Main reason I gave in and bought this was for the short story about Zsadist Bella and Nalla. I can't get enough of those three. Adorable angsty gorgeous little family. <3 I've been really dying to see more scenes of Zsadist interacting with baby Nalla. This definitely fed my curiosity but I want more. WAY MORE. I love the father-daughter sweet-as-hell bonding moments. Ward could you please give us more of that?? Anyways seeing Zsadist's personal demons and struggles to be a good father play out was really great and heartbreaking. I loved it and he broke my heart completely. I wanted to hug him and sob with him when he broke down and feared so much about what his daughter would think of him and ask him about his appearance and slave bands. :( Really poignant story that I'm so happy Ward wrote. That scene in particular with Dr. Walker was really great and so touching. Z's reaction to Walker was really sweet and endearing. I loved how Z found common ground and a connection with the human doctor. It was the first time seeing one of the brothers and his shellan interacting with the outside human world. I loved it. Oh and getting the doctor's POV and reaction after seeing Z and Bella together for the first time? Awesome. Like I said before you don't really get to see these characters through the eyes of anyone else (let alone a human) outside the compound. So it was a nice shift.
I didn't think I would read the rest but I actually really loved the questionares each of the brothers filled out. Too cute. So many fun, playful and hilarious answers. I also liked the one-on-one interviews between Ward and each brother. Didn't think I would. Lots of hilarious wise-crack moments. And the messageboard dialogues b/w the brothers was ridiculously funny. Jesus. The quick dialogue and snark come backs were awesome and so very them
. I don't think I will ever get tired of their banter and hysterical pranks and jabs they pull on one another. It sounds silly and when I first got the book and skimmed through my reaction was kinda WTH? messageboard banter between fictional characters and fans?? But honestly Ward did a wonderful job capturing the characters in 'real time' I literally could picture them sitting at computers verbally sparring online and pulling pranks. Great fun!
I do think some of the deleted/revised scenes that Ward put in here were so much more compelling and successful then the ones that made it in the books IMO. I'm really wishing she put them in the books. One in particular was the alternate good-bye sex scene between Z and Bella. Wow! *fans self* So so soooo
much better then the version in the book. It made me incredibly frustrated and kind of sad when I went back and re-read the revised scene in the book and compared the two. There was a HUGE difference in tone, dialogue and actions when you compare the two. The original deleted scene was so much more intense and poignant IMO. Much more meaningful and made Z come off more emotional and conflicted which was more appropriate for the scene and the story. I remember being really frustrated with the scene in the book because the actions and things that needed to be said and done weren't. Z intentionally tried to brush off Bella and be cold to her to get her to leave instead of telling her how he really felt (which IMO was the right time to tell her). I just felt really cold after that scene and not happy. Ward should have definitely followed her gut on this one.
Another was the deleted love scene between Phury and Cormia, this scene should have definitely been put in Lover Enshrined considering how little personal one-on-one time the couple shared, a big issue that made the overall story suffer. Would it have added to the story? Not really but it was definitely needed for the couples struggling relationship and connection that wasn't really highlighted as much in the book. For me there wasn't enough intimate moments between them in the book, this would have definitely helped. The deleted love scene was about them and Phury's attraction to her, not his drug problem or personal demons like it played out in his book. And that deleted epilogue? ADORABLE. Be still my heart. I understood why she kept it out but her 'vision' of where they would end up in 5 years was really wonderful and what I've wanted for Phury & Cormia. And Z, Bella and Nalla? An added bonus. <3 I disagree with her editor and critique buddies who talked her out of keeping it in the book. Mistake IMO and makes me raise a brow at the advice considering how incredibly underdeveloped and shaky this particular couple's love story was in their book. I don't understand the decision or agree but eh. I'm hoping she gives those two a novella.
Anways, great fun easy read. If you are a BDB fan who wants a little more extra moments then I'd recommend it. Some of the filler stuff I do think could have been replaced with more short stories IMO. Cause paying for something that's already posted on messageboards and her website seems like a waste of money. But I had fun reading this. I want more of her novellas!