New or casual readers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series will be lost in its eighth installment (after 2009's Lover Avenged), but Ward's fans love her soap opera storytelling and are happy to forgive unpronounceable names and occasionally overeager tough talk (at a solemn wedding, [the bridegroom] was smiling like a motherfucker). Newly made vampire John Matthew vows to free his mate, the symphath Xhexania, from Lash, a paranoid coke addict who's transmuting into a nontemporal entity like his vampire-killer father, the Omega. Once freed, Xhexania joins the Brothers in battling the Omega, but refuses to acknowledge her emotional connection to John. Meanwhile, sexually promiscuous Qhuinn, shockingly jealous of his cousin Saxton's new lover, wonders whether he should have seduced Saxton when he had the chance. Complicated subplots and tortured heroes abound, but attentive readers will love putting it all together.