The Black Dagger Brotherhood series continues with Lover Revealed, the fourth installment by J.R. Ward. Lover Revealed is a paranormal romance with action and drama thrown in for flavor. This particular novel has a little more angst than some of the previous installments, but not so much that it detracts from the story. The main plot of this story is about the relationship between Brian “Butch” O’Neil and Marrisa, former Shellan to Wrath and blooded sister to Havers. As with the rest of the series, this story takes up where the previous novel, Lover Awakened, left off.
Right from the start of the book there is action. Butch is kidnapped by Mr. X, the Fore-lesser of the Lessening Society. While in captivity, he refuses to talk while being tortured relentlessly. The Omega steps in and takes matters into his own hands. He corrupts the man with a part of himself in the hopes that the corruption will lead the Society to the Brotherhood’s compound. This corruption changes Butch and the lives of those around him forever.
Vishous, the Brother with a cursed hand and a gift for psychic abilities, finds Butch in the field where the Fore-lesser left him. He follows the instructions of the Scribe Virgin and removes the part that the Omega left behind, but the corruption remains.V takes the human to Havers, where they quarantine him in the hopes that with more treatment, the corruption will leave him.
While he is in quarantine, Marissa visits him and in her haste at seeing his condition, she enters the room without precautions and is quarantined with him for the duration of his treatments. During their captivity, they come to a sort of understanding about the hit and miss relationship they have had over the last few years.
Havers witnesses the two patients in an intimate act, and when he releases them, he vows to never treat the human again and disowns Marissa as his sister. With nowhere else to go, she ends up staying with the Brotherhood. Butch sees the disownment as his fault and refuses to be a bigger burden to her in a time when she needs his companionship more than anything else. This is just the beginning of the misunderstandings that pass between Butch and Marissa as the story progresses.
As the novel progresses, more is learned about Butch’s family history and some history that he did not know that will change his life further. Also, the reader is introduced more to the messed up world of the glymera, the vampire high society, and why Havers disowned Marissa instead of trying to work something out. In addition, in response to something that Marissa saw in Havers’ clinic, she decides to create a safe house for abused and battered Shellans and their youngs. She names the place “Safe Place.” Not very original but it gets the point across I guess.
There are sub-plots throughout this story as there have been with all the rest of the novels in this series. There is a focus on the unhealthy attraction Vishous has for Butch and their nearly symbiotic relationship. Also mentioned is the problems John is having adjusting to the loss of his adoptive family and what he does to one of his classmates for insulting a newly transitioned student in the classes.
Lover Revealed is an entertaining and gripping read although, I felt like beating some sense into Butch and Marissa throughout for all their misunderstandings. I don’t know how well it would stand alone, so I recommend reading this novel in the course of reading the rest of the series.