when I broke up with my first long-term boyfriend, what made me the most terrified, the most heartbroken, was that in a couple of years it would no longer matter. I wouldn’t feel the pain, and he would be nothing more than a memory I might take out once in a while.
At the time, in the midst of breaking us up, that felt like a horror.
That’s a bit how I felt about the romance in this book. And as I realise that I probably need to catch you up on what I’ve been going on (and on and on) about (with spoilers):
Vishous is a vampire warrior/son of the vampire deity who has never let himself care about anything or anyone. Until a human cop joins the Brotherhood. Butch and Vishous become roommates and start finishing each other’s sentences. Butch becomes the first person V has ever let close.
Then V saves Butch’s life, is the only one who can keep him alive if Butch is going to do his part in the war, undertakes the gruesome rite to turn Butch into a fully-fledged vampire (no bite-and-bury in Ward’s world!) and sponsors him to join the brotherhood.
During that ceremony Butch offers his neck to V and they share the most intimate moment of any in any of the books. All the while Butch is apparently falling for Marissa, bimbo-extraordinaire. (Ok, so I don’t mind her so much outside of her capacity as Butch’s soulmate, but will talk more about Alphas and their females soon.)
Cut to Lover Unbound, and instead of brushing the whole thing off, Ward made the decision to actually name what V feels for Butch. The book opens with a whole bunch of delicious longing on his part.
In fact, it opens with Butch half naked, forcing V – with great tenderness – to look at him with the tip of a very sharp dagger.
So, it’s official. V is in love with Butch.
And then this miraculous thing happens. He meets a woman, who from one second to the next boots Butch out of “that secret chamber in his heart”. Ta da!
Jane was actually a pretty great character – an amazing surgeon, head of the Trauma team, stands her ground with aggressive men. But there was only really one moment in the whole book when I actually believed that she had gotten through to V: she makes a silly joke to him at an inappropriate moment and surprises a laugh out of him that no one else could.
I think there was the potential between these two for a great love story, but the problem was this: his love for Butch was just too much more convincing. So to have it just disappear in a matter of minutes?
And then once it had magically gone, there was that feeling again. Instead of enjoying his new love story, all I really felt was the great melancholy that his love for Butch wasn’t going to matter soon. And what a horror that was.
I’m sorry to say, I have a lot more rant in me on this subject, so tomorrow I’m going to briefly touch on the give-and-take between writer and reader, and what I think has happened in this case.
Then I’ll move on. Promise.
(Er, though it might just be to the next book in the series…)