Be warned, this may be slightly spoilery.
Lover Unleashed is the latest instalment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. For those who are yet to meet the Brothers, they are a band of vampire warriors who fight to protect the civilian vampire population from The Lessening Society (soulless, former humans recruited by The Omega to kill all vampires).
These vampires are not humans who were bitten and they definitely don't sparkle (not that we don't love the Cullens). In this world, vampires are a separate species to humans. They look similar but are slightly anatomically different. Humans and vampires can interbreed and produce offspring, an important point in several of the books.
My husband refers to this as my "vampire porn" and to be fair, that's not far from the mark. This is no Twilight; the Brothers are definitely for adults only. Each book focuses on a different Brother while fitting into the ongoing storyline of the war between the Brothers and the Lessers.
If you're into vampire fiction and you like your smut to come with a decent storyline, then I highly recommend you give the Black Dagger Brotherhood a go. Dark Lover is the first in the series and it really is best to read them in order.
So, onto this book. At the close of the previous instalment, Wrath came back from the other side with an injured Payne. This book focuses on the struggle to restore feeling and movement to the now paralysed Payne. Who could possibly save her other than Doc Jane's former friend and colleague, Manny Manelo? The only trouble is, Manny thinks Jane is dead and is somewhat confused when she turns up looking for him at her own graveside.
Rather predictably, Manny and Payne fall for each other and what do you know? Manny has some vampire blood in his family tree. The surprise is that the book doesn't really centre around the two of them as much as you'd expect. This is as much V and Jane's story as Payne and Manny's. The other Brothers and their shellans are hardly present at all. Also missing are the Lessers. There are battles of course, and hints that something big is coming, but there are no Lesser POVs in the book at all. It is actually nice to get a break from the Lessening Society politics, which I thought was becoming a little tiresome, particularly after the Lash storyline of previous books.
Lover Unleashed introduces a new enemy - Xcor and his band of bastards. Xcor has a warrior sized grudge against Payne and designs on Wrath's throne. Xcor and Throe are an interesting addition and I'm sure we'll see more of them in the next book.
The occasional chapters featuring Quinn point to the possibility that the next book will centre around the Quinn/Blay/Saxton/Layla love quadrangle and it looks like there will be some interesting developments in that storyline.
I enjoyed it, but not as much as some of the previous books. Everyone has their favourite Brother and given how little many of them appear in the book (some no more than extras in one scene) you may be disappointed if V isn't yours.
If you've read it, leave a comment and let me know what you thought and who your favourite Brother is.