If you’re hungry for clues about upcoming books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Decadence has put together what we think we know about what’s coming next. LAST UPDATED: 28/3/2010
Looking for BDB cheat sheets? Start here.
This post contains spoilers from earlier books in the series, including Lover Mine, and spoilery speculation about future books. None of this stuff is set in stone, so please don’t blame us if something changes between now and when the books are released.
The ninth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, titled Lover Unleashed, is about Payne, blooded daughter of the Bloodletter, and Manuel Manello, MD.
Payne has just been revealed to everyone as V’s sister and you might remember Manello as Jane’s boss at the human hospital, who V thought the word ‘Brother’ about. (Bear in mind that it was a single-word sentence, so it could be either Brother as in a warrior in the Brotherhood or brother as in family, so yes, it does make a difference.)
We can expect to see Vishous play a larger role in this book as his relationship with his estranged twin develops, and I’m betting Jane will show up quite a bit, too, as support for both her hellren and her old boss and friend. Ward has suggested in a recent chat that V will not be happy to see someone putting the moves on his sister and that Butch will also be a huge buffer. She has confirmed that V will go to a dark place after the recent revelations of Payne, her injury and his mother’s lies. Even though his relationships with Butch and Jane have helped him to open up, his default mode is very shut down and in times of great stress like what he’s going through with Payne, he’s going to revert back to his default setting and it will take something very hardcore to bring him out of it.
Because it’s V, it would need to be hardcore because he doesn’t do soft, but I think Ward will get us through it intact. I didn’t think submission on him would work, but I found him even hotter after the penthouse scene, so it looks like we’ll need to keep an open mind. Ward is warning readers on her message board that it may be disturbing for some readers as it looks like it will involve self-harm. It’s not necessarily something Ward is happy with and she’d like to make his journey easier on him and us and this seems to relate to The Lie from the companion. His scenes are giving her a hard time. Again.
In this book, something happens to pull the Scribe Virgin out of her depression, but Ward isn’t saying what.
Layla and No’One will also appear in the next book, but no details yet (if ever).
At this stage, Ward will start writing book 9 in 3-4 weeks and doesn’t yet know who book 10 will be about. Apparently she gets told on a need-to-know basis and the Brothers have decided she doesn’t need to know yet.
I’m sure we will see the love triangle between Qhuinn, Blay and Saxton continue, but it looks like Qhuinn and Blaylock’s HEA will be in a novella, which I understand is meant to appease everyone. Those who are comfortable reading a romance (and sex) between two men can happily devour it, but if their story is completely self-contained, readers who are less comfortable with this plotline can leave it alone. Ward wants to call the novella Blay and Qhuinn so that readers know before buying that it’s about two males. They aren’t yet ready to have a story, a few things need to happen in the series first.
Ward’s publisher has also bought another two novellas: the first is about Rhage and Mary’s desire to start a family (which she is writing now, having finished Crave, the second Fallen Angels book) and the second is about Wrath’s son, Wrath, who will be the future king (the kings are always named Wrath) to be written in the Australian summer, between writing Payne and Manny’s book and the third Fallen Angel book. These novellas will be released together in paperback format around late 2011.
Tohr will get his own book at some stage, but Ward is being very tight-lipped about who his heroine will be (No’One?). She has denied that he will end up with Layla, Rhym (she was the female Bella tried to set Phury up with, and later became the Safe Place therapist), Nalla or the Scribe Virgin. Lassiter will also get a book but it will have to be after Tohr’s.
Speaking of whom, we will see more of No’One. She is staying to build a relationship with Xhex, although I’m not sure how much of that we’ll get to see with everything else going on.
Murhder will come back into the fold, bearing surprises. I had expected more questions on who the symphaths are and what makes them tick to be answered than I found in Rehvenge and Xhex’s books, but since Murhder went mad after going to the symphath colony, we may get more info on them in Murhder’s book. I just don’t know when that will be or whom he ends up with.
Somewhere along the line we’ll get to see more of the Chosen as well, with Layla and Selena, the Chosen who feeds Tohr and was the only one other than Cormia to stay at the great camp when Rehv showed up each month, both getting HEAs. Ward has confirmed that Layla will not end up with Tohr, Lassiter or Blay.
John Matthew and Qhuinn will definitely be inducted into the Brotherhood, but Ward isn’t saying anything about Blay.
We’ll get to meet some new characters in the future, with three males currently in the Old Country (not even Ward knows when they’ll be introduced) and the training program will make a comeback.
And people looking ahead to Nalla’s HEA are getting way ahead of themselves. Because she is currently an infant in the books, it will be years—if ever—before her story is written. Z will not be happy about his baby attracting male attention, but Bella will be on Nalla’s side and will allow her more freedom to find a mate. Not that it’s a surprise, but Ward has confirmed that it will not be Qhuinn.
SEPTEMBER UPDATE: Lover Unleashed is around 700 pages and has a release date of 29 March 2011.
Qhuinn listened to Clint Eastwood by the Gorillaz while running on the treadmill. It’s a song about not being in a good place now,but knowing your future is brighter. I think it’s part of a scene from Lover Unleashed.
During a scene between V and Manny, Eminem’s Cinderella Man is playing. The song is about having had it tough but doing the impossible anyway and features a lot of grandstanding and posturing, I’m-better-than-you stuff.
Ward has also hinted that there will be a new bad boy. That’s all. She’s not allowed to say more than that, so we don’t know if he’s a villain or a badass.
OCTOBER UPDATE: Crave (second in the Fallen Angels series) contains an excerpt from Lover Unleashed, where Jane drives Manny to the Brotherhood mansion to operate on Payne’s spine. We learn that he’s hit the scotch since the events of Lover Unbound and interestingly, it’s the same brand that Butch drinks. Vishous still hates him, even though he’s the one mated to Jane, not Manny. Maybe it’s because Manny’s better able to help his new sister than V is and V really doesn’t like not being in charge (except under certain circumstances with Jane).
Manny instantly falls in love with Payne on sight and he doesn’t react like a human. I wonder if Xhex will say anything about what she saw in him or if she will assume they know like she did with Lash.
From the chat, we learned that his mother is Italian, but nothing about his father, which is interesting since his surname sounds Italian.
Lover Unleashed will have so much of Payne, Manny and V (and by extension Jane and Butch) that there will be room for Qhuay, but not much else. I’m not sure if Murhder will make an appearance in this book, but he will see Xhex again and their back story will be revealed.
Manny has changed after V got into his head and his mind can’t handle the interference (maybe this is another sign that he is something more than human) and he becomes essentially useless. There has to be a way out (maybe another forced transition?) because I don’t see Ward giving Payne a broken hellren.
Something is going to happen between Butch and V and Ward hinted that they will be giving in to a craving. Butch feels a lot of black, which if V has anything to do with it, is likely to be along the lines of leather or candle wax. The connection to V is purely my speculation.
One of the new vampires we’ll meet is called Xcor (pronounced Core). I’m not sure if Xcor is male or female, but would be too surprised if he or she is the badass Ward mentioned earlier since this was the only name she gave us.
Lover Unleashed will include the hero of the next Fallen Angel book, Envy.
Right now, Ward still doesn’t know whose book is going to be after Payne and Manny’s, but it’s not likely to be Tohr’s because she wants more time to prepare. But I might speculate that her preference could be why she hasn’t been told yet. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Speaking of Tohr, Ward said in a video for Borders that we’ve met his female in Lover Mine. But knowing that Ward can be tricky, don’t read that as his female was necessarily introduced in Lover Mine, she was in that book.
Ward confirmed the silver lining of giving Blay and Qhuinn their own novella—it will focus on them and cover everything.
We have not met who iAm ends up with, but Ward knows who that will be. There are such things as female Shadows but she hasn’t said if it’s one of them.
NOVEMBER UPDATE: J. R. Ward just finished writing Lover Unleashed, but she and her teams still have to look at the copyedits when they come in from her publisher. The Lover Unleashed cover and blurb are finally up!
Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself—only to face a devastating injury. Manuel Manello, M.D., is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can—but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birthright and the biology that separate them?
She is expecting to finish the Rhage and Mary novella in about a month. They start their novella in a hard spot but the story of how they become parents is said to be beautiful and a tearjerker.
Saxton shows Qhuinn and Blay how much he loves them in Lover Unleashed and that teaser was finished with a *sniff* so I’m speculating that he walks away to let them be together, but I could be wrong and he sacrifices himself for them in some other way. She gave a KR (Keep Reading) when asked if he will have a HEA.
There has been another tease about who Manny may be related to. Someone asked if it was Butch and Ward replied that BROTHER didn’t just refer to Payne.
Murhder has another side to him, but Ward left the tease at that.
Butch cried because his heart was broken over something devastating he did for V, but it’s okay in the end. Let the speculation fly!
DECEMBER UPDATE: Ward promised that Lover Unleashed would contain a threesome and that there would be some hot scenes between V and Jane (I don’t know if that’s separate from the threesome) and a scene between Payne and Manny in his Porsche is particularly hot.
Vishous posted a link to the video for Aston Martin Music by Rick Ross, ft. Drake and Chrisette Michele. The verses don’t make much sense to me, but the song seems to be about someone who became distant from the one he loves because he needed to get something sorted out or accomplished and he wasn’t able to completely let go of the life he used to live.
FEBRUARY UPDATE: Still no news on whose book comes after Payne and Manny, but it’s possible that they’re keeping quiet until she writes Qhuinn and Blay’s story.
There are more than three males coming from the Old Country, but I’m unsure if they’re Brothers or civilians. I could guess they’re Brothers, but I could equally be wrong.
Payne’s feeding arrangements are a KR. If she answered that Payne feeds from Manny, it opens up speculation that he becomes a vampire and maybe also a Brother, as suggested in the November update.
There is a virtual signing for Lover Unleashed, open worldwide. This is the only way to get a signed book without flying to America. Until Thursday 24th of March (US time), you can place your order with Ward’s nominated store online and let them know how to personalise it. She receives a whole heap of books to sign and personalise, which are then returned to the store for shipping. Unfortunately, even if they know the book is going overseas, they can’t post it until release day, so it’s a bit of a wait. Their system has been upgraded since last year, with two international shipping rates to choose from. To be honest, I can’t remember what the actual difference is in delivery times, but the cheapest international shipping rate is USD21, so the total price of USD50.49 isn’t much different to what we normally pay for hardcovers in Australia. And it’s just awesome to open your new book to a personal message from Ward herself.
MARCH UPDATE: Early reviews of Lover Unleashed are out and some spoilers were dropped but even though I’m avoiding the major ones for my own sake, be warned if you decide to read any further.
From the Book Reading Gals:
V has a breakdown over not being able to help Payne, the sister he has only just found, but is finally able to heal from the abuse he’s suffered with help from Jane and Butch. This is one of the most amazing scenes in the book.
Payne really is V’s other half in the way that twins complement each other. As she was raised Chosen, she also has the traditional, innocent Chosen side as well as the warrior. (Since in earlier books she has expressed little to no interest in males, I see her as like the tomboy Chosen if that makes sense. It also implies that she is a virgin before Manny – Decadence) Her relationship with Manny is sweet.
When Jane died, his world fell apart and her return to his life isn’t much easier on him. He has some things to work through before he can feel like it was all worth it.
Qhuinn hits a low point (“He had to own his shit, even if it made him hate himself to his core..”) but grows from it.
We find out who Butch’s father is.
Xcor (pronounced Core with a silent X, like Xhex) is a male with a whole bunch of other males who are loyal to him and hold a grudge against Wrath and the Brotherhood, which seems related to his mission.
From Rex Robot Reviews:
V has a huge presence in Lover Unleashed and it looks like he and Butch will get together. (I’m not sure how I feel about that, given they are both mated, but we’ll see how it’s handled – Decadence)
Xcor and his male posse arrive with somewhat evil motives, but may somehow still be likable. They interact with Payne, but none of the Brothers yet.
Ward’s Facebook page will be updated in the lead-up to Lover Unleashed’s release day with videos from her virtual signing and she will be talking about Payne. She has posted a pic of the first page of the book, but be warned, it contains a huge spoiler!
If you need a recap of everything that happened in the rest of the series, the updated Black Dagger Brotherhood cheat sheets will soon be reposted with details from Lover Mine.
Happy reading everyone!
BONUS MARCH UPDATE: Ward announced the launch of her CafePress store where you can get official BDB clothing, jewellery, keychains, covers for iPhone, iPad or your car’s number plate and all sorts of other things. She is giving all of the profits to no-kill animal shelters.
Something that really stood out to me was that (with the exception of the mugs, which have almost every main character), most of the merchandise was general BDB, with the occasional “You feel me?” or Fritz reference. But the characters that had more items dedicated to them than any others were Qhuinn and Blay. I wonder if their book is the next to be written?
If you have a Shelfari or Amazon account, sign into Shelfari to read the prologue and first 2 chapters of Lover Unleashed.
Books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (UK/Australia)
Books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (US)