted, and she makes some very complex choices that don’t have black and white answers. This is mostly because, as I’ve noticed, nothing in J. R. Ward’s universe has black and white answers which is exactly what makes her writing so absolutely dynamic.
This is one of the more soft-spoken of the Brotherhood books in terms of series plot but is in no way less firey and sweet than any of the others. Rhev has won my heart over and I can’t wait to see him play an even greater role after this killer novel.
On to Lover Mine!