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Summary: Half-sympath/Half-vampire Rehvenge is caught in the middle of vampire politics while wooing Ehlena, a struggling vampire nurse.
Lover Avenged feels like a place holder book to me. The story moves the plot of the Black Dagger Brotherhood along, but the primary romance between Ehlena and Rehvenge does not have the seemingly insurmountable problems that the other Brothers did. My favorite story is that of Zhadist and Bella, likely because it was the first book I read of the series, as I read them completely out of order.
Author J.R. Ward thoughtfully provides a glossary of terms in the beginning of each book, so the vampire world and the relevant rules of the world she's created are spelled out before you even meet the characters.
Without sharing too much of the current vampire world, let me sum up the plot: Rehvenge is summoned to carry out the assassination of Wrath, the vampire king, head of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Why in the world anyone with half a brain would think Rehvenge would kill the king, I don't know. On top of that, Rehvenge must seek monthly medical treatment for a chronic (sexual) poisoning he gets every month, but must keep secret from the world. The only nurse at the clinic who can handle Rehvenge's cold, calculating and leering gaze is Ehlena.
Ehlena has struggles of her own. Her father has schizophrenia (yes, apparently vampires can get schizophrenia) and she leaves her father to the care of a nurse while she serves the public. She tells herself that when she is seeing Rehvenge outside of the clinic, it's because she's doing her nursely duty, just like she'd like someone to take care of her father, but she soon realizes it's something more.
The love story developed quickly, because this book was more used to establish that: Lash, a former Vampire, is a successful son of the Omega; that John Matthew and Xhex have a connection that neither of them can admit without losing face; that Wrath is now officially blind and can serve his people best by administrative purposes instead of fighting lessers; that Tohrment has snapped out of his grief; and that the Black Dagger Brotherhood needs more fighters. There was only one mention of Marissa, and I wasn't even sure if she and Butch were still an item.
I'll be waiting for the next book, which I hope features Payne, and develops the story between John Matthew and Xhex.