The King

 Long live the King…

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle- with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything- and everyone- at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated with the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response- or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out… or tortured legacy take over?

For the most part I loved this book, but there were a couple of things that didn’t work for me very well. The whole Assail and Sola storyline seemed very out of place and disjointed and while I can only assume the storyline will finish in another book, it did take up a fair amount of this one. The characters as well – while I did like Sola, I really didn’t warm to Assail. His actions, apart from when he was dealing with Sola, just made me grind my teeth and hope he got taken out. Honestly, he seemed like Rehv, only despicable.

With that out of the way, the rest of the book I loved. Seeing Wrath’s parents was bitter-sweet but wonderful as well. Beth kicks ass as usual and I thought the arguments between the two of them were spot on – I absolutely got why she was so set on wanting a child. Watching them work it through was a special thing, especially as Wrath comes to terms with everything he is.  I was in tears at the end and loved the way it all resolved.

The Band of Bastards continue to be interesting and I can’t wait for the next book to see how Layla deals with her promise and where that takes Xcor. Are we seeing a possible resolution or alliance with the brotherhood?  I hope so!

The shadows Trez and his long suffering brother iAm feature prominently and I do like them a lot although I’m not sure how iAm hasn’t strangled his brother yet! I do sympathise with their situation though and the Trez and Selena storyline just makes me want to cry – I don’t know where it’s all going yet but again, I can’t wait to find out.

I think any long running series probably suffers this issue but it seems almost the cast that gets covered each book is getting bigger and while that is good, it also detracts from the ‘main’ story or couple. Is it resolvable? Probably not if we want the series to continue (hell yes we do) so I think it’s a case of get used to it. When it was just the brothers it was easier to keep the books tight but when their stories have been told it has to expand or come to an end. Personally I loved revisiting Wrath and Beth, and long live the king!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: J.R. Ward
  • Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood (12)
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Lover Unleashed

 With Payne paralysed in a freak accident sparring with Wrath, only the best surgeon can give her the chance to walk again.  Dr Manuel ‘Manny’ Manello, is the best in his field and agrees to give Payne that chance.   Discovering a whole hidden world he never knew about he finds a bond he certainly wasn’t looking for, and an old friend he never thought he’d see again.

This book is a little odd in that it doesn’t just focus on Payne and Manny.  Vishous and Jane have their story continued as well which was good, as it was obvious that there were still issues left unresolved in previous books.  It could have ruined the story and been better being released as two books but there is such a close link between Vishous and Payne and the fact they are twins that it worked, and worked well.

I am always amazed at the quality of Ward’s writing, the emotional depths to which she goes for the much loved brotherhood, and Lover Unleashed is no different.  One facet that was different from previous books is that the Lessening Society were more of a footnote than a cause and we are introduced to another set of warriors that have their own agenda.  It was really interesting and opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

I didn’t expect to like Payne as much as I did.  When we first got to know her in Lover Mine, I found her a bit annoying, but here she really comes alive as a character in her own right.  She is a complex mix of the grace and sweetness of the Chosen but with the ability to fight with the best of the Brotherhood.  As the twin of Vishous but with a completely different and sheltered upbringing, she is nothing like him yet has a bond that is purely him.  I had been waiting for the story with Dr ‘Manny’ Manuel Manello since Lover Unbound and Vishous had the word ‘brother’ sound in his head.  I knew there would be something big for him and it was great to see that come to life.  He is very much like Butch, in attitude and personality but with the skills and abilities of  a top class surgeon.  Adding another human to the mix could have caused a lot of problems and weakened the group as a set, but I thought Ward worked him in beautifully.  As for the surprise at the end, that was just brilliant!

Vishous and Jane, oh how I love thee both.  The problems they experience in this book were both sad and sweet.  Vishous had never really dealt with his issues, he was just able to bury them when Jane came along.  Having his sister there and then Manny kicked up a lot of memories and the outfall could have been very bad.  It’s a testament to the couple and how well they are written that they affected me emotionally as well.

The hints with Blay and Qhuinn are so tantalising and Qhuinn’s realisation was agonising, knowing he still wasn’t going to do anything about it, even with a solution staring him in the face so to speak.  I’m really hoping they will have their own story because I love their characters a lot.

Lover unleashed is definitely a book about the characters and less about fighting, although it couldn’t be about the Brotherhood if there wasn’t at least a little combat.  It is a powerful story, emotionally engaging with some very hot scenes.  And it’s very, very good.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a firm favourite and J.R. Ward is simply a genius in the genre.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: J.R. Ward
  • Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood (9)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Dark Lover

 In Caldwell, New York, a secret and hidden war rages on.  The vampires who only want to live their long lives in peace fight the Lessening Society who would see every last one of them dead.  Standing in between them is the Black Dagger Brotherhood, six brothers in arms, warriors to the core who fight to protect what vampire society remains.  When one of their own is killed, he leaves behind a half breed daughter who was raised human and unaware of the other half of her soul.   It falls to Wrath, the blind leader of the Brotherhood to protect her and watch for signs she might go through the transition that is part of her vampiric heritage.  With vengeance on his mind, for the one who killed Darius, Wrath finds his world turned upside down when he meets Beth.

This is the second book I’ve read by J.R. Ward, and is the start of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Having enjoyed Covet a great deal I was curious as to what her take on the vampire mythos would be and what would make it stand out from any other vampire romance book.  I have to say it’s interesting and I love that she’s stripped most of the myths away leaving a couple of core ones but with a twist.

The book itself was fantastic, emotional, very engaging right from the start, with a fast paced plot and explosive action, I couldn’t put it down.  I love authors that have their own style when it comes to writing, something unique that is wholly theirs and makes them stand out from the rest and J.R. Ward definitely has that.  Her characters are superb and larger than life and I felt I got to know them as the book progressed, catching subtle glimpses of who they are behind their warrior façades.  I just fell in love with the main characters of Wrath and Beth, feeling a lot of empathy for them and loving their interactions.

I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did and I highly recommend it if you are looking for something truly great to read in the genre (or even if you feel like a change from another one!).

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: J.R. Ward
  • Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)