Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11) - J.R. Ward [Updated]By now, if you read the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, you know who Qhuinn and Blay are. There have been numerous book reviews about what was good or what was disappointing about the storyline, and some of those complaints will be repeated here.I will minimize spoilers, but know that this is a discussion of Qhuinn and Blay whose relationship has spanned a large portion of the series. If you have never read the series, start with Wrath’s book Dark Lover.There has been some discussion on the forums about how the series has moved from a Paranormal Romance book (PNR) to a more Urban Romance (UR). Some readers feel that J.R. Ward has been moving from a romance with a HEA to stories that are less focused on the romance. There are some valid concerns here, certainly in Lover At Last, the main love story is only 1/2 of the book and a large spotlight was on Assail and Marisol and Trez and his fate. There is also the primary story arch of the Band of Bastards. There is a lot of threads going on here and there is no way to just say this book is a “romance book”. This series has evolved. The positive thing about this is that the writing style has matured and Ward has developed a highly complex method of interweaving a large number of storylines. The downside is that I miss the focus we had in those early books with the romances. Basic Plot: This is book 11 in the series where Qhuinn and Blay finally accept their love for each other. In the mean time, Layla struggles with her role as pregnant fallen Chosen, Xcor and his Band of Bastards plot with the glymera against Wrath, Assail finds sexy chic and increases his drug cartel while being badass, and Trez has lots of sex with random women while avoiding an unrelenting queen. Strong Points: I like where Ward is taking Layla and at first I could not stand her. One problem with the female characters in this series has been a shallow viewing of them. Some of the more developed characters have been Xhex and Payne, and those are the fighting females. The BDB series focuses on the males, when it comes to character development and the females, the stories usually focus on their status (like Marissa), their sex-life (like Bella), or their health (Mary). Their roles are usually on how their place in the male’s life changes the male. Really, I have only noticed difference in that with X and Payne, which I think has more to do with the fact that they are more independent and warriors in their own right. Now we have Layla, who while is not a fighter, she is fighting to fit into this new world. A fantastic quote: In the Old Language, she hissed, “If any harm shall befall him, I will come after you, and find you where you sleep. I do not care where you lay your head or who with, my vengeance shall rain upon you until you drown.“ I have a love-hate with both Layla and the females of the series, but I am actually now looking forward to see how Layla matures.The scene with the induction was just beautiful and kept in line with the rest of the series.The Brotherhood action scenes are incredibly kick-ass. And I think that the scene with Z and flying a plane. It is perhaps, the single most exciting scene in the BDB series. How Qhuinn handle it, the emotions that he gave us was breathtaking and probably my favorite part of the novel with the exception of the ending.But most of all, I am so pleased that Ward had the courage to write a male/male romance focused BDB novel. We saw hints of it with V and Butch earlier on in the series, but for whatever reason, we never saw it come to fruition. But this is a fully blossomed romance between two male warriors. We have been waiting for Qhuinn and Blay’s romance for years. What Could Be Better? Sure, we got the sex between the boys, but I was left a little disappointed with their romance part of it. There were so many parts of this story that could have been solved easier if they had just spoken to each other honestly. I was a little disappointed at how the meat of their romance was not until the end of the book, although that is really not that different from any other book in the series.I want to clear up one of the complaints that others have regarding the male sex scenes. Some people said that they were disappointed in the prep-work of the male body for sex and the lack of lube. But, keep in mind that these males are vampires who have different physiology, including longer endurance and no recover-time. So don’t worry about the lube, they didn’t need it and that’s just fine.I was also disappointed with the lack of Brother activity. This series is a Black Dagger Brotherhood series, not the Shadows series and not the Band of Bastard’s series. I will be honest in saying that I skimmed a great deal of those side stories, they felt over emphasized and pointless. But I felt the same way whenever I read about the Lessers in previous novels. I did feel that we got too much face-time in compared with the Brothers. Conclusion: Overall, I am glad that I read the book and I really am thrilled that we finally got the Qhuinn and Blay story completed. I was satisfied with their romance, the sex was masculine and hot. The romance at the end of the story was heartfelt and romantic.I was a bit disappointed in having to go through all of the other stories, but I know that Ward was just setting up the next books and it is expected. My biggest issue is that I really dislike all of the people (Assail, Trez, Xcor, and the Bastards). What stories I am looking forward to seeing is: Manny and Payne updates, Wrath and Beth baby updates, Rhage and Mary updates, and that ex-brother Mhurder.In Ward’s Facebook posting on March 30th, we got the hint that the next book will focus on Wrath and Beth with creating a baby. This is a relief to me, because I was afraid that we would be forced to read a romance with this non-brothers that had stories in this book. The series is the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and the moment that we have to have a main storyline and HEA that does not focus on the BDB is the day that this reader will have to find another series.But I am truly glad that I read Lover At Last, Qhuinn and Blay deserved their story.Full review on my webpage!