Warning: Possible Spoilers here and in the comments section.
Finally! Finally Qhuinn and Blay have their HEA! We are Qhuay fans here at Fiction Vixen and Lover At Last has been a most highly anticipated book for us. Let talk about it!
The book is called Lover At Last. Was it worth the wait?
Angela: Yes! I was very happy with Blay and Qhuinn’s book. I was a little worried going into LAL, mainly because I had such high expectations and was a little worried about how JR Ward would handle her first m/m love story. As a regular reader of m/m romance I knew I wanted in depth sexy scenes and wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less. Thank goodness for JR Ward. There had to be at least some worry on her part at how receptive some fans of her mainstream paranormal romance series would be. I am thankful she stuck to her guns and went with what was right for this couple.
Sophia: Yes, I was satisfied with Qhinn and Blay’s happily ever after. There were times when I wanted a little more romance, but then I’d remember who these guys are. They are very internal when it comes to emotions. I was glad Ward didn’t turn Blay and Qhuinn into characters we hardly recognized just for the sake of giving them a romance. I think the romance played out well. I could have done without some of the sub-plots, but that’s Ward. I’ve come to expect it.
Amy: Honestly, I was disappointed. I feel like we have suffered through the angst of Quinn and Blay throughout five books so it was hard for me to swallow the fact that they only find happiness together in the last 5% of the book. Overall, their chemistry was missing an emotional level that should have been prominent in this book given the mutual attraction and love they have fought against for so long. More than anything it lacked romance and intimacy. The furniture busting sex scenes were hot but unemotional. Just once I wanted a face to face sex scene. I think it could have provided the emotion and vulnerability that would have created that poignant moment for the reader that usually results in tears for me in Ward’s stories. Sadly, it did not happen. Quinn and Blay’s road to happiness has been a long, arduous journey and I felt like we were shortchanged with their HEA in the end. I commend J.R. Ward for taking the bold step into mainstream m/m romance and I will forever love her work but I had hoped for so much more for this couple.
Samantha: It was worth the wait. However there were a few parts I was disappointed with. I felt like we’ve waited forever for Blay & Qhuinn to finally consumate their love for each other, but I needed a little face to face action between the sheets. While the angsty sex was scorching hot – hello broken furniture! – I wished for a little more “romantic/loving” sex between Blay and Qhuinn. But I’m still 100% Team Qhuay! One of my favorite lines in the book is when Blay describes Qhuinn’s “cologne” as “Gunpowder and orgasms.”
The other part of LAL that was a bit much for me was the ever changing POV’s each chapter. I mean, good grief. At least some Vishous was thrown in there from time to time.
Qhuinn and Blay
Angela: I loved how their story played out. The angsty page time, misunderstandings and drama filled sexy times are what Qhuay is all about. After waiting for their story for so long I wouldn’t have been satisfied with a wham, bam, thank you Ma’am quick resolution. Qhuinn needed to come all the way around and understand who he was, why he was so afraid of being with Blay and exactly who Blay was to him. I was a little frustrated at how Blay let Qhuinn think that he was still with Saxton for so long, even after they started sleeping together. I think this led to an even greater tension between Saxton and Qhuinn that was unnecessary.
Qhuinn begs Blay. Like gets down on his knees and begs. Which after all he has put Blay through I think was necessary. He has always been the impediment to them being a couple and Blay needed to see him willing to beg to be with him. I don’t think he would have believed anything else.
The sex scenes were sooo perfect. I can’t even pick a favorite. The crazed lamp breaking first time, the passion filled study scene and even the tender time Qhuinn finally bottoms for Blay. They were all amazingly done. Well except for the no lube, ouch factor. Because damn…
The only complaint I have is I would have enjoyed a little more page time of them actually being a loving couple at the end. Some hand holding, a few more tender moments, just more. I adored the ending and am hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that we actually get to see mating ceremony where BOTH of them get the others names on their back. How freaking romantic would that be?
Sophia: While this was “their” love story, I felt like this was Qhuinn’s book overall. He’s had a long hard journey to come to terms with who he is, and dealing with his issues of wanting to fit in. I was glad to see this all finally come together for him and glad that happened before he and Blay finally came together in a relationship. But, of course there are big bumps in the road first. Qhuinn and Blay’s relationship has been filled with angst from day one and so their story had to be full of misunderstandings and angst right? Qhuinn owed some good hard groveling to Blay and he paid up with interested. He is a damn good groveler.
Like Angela, I think the sex scenes were hot! There has been a long build up to those scenes and Ward did not make us wait for the whole book for Blay and Qhuinn to cut loose on each other. Since we had to wait until the very end for the proclamations of love, I’m glad me got some hot lovin’ while we waited. 🙂
Amy – I’m happy they found a piece of happiness even if it was at the end of the story but it feels like they still have a long road ahead to establish a solid foundation of trust and intimacy as a couple. (I will mention how I loved that Blay gave Quinn his family signet ring. That was a great moment.)
“You’ve always had me…and my heart. My Soul. Everything.”
Samantha: Team Qhuay all the way for me still! I don’t think I really feel any different about them after reading LAL, but I’m just happy for them, and glad we can move on from this chapter.
Angela: I have never been a Layla fan. Like ever. So I was surprised at how much I enjoyed her here. I’m so very glad that she and Qhuinn went into the parenthood thing knowing who they were to each other. Just friends who both wanted a child. There was no misunderstanding, no unrealistic expectations. I loved when Layla stood up to both Havers and Phury. She seems to be evolving as a character and I was thankful for that.
Sophia: Whoa! Who knew I could love Layla? Who knew she was a secret badass? She came out of her shell a bit, but if felt natural. I really enjoyed her this time and I’m hoping for some great things to come for her. Who knew? I thought the pregnancy would make things very messy for Q, B and her, but it looks like things could be ok. I love that Qhuinn is so good to Layla and there is no jealously in that trio.
Amy: Never thought I would ever say it but I love Layla! Verily she grew some balls, faced a mountain of adversity in this book and came out standing tall. It will be interesting to see how Layla and Quinn divide parental duties once their baby arrives.
“He was the father of my young, and he will be accorded all the rights and privileges of that station.” “If any harm shall befall him, I will come after you, and find you where you sleep. I do not care where you lay your head or who with, my vengeance shall rain upon you until you drown.”
Samantha: I love Layla! Love her. Never thought I would say that, so I’ll say it again – after LAL, I love Layla.
Angela: Oh Xcor. I love you. I really do. So misunderstood and damaged. At first I was kind of hoping this would be a Throe/Xcor?Layla pairing, but since I don’t see that happening I’m happy with how these two seem to coming together. I like that Xcor has changed tactics in his quest for the throne from bloody coup to a more legal minded direction. He does this all for “his Chosen”.
Sophia: Who doesn’t love a big, ugly, damaged anti-hero? Oh his love for Layla kills me. He is drawn to his Chosen and is not worthy of her. *swoon* Oh the potential for this romance!!
Amy: I am in complete love with this star-crossed couple. I was riveted in the last scene with Layla/Xcor and held my breath from the moment he appeared in front of the car. That was my favorite scene of the entire book over any Quinn/Blay scene. I CANNOT WAIT for their book!
“You are in my dreams,” he murmured. “Every day, you haunt me. Your scent, your voice, your eyes…this mouth.”
“I cannae believe you let me touch you.” His voice grew hoarse. “I shall remember this for all my nights.”
Tears speared into her eyes. Dearest Virgin Scribe, for all her life, she had waited for a moment like this…
Samantha: He’s not doing it for me yet, in terms of me finding him sexy and hot like the Brotherhood. However, after LAL, I definitely find him much more intriguing. And I love the direction it’s going with Layla and Xcor. It’s going to be interesting to watch but I hope to hell Ward doesn’t drag it out for all eternity. Verily.
Trez and iAm – The Shadows
Angela: I think this was my least favorite storyline. For some reason I was bored and just wanted their scenes to end. Although I was happy to see them move into the mansion.
Sophia: Meh. Not feeling this storyline at all. *shrugs*
Amy: The shadows bored me for the most part. I see where Ward is building for their book but I’m not sold yet.
“As iAm said something and Rehv replied, Trez refocused on the doorway to the kitchen. What was she doing in there–oh man. Probably bending down to look at that bread…”
Samantha: Hmmm…they’re a mysterious bunch them two. Is Selena the Chosen who couldn’t figure out how to use the toaster or loved to vacuum. That’s Phury’s book, so I wasn’t about to go look it up.
Assail and Marisol…
Angela: Assail and Marisol. This. This was my favorite secondary storyline. I heart Assail. He reminds me of Rhevenge and Marisol is such a kickass heroine. I completely enjoyed their cat and mouse game, and there was a tension between them that has me looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops.
Sophia: Assail is my new favorite BDB crush. He is one sexy mo-fo!! I’m not supposed to like the criminals right? I can’t help it, he’s hot. More Assail now please!! Oh and Marisol…Um, I’m not sure why she’s on the scene, but I like her and Assail together.
Amy: Assail is a HOT, badass vamp. Yes, he has Rehv qualities and I adore Rehv aka Barbman so I am excited for his story and definitely felt the chemistry between him and Marisol. His possessiveness made me purr especially in this quote:
“Just so you know…you will give yourself to me–” “Excuse me–” “But you will beg me for it first.”
Samantha: The jury’s still out for me on Assail and Sola. What is Sola? Do we know and I just missed it?
To Sum Up:
Angela: I have absolutely no idea who the next book will be about. No idea. Maybe Assail and Marisol? Since she was just kidnapped. Or Trez and Selena? Because he’s recently moved into the Brotherhood Compound and he’s a more established character. I have no idea.
Qhuinn rushed to get more words out. “I’m sorry I’ve wasted so much time– and if you don’t want to be with me, I get it. I’ll back off– I’ll live with the consequences. But for the love of God, if there’s a chance– for whatever reason on your side– revenge, curiosity … hell, even if you’ll let me fuck you just once and never, ever again, for the sole reason of driving a stake through my heart? I’ll take you … any way I can get you.”
Sophia: I never get enough of this series. I’m already in a funk, missing the Brothers and looking forward to the next book. I’m so glad to have finally had Qhuinn and Blay’s happily ever after. It was hot, sexy, angtsy and awesome.
I just want to mention: The plane crash was awesome, Qhuinn is the MAN. Also, barrel of blood scene disturbed me. I still feel a little ick about that. Bleh.
Shit. With Qhuinn looking at him like that, he couldn’t remember his own name. Blaysox? Blacklock? Blabberfox? Who the fuck knew…
“Funny, cowardice came in many forms, didn’t it. You didn’t have to be shrinking in a corner, shaking like a pussy and sniveling. Hell no. You could be a big, loud noise with a tough attitude and a face full of piercings and a snarl to show the world…and still be nothing but a cocksucking coward. After all, Saxton might wear three-piece suits and cravats and loafers, but the male knew who he was, and he wasn’t afraid of having what he wanted.”
Samantha: I have to give JR Ward mad props for completely going for it in the Blay & Qhuinn sex scenes. I’m very proud of her for not backing away from giving us the goods. While I wanted some more “romantic” sex between the two of them, Ward in no way whatsoever shied away from giving us some graphic detail.
Qhuinn: “Don’t hit me with that thing, will ya, V?”
Vishous: “It’d be a spanking you’d never forget, I promise you.”