Lover Unleashed by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9) - US edition

Lover Unleashed by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9) - Australian/UK editionLast updated: 3/12/2016 — new information in italics

These cheat sheets summarise what we know so far about the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Click here for a round-up of BDB-related posts on Book Thingo.

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Note that the cheat sheets have not been updated to include information from The King to avoid accidentally spoiling readers who have not yet had a chance to read the book.

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V’s twin sister, who he doesn’t even know exists. Payne never fit in with the Chosen because she was considered too aggressive like her father. At some point the Scribe Virgin placed Payne in stasis, but after seeing how unhappy her actions have made Vishous, she released Payne, whose response was, ‘Fuck you.’ So, clearly, no love lost there.

Although the Scribe Virgin released the Chosen, Payne was the only one not allowed to leave the Other Side, even to visit the Primale. She believes it’s because she told her mother that if she ever left, she’d never return, but I think she was still hiding Payne from V.

Payne approached a blind Wrath after her mother walked away from him, and hit him. Although he is bigger, stronger and a more experienced fighter, she has skills of her own. When he asked her why she picked the fight, she said that she was bored and the Scribe Virgin doesn’t know what to do with her. Before he left, Payne asked Wrath to come back often because that was the most fun she’d had in a long time.

Payne considers her sparring partner a friend even though they don’t really talk. He respects her enough not to express an opinion over who he thinks she should be, unlike her mother. Her admiration is purely platonic and she has no interest in being with a male as they tend to take over (this doesn’t necessarily mean she is attracted to females, though, just more a feminist).

No’One brings Payne’s feminist instincts to the fore when she assumes her sister’s disability is the result of inbreeding, like Wrath’s eyes. She blames her mother for the standards that an imperfectly formed female like No’One could never live up to, making her an object of embarrassment and pity.

She asked the SV to let her leave the Other Side, but was refused, so she took her frustration out on Wrath in their next sparring match. She miscalculated how far she could push away from him, so when he kicked out, not really expecting her to be there, he broke her back.

She refused to let her mother heal her, so Wrath demanded the SV release her to be healed at the mansion. Jane immediately noticed her resemblance to V and said his name. Payne hadn’t heard his name in over 200 years and believed he was dead. She cursed her mother for hiding her brother form her and vowed to kill her mother like she killed her father.

Payne is surprised to see No’One has asked to come to this side to serve her, but Payne inspired her to leave.

She sees her brother for the first time and notes his incredible resemblance to her, but is heartbroken when he doesn’t know her. She tells him they are blood and he holds her bare hand in his ungloved one. She feels only warmth.

While Jane is looking for Manny, Payne decides that she cannot live her life in another prison, so she asks Vishous to kill her if she is permanently paralysed, even though she hates herself for placing such a burden on him.

A human surgeon, Manny Manello, MD is brought in to operate on her and although she has never before been attracted to a male, she is fascinated by him, but feels large and unfeminine.

She is taken to St Francis Hospital for surgery, which seems successful, so she wiped Manny’s memory and left him.

While recovering at the mansion, she and Jane talk about what V is going through. She tells Jane she is the right shellan for him and claimed her as family. Both are more comfortable with bluntness than watered-down diplomacy. Like V, her glow pulls Jane’s molecules together, but unlike him, she can make harmless contact with people.

After a week of paralysis, Payne has had enough of life. She calls for Vishous, but Jane arrives instead and agrees to set her free. V walks in and demands Payne hold on for another two hours while he finds a way to change her mind. When he returns with her healer, she knows her brother loves her.

She is excited to see Manny again and he immediately introduces her to the internet, where he shows her footage of his friend, the mayor of Caldwell, who is also a wheel-chair bound athlete.

She and Manny kiss until, mindful of her virgin state, he stops, but asks her to feed from him. She doesn’t understand that she got him off, so feels like she needs to repay him for the experience of feeding from a male’s neck for the first time.

He goes to take a shower but doesn’t close the door the whole way and she shuffles around on the bed to get a better view of him naked, but doesn’t realise that she had knelt on the bed.

Manny shows her the security footage on a laptop before giving her her first orgasm. She vocalises how it heals her but secretly wants him.

They are together again, which results in more permanent healing, so Payne petitions Wrath to allow her to spend the night with him before she removes his memories again. They visit Manny’s horse, Glory, who instantly falls for Payne.

She touched Glory’s legs and sent some of her glow into the horse, healing her.

She feeds from Manny in his Porsche and they are carjacked. She disarms the human, but is forced to leave before the police arrive. She sees him home safely but refuses to scrub him because he deserves better and his mind could not take it. V finds her outside his window. Instead of forcing her to leave before she is ready, he agrees to intercede with Wrath so that she can keep Manny.

She returns to him the next night with the good news, only to be rejected for having healed him. She has brought too much destruction to his life and has to let him go after all.

On her way home she encounters some lessers, who underestimate her in a fight but is captured by Xcor. He reminds her of who he is and she interrupts him to say that the Bloodletter had only one son and it was Vishous. Her glowing body burned through the chains, just like Vishous had in the rumours of his partial castration.

He believed her and gave her his bed and promised her safety for the day until they could release her.

In Lover Reborn, Payne was fighting in the field.

When Layla was miscarrying Qhuinn’s young, Blay asked Payne to help and she visited Layla, explained her parentage and how her abilities may be able to help. She saved the young, but severely weakened herself. She sees herself and Layla as victims of her mother’s tyranny, which is why she was so willing to extend herself so far.

She also noticed that she suffers more in the aftermath of a healing than she used to and believes she must go back to the Other Side to recharge herself, only of course, she really doesn’t want to.

She accepted Qhuinn’s pledge of help should she ever need it.

Wrath loses it during a sparring session and strangles her with his arm. Not even Trez was strong enough to remove him. She feels ganged up on when both Jane and Wrath insist on telling V what happened, as though she was not a fully grown and mated female, as well as the daughter of a deity. She argued that V is only brought up because she is female and Jane never felt the need to tell Beth when she injured Wrath and that her fights with the king are her business, besides which, she had not tapped out and felt that she could still have fought him.

Pissed off about being caught on the wrong side of a double standard, she ambushed Wrath in the shower with a knife to show that she could equalise the imbalance created by his greater strength. She called him a chauvinist and claimed that the reason he spars with her is because she’s female and therefore outside the protocol preventing the Brotherhood from truly sparring with their king.

And, knowing that Beth is secretly spending time with a pregnant Layla in the hope of bringing on her needing, she retaliates against Wrath by telling him that if Beth, his own female, truly felt respected then she wouldn’t feel the need to hide her desire for a young.

Payne saves the life of young Lyric when she is born by filtering her energy through Qhuinn, but they both pass out afterwards.

Dr Manuel Manello

Dr Manello was Jane’s boss and arguably her closest friend until her ‘death’. A human surgeon, he is strong and bossy and if not for V, he might have made a good match for Jane. Out of respect for Jane, V didn’t kill or hurt Manny when he retrieved pics of his 6-chambered heart from the hospital, but Manny’s mind was strong enough to throw off V’s mind control long enough to ask who V was.

V had a vision about him in the form of the word ‘brother’, which despite Ward’s legal background we know was lower case ‘brother’. I’m not being anal—semantics count with her.

When Xhex went to the hospital to identify a ZeroSum prostitute’s body, she briefly encountered Manello and detected something in his scent, but dismissed it before bothering to identify it for us poor, hapless readers.We later find out that his father was likely a half-breed vampire, so this was most likely the scent.

After Jane’s death, Manello is just marking time. He has lost interest in sex and has started drinking scotch, even though he’d always hated it.

But one thing he cares about is his racehorse, GloryGloryHallelujah. With an obvious resemblance to Payne, Glory is large, with black hair and is as unmanageable as she is a successful racer. She has outlasted egotistical trainers who can’t accept that her race times have nothing to do with their techniques, but Manny accepts her as she is and paired her with a jockey who lets her have her own way.

During a race, she fell and broke her leg. Even though most owners would put the horse down for its own sake, he can’t let go and insists she be treated.

On his way home from the equine hospital, he visits Jane’s grave, where she finds him and takes him urgently to the Brotherhood’s mansion to operate on Payne. There is an instant dislike between Manny and his former patient with the six-chambered heart, the Goateed Hater who is his new patient’s brother. But when he sees Payne for the first time, he falls instantly in love and would even take on the Goateed Hater for her.

He takes her to St Francis to operate on her spine and she removes his memories.

For the next week, his mind is turned inside out. He has no memories of the weekend after Glory’s accident, but dreams of a beautiful woman with dark hair, and his late colleague Jane is often on his mind. He is plagued by sharp, excruciating headaches, but knows it’s not a tumour because emptying his mind makes the pain stop. He runs through his morning routine before going to work, only to find it’s actually night. He feels like he’s losing his grip on reality until Vishous takes him back to the mansion to help Payne.

She is desperate to find a way out of her prison, so he starts off by changing her scenery and taking her to another room. He shows her internet footage of his friend and former patient, the mayor of Caldwell, who, despite being in a wheelchair, lives a very full life.

They kiss until he feels like he’s about to lose control and he asks her to bite him. The experience ruins him for everyone else and while he’s showering afterwards (he really liked being bitten), Payne rose up on her knees.

He showed her security footage of her kneeling and, believing that she needs some sexual healing, gives her an orgasm for the first time. Outwardly he’s all about the healing, but inwardly he wishes it could be more, if only she wasn’t going to outlive him by centuries.

After a lesser ambush, most of the Brothers were critically injured and Manny helped Jane and Ehlena by performing surgeries on V and others, which makes him feel alive again.

He spends more time with Payne, after which she regains her ability to walk. She has to let him go, but on their last night together, he takes her to see Glory, the only part of his life not related to work and they instantly hit it off.

But after a week, she still hasn’t healed and it’s putting too much strain on her other legs. The vet takes him aside to tell him the miracle they’d hoped for hasn’t happened and they need to out her down. Manny noticed a glow and found Payne had healed Glory’s legs.

As they leave the hospital, they are mugged, but Payne disarms the man. He spent the night asleep in her glowing embrace and the next day he looks and feels much better. He gets a call from the vet saying that Glory has miraculously healed to the point where it’s as though the injury never happened.

When at the hospital getting the news that he is being put on leave, he asks for a physical. He is completely regenerated, but it scares him because he knows Payne did it and it’s unnatural. He lost his job and almost lost his mind because of vampires and can’t risk losing more. He plans to leave town without her.

V calls to speak to Payne and is surprised to learn she left hours ago. Manny realised that he had actually been afraid of his feelings for her, more than the changes she brought into his life and went out to look for her. Jane found him and suggested he go back to the mansion with her.

Manny was greeted by V and Butch, who he believed he remembered from church, but was actually his resemblance to the only picture Manny has of his father, Robert Bluff. V is trying to track him down but has not yet been successful. It is believed he must be a half-breed to be able to work during the day.

Manny often has to take a back seat to Jane in their hospital because a female physician is always inoffensive, while a man sometimes triggers bonded male instincts.

He still found a way to improve things in the field by buying an RV that he converted into a massive ambulance to treat serious field injuries in situ and also has x-ray and ultrasound capabilities. He is known for his lead foot, which along with lights and sirens, is a huge asset in an emergency.

He offered to be nearby with his ambulance for Trez and Selena’s dinner date at Circle the World in case anything happened to her. There was no medical emergency, but the ambulance got caught in the war with the lessers. It was shot up, but the bulletproof glass held. He rolled down armour plates and had a big screen TV to use in place of the windscreen. Despite this, he hit something big that we (but not him) later find out was Xcor.

He was reluctant to let Rhage out to deal with the cops (yep, there were enough bullets flying to catch human attention) and even after the vampire left, he was followed anyway.

Rhage returned and gave directions to V’s hidden garage, where they were able to hide from the cops and he was able to take in the full, heartbreaking damage done to his new baby on its maiden voyage.

When it was time, Manny euthanased Selena to ensure that she would not be trapped in her frozen body.

Knowing that Assail is not exactly an ally, he still operates on his shoulder and offers his help with the coke addiction he can tell is riding his patient. It’s entirely up to Assail whether he will take him up on it. That is quickly answered when he throws away Manello’s card.

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