Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #3)

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #3)

by J. R. Ward

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#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward’s ferociously inventive series continues as the most fearsome member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood discovers just how tempting the night can be…

A former blood slave, 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 female from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the Brother’s seething power.  Except even as their desire for each other begins to overtake them, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against her abductor drives him to the brink of madness.  Now Bella must help her lover not only overcome the wounds of his tortured past, but find a future with her...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101128534
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/05/2006
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood Series , #3
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 4,653
File size: 592 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

J. R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She is also the author of the Black Dagger Legacy series and the Bourbon Kings series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

“What if I told you I had a fantasy?”

Butch O’Neal put his Scotch down and eyed the blonde who’d spoken to him. Against the backdrop of Zero-Sum’s VIP area, she was something else, dressed in white patent leather strips, a cross between Barbie and Barbarella. It was hard to know if she was one of the club’s professionals or not. The Reverend only trafficked in the best, but maybe she was a model for FHM or Maxim.

She planted her hands on the marble tabletop and leaned in toward him. Her breasts were perfect, the very best money could buy. And her smile was radiant, a promise of acts done with knee pads. Paid or not, this was a woman who got plenty of vitamin D and liked it.

“Well, daddy?” she said over the trippy techno music. “Want to make my dream come true?”

He shot her a hard smile. Sure as hell, she was going to make someone very happy tonight. Probably a busload of someones. But he wasn’t going to be riding that double-decker.

“Sorry, you need to go taste the rainbow somewhere else.”

Her total lack of reaction sealed the deal on her professional status. With a vacant smile, she floated over to the next table and pulled the same lean and gleam.

Butch tilted his head back and swallowed the inch of La-gavulin left in his glass. His next move was to flag down a waitress. She didn’t come over, just nodded and beat feet for the bar to get him another.

It was almost three A.M., so the rest of the troika were going to show up in a half hour. Vishous and Rhage were out hunting lessers, those soulless bastards that killed their kind, but the two vampires were probably going to come in for a landing dis-appointed. The secret war between their species and the Less-ening Society had been quiet all January and February, with few slayers out and around. This was good news for the race’s civilian population. Cause for concern for the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

“Hello, cop.” The low male voice came from right behind Butch’s head.

Butch smiled. That sound always made him think of night fog, the kind that hides what’s going to kill you. Good thing he liked the dark side.

“Evening, Reverend,” he said without turning around.

“I knew you were going to turn her down.”

“You a mind reader?”


Butch glanced over his shoulder. The Reverend was poised in the shadows, amethyst eyes glowing, mohawk trimmed tight to his skull. His black suit was sweet: Valentino. Butch had one just like it.

Although in the Reverend’s case the worsted wool had been bought with the guy’s own money. The Reverend, a.k.a. Reh-venge, a.k.a. brother of Z’s shellan, Bella, owned ZeroSum and took a cut of everything that went down. Hell, with all the de-pravity for sale in the club, he had a forest worth of green fun-neling into his piggy bank at the end of every night.

“Nah, she just wasn’t for you.” The Reverend slid into the booth, smoothing his perfectly knotted Versace necktie. “And I know why you said no.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“You don’t like blondes.”

Not anymore he didn’t. “Maybe I just wasn’t into her.”

“I know what you want.”

As Butch’s newest Scotch arrived, he gave it a quick vertical workout. “Do you now?”

“It’s my job. Trust me.”

“No offense, but I’d rather not about this.”

“Tell you what, cop.” The Reverend leaned in close and he smelled fantastic. Then again, Cool Water by Davidoff was an oldie but goodie. “I’ll help you anyway.”

Butch clapped a hand on the male’s heavy shoulder. “Only interested in bartenders, buddy. Good Samaritans give me the scratch.”

“Sometimes only the opposite will do.”

“Then we’re SOL.” Butch nodded out at the half-naked crowd writhing on hits of X and coke. “Everyone looks the same around here.”

Funny, during his years in the Caldwell Police Department, ZeroSum had been an enigma to him. Everyone knew the place was a drug hole and a sex pool. But no one at the CPD had been able to pin down enough probable cause to get a search warrant—even though you could walk in any night of the week and see dozens of legal infractions, most of them happening in tandem.

But now that Butch was hanging with the Brotherhood, he knew why. The Reverend had lots of little tricks in his bag when it came to changing people’s perceptions of events and circumstances. As a vampire, he could scrub clean the memo-ries of any human, manipulate security cameras, dematerialize at will. The guy and his biz were a moving target that never moved.

“Tell me something,” Butch said, “how have you managed to keep your aristocratic family from knowing about this little night job you got going on?”

The Reverend smiled so that only the tips of his fangs showed. “Tell me something, how did a human get so tight with the Brotherhood?”

Butch tipped his glass in deference. “Sometimes fate takes you in fucked-up directions.”

“So true, human. So very true.” As Butch’s cell phone went off, the Reverend got up. “I’ll send you over something.”

“Unless it’s Scotch I don’t want it, my man.”

“You’re going to take that back.”

“Doubt it.” Butch took out his Motorola Razr and flipped it open. “What up, V? Where are you?”

Vishous was breathing like a racehorse with the dull roar of wind distortion backing him up: a symphony of ass hauling. “Shit, cop. We got problems.”

Butch’s adrenaline kicked in, lighting him up like a Christmas tree. “Where are you?”

“Out in the burbs with a situation. The damn slayers have started hunting civilians in their homes.”

Butch leaped to his feet. “I’m coming—”

“The hell you are. You stay put. I only called so you wouldn’t think we were dead when we didn’t show. Later.”

The connection cut off.

Butch sank back down in the booth. From the table next to him, a group of people let out a loud, happy burst, some shared joke teeing their laughter off like birds flushed into the open air.

Butch looked into his glass. Six months ago he’d had noth-ing in his life. No woman. No family he was close to. No home to speak of. And his job as a homicide detective had been eat-ing him alive. Then he’d gotten canned for police brutality. Fallen in with the Brotherhood through a bizarre series of events. Met the one and only woman who’d ever awed him stu-pid. Also had a total wardrobe makeover.

At least that last one was in the good category and had stayed there.

For a while the change had been a great mask of reality, but lately he’d noticed that for all the differences, he was right where he’d always been: no more alive than when he’d been rotting in his old life. Still on the outside looking in.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

Angela Knight

Lover Awakened is utterly absorbing and deliciously erotic. The Brotherhood is the hottest collection of studs in romance, and I can't wait for the next one!

Lisa Gardner

Best new series I've read in years! Tautly written, wickedly sexy and just plain fun. Now here's a band of brothers who knows how to show a girl a good time.

Suzanne Brockmann

J.R. Ward's unique band of brothers is to die for. I love this series!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Lover Awakened 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2358 reviews.
pinup-beauty More than 1 year ago
The romance story of Zsadist and Bella will bring tears to your eyes. This is truly a vampire story that is so intense you'll only want more. However! Read the the two books before so that you fully understand Zsadist and get the full impact. This is one of my favorite series to date!
The14Rhage More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of the entire series it was emotional but not sappy and the main characters didnt lose what made them, standout while trying to build a romance story.
WolfeeTX More than 1 year ago
This book is about one of Ms. Ward's Black-Dagger Brotherhood Warriors, Zhadist... The warrior who is considered "Psycho", trying to kill as many Lessers as he can, to protect the humans and the Vampires from the Omega and his followers. The warrior who denies his love for his twin, his fellow warriors and for the lady he thinks deserves a "Male of Worth"... I highly recommend this book...but, have a box of tissues handy (just in case). ***** (5 Stars)!!
ReadingVixen67 More than 1 year ago
Although not my favorite character, "Lover Awakened" was definitely my favorite book out of the BDB series. Bella's "needing period" alone made this book worth my while to read and re-read over and over! LOL Zsadist's trials and struggles throughout his life help explain his outlook on people and himself, and the way he finally realizes that Bella is the one for him is pretty cool. Definitely a must-read and must-have for your BDB library!
GA76 More than 1 year ago
Out of all the books in the series so far this was my favorite. Zsadist is one of the characters that you love even though you should hate him. He draws you closer each time he tries to push you away. He is a very complex character with deep rooted issues. Under all the torment he is a very good guy with honor and a tenderness to him that you would think he was not capable of. The Novella of him and Bella's life together is a great add on to this book. I have read the book twice and each time get a better understanding and deeper feeling for Zsadist. This is well worth the read along with the whole series. I give it 5-stars.
sweetpea_peaches More than 1 year ago
I cannot get enought of the black dagger brotherhood! It is one of those books that you wake up in the morning and think, when can I fit reading this into my day? I love the twist of J.R.Ward's vampires, it really gives you the impression that they are they are own race, steaped with traditions and culture, not just the physical differences from humans for a change. You get to see one of the most leathal brothers reveal his softer side, and to see why he is so cut off from his surroundings, one of her best novels yet. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
librachic More than 1 year ago
I think that honestly this is a novel that is very close to my heart. It was very beautiful to read about the beginnings of a relationship between Bella and Zsadist. You could see that Zsadist cares for her from the beginning of the book already, how he went looking for her and all that. Zsadist doesn't believe he deserves someone to love and be his shellan but Bella thinks otherwise, she heals him and helps him discover himself. What I love about J.R Ward's writing is that the whole story is not just about the main characters, so many events and people play huge part of the plot and I loved reading about John, Wellsie and Tohr. It was heart-breaking at the end though but at the same time the end was beautiful, It truly was to see how much Zsadist changed into a new man was amazing and it was all because of Bella's faith and love in him. I loved the camaraderie between the brothers and seeing them is like seeing a family together, seriously, no one is left out. The romance was rocky but it turned out well in the end. Again I must say that the end was unbelievably touching and heartfelt. It really felt right and I can't wait to get my hands on book 4!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Out of all the members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Zsadist is my favorite character. The love story between him and Bella is truly touching. If you're already a BDB series fan, this book will not disappoint you. For those new to the BDB series, a few things to note. I started reading the first BDB book, Dark Lover, after finishing the Twilight series and - WHOA! - what culture shock. The BDB series is not a "tween" love story. It's loaded with expletives (so, not so great for book clubs), intense intimacy and action. This series is sort of Sydney Sheldon with vampires. And, though it wasn't Twilight-ish at all, I could not stop reading this series, and devoured all seven books in about three weeks. My biggest complaint with the series is that each book - especially the later ones in the series - is a cliffhanger to future books, so you never feel as though you've 'completed' what you're reading. Each story feels unfinished because it is. The last two books were so loaded with details for future books, that I didn't feel they did justice to the "brother" the book is primarily about. Still, I'm hooked and waiting for the next book to come out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What more is there to say..........these books are hot!
Xedra77 More than 1 year ago
Usually, I only comment on the first book of a series but, since I read the first and the second Black Dagger Brotherhood books in the same day and this one was so fantastic, I'm putting my two cents in here. I LOVED THIS STORY. I'm a sucker for the misunderstood tough guy. I know the story's been done to death in good and bad ways, but this one is my favorite so far. Ward develops Zhadist's character in a way that made me want to push Bella out of the way and comfort him myself. Just wait until you see how Mr. O ends up. You won't believe it, but it's almost an afterthought considering all that's going on. One thing Ward does that authors in this genre often neglect is to develop storylines for other books within previous books. Yeah, Zhadist has found his piece of mind, but I have to read the next to find out what happens with Tohr, Butch, Vischous, Phury, John. . .oh heck, back to the library!
Jess_at_From_Me_to_You 9 days ago
2.5 out of 5 stars ... we follow the series into Bella and Z’s (Zsadist) lives. These two had a very strong connection that neither truly understood before their novel begun. Now, in this novel, they learn their “true feelings” for one another while they deal with their pasts, manage the current predicaments they are caught in, and figure out their futures. Yet with the world wanting to tear them apart will they be able to overcome everything AND be able to stay together once everything settles down? I wish I wasn’t disappointed with this novel. I truly LOVED the relationship that Bella and Zsadist were creating together but WOW Z was soooo wishy-washy. I get that he had issues, I mean after everything he dealt with calling it “issues” is a huge understatement, but I am not a fan about how he treated Bella and how he managed his own feelings for her because of what he had to deal with in his past. It kind of made me mad because of how much I loved Book 2 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (Rhage and Mary’s novel) I wanted this one to be a winner too, and it just wasn’t. Nevertheless, I DO recommend it BECAUSE even though I wasn’t a huge fan I did enjoyed learning more about all the characters (even though some of what I learn wasn’t that great either). As the main story of the Brotherhood takes a few more turns it was the sweeter moments of this novel that stand out to me. Like V & Butch’s potato antics. How Z becomes a better version of himself. And I can’t forget the HOT 24+ hour period that the guys had to deal with at the compound and how afterwards the three without females found themselves in the morning. *hahahaaa* Overall, like I stated above, it was a decent continuation for this series and I DO recommend it. Yet, I ONLY recommend it to those who have already read Book 1 and 2 in this series so you do not get lost. Review By: From Me to You ... Video, Photography, & Book Reviews -- read more of this review and a TEASER on my blog --
Bwitchd3 More than 1 year ago
From the beginning, Zsadist has been a mysterious and cold character. His dark past is alluded to, but not explained until now. Bella’s stubbornness and love is something to be admired. You instinctively know that loving someone like Zsadist will never be easy, but you root for her to try and for him to let her. This story is darker and more intense than the first two because Ward finally addresses the fact that the Brothers are fighting a war, which means that people die. Characters you love will die, and it will change the dynamic of the Brotherhood forever.
Thecrazyskein More than 1 year ago
I think that out of all of the books this one is my favorite. The Hereo in this one is very realistic with realistic problems. Out of all of the relationships this one has the most to over come. Bella is the perfect match for Z because she is a very strong woman who is tender enough to help Z through a very scarred past. This book has many themes and will keep you wanting more!
Anonymous 19 days ago
A history of true hope and love between brothers and love of your life
Anonymous 6 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All I have to say it's this,.. We feel love in so many ways, and this story has them all...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sooo good
Deserie.Comfort on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lover Awakened is the third novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood romance series. I was anticipating this book in the series and have to admit I have read it several times over and over prior to writing a review. Heck, with this series, I didn't want to take the time to write a review...I wanted to get back to the brothers! Lover Awakened picks up where Lover Eternal left off. The book focuses on Zsadist (Z) and Bella. In Lover Eternal Bella had been taken by the Lessers, Mr. O., who was in love with her because she reminded him of his dead wife. Lover Awakened picks up a few weeks after her abduction with the brotherhood (well technically just Z) on a rampage to find her. Whilst Zsadist had always appeared to be a vicious yet unfathomable character in the previous books, we now see the vulnerable side to his character which makes him so much more appealing. The abuse he suffered as a slave has lead to a self hatred and an enjoyment of inflicting more pain and abuse upon himself. Not to give away any spoilers, but eventually the "mountain" Bella must overcome with Z is touching and realistic. Their connection simply amazes me and brings me back to the book over and over again. Furthermore, there are some real heart wringing scenes between the twin brothers and the emotion is kept bubbling through out the book because Phury loves Bella too and his love is so sad and hopeless.Lover Awakened is a fast paced book with action and heart wrenching drama (so sad for the goodbye of one character) that rolls from one emotional high to another taking the reader along for the ride. I would definitely recommend this book, heck the entire series, to anyone looking for some adventure and a lot of romance from some fierce warriors who never seize to amaze. If I had the option of 6 stars this book would have it.
mamaie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bella's & Zsadist's story ain't the easiest one to read. It took them forever to find some common ground, but with Zsadist's background it was the only way. At one point the backstories really hindered B&Z's story quite a bit, and I ended up skipping some 30-40 pages just that I could continue with B&Z (I read the skipped part later on).