Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 8)

Lover Mine - J.R. Ward Wow! If I thought the last book was something... I never got the Xhex-John thing, and in some ways, I still don't. But I'm much more of a believer after reading this book. The author did an excellent job of tying all the loose ends together and showing that she's weaving a tapestry - she's skilled that way. I liked the symmetry of Darius's history with John's present. I liked the push-pull going on inside of both Xhex and John, but even more between them. I liked getting to know Xhex more - being inside her head. Perhaps that's only possible in this book, because she's not tamping down her sympath side as much?And for once, I'd label the sex in this book as steamy/erotic! It was hot! Not that it hasn't been good with the other Brothers in their books; but for some reason, between John and Xhex, the sex was super-hot and super-steamy. Which shocked me, 'cuz as I said, I haven't been a fan of this pairing, nor did I think that the author could sell me on them. Wrong!The Lash thing - UGH! He's horrific in his sick "relationship" and obsession with Xhex. As far as we know, he doesn't even know that John has a thing for Xhex, so Lash's "love" for her comes only from the sick fighting and sex. What's happening to his body, though... hmmmm... we never really do get to understand it, do we? Sometimes I think the whole Lash son-of-Omega thing was half-baked; a great idea, but never fully developed. And in some ways, I feel as if we, the readers, were gypped by what happens in this book. How could the Omega not know that his son, half-vampire, would need to feed from another vampire/lesser - a female one? So how does this suddenly freak out or anger his "dad" so much that he disowns his own son? I get the Omega dumping his Fore-Lessers... but his own? He was so proud of Lash, wasn't he? Did he expect Lash to "go" his way - into the obviously sick and twisted sex thing? And I don't just mean that his dad is into males... he's obviously way beyond just the usual m-m and even sado-masochistic thing.The Lash-Omega thing... didn't sit well with me in this book. Too many things left unanswered. Is the author saving these up for another book? Did the whole lesser thing/Omega thing/Lash thing just get boring to readers? I can see why, if it did. Although Lash seemed to breathe life back into the whole thing. But what's hard to buy is that when Lash is left out in the cold, he's going to suddenly feel remorse? Feel "bad" for ostracizing John and anyone who was different? Huh? What the heck was that? He even calls the Brotherhood to take care of lesser biz, which makes a certain amount of sense, since he's self-serving.Anyway... back to John and Xhex. John showing her his past - at least what he knows of this life's past. Xhex knowing/guessing the rest. I was upset at first that the author seemed to gloss over her abuse, her abduction - almost as she did with Bella. (That still never was really resolved, BTW. No mention of Bella ever talking to Mary.) And Mary does seem to come into her own, finally, and be of some use to the family/Brotherhood. Even to Xhex.Loved the full circle with Tohrment and John.... loved seeing how Tohr and Darius got so tight. Loved Torhment's realization about how he's like his house....Loved seeing more of Wrath again. As frightening as the whole blind thing is, I guess we were going there. And it's something that I'm glad the author addressed. Even the stuff with Payne on the Other Side (Far Side?) was good - and good for Wrath. Although lots of unanswered questions about Payne. Since her book is up next, guess we'll get there, too.And the Paranormal TV crew thing... OK, this was just plain weird. It didn't make sense, even when it was revealed. Really. Although I guess we'll see and hear more of the result of this, or so I assume.While the Lash stuff and the "haunting" stuff almost deducted a star (even the gratuitous ending there), the rest of the story is good. Really good. Good enough to sweep away my main objections. And on to the next book.... soon I'll be out of books, and I'll be with all the other BDB fans. Waiting. And I hate to wait!