Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....
If you’re a BDB fan, you already know that this book has been a long time coming. Qhuinn and Blay have been the one story that has been kept to the sidelines from nearly the beginning of the series. Their sizzling sexual tension and unrequited love have kept a large portion of BDB fans salivating for this story and now that it’s finally here and I have finally, finally read it, I can say that the torture of the wait was not fuckin worth it.
It didn’t start off badly. Right off the bat, we had a few flashbacks to Qhuinn’s past. Qhuinn is in my top 3 brothers, so I just love him. I ache for him and his issues and his pain. Reading about his past and the way his family treated him was brutal, but it was honest and it pulled me in immediately. His POV at the beginning of the book was awesome. It set the tone and I knew that if it continued that way, it would turn out great. I thought that, for sure, that when these two got together, it would be epic, but it wasn’t.
The first heart-to-heart between Qhuinn and Blay was touching and moving and I was all in. Then, all of a sudden, the heart-to-heart became a dick-to-dick. Now listen, I know that this is erotica. I know they’re gonna be getting down. I’ve read all previous 10 books. I’m no fool. But, the sexy times were so inappropriately placed and they completely replaced all the emotional stuff. I’d get it if this happened once, because you can’t refrain from jumping each other’s bones forever, but every time? The whole book? It was one cheap thrill after another. They never sat down and opened up and discussed their frikkin issues, which are many. Why do that for the entire book? Things couldn’t have turned around half-way through?
This book is 591 pages long. Qhuinn and Blay didn’t get it together until the last 10 pages or so. No fucking lie. I’m not making that up. It was bullshit conflict and bullshit plot devices, like keeping each other in the dark about very important things, for the whole book! If I wanted to read about their conflicts for 581 pages, I’d reread all the other BDB books. This book is supposed to be about their UNION. How the fuck are you gonna wait until the last 10 pages to have them finally (at last -_- ) unite in an epilogue? Are you shitting me? We didn’t even get the nitty-gritty. It was more like, “ Time passed and voilà.”
I’ve been building their story up in my mind all these years and I’ve been imagining how magical their union would be, but it wasn’t magical. I think these two were sold short. The one thing that separates Qhuinn and Blay from all the other couples of the past 10 books is their history. These two didn’t randomly catch each other’s eyes in a crowd and fall madly in insta-love. They know each other intimately as friends. They’re best friends and have been for many years, so you’d think that their moments together in this book, the book of their union, would be poignant. They weren’t. They’re both so much better than an entire book of cheap thrills with a hasty 3 page wrap-up. Couldn’t there have been at least a few paragraphs of them together and happy and just dealing with day-to-day life within the BDB compound? 3 pages and most of it centered around more sex? I can’t even put into words how disappointed I am about that.
In addition to the Qhuay failure, this book was just like the last few books where the side stories swallowed up the main couple. I found myself craving Qhuay time. I wish someone had the time to go back and figure out how much of this book was even about Qhuay. The amount of side characters is STAGGERING. I know Ward wants to set up the rest of the series, but it was too much. SO much. The worst part is that the guys that she’s setting up to feature in her future books all behave the same way.
1. Be aggressive.
2. See hot woman.
3. Get hard-on.
4. Mentally claim woman.
5. Fondle hard-on whilst thinking of mentally claimed woman.
6. Stalk woman.
7. Acknowledge hard-on while stalking woman.
9. Think to self how that woman is your future shellan, but she just don’t know it, yet.
10. Think to self how fragile and gloriously and ethereally beautiful and exquisite your future shellan is.
11. Wish death upon any man or male that comes within 3 miles of your future shellan.
12. Acknowledge constant hard-on.
13. Go home alone and jerk off.
14. Pine for your future shellan.
15. Take hot shower and stare at your hard-on.
Are there no other tricks in your bag, woman? Give us something else to work with! You’re just recycling character traits for all your males at this point. The 2 guys she’s setting up to feature soon had the same internal voices. I could barely tell them apart. There’s nothing unique about any of these new guys and I’m not wasting another dime on those fools.
Except for Lassiter. I will read Lassiter’s book, whenever that finally comes out, because he’s been a very unique character (so far) and I just gotta know how his story ends. Speaking of Lassiter, he was barely mentioned in this book. Huge fuckin bummer, lemme tell you.
Lastly, all the shit you’ve come to hate about the series is still there. Same old slang, a slew of ridiculous names, and most importantly, women are still fragile creatures which must be protected. There was a little rebelling in this one and that’s great, but there’s still a muted tone of the women needing protecting and saving – especially from kidnapping, which is now an institution in every BDB book, because that never gets old..
This is pretty much the unofficial end of the line for me. Ya see, I care about the Brothers and I actually do want to know how things play out for the Brothers, but I don’t know if I can sit through anymore 600 page books of side stories. I don’t give a fuck about the new characters. Fuck all those bastards. I’m interested in what will happen with them, but not in a romantic aspect. Don’t bring in bastards who are “the enemy” and then try to make me fall in love with them. The only way I can go on, is if I only read the chapters about the characters I care about. And that’s sad.