Fans looking for another stellar entry to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series will be disappointed by this contrived, stiff feeling story that supposedly is about Vishous’s twin sister and Chosen, Payne and a brilliant human surgeon, Dr. Manuel Manello. A severe spinal injury left Payne paralyzed, her only hope for a normal life lies with Dr. Manello’s surgical skills. Sparks fly as soon as the two meet and feel an instant attraction but as a human, Vishous is enraged at the budding romance and wants nothing more then to kill Dr. Manello.Vishous’s addiction to pain and its continued impact on his relationship to Jane, his mate who is also a ghost is strongest storyline to emerge. It is interesting watching Vishous’s struggles and eventual breakthrough thanks to some extremely tough love by longtime friend, Butch. Qhuinn continues to ache for Blay but has cut himself off from that relationship thinking he no longer has a part in Blay’s life. Xcor and his followers appear as new antagonists bent on exacting revenge for the death of Bloodletter but do little to the overall storyline.
This is actually just a collection of vaguely connected subplots with a lukewarm romance between Payne and Dr. Manello that is nowhere near as compelling as one would expect from Ward, especially when you consider they are supposed to be the focal point of this book. Some new characters are introduced, primarily as fodder for future books as they really don’t play any part in moving the story forward. Vishous, his breakthrough and relationship with Butch and Jane is the redeeming feature of this ho-hum addition to what has been a strong series.