From the cover of the book:
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.Lover Awakened, the third book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series has all of the key aspects that make the Black Dagger Brotherhood books so good in my mind: the loyalty between the warriors, the love story between the two heroes, while setting up the characters for the next book, Lover Revealed, and a very exciting storyline.
A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.
Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…
I've read the book before, last year and loved it then, and the same thing was true this time. I ended up staying up far too late yet again by reading my way through this series. As soon as I finish one book, I immediately pick up the next, no matter how late it is (typically around 12:30-1:00 AM). My original review of Lover Awakened is here.
The lessers just get creepier as this series goes on. Mostly, that seems to be by becoming more human (and therefore, showing some disturbing behaviors). Mr. O is the creepiest so far, in what he does. It's not the torture we see in the earlier books.
The heroes of these books are definitely not the wonderful role-models of the other romances I've read. These are characters who would be (if generally known about) on the wrong side of the law: heavy drinkers, drug users, drug sellers and more. And yet, they're the heroes and the villains are worse.
That's all part of what makes the Black Dagger Brotherhood books unique in my experience. The characters. Well, that and the way J.R. Ward has made the vampires of her books so different. They really do have a parallel society, and one where if all the humans vanished from the face of the earth, they'd still be able to survive and probably thrive.
I class this entire series as five star reads, even on re-reads.