Why I Hate Layla

I’ve been a big fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J. R. Ward for about two years. Although I love all of the Brothers, their shellans, and soldiers, Qhuinn and Blaylock have a special place in my heart. Qhuinn and Blay were the reason I discovered the m/m genre. I started shipping them in Lover Enshrined. It was in this book that Blay confessed his love for his best friend, Qhuinn. Qhuinn said he didn't feel the same way, but his actions told us different.
They pulled apart, looked into each other's eyes...and something shifted..."Just once," Blay said softly. "Do it just once. So I'll know what it's like."...Oh, it was sweet. Blay's lips were incredibly sweet and soft. The tongue probably wasn't supposed to be part of it, but there was no helping that.
Fast forward to Lover Mine, and we found out that Qhuinn has feelings for Blay, too. Unfortunately, Qhuinn isn't ready to deal with his feelings, and Blay moves on and starts dating Qhuinn’s cousin, Saxton. In Lover Unleashed, Qhuinn and Blay continued to grow apart. However, Qhuinn finally admitted to himself, and to Layla, that he loves Blay. I was happy that he told Layla, since Layla had hopes of being with Qhuinn herself. In the last released BDB book, Lover Reborn, Qhuinn and Blay were finally talking again. I was so happy to see that there might be hope for them to work this out and one day be together! The next thing I know, my BDB world fell apart. Layla went into her needing, Qhuinn serviced her, and now they are hoping to have a baby together.
This sums up my feelings about Layla's needing.

Although it takes two to tango, I blame Layla for her and Qhuinn sleeping together during her needing. More on why I blame Layla for this mess after the jump.

My conviction that Layla is to blame begins in Lover Unleashed. Qhuinn had a vision. My first thought, other than "Oh hell no!" was, since when is Qhuinn having visions? Vishous is our resident fortune teller. I don't like where this is going...
A young female with blond hair and refined features...and pale green eyes...Then she blinked. And her irises changed color. One became green and the other blue. Just like his....It was waaaaay too easy to overlay that young female's features on Layla's face and find something so much deeper than similarity.
And actually, he should be glad. Of all the destinies he could have seen, this was one hundred percent avoidable, wasn't it. He was just never going to have sex with Layla.
That sounds great, Qhuinn! I'll remember you said that.

In Lover Reborn, when Layla went into her needing, she manipulated Qhuinn, plain and simple. As the needing began, before she was overtaken and out of her mind with it, she decided to beg Qhuinn to service her...and it went on for pages.
...she knew she didn't have much time to be rational. And knew the resolution that abruptly came upon her was at once utterly unfair and totally undeniable.
"Service me," she said cutting off whatever it was he was saying to her. "I know you don't love me, and I know we won't be together afterward, but service me so that I can have something that's mine. So you can have something that's yours."
As the blood drained out of his face and his mismatched eyes bulged, she forged on, talking in fast gasps. "We both have no true family. We're both alone. Service me...service me so that we may each have a future that is at least partially our own...Service me, Qhuinn...I beg of you...service me..."
He was thinking rationally. He didn’t jump at the first chance, but she kept right on pushing.
The answer was no, of course. No, absolutely not, no children ever, certainly not with someone he wasn't in love with, certainly not with a virgin Chosen. No. No...Fuck, no, shit, no, God, no, damn it to hell, no...
"Qhuinn..." she groaned. "You're my only hope, and I yours..."
Well, actually, that wasn't true--at least the first part. Any other male in the house--or on the planet--could take care of this. And of course, right afterward, they would be answerable to the Primale.
Not a conversation he was going to volunteer for.
Except...well, she was right about the second part. In her delirium, in her desperation, she was voicing the same thing he'd been thinking for months now...
Wait. Qhuinn thinks that she was saying these things "in her delirium"? No, when we saw Layla's POV, she actually thought to herself that she didn't have much time to be rational. Let's continue with the passage from Qhuinn's POV.
Fine, he told himself. Go get a goddamned dog. The answer to all that was not to lie with this Chosen.
"Listen, let me get you to Doc Jane. She'll take care of you the right way--"
Layla shook her head wildly. "No. I need you."
From out of nowhere, he thought... 

Annnnd, we just lost Qhuinn. He put up a good fight. He told himself no, he would never sleep with Layla, not just while Layla was begging in Lover Reborn, but also after he saw the vision in Lover Unleashed. He told Layla no. Then, "from out of nowhere," he thought it was a good idea? Layla wore him down, and since he didn't have his true love, Blay, he decided to give in to Layla's begging to make a baby with her. Layla needs to grow up. I am not impressed with her desire to make a baby to feel less lonely and more needed. This has been Layla's theme all along, hasn't it? All she's ever wanted was to feel needed, for her blood, for sex, and now she wants a baby to fill that void. Thanks, Layla, for dragging Qhuinn down with you.

The good news is that Qhuinn and Blaylock are going to have their HEA in Lover At Last. I'm not happy that they will not have time to grow as a couple before becoming co-parents with Layla, but this is the direction that the story went. I concede that in the end, all that matters is that Qhuinn and Blay will finally be together.

Where do you stand on the Layla's Needing controversy? Is it water under the bridge because no matter what, our boys will be together? Do you think that the boys should have had some couple time before they started a family? Granted, they haven't even officially announced that Layla is pregnant, but it has been all but confirmed. We shall see very soon!


  1. Oh, Amanda. You pretty much said it all.
    I hate Layla with passion.I'll never stop hating her and blaming her. And these are not the only reasons.
    I have been a Qhuay fan for 6 years. And unfortunately for the last 4 years(after Lover Mine),my Qhuay heart breaks every time Layla's name is mentioned.
    Please let me remind you this scene here,from Lover Mine:

    There was another long pause and then she said one word: "You."
    Blay stood up. "I'll leave you two."
    He was utterly blind as he made for the exit and he snagged his leather jacket on his way on
    As he shut the door, he heard Qhuinn say, "We'll go very slowly. If we're going to do this, we're
    going to go very slowly."
    Out in the hall, Blay put some fast distance between himself and his bedroom, and it wasn't until he
    came up to the double doors that led into the staff wing that he realized he was walking around in a
    robe. Slipping into the set of stairs that led to the movie theater on the third floor, he changed into
    his clothes in front of the dormant popcorn machine.
    The simmering anger deep in his gut was a kind of cancer, eating him up. But it was so baseless. So

    And this ...

    On the bed.
    The white sash was tangled in the sheets, just one more rumpled stretch of cloth.
    As his eyes went upward, he found two head indentations on a pair of pillows that were close
    together. Clearly, the Chosen Layla had forgotten the tie to her robe when she'd left. Which could
    happen only if she'd been naked while she was here.
    Blay put his hand to his heart once more, a sense of constriction making him feel as if he were
    underwater . . . with the surface of the ocean far, far above him.

    1. Andri, I couldn't agree more. I'm a fellow Blay lover, and my heart has hurt for him so many times.

  2. I have never liked Layla. Then again, I have never been able to stomach oh-woe-is-me, spineless, whiny, meek female characters. That is why I have never, and will never be a fan of No'One/Autumn. She and Layla have played the martyr card for far too long. I don't understand why some readers feel like No'One redeemed herself in Lover Reborn; I didn't see it. I wish both she and Layla "pulled a Wellsie."

  3. I see your point, but Qhuinn is to blame as well..
    Besides, if there is no FUBAR, and Saxton doesn't really count, what will stand in Qhuinn and Blay's way to be together? What will their big-bad-to-fight be so they can have their HEA?
    Besides, they will be fine with a little girl in their lives. They even got a call-anytime-you-need baby-sitter they can trust.
    Besides, if they someday decided to have a baby, I don't know how Blay would have felt about Qhuinn having sex with a female (because Blay wouldn't. Ever. Have sex with a female).
    At least now they are not a couple yet.

    1. Olga, that's a good point. There has to be drama to keep us on our toes. As for being parents in the future, I'm sure they could have done invitro if they wanted to have a baby one day.

  4. I don't hate Layla. I feel sorry for her. Was she pathetic? Yes. Totally. But she was at her worst when she went into her needing. Many of us have done some dumb, pathetic shit when we were at our lowest points. Her actions were not honorable, not nice. But I'm so much more pissed at Qhuinn for this fuck-up. Qhuinn had the strength to say no to Blay for years, but he can't deny Layla? Big dummy.

    However Amanda, you brought up some good points. I missed the part where Layla realized that she needed to get her request out before her brain took over. Seems a bit calculating for such an innocent and I hadn't caught that before.

    1. Thanks, Kat! hahaha, "big dummy". I am with you there. :P

  5. I like Layla, and I approve of them having a baby together. I think this is a way for all of them to be happy about their choices. Layla didn't go into it blind and neither did Qhuinn. I think Blay isn't stupid to think this will change anything in the long run, and this is Blay and Qhuinn's chance in having a baby (in a way). I like this new "threesome" and hope it works out well for them.

    1. Also, I hate "the needing"...it is without a doubt one of the top 5 cruelest ways to treat a female character in a book - create a situation in which she can't say no because it hurts her physically not to have sex. This is the part of J.R.'s world I absolutely loathe.

    2. Great post Amanda. Layla certainly is a devisive character. I think she is symbolic of how women are in this series to be honest. Shau you are so right. I never thought to "the needing" in that light before and it makes total sense to me.

    3. Thanks for your thoughts, Shau! You have an excellent point about the needing. While, I loved it in Zsadist's book, I truly despised it in Lover Reborn. Not only did it create this situation with Qhuinn and Layla, but the way Tohr treated No'One brought me to tears. In Z's book, it was a pivotal moment meant to force Z to overcome his past, and in Tohr's book, it was heartbreaking.

      Thanks, Angela!


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