The first book I read by J. R. Ward was actually the start of a companion series to the Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Covet impressed me in many different ways and I was curious about what her other more established series was like. Having now finished the Black Dagger Brotherhood series for a second time and having enjoyed it even more, I can’t recommend this amazing series enough.
So why should you read J. R. Ward?
The characters Ward creates are just phenomenal. The main cast are the Brothers and their individual stories are the focus for each book. What makes the series truly outstanding is the presence of the other major players through each one. You can’t have one Brother without having them all! Sometimes those appearances are brief and often they are integral to another’s story.
The series begins with Dark Lover and you are introduced to a world of vampires living alongside humans in secrecy. The Black Dagger Brotherhood are a group of elite vampires, engineered by breeding to be the most powerful and best warriors to protect the race not only from exposure to the humans but also from their unnatural predators – the Lessening Society. I love Ward’s slant on the vampire mythos, that the traditional view is mostly hogwash spread by the human media with a few truths hidden within the fiction. The truth is humans have nothing to fear from vampires. They can’t sustain themselves from human blood so basically, they are just another race that share the planet but in ever decreasing numbers. There is a war on, between the lessers and the vampires and the Brothers fight night after night to keep the remaining vampire population safe, often at personal cost to themselves. They are powerful, larger than life and very very hot!
While the plot of each book might mainly be about a character unexpectedly finding their true love (they are romance novels after all), it’s the characters that make them as engaging as they are. J. R. Ward has such a clear and vivid way of writing that you get to know them so well and the mere mention of a name conjurs up their image in your mind and how they might act and react in certain situations. I also have to say not once in ten books have I read a scene and thought hang on, he wouldn’t do that!.
You can feel the love and sometimes exasperation Ward has for her Brothers and in turn, shares those things with the reader. They are all so fundamentally different and you just can’t help falling in love with them, cry for them and your heart bleeds at the sacrifices they have to make for the good of the race.
The females of the series are just as much of a revelation and again so very different from each other. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses that make them the perfect foil for the jaded and battle-weary Brothers. Sassy, fierce, loving and brave, each one finds her way into your heart just as easily.
So if you love amazing and emotional stories with flawed yet solid warriors (did I mention they were also hot?) and the females that are more than a match for them then you should read J. R. Ward. I dare you not to fall in love with them!