The eleventh novel in the stunning #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood seriesthe hotly anticipated story that finally unites Blay and Qhuinn...forever.
About the Author
J.R. Ward is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She lives in the South with her family.
Read an Excerpt
Qhuinn, son of Lohstrong, entered his family’s home through its grand front door. The instant he stepped over the threshold, the smell of the place curled up into his nose. Lemon polish. Beeswax candles. Fresh flowers from the garden that the doggen brought in daily. Perfume—his mother’s. Cologne—his father’s and his brother’s. Cinnamon gum—his sister’s.
If the Glade company ever did an air freshener like this, it would be called something like Meadow of Old Money. Or Sunrise over a Fat Bank Account.
Or maybe the ever-popular We’re Just Better Than Everyone Else.
Distant voices drifted over from the dining room, the vowels round as brilliant-cut diamonds, the consonants drawled out smooth and long as satin ribbons.
“Oh, Lillie, this is lovely, thank you,” his mother said to the server. “But that’s too much for me. And do not give Solange so all that. She’s getting heavy.”
Ah, yes, his mother’s perma-diet inflicted on the next generation: Glymera females were supposed to disappear from sight when they turned sideways, each jutting collarbone, sunken cheek, and bony upper arm some kind of fucked-up badge of honor.
As if resembling like a fire poker would make you a better person.
And Scribe Virgin forefend if your daughter looked like she was healthy.
“Ah, yes, thank you, Lilith,” his father said evenly. “More for me, please.”
Qhuinn closed his eyes and tried to convince his body to step forward. One foot after another. It was not that tough.
His brandy-new Ed Hardy kicks middle-fingered that suggestion. Then again, in so many ways, walking into that dining room was belly-of-the-beast time.
He let his duffel fall to the floor. The couple of days at his best friend Blay’s house had done him good, a break from the complete lack of air in this house. Unfortunately, the burn on reentry was so bad, the cost-benefit of leaving was nearly equal.
Okay, this was ridiculous. He couldn’t keep standing here like an inanimate object.
Turning to the side wall, he leaned into the full-length antique mirror that was placed right by the door. So thoughtful. So in keeping with the aristocracy’s need to look good. This way, visitors could check their hair and clothes as the butler accepted coats and hats.
The young pretrans face that stared back at him was all even features, good jawline, and a mouth that, he had to admit, looked like it could do some serious damage to naked skin when he got older. Or maybe that was just wishful thinking. Hair was Vlad the Impaler, spikes standing up straight from his head. Neck was strung with a bike chain—and not one bought at Urban Outfitters, but the link that had previously motivated his twelve-speed.
All things being equal, he looked like a thief who had broken in and was prepared to trash the place on the hunt for sterling silver, jewelry, and portable electronics.
The irony was that the Goth bullcrap wasn’t actually the most offensive part of his appearance to his fam. In fact, he could have stripped down, hung a light fixture off his ass, and run around the first floor playing Jose Canseco with the art and antiques and not come close to how much the real problem pissed off his parents.
It was his eyes.
One blue. One green.
Oopsy. His bad.
The glymera didn’t like defects. Not in their porcelain or their rose gardens. Not in their wallpaper or their carpets or their countertops. Not in the silk of their underwear or the wool of their blazers or the chiffon of their gowns.
And certainly not ever in their children.
Sister was okay—well, except for the “little weight problem” that didn’t actually exist, and a lisp that her transition hadn’t cured —oh, and the fact that she had the personality of their mother. And there was no fixing that shit. Brother, on the other hand, was the real fucking star, a physically perfect, firstborn son prepared to carry forth the family bloodline by reproducing in a very genteel, non-moaning, no-sweat situation with a female chosen for him by the family.
Hell, his sperm recipient had already been lined up. He was going to mate her as soon as he went through his transition—
“How are you feeling, my son?” his father asked with hesitation.
“Tired, sir,” a deep voice answered. “But this is going to help.”
A chill frog-marched up Qhuinn’s spine. That didn’t sound like his brother. Way too much bass. Far too masculine. Too…
Holy shit, the guy had gone through his transition.
Now Qhuinn’s Ed Hardys got with the program, taking him forward until he could see into the dining room. Father was in his seat at the head of the table. Check. Mother was in her seat at the foot of the table opposite the kitchen’s flap door. Check. Sister was facing out of the room, all but licking the gold rim off her plate from hunger. Check.
The male whose back was to Qhuinn was not part of the SOP.
Luchas was twice the size he’d been when Qhuinn had been approached by a doggen and told to get his things and go to Blay’s.
Well, that explained the vacay. He’d assumed his father had finally relented and given in to the request Qhuinn had filed weeks before. But nope, the guy had just wanted Qhuinn out of the house because the change had come to the gene pool’s golden child.
Had his brother laid the chick? Who had they used for blood—
His father, never the demonstrative type, reached out a hand and gave Luchas an awkward pat on the forearm. “We’re so proud of you. You look…perfect.”
“You do,” Qhuinn’s mother piped up. “Just perfect. Doesn’t your brother look perfect, Solange?”
“Yes, he does. Perfect.”
“And I have something for you,” Lohstrong said.
The male reached into the inside pocket of his sport coat and took out a black velvet box the size of a baseball.
Qhuinn’s mother started to tear up and dabbed under her eyes.
“This is for you, my precious son.”
The box was slid across the white damask tablecloth, and his brother’s now-big hands shook as he took the thing and popped the lid.
Qhuinn caught the flash of gold all the way out in the foyer.
As everyone at the table went silent, his brother stared at the signet ring, clearly overwhelmed, as their mother kept up with the dab-dab, and even their father grew misty. And his sister sneaked a roll from the bread basket.
“Thank you, sir,” Luchas said as he put the heavy gold ring on his forefinger.
“It fits, does it not?” Lohstrong asked.
“Yes, sir. Perfectly.”
“We wear the same size, then.”
Of course they did.
At that moment, their father glanced away, like he was hoping the movement of his eyeballs would take care of the sheen of tears that had come over his vision.
He caught Qhuinn lurking outside the dining room.
There was a brief flash of recognition. Not the hi-how’re-ya kind, or the oh-good-my-other-son’s-home. More like when you were walking through the grass and noticed a pile of dog shit too late to stop your foot from landing in it.
The male went back to staring at his family, locking Qhuinn out.
Clearly, the last thing Lohstrong wanted was such a historic moment to be ruined—and that was probably why he didn’t do the hand signals that warded off the evil eye. Usually everyone in the household performed the ritual when they saw Qhuinn. Not tonight. Daddio didn’t want the others to know.
Qhuinn went over to his duffel. Slinging the weight onto his shoulder, he took the front stairs to his room. Usually his mother preferred him to use the servants’ set, but that would mean he’d have to cut through all the love in there.
His room was as far away from the others’ as you could get, all the way over to the right. He’d often wondered why they didn’t take the leap completely and put him in with the doggen—but then the staff would probably quit.
Closing himself in, he dumped his duds on the bare floor and sat on his bed. Staring at his only piece of luggage, he figured he had better do that laundry soon, as there was a wet bathing suit in there.
The maids refused to touch his clothes—like the evil in him lingered in the fibers of his jeans and his T-shirts. The upside was, he was never welcome at formal events, so his wardrobe was just wash-’n’-wear, baby—
He discovered he was crying when he looked down at his Ed Hardys and realized that there were a couple of drops of water right in the middle of the laces.
Qhuinn was never getting a ring.
Ah, hell…this hurt.
He was scrubbing his face with his palms when his phone rang. Taking the thing out of his biker jacket, he had to blink a couple of times to focus.
He hit send to accept the call, but he didn’t answer.
“I just heard,” Blay said across the connection. “How are you doing?”
Qhuinn opened his mouth to reply, his brain coughing up all kinds of responses: “Peachy fucking jim-dandy.” “At least I’m not ‘fat’ like my sister.” “No, I don’t know if my brother got laid.”
Instead, he said, “They got me out of the house. They didn’t want me to curse the transition. Guess it worked, because the guy looks like he came through it okay.”
Blay swore softly.
“Oh, and he got his ring just now. My father gave him…his ring.”
The signet ring with the family crest on it, the symbol that all males of good bloodlines wore to attest to the value of their lineage.
“I watched Luchas put it on his finger,” Qhuinn said, feeling as if he were taking a sharp knife and drawing it up the insides of his arms. “Fit perfectly. Looked great. You know, though…like, how could it not—”
He began weeping at that point.
Just fucking lost it.
The awful truth was that under his counterculture fuck-you, he wanted his family to love him. As prissy as his sister was, as scholar-geek as his brother was, as reserved as his parents were, he saw the love among the four of them. He felt the love among them. It was the tie that bound those individuals together, the invisible string from one heart to the another, the commitment of caring about everything from the mundane shit to any true, mortal drama. And the only thing more powerful than that connection…was what it was like to get shut out from it.
Every fucking day of your life.
Blay’s voice cut in through the heaving. “I’m here for you. And I’m so damned sorry….I’m here for you….Just don’t do anything stupid, okay? Let me come over—”
Leave it to Blay to know that he was thinking about things that involved ropes and showerheads.
In fact, his free hand had already gone down to the makeshift belt he’d fashioned out of a nice, strong weave of nylon—because his parents didn’t give him much money for clothes, and the proper one he’d owned had broken years ago.
Pulling the length free, he glanced across to the closed door of his bath. All he needed to do was tie the thing to the fixture in his shower—God knew those water pipes had been run in the good old days, when things were strong enough to hold some weight. He even had a chair he could stand up on and then kick out from underneath him.
“I gotta go—”
“Qhuinn? Don’t you hang up on me—don’t you dare hang up on me—”
“Listen, man, I gotta go—”
“I’m coming over right now.” Lot of flapping in the background, like Blay was getting his clothes on. “Qhuinn! Do not hang up the phone—Qhuinn…!”
“Now, that a muthafuckn’ whip rite chur.”
Jonsey looked over at the idiot who was hunkered down next to him in the bus stop. The pair of them had been parked in the Plexiglas gerbil cage for three hours. At least. Although comments like that had made it seem a matter of days.
And were going to make shit justifiable homicide.
“You a white boy, you know that?” Jonsey pointed out.
Okay, make that three years of waiting. “Caucasian, dude. As in you need fuckin’ sunblock in the summer. As in not like m’self—”
“Whatever, man, check out that ride—”
“As in why you gotta talk like you from the ’hood? You act a fool, yo.”
At this point, he just wanted to get the night over. It was cold, it was snowing, and he had to wonder who he’d pissed off to get stuck with Vanilla Ice over here.
Matter of fact, he was thinking about pulling out of this bullshit altogether. He was making good paper dealing in Caldwell; he was two months out of prison for those murders he’d done as a juvie; the last thing he was interested in was hanging with some white bitch determined to get street cred through vocabulary.
Oh, and then there was the Richie Rich neighborhood they were in. For all he knew, there was an ordinance out here that you weren’t allowed on the streets after ten p.m.
Why the hell had he agreed to this?
“Will. You. Please. Look. At. That. Fine. Automobile.”
Just to shut the guy up, Jonsey turned his head and leaned out of the shelter. As blowing snow got into his eyes, he cursed. Fucking upstate New York in the winter. Cold enough to ice-cube your balls—
Across a shallow parking lot, sitting right in front of a sparkling-clean, no-graffiti’d, twenty-four-hour CVS, there was, in fact, a sweet-ass fucking whip. The Hummer was totally blacked out, no chrome anywhere—not on the wheels, not around the windows, not even on the grille. And it was the big-body—and, going by all that trim, no doubt had the big engine in it.
The ride was the kind of thing you’d see on the streets where he was from, the vehicle of a major dealer. Except they were far from the inner city out here, so it was just some cracker trying to look like he had a dick.
Vanilla-man hiked up his backpack, one-strapping it. “I’ma check it out.”
“Bus is coming soon.” Jonsey checked his watch, and did some wishful thinking. “Five, maybe ten minutes.”
“You scared or some shit?” The SOB lifted his hands and started going Paranormal Activity. “Oh, scurrrrrry—”
Jonsey outted his gun and punched the muzzle right into that dumb-ass face. “I got no problem killin’ you right here. I done it before. I do it again. Now back the fuck off and do y’self a favor. Shut the fuck up.”
As Jonsey met the guy’s eyes, he didn’t particularly care what the outcome was. Shoot the bitch. Don’t shoot him. Whatever.
“Okay, okay, okay.” Mr. Chatty backed away and left the bus stop.
Jonesy put his gat away, crossed his arms, and stared in the direction the bus was going to come out of—like that might help.
Stupid fucking idiot.
He looked at his watch again. Man, enough with this shit. If a bus heading back into downtown got here first, he was just going to get on and fuck it all.
Shifting the backpack he’d been told to get, he felt the hard contour of the jar inside. The pack he understood. If he was going to transport product from the sticks into the ’hood, then yeah. But the jar? What the hell you need that for?
Unless it was loose powder?
The fact that he’d been chosen by C-Rider, the man himself, for this had been pretty fucking cool. Until he’d met White Boy—and then the idea he was special lost some juice. The boss man’s instructions had been clear: Hook up with the dude at the Fourth Street stop. Take the last bus out to the ’burbs and wait. Transfer to the rural line when service resumed near dawn. Get off at the Warren County stop. Hoof it one mile to a farm property.
C-Rider would meet them and a bunch of other dudes out there for the business. And after that? Jonsey would be part of a new crew set to dominate the scene in Caldie.
Excerpted from "Lover At Last"
Copyright © 2013 J.R. Ward.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
“J.R. Ward's unique band of brothers is to die for. I love this series!”—New York Times bestselling author bestseller Suzanne Brockmann
“Utterly absorbing and deliciously erotic....The Brotherhood is the hottest collection of studs in romance. I can’t wait for the next one!”—New York Times bestseller Angela Knight
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I would appreciate as well as jr ward if you would not give her book a low rating because of nooks screw up it isnt her fault that you didnt get ur preordered book!!!!
I just want to start off by saying how much i love this series. I was lucky that i didnt discover this series until book 7 was out because i dont think i would have been patient enough to have waited as long as we have to wait between each book to come out. I had been waiting for Qhuinn and Blays story and i wasnt disappointed. The only thing that bothered me was all the extra side stories, when we started the series it was really about the brothers and the war against the lessening society. It didnt bother me all to much when the bastards were introduced because it was something different then the usual killing of lessers, which were getting kind of old. But now i just feel theres to much going on, to many new characters getting introduced. Again, i love this series more than anything but i've got to admit that i was looking foward to an ending soon. As you read this book you'll know what i'm talking about, safe to say we got a couple more books coming in this series, and yes, i'll still be here to purchase every one that does.
Okay... I was up until 4 in the morning reading this and for me, it was well worth the cost! I love both Blay and Qhuinn, and literally had trouble breathing, waiting the last hour or so for this one to come out. I could go on all day about how politically and culturally relevant this book is now, but politics aside, I just adore this book. Now that I have had a few hours of sleep and able to digest the "Wow, Blay and Qhuinn, Blay and Qhuinn...finally!) I am starting to look back at some of the other aspects of the story. This feels like a set-up novel to me, not a wrap-up novel. It felt like besides a couple big action items early on, this really is a novel with lots of internal conflicts, rather than BDB vs. Lessers. The adventures that do take place are absolute nuts, but if you are looking for non-stop action, you might be disappointed. It seems like Ward is testing storylines to see where she can go next. The result is that we get to "see" first-hand, which sideline characters are strong enough to take the spotlight on the next one. I imagine, that as the fan base starts getting through this novel, the "campaigning" will begin for their next heroes. (not that JR doesn't already have figured out, having the chance to see the auditions as she was writing.) What I really like 1. Getting to see Blay and Qhuinn figure things out, not just with each other, but with themselves. 2. Trez coming out of the shadows (guess you know who my vote is for!) and 3. The sideline characters coming out to play. What I was not thrilled about This book was a little slow for a typical Ward book. I did not see more of the brotherhood, although I get it. And, finally, just some pet peeves. I did not see the Scribe Virgin when I thought she should be there, and for my silly pet peeve, there is a bunch of slang, which is typical of these novels, but annoying, none the less. For vampires living 1000 years, having these slang phrases spoken every sentence seems silly to me. Overall, I love this book, and yes, there are lots of emotional and political reasons wrapped up in it, rather than just the story, but there you have it. I am a huge fan of the series and will be breathlessly waiting for the next one to come out as well.
You're upset by Blay and Quhinn??? Were you upset by Z being used as a sex slave? Oh and you do know V is bisexual right??? There was another person on here who posted a homophobic slur who I'd like to address: Women, especially older women are more accepting of different SOs: Straight couples, two girls, even two men. That the two charecters here have a good backstory and are likable, helps. If you don't get this, then bounce. True JR WARD fans would never spout such haterade, true?
I have been waiting for this story FOREVER! I have loved Quinn and Blay since they were first introduced into the series and knew they would eventually have their HEA. What I would have liked to have seen though was more of their storyline and less of the others. I also thought that a book that took so long to be published, and cost me $15.00 for a nook book, would have been perfection with the editing. That was not the case. Their were errors everywhere. All in all just a little disappointed. I wanted so much more.
I just read the whole series back to back. Some of the books were better than others and I couldn't wait for Blay's and Qhuinn's story. I do agree with other reviewers. Too many other story lines which were boring, but the editing was so awful that I kept on reading the same sentences over and over again because they didn't make any sense. The editor of the book never took a class in grammar! I found it very distracting.
LOL!!! The gay haters crack me up. Anyone who knows the series should have known this was gonna be about a gay couple, Blay and Qhuinn are guys after all and this book was about them. Also, this book was no more graffic than the others, gay sex doesn't make it more graffic. This was a great story, although I agree with the fact that there was a little too many side plots going on.
This would have been a better Novella. I don't think I got enough story for my money. I love this series and especially this couple. The main couple's plot was lacking. There were WAY too many sides stories and after awhile I just skipped them, because I really didn't care. I am really disappointed.
Im glad the boys finally got together but I felt like I'd developed ADHD reading this book. Very choppy. I agree with a previous reviewer that this is a set up novel. I'm looking forward to Trez's story... I dont particularly care about the rest of the side stories introduced. I also look forward to a book with no typos.
I have now finished the book. (takes deep breath). I have so much to say about it and dont really know where to start. I am sorely disappointed yet again, and more so than any other book. The way JR Ward promoted this book should be illegal. She made it sound like the next best thing since bread. I on the other hand feel it was overkill. The book 84 pages in had already at least 4 plots beginning. I know that over the years you have to put a new plot in place in order to have the hipe for the next one to start. However this book was nothing but a book of plots, and only a couple were worth much thought. I think she has gotten greedy in trying to map out her way for the next 6 or more books. I wish she would go back to her roots with a main character and their story, with a few updates on the other characters and then leading up to who might be the next lucky guy/girl. I always thought of her as very witty with some of her comments and writing skills, but this was like another lanquage at times to the point that all I could do was roll my eyes. The title Lover at Last, PAH it wasnt a Blay and Quinn story but a book on how to make 6 more books. Sorry but that is my opinion.
I felt like I was reading four different books....too many side stories, not enough focus on the two people the story was supposed to be about....after paying 15 bucks for this book and waiting a year I find myself very disappointed. Skimmed quite a bit just to get on with it...this will be my last BDB book, this serie sha srun it scourse. Goodbye Ms. Ward.
I felt that the plot was too busy, there was too much going on and I wished Quinn and Blay could have gotten more attn. While I will most probably get her next book, if her books remain unfocussed with too many conflicting stories i'm probably going to give up soon. Hopefully she reads our reviews and considers them for next time.
Blay and Qhuinn...long awaited and so worth it! Absolutely loved this story. The long journey to finally get to where they needed to be. Also enough cliffhangers to leave you excited for the next book in the series. Also a few new players to keep things fresh and interesting.
Finally!!! I have been waiting ages for Blay and Qhuinn to get together!! I was a little annoyed at the multiple parts that had nothing to do with them, but over all loved the book!! Stayed up all night to read it in a little under six hours :) definitely excited to read it again and again!!
Love JR Ward and I was looking forward to reading this one but I have to say I was disappointed. I wish she wrote more about Quinn and Blay. The book was all over the place and had characters that I could careless about.
J.R. Ward is nothing short of amazing! I have loved Blay and Qhuinn since they were first introduced and she did not disappoint! I was worried that she might downplay the sex scenes being that it's m/m, but those scenes were hot as hell! Thank you Ms. Ward for having the guts to put it all out there. I liked the side stories but at times it went on a little long and I was anxious to get back to Qhuinn and Blay. I was surprised we didn't see more of John Matthew and in the future would love some side stories that include more of the brothers we all know and love. Excellent!
In 600+ pages of a book that was suppose to be a HEA about Quinn and Blay I personally feel this novel was a BIG LET DOWN. The Reader has to fight through 15 POV of characters that Ward's Long Time fans like myself found pointless and confusing. If you are new to the series or not into M/M romance then I would suggest reading this novel (definitely read the series -- the other books are great)...but those of us who thought we would see the final explosive bromance of two characters who are loved by many -- well QHUAY love is NOT to be found anywhere in this novel....buy at your own disappointment....just my personal opinion....
I have been a die hard fan of J.R. Wards for years. In fact The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is my all time favorite series and it's the only series that I have read multiple times. This is the author and series that jump started my love addiction of reading all things paranormal and edgy. With that being said, I am devastatingly disappointed in the last installment "Lover at Last" So much so, that I am writing my very first review. This after the fact that I preordered the book and waited on baited breath, counted down the days and re-read the series until it was released. All for an extreme let down. It took me a pain stacking week to get through it, when normally I deprive myself of food, water and sleep until I've read every last word! And here I am several months later still stewing over it! I loath it so much that I considering not reading her next release. Which all know I will however 3 strikes and she's out! As I was semi disapointed in Lover Unleashed I had my expectations set hi for Lover at last! I am a sucker for love stories regardless of gender however the creativity was lacking. The rich detail and story line was weak and the ending was rushed and far fetched. Not a happy camper!
Barnes and Noble needs to remove all the 1 star ratings that were given strictly for homosexual content. All of those "reviewers" ( and I use the tern loosely ) fail at being human beings. If you can't appreciate a great love story because the people involved happen to be of the same sex, well you're just not right. Anyways, on to my actual book review!l I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! It reminds me of Laurel K Hamilton's Anita Blake series before all the metaphysical sex scenes took over. Lots of true love, great sex, emotional angst, fighting & vampires! I just found this series about a month ago and have already worked my way through all the books. I'll be waiting patiently for the next one!! Awesome book, awesome series, and super awesome author!! If I could give this 100 stars I would!!
Agree w alot of the others. Way too much going on, miss the original characters and found myself skipping pages which I have never done before with Ward BDB books. And while I knew it was about two men, it left me missing the usual yummy sex scenes between a man and woman. I doubt I will continue reading the series. I miss the Brothers!
Good book, but I feel like I was left hanging with Sola and Assail. And who was the Lesser that "poofed" away? What about Qhinn's brother? There were too many loose ends for all the plotlines that were introduced into this book.
You know you are reading an amazing book when you have to stop yourself throughout it just to savour it. I could not have loved Blay and Qhuinn's love story more.
First, I am gay friendly, so that aspect of this doesn't bother me at all. The book just rambles over chapter after chapter, sort of like she wrote it as a jumble of ideas and did not edit. This series was so good, but it has done a poop spiral since V's book.
I love this series! It has its ups and downs but over all is a GREAT read! I have read all the books in this series and have grown to love all the characters and cant wait for the next book in this series :) I do how ever HATE the fact people give 1 star because they can not down load their books or the free preview is only 4 pages long. Really....what does any of that have to do with reviewing a book? Call your e reader hot line and stop writing your non sence on here! All you are doing is giving low stars and making people possibly pass up a good read because of it! This is a book review page!
In all the other "Brotherhood" books the main story line was always very clearly about one specific brother. This one...not at all. I got the impression that Ms Ward wanted to introduce at least 3 new story lines and so this book very clearly was not about the two characters we have all grown to love and root for. One thing I especially abhorred about this book is the fact that Quinn - one of the strongest characters before now, had, by the end of the book, turned into one of the weakest, at least to me. My second strongest objection was the ongoing misunderstandings to drag this story out that should have been cleared up pretty quickly because they were also weak to begin with. Ms Ward is SUCH a talented writer, this book was way beneath her potential. Clearly there are those who would give ANY book she wrote five stars whether deserved or not. When they give a high rating where it isn't truly deserved, as this book is, then it helps no one including Ms Ward.