Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

Book Review

 


Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy, #2)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Black Dagger Legacy #2

Released: 12/6/16 by Ballantine Books

Pages: 459 Price: $28.oo Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Blood Vow: Black Dagger Legacy

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The Black Dagger Brotherhood continues to train the best of the best to join them in the deadly battle against the Lessening Society. Among the new recruits, Axe proves to be a cunning and vicious fighter—and also a loner isolated because of personal tragedy. When an aristocratic female needs a bodyguard, Axe takes the job, though he’s unprepared for the animal attraction that flares between him and the one he is sworn to protect.

For Elise, who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder, Axe’s dangerous appeal is enticing—and possibly a distraction from her grief. But as they delve deeper into her cousin’s death, and their physical connection grows into so much more, Axe fears that the secrets he keeps and his tortured conscience will tear them apart.

Rhage, the Brother with the biggest heart, knows all about self-punishing, and he wants to help Axe reach his full potential. But when an unexpected arrival threatens Rhage and Mary’s new family, he finds himself back in the trenches again, fighting against a destiny that will destroy all he holds most dear.

As Axe’s past becomes known, and fate seems to be turning against Rhage, both males must reach deep—and pray that love, rather than anger, will be their lantern in the darkness.

My Review:

Again I have to start my review out about this “spin-off” series by asking; why is it considered a spin-off?  It is set in the same location, features many of the same characters, and is pretty much a continuation of the timeline in the main series.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care either way how the author wants to give us more stories in this world.  Sign me up I’m all for it, it just feels strange to call it a spin-off series when it feels so much like simply the Blackdagger Brotherhood series.  Alright, nit-picking aside this was an awesome book and once I got a chance to get into it I loved how the plot played out.

Okay, small confession time.  I wasn’t into Axe and Elise’s storyline all that much.  Not that I didn’t like them, I did, I just wanted to know what the hell was going on with Rhage and Mary so much more.  Whenever the story moved off their POV I almost skipped ahead because I did not want to wait to hear how their drama was playing out.  I was good though and kept reading as Ms. Ward intended us to read, but man it was so tempting to jump ahead.

I did like Axe and Elise as a couple, however.  I truly believe they are a good match and loved the contrast in their upbringing. They helped each other grow past their baggage and fight for what they wanted for their life.  They learned together to stop being victims of other people’s ideas and prejudices, something all would be wise to remember more often.  I was surprised to see how they ended up and expect that we will see more from this couple in future books as their story doesn’t feel quite done yet.

I’ve already said how I found Rhage and Mary’s storyline so much more captivating.  Now I’ve never been one to be into kids but the uncertainty around their adopting Bitty just got to me.  Maybe because she is an older child and not a baby worked for me, I do better with pre-teens and teens.  This plot just grabbed me by the emotions and didn’t let go.  I was so thrilled with how everything ended up, though!

One last thought before I go.  Thank you!  Thank you, Ms. Ward, for giving Lassiter an actual part in this book.  He is one of my favorite characters in this series and usually only gets one scene where he is little more than a court jester.  I loved that he had a more substantial part in this story.  I hope we can see more of him in the future.

My Rating:5 Stars

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Bloodkiss by J.R. Ward

Book Review

 


Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1)Book Genre:
Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1

Released: 12/1/2015

Pages: 397  Price: $7.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.

And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

My Review:

This was a great read and a great addition to the Black Dagger Universe!  I’m not quite sure why it needs to be considered a spin-off series though as it features many of the brothers that we know and love from the original series.  Hell, most of it even takes place at the same compound.  Quite frankly beyond introducing a handful of new characters, not that Ward doesn’t do that in the main series, this could have just been a book between The Shadows and The Beast.  Oh well, no matter how she wants to give us these stories I am going to shut the hell up and simply say ‘Thank you, Ms. Ward’.

This book centers around the pairing up of Paradise and Craeg and is a pretty standard Romeo and Juliet type of story.  Two young lovers from opposite sides of society that fall heads over heals for each other and then have to deal with their different heritages before uniting.  As with all of Ms. Ward’s books we have multiple plot threads to follow in this book but gratefully she managed to keep it to two main threads instead of the five or six she does in the main series.  Thank God.  Sometimes the other books become so confusing I feel like I need sticky notes to color code the chapters.  Anyway, this book also features Butch and Marissa who went through a similar circumstance for their story.   They were a nice choice of accompaniment for Paradise and Craeg’s book.  I have actually been enjoying Ward’s tendency to revisit the original couples in recent books.  We get a chance to peek behind the curtain a bit and see what happens after these couples head into their H.E.A.

Beyond the romance in this book there is also a mystery that needed to be solved and we also got to witness the Brother’s own version of the Hunger games as they weeded out candidates for the new training program.  You knew nothing serious was going to happen to these students, but it was fun to see what all the brothers threw at them.  I loved how Ward handled these situations and the outcome was very satisfying to read.  These are some strong characters but Ward shows us beautifully that often strong people are that way because they have to be and still harbor vulnerabilities and insecurities that we often don’t see and are quick to overlook.

A great fun read that reminds us what the original series was like in the beginning.  I look forward to the next installment and hope it is as good as the first one!

My Rating: 4 Stars