Lover Reborn - J.R Ward *sigh* Where to begin?

I don't really have much juice left to write a full blown review. This book just kind of...drained me. Here are some thoughts that I'll share, however...

(Note that it's pretty much spoiler-free, in my opinion. Possible spoilers have been hidden behind spoiler tags.)

1) WRITING: The slang. ARGH, THE SLANG! No matter what ANYONE says or thinks (*coughs* JRW! *coughs*), "Pop-Tarting" is not a word that can be used interchangeably with jerking something upwards. Not at all. Also, I was sort of informally keeping track, and shitkickers appeared in this book at least a dozen times. Really now. REALLY. I knew to expect some slang going in, but I swear...I think it's getting worse with each book.

2) ROMANCE: The romance sucked. I won't lie. For me, at least, it sucked. I found it really hard to read about the romance/relationship featured in this story, and I was cringing in a lot of the supposedly relationship-focused/romance-type scenes. More on this in the next bullet points.

3) HERO: The hero (whom I will not name and instead will call "H" here for short, just so that it doesn't spoil the series for anyone who hasn't read it)...well, JRW did such a convincing job of depicting his mourning and completely devastating state of depression in the previous books that I just could not buy his recovery in this one. It made me uncomfortable whenever he would lust after the heroine. It just felt wrong.

4) HEROINE: The heroine (whom I will call "h" here for short) was such a dishrag. Meh. Could not relate to her at all. I thought H's rant at her towards the end of the book was entirely justified. Yup. I said it. Call me a biatch (go on, I dare ya!), but I was 100% behind what he had to say about her in what other readers may think was an annihilation of h's character. Instead, for me, it was bald-faced 100% truth, in my opinion. Also, what the hell was up with her turning into a porn star sex fiend after (a) her having been traumatized early in her life by rape and, indeed, losing her virginity by rape and (b) her swearing she would never let another male touch her ever ever ever again???? Talk about a 180! My head spun when H described her as so welcoming of him, always ready for him, etc. I mean...what planet did I land on where the h suddenly is a horny sex goddess??

Edited to add: 5) PLOT: I had another thought (and it should go here) about plot holes. Yes, there are many. But some are particularly bothersome for me because they're at the core foundation of this book's premise. So, we learn that H's mate is not in the Fade after her violent death. And that's what drives H to have to "move on," as instructed and guided by the otherworldly being Lassiter. Before I even get started on how this book somehow equates "moving on" with "starting a new relationship and falling in love with someone else," let's visit the question of the Fade for a moment. The finale of this book shows the H and the rest of the crew performing H's mate's Fade ceremony. UM, YEAH. Did it ever occur to H, Lassiter, um...anyone?? that the reason H's mate might still be In Between was actually because nobody performed the damned ceremony in the first place?? I thought that was like...mission critical for what happened when someone died. Am I missing something here???



56) OVERALL STORY/WORLD: However, this book gets that extra star for being entertaining for the most part. Lassiter. Qhuinn. Blay. Even Xhex and JM were interesting, and I didn't particularly like their book. Oooooh, and new ambiguously bad/good guy, Assail. Rowr! I even read through the Band of Bastards stuff when I previously hadn't found them interesting at all. I like Throe. I like him a lot. JRW can think up an entertaining story, I'll give her that much. I feel like she sometimes might have TOO many balls in the air, but whatevs...now I kinda just view it as "oh, what can she come up with next?"

67) WTF: Dude. The Layla/Qhuinn thing. WHAT. THE. EFFFFFFF.

78) NEXT BOOK: Qhuinn + Blay = YAY! Good thing they're featured in the next book because, otherwise, I might have abandoned the BDB series altogether. Instead, I will sit in eager anticipation of Qhuinn/Blay man-lovin' sexytimes. Qhuinn's going after whom he wants. Blay's gonna get territorial. Alpha Qhuinn. Vulnerable Blay. Alpha Blay. Vulnerable Qhuinn. Rowr! Awesomeness! (Side note: I actually like Saxton, so I hope he finds a halfway decent resolution after this whole heartbreaking tangle is figured out. In other words, please don't kill Saxton off, JRW.)


CONCLUDING REMARKS: That's about it. I would break down my rating as follows: (1) I disliked the romance and actually found it hard to read a lot of it, but (2) found the overarching storyline and general entertainment value pretty fun and diverting enough.