I finally waded through Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward. That's so sad to write when I absolutely love the first two books in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. They are two of my all-time favorite books ever, so I'm really disappointed to say that I won't be reading another Ward book ever.
No, really; this time I'm done with Ward's books. Lover Avenged was my final chance for her as a reader. Fortunately, her pocketbook won't even notice the loss of one of her legions of readers (and, often, strong fans).
Lover Avenged is allegedly the story of Rehvenge, the drug dealer sympath, and Ehlena, the nurse. In my opinion, there is so much else going on in the book that (a) their sparkless "romance" gets lost and (b) there would still be a substantial Urban Fantasy book with the complete elimination of their story from the book. I didn't feel fully immersed in their story with all of the subplots.
And, actually, if this had been a book about John Matthew, I might have appreciated this book due to his development into more of an adult and his relationship with Xhex, though I'm not really "feeling" them as a couple, either. Since that should have been a minor part of this book, I was actually irritated to find his situation more interesting than that of the main characters.
There's also some useful information about Wrath and his development as the King. I loved Wrath and Beth in the first book, so that was good to read more about what's happening with them and the society under his leadership. Sort of a way for me to say my "good-bye" to their characters, too, since I won't be following the series from this point forward.
And, definitely, don't bother to read this book unless you've read the other six books in the series first--and in order. You'll be lost.
I do love the cover, but that's really sad when the cover is, by far, my favorite part of a book.
My overall personal rating of Lover Avenged is a C-.