Lover Awakened - J.R. Ward
Whew, what a ride.

Honestly, I did not expect this series to grab me as much as it does, but already with Rhage's story I couldn't help falling for the brothers and the world they live in. I'm deeply invested and care about these characters. It all kind of snuck up on me until then suddenly it hit me like a freight train, and - as happened while I read the previous book - I found myself on the edge of my seat while reading. I cursed, I awwwwwwwwwwwwed, I smirked, my heart broke, my pulse went through the roof and I might have slipped from the chair a time or two, and I really, really lurve Zsadist to the moon and back.

I hurt so much for him and it was horrible to see him treat himself so badly and to have dissociated himself from parts of his body like he did, and I desperately wanted him to heal. Bella was an awesome match for him, gentle, patient, nurturing without pitying him, and standing up to him and calling him on his bullsh*t when he needed it. It was satisfying to see them both heal and win their HEA.

There were other characters and their storylines that grabbed me just as much the main plot of Z's and Bella's romance, namely John, Tohr and Wellsie, Rehvenge, Phury, and the Reverend, and towards the end I had more than one WTF moment. In the last few pages, especially, there was a twist that had me sitting there stunned and dumbstruck, and all I could think was "DAYUM." Made me want to read the whole book again just to see it all with fresh eyes.

So, yeah, all the ridiculous gangsta-speak of the brothers and the constant name dropping aside, this series is intriguing and awesome. Ms. Ward has a way of describing the lowest of the low of human nature in her characters, and then comes around and redeems the story with a heart-warming romance and a healing HEA.