Zsadist is the terrifying warrior of the Black Dagger Brotherhood which protects the vampire race. Having been tortured as a blood slave and more from the day of his transformation, he is mostly numb and is known as the soulless ruined one of the brothers to be feared, reflecting all his anger and suffering in his current life. He hates physical contact and despises females, has been known to torture them, feeding on their fear and he only feeds from human prostitutes as opposed to female vampires blood that will provide proper sustenance. Then he meets a vampire Bella.
Bella is a beautiful aristocrat who was neighbor to Mary, the wife of Rhage, one of the warriors of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. She was kidnapped by a lesser Mr.O who'd come searching for Mary.
The brotherhood are searching for Bella who was kidnapped by the lesser but Zsadist has a personal interest as he's attracted to her as she was to him and he had treated her badly just before her abduction and gotten an unexpected reaction from her that rekindled past traumas. Zsadist relentlessly searches for her, all the while returning to her home to clean and spend time there. They find her after another vampire whom she helped escape the facility contacted them. At the sight of her injury and the lesser's name drawn in knife on her stomach, Zsadist vows to seek revenge. Even his brothers are surprised when he insists to care for her as he doesn't touch anyone.
Meanwhile, John makes a visit to the king and ends up fainting at the sight of Beth, the Queen. He later takes a medical test and reluctantly reveals to the doctor, Havers certain things he wants concealed especially from Thorment, his guardian (leader of the brotherhood).
When Phury, his half twin who also attracted to Bella catches Zsadist in a half naked stance near Bella, he misinterprets it and transfers her to another room.
Mr.O (David) uses trickery and become a forelesser, meaning he is the beacon for the Omega and the one practically in charge of the society that he no longer cares about. His only mission is to get back Bella and kill Zsadist for taking her from him.
Bella goes back to Zsadist for he is the only person able to make her feel whole in this foreign place. When Phury panics and goes to Bella, the sight he sees makes him realize that he had mistaken the other night and when she refuses him and insisted that she fed from Zsadist eventhough he wildly refused, he sees a clearer picture. To her, there is something good beneath his dark façade and she's determined to arouse that part of him to light. Realization hit her when Bella finds Zsadist trying to clean his wrist while hysterically muttering that he was dirty; he had been sexually abused.
At the club Phury bad mood got worse when he finds out that his dealer's a sympath and the guy suspects that Phury is of the Brotherhood. Numb parts of Zsadist come to life when he is with Bella stirring him sexually and emotionally driving his behavior towards her erratic. Zsadist lets her touch and kiss him, tentatively returning them subtly until she decides to go further. He is stunned as he gets served by Bella and then he blurts out the reason for his alarm. Seething with vengeance on Mr.O, Zsadist only manages to take down the three who were after Bella. Thorment is overwhelmed to find out that John was born of the bloodline of Darius, his best friend and most probably was his son.
Bella's is infuriated when she finds out her brother has decided to keep her sehcluded (where a whard has the legal right to determine the females' directions). She confesses to Zsadist her love for him but he's convinced that she's behaving out of post traumatic stress disorder and he knows he's not worthy for her. He bolts at her invitation to make love but then the need to explain to her overwhelms him that he rushes back. As he detects the bonding scent from himself he gives in to his desires but the pain he forces her to inflict on him evinces that he associates sex with pain as the result of the torture he endured and that had drove him to hate his manhood thus stating that she'd taint herself with it, sending him back to square one being certain that she will regret being with him after she comes to her senses.
Phury is shocked when Zsadist wants him to be the one for Bella for her sake as well as his brothers.
"You live less than half a life. You always have. She would care for you,
and that... that would be good. I would like that for you"
Soon Bella is thrown into her needing period (female vampire's time of fertility that is accompanied by intense sexual cravings and agony if not sated), with Zsadist surprisingly offering to serve her and she accepts seeing a one and the last time intent in his eyes. All of Zsadists fear, insecurities, and pain of the past evaporate as he serves Bella with the blood and sex she needed; finally, he felt at ease under his skin. Watching Zsadist drink of a female prostitute even after she begged him to feed from her shattered her heart into pieces and then he sends her further into misery by asking her to feed Phury and hurt her with more indifference. With that, she decides to leave the mansion and go back to her family.
"Holy hell... you really are cold to the bone aren't you"
Fed up with Mr.Os lack of interest in the society Mr.U, the second in command convinces the Omega to change leadership to him making him in charge of the Lessening Society but Mr. O the cunning that he is comes back.
Before Bella left, Zsadist comes to her and the exchange of anger and frustration leads to angry sex and then, he just leaves with an apology and "thank you". When his warrior brother Thorment's shellan (wife) gets killed by the lesser who took Bella and he gets a call from him to meet alone, he decides this is his chance for "ahvenge", knowing it was suiside to relieve his pain but his twin Phury has other plans. He pulled out of the drug his brother got into him and rushed to safe Phury only to almost die; he would have if Bella didn't come at the last minute and save them. At the hospital, both brothers got the chance to get some baggage off and do some bonding. Then, this time Bella left, to go away to live someplace far away.
At the mansion, Vishious forces his blood down Butchs (the Queens friend and the only human allowed into the circle) throat due to a vision. And, Zsadist attempts to change for the better. Two months later, Bella returns with news....
"I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, though I could see. And then you came...and I was Awakened"
The plot here was good except for the secondary characters POV that were quite overwhelming and at times annoying. The rest was solid particularly the last few gripping chapters. Her style of plot setup felt like watching a movie which was interesting though I wish there was more on the main characters and less on the secondary characters especially on the lessers.
Zsadist is truly a complex hero with a tortured soul due to the sexual abuse, humiliation, and pain he went through as a blood and sex slave under a sick and cruel aristocratic female vampire. Physically, emotionally and psychologically damaged from the experience, he is now a sociopath; frightening, self-destructive, and alienating. I loved how Zsadists past life was told in a third person point of view; it effectively demonstrates his position and how his sadistic mistress sees him as a possession. Scarred from that, he loathes physical contact and finds sex revolting, starving himself of both blood and food due to the hatred and fear of female vampires and the distrust of anyone. The only thing he enjoys is pain and often forces his brother to inflict it on him. Then he meets Bella who kindles in him emotions and urges he's unwilling to acknowledge. The after effects of the abuse were perfect and realistic; it connects really well emotionally and psychologically and the agony of it well portrayed. In whole his character development was steady.
Bella was a complementing heroine for Zsadist is all ways. She desires him despite her fear of him and she knows what she wants and can come on a little pushy without being overbearing and I liked that in her. I think it was magnificent that she could see past his scars, and the façade. As she was initially attracted to his strength and raw menace, she didn't shy away even after she sees how vulnerable and ruined he was inside. Bella was determined and constantly a motivating agent in his transformation as he gradually works towards the change; she was committed to him through his erratic behavior and fears.
The journey through Zsadists transformation and their growing love was absolutely a roller coaster ride with the battle of wills. Eventhough he was falling for her, he felt that he was unworthy of her and kept pushing his twin at her as Phury was also interested in her and he deserved her. I liked that it took him almost the whole book to get over his past, the progress and process of which was brilliantly crafted. Everytime, he takes a step forward, he retreats again making the tension between him and Bella impalpable; grueling and emotional.
The secondary characters were all well shaped especially Phury. The love he had for his brother and all the sacrifices he made for him was truly heartfelt; he had rescued him from the mistress and her hellren, losing his leg in the process. Despite, all that, he was riddled with guilt that Zsadist was kidnapped and sold into slavery, ruining him and constantly tries to fix his damaged twin with no avail. In Lover Awakened, Phury is also attracted to Bella, the only women to threaten his celibacy vow and is torn between his love for her and Zsadist but backs out of the picture when he sees what's truly in Bellas heart. The tender moments between John, Welsie and Thorment were lovely too.
The scene where Zsadist slowly accepts Bellas touch and during her needing period where he goes through a big change are my favorite scenes. I think the part where he asks Mary to teach him to write and climax was truly touching too.
When I read the first book, I thought I did a mistake of buying this series but now I'm glad I did. The journey through the second and third book was a wonderful one. Lover Awakened is full of pain, heart wrenching emotions, strength, hope and love that cures.show more
by Dr Stephen Haines