Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)

Lover Awakened - J.R. Ward So far, this was the toughest book to read in the series. And I have to admit, it felt as if it dragged on and on and on.... Then again, it might be cramming 3 books into 3 days/nights? And because the story from book 2 didn't really end - it just melded into the beginning of book 3.FINALLY got the scoop on Phury and Zsadist. Took a long time to get there, and it came in bits and pieces. I was almost screaming with frustration by the time we got both sides of the story. And yes, many times I was teary-eyed. The horror and destruction - of bodies, souls, minds, lives... How does one recover from something so heinous?I was disappointed that Bella's experience was almost pushed to the wayside. I felt as if a perfect opportunity for the author to use Zsadist to help Bella heal and face what happened to her was lost. It seemed as if we were going there, and then... not at all. Of course, Bella's experience is nothing compared to Zsadist's, but still. A way for him to realize that she needed him. The back-and-forth between them... the pushing her towards Phury... it all got old by the time I got to the end of the book. Overkill. Yes, I get that Zsadist doesn't think he's good enough, whole enough, right enough, clean enough for Bella. Yes, he thinks that Phury is - that Phury is everything that he might have been. But when will Zsadist get it into his head that Bella doesn't want Phury - she wants him? And the whole bonding and marking thing - before and after he "serviced" her during her needing time... Are we to believe that Zsadist is so naive that he doesn't understand how these things work? This is only my 3rd book in this world, and I GET IT! Why doesn't he?His reactions to the physical took abuse into a whole new realm of consciousness for me. In his experiences... in his reactions to most things (perhaps even the overkill), I felt as if the author had done her research; she didn't pass over or try to make "nice" or have Zsadist just suddenly heal and be who he thinks he should/could have been. But again, she seemed so focused on him that she missed the opportunities with Bella; Bella's abuse *was* passed over... glossed over. And that seemed especially strange in light of John Matthews' visit to the psychologist.Mr. O (David Ormond) is quite the piece of work. Don't understand how he fools the Omega, but perhaps Omega isn't supposed to be omnipotent. I also don't understand what the Omega is supposed to do to him (or others) during their "torture" sessions with him. How can it be sexual if the guy sucked out all the sexual in the lessers? The Omega seems like a creepy pedophile, except that the lessers are adults - all over 18. Just don't get the guy.Nor do I understand how David (Mr. O) can have "feelings" for Bella as his "wife". This didn't make any sense to me. Somehow, Mr. O kept his individuality; is this supposed to be because he's only been a lesser for roughly 3 years? And this it the big, bad dude who was an up-and-comer? Who kicked Mr. X's butt and used the rules against him to set himself up as X's replacement? Feels like a lot of holes in this sub-plot. Not sure I exactly want them filled in, but still... makes me feel, as a reader, that I'm not connecting the dots like I'm supposed to be. Wellsie? Say it isn't so!So much darkness in this book... so much suffering and heart ache and heartbreak. I almost shelved it as "horror", because in some ways it is. And yet, the end of the book seems to make up for so much.