Author: J.R. Ward

Review: The Savior by J.R. Ward

Posted May 6, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Savior by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
The Savior by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #17
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 479
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

In the venerable history of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, only one male has ever been expelled—but Murhder’s insanity gave the Brothers no choice. Haunted by visions of a female he could not save, he nonetheless returns to Caldwell on a mission to right the wrong that ruined him. However, he is not prepared for what he must face in his quest for redemption.

Dr. Sarah Watkins, researcher at a biomedical firm, is struggling with the loss of her fellow scientist fiancé. When the FBI starts asking about his death, she questions what really happened and soon learns the terrible truth: Her firm is conducting inhumane experiments in secret and the man she thought she knew and loved was involved in the torture.

As Murhder and Sarah’s destinies become irrevocably entwined, desire ignites between them. But can they forge a future that spans the divide separating the two species? And as a new foe emerges in the war against the vampires, will Murhder return to his Brothers... or resume his lonely existence forevermore?

After reading The Thief, I was very much interested in reading The Savior. Murhder is a Brother that has been whispered about through the series. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I thought he was dead. Huh. I guess I didn’t pay enough attention. At the end of The Thief, it was apparent that Murhder was about to make his debut back into to the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

One of the last missions he was given as a Brother was to go to a lab to destroy research that was being done that could possibly hurt their race. What he ended up finding was something that went far beyond research papers. The research company had somehow captured and was doing experiments on vampires themselves. It is at that lab that he initially meets Xhex, who has freed herself so she can escape the torturous experiments.

Fast forward to the present day. Dr. Sarah Watkins does research for a biomedical company. Her finance died of complications from diabetes and Sarah blames herself. It doesn’t help matters that they were at odds when he died. He had become secretive about his work and it soon becomes apparent to Sarah why that was. She discovers a safe deposit box that he opened at their bank and the usb drive tells her the horrific things that are happening where she works. Sarah knows that no one will believe her if she tells them that there are people with four chambered hearts being experimented on, so she goes to investigate herself.

I could keep going on with this review, but I don’t want it to be too long. Sarah and Murhder’s love story was really sweet. Sarah easily accepts the vampires because the medical evidence is right in front of her face. While she does want to panic, she doesn’t have the luxury. John Matthew is fatally injured in the field and it soon becomes apparent that Sarah might be the only one that is capable of helping him. Which is amazing considering that she is only human.

I love Xhex and John Matthew. Their love is strong, but John Matthew’s faith is tested here. There is a new Big Bad introduced. It’s been floating around the last few books, but it finally manifested itself in this book. I’m looking forward to seeing where it leads. Overall, I was really happy about this book even though I was annoyed as I was reading it. When I was done and I thought it over, everything fit together. Everything I was annoyed about just went away as I finished the book. Bravo for this one, JRW.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

four-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ J.R. Ward Giveaway)

Posted April 19, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 8 Comments

Casee: It’s been a slow reading week for me. I haven’t had the time nor the inclination to read. I’ve been reading At the Pleasure of the President (The Perfect Gentlemen #5) by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake for about a week. It’s not that it’s not good because it is. I’ve just had a lack of concentration that’s been driving me crazy. I’m hoping to finish it by today. After that I plan on going back to Kristen Ashley and reading Wild Man (Dream Man #2).

I’ve actually listened to quite a few audiobooks this past week. I found that the first three books in Shayla Black’s More Than Words series were part of the Audible Romance Package, so I decided to give those a try. I have to admit that I did not enjoy More Than Want You (More Than Words #1) at all. I don’t know why I continued, but I did. I listened to More Than Need You (More Than Words #2) and enjoyed that far more. I was going to move onto More Than Love You (More Than Words #3), but decided to take a break. I then tried to listen to Shadow Rider (Shadow Riders #1) by Christine Feehan in anticipation of the release of Shadow Warrior (Shadow Riders #4), but the narrator was God awful. Like, terrible. After that I picked up Lost Hearts (Memento Mori)(Masters & Mercenaries: The Forgotten #1) by Lexi Blake. I’m not a fan of the heroine so far, but the hero is great. We will see how that plays out.

Holly: I’m in a strange reading funk. I want to read, but I don’t want to read anything new. I’m mostly just re-reading things. I read American Witch by Thea Harrison, which was fabulous. I adored Molly and loved the intensity of the romance. Then I started Ice Hot by Tracy Goodwin so I could review it with Rowena, but I ended up DNF’ing it. I couldn’t get into the story and the characters annoyed me. I read The Bride Test by Helen Hoang and it was so wonderful! I even got all teary eyed at the end.

Aside from that, I finished re-reading Wildfire by Ilona Andrews, then I re-read The Gamble by Kristen Ashley and Repeat by Kylie Scott (it was just as good in print, though Andy Ardnt as narrator really added something extra to the story).

I’m still listening to Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper. It’s slow going. I don’t think it’s the book so much as my lack of concentration. I plan to read Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson next. I started it months ago but couldn’t get into it (it wasn’t the book, it was me). Wish me luck?

Rowena: I read some books! I started the week finishing up my re-read of The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen and that was great. Then I didn’t read a thing until I read Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews and enjoyed that one heaps more than the first one. I also read Hook Shot (Hoops #3) by Kennedy Ryan and loved that one. Man, Kennedy Ryan writes the best emotional romances. So freaking good. I also started and DNF’d Ice Hot (New York Nighthawks #1) by Tracy Goodwin, that book just wasn’t for me. The dialogue, the immaturity of both the hero and heroine (the hero is supposed to be a veteran player in the NHL, mentoring younger players and I didn’t buy his whole deal) turned me off that I begged Holly to choose another book for us to read together….so we read The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang together and squee I’m almost done with it and I’m enjoying it so much. I should be finished with it on my lunch hour.

After that, I’ll be re-reading The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5) by Sarina Bowen to finish up my re-read of the series and then I’ll be jumping into Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs because I fell behind in my reading challenges and I chose that book for my entry into this month’s TBR Challenge. I’m still playing catch up but I’m just happy to be reading on a regular basis now. Yay!!

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ J.R. Ward Giveaway)The Thief by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #16
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief, The Savior
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Pages: 454
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: three-stars

New enemies rise and desire burns in the next thrilling novel of the #1 New York Times bestselling paranormal romance series the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Sola Morte, former cat burglar and safecracker, has given up her old life on the wrong side of the law. On the run from a drug lord's family, she is lying low far from Caldwell, keeping her nose clean and her beloved grandmother safe. Her heart, though, is back up north, with the only man who has ever gotten through her defenses: Assail, son of Assail, who never meant to fall in love--and certainly not with a human woman. But they have no future, and not just because she doesn't know he is a vampire, but because he is not about to stop dealing arms to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Fate, however, has other plans for them. When Assail falls into a coma and lingers on the verge of death, his cousins seek out Sola and beg her to give him a reason to live. The last thing she wants is a return to her past, but how can she leave him to die?

As a lethal new enemy of the vampires shows its face, and the Brotherhood needs Assail back on his feet, Sola finds herself not only a target, but a mission-critical force in a war she doesn't understand. And when Assail's truth comes out, will she run from the horror . . . or follow her heart into the arms of the male who loves her more than life itself?

What Are You Reading: The Thief by J.R. Ward

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Guest Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

Posted April 5, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Guest Review: Consumed by J.R. WardReviewer: Tracy
Consumed (Firefighters #1) by J.R. Ward
Series: Firefighters #1
Also in this series: Consumed (Firefighters, #1)
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 417
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Anne Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed...

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again--until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

I want to say that I loved this book but that is so far from the truth of the matter, I can’t even lie about it.

Anne Ashburn is a wreck of a woman.  From page one of the book she has a chip on her shoulder about the size of Montana.  She is a woman in a man’s world and she’s out to prove that she’s just as good as the others.  She very well may have been, until she decided that ignoring the rules about staying in pairs and striking out on her own, in the middle of a burning building, was a good idea. Not only does her best friend almost die by trying to save her, but she loses a limb.  Yeah, great idea, Anne. facepalm

So now Anne can’t be the firefighter she lived to be because she’s minus an arm.  Now she’s investigating arson and hates it.  She has a shitty work ethic and does whatever she damn well pleases most of the time.   When she starts investigating fires that deal with warehouses, like the one she was in, she starts to discover that things aren’t as they should be.  She teams up with Danny, eventually, but does she depend on him when she figures out whodunit?  Of course not – she’s too much of a woman to depend on a man! Ugh.  She actually goes to a remote location by herself and what happens actually proved beyond a shadow of a doubt what an idiot this woman was.  Seriously, she is what Ward thought was a good heroine?  Puhleease. I hope no young adult reads this and thinks Anne is someone to emulate.

Do I recommend this book?  Uh, no.  I did give it an extra ½ star because I read to the end, but that was more like me not being able to take my eyes off a train wreck.  Just sayin’.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

Posted October 2, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Consumed by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Consumed (Firefighters, #1) by J.R. Ward
Series: Firefighters #1
Also in this series: Consumed (Firefighters #1)
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family's scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.


Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed...

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again--until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm . . .

Holy crap. This book was NOT for me. From the beginning to the end, it was just not. I loved The Bourbon Kings series. It was far outside the purview of the BDB. I thought that this new series would be much of the same. Especially after I skimmed (I don’t like spoilers) some of the reviews on GoodReads. I was hopeful. Too hopeful. Bad on me.

I didn’t like Anne Ashburn from the beginning. Not from page one. You could tell she was the type of person that didn’t like following rules, orders, or anything in between. Which usually wouldn’t be a problem one way or the other. The problem in this book is that she’s a firefighter. A firefighter for the love of…ugh. Firefighters have to follow orders or they get dead. If they don’t get themselves dead, they’ll get someone else dead. It’s blatantly obvious that Anne goes against authority when she tells her partner they need to separate during a warehouse fire. After being explicitly told not to split up.

That decision ends up costing her. Big time. It almost costs her her own life and the life of the man she loves. Who rushes into save her after being ordered not to go in after her. Yep, folks. There’s two of them. And they’ve found each other.

Danny McGuire loves Anne and he won’t leave her in the warehouse to burn. What happens between the time he goes in after her and the time he brings her out is something that is seared into his brain. Ten months later he can barely look at himself in the mirror. He takes up drinking, smoking, and sleeping with any woman that will have him. Then one night he gets in a fight at a local bar and his best friend calls in the big guns. Anne.

Anne thought she was done with Danny. Except she’s never done with Danny. The two are literally made for each other. You couldn’t find two more damaged people than the two of them. I understood Danny’s demons. I truly did. He lost his twin brother in a fire, he lost a good friend in a fire, he lost his parents. He has a lot of loss in his life. Anne? I seriously don’t know what her issue was. She had serious hangups from her childhood and she hated her mother, but she let that affect every aspect of her life. It was ludicrous.

A couple of the interesting parts should be mentioned. The mystery was fairly mysterious. So was Anne’s brother Tom. Talk about siblings. They both rather redeemed themselves in the end (when it came to each other and their mother), so that was all right. It was Danny that changed by leaps and bounds though. It was quite the thing to read.

One thing I could not get over, hence my low grade, is that Anne wasn’t just stupid, she was TSTL. Yup. Too Stupid To Live. While investigating the warehouse fires, she figures out who did it. Instead of calling her SWAT friend or her brother or even Danny, what does she do? You guessed it…she goes after the guy herself. Why? Because she’s no mere woman. She doesn’t need a stinking man. Then, she’s so sure she’s right that she decides that she’s going to compromise evidence because she has to prove something to herself. That’s what ultimately threw me over the edge. I can deal with many things. TSTL heroines are not one of them.

I do hate to admit that I might read Tom’s book. I think I hate myself for that.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

two-half-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge DNF Review: The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

Posted September 7, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge DNF Review: The Bourbon Kings by J.R. WardReviewer: Holly
The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings, #1) by J.R. Ward
Series: The Bourbon Kings #1
Also in this series: The Bourbon Kings, The Bourbon Kings, The Angels' Share, Devil's Cut
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 434
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
dnf
Series Rating: three-stars

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

Casee chose this as a book for me in our Summer Reading Challenge. I listened to the audio. I managed to slog through 30+ chapters. If I were close to the end I’d probably finish it, because I want to know if my thoughts about where the plot is heading are right, but there’s still 20 chapters to go. I just can’t. Though I DNF’d it, I’m giving it two stars because the writing was smooth and I enjoyed the narrator.

Beware: Spoilers Abound! Also, lots of curse words! You’ve been warned.

This is a straight up soap opera. The Bradford/Baldwines are a family of Bourbon makers. The operation is huge and long-standing. There are 4 kids. Edward, Max (who we only hear about in passing in this book), Lane and Virginia (Gin for short). The book beings with Lane returning to his family’s estate, Easterly, after a two-year absence because the woman who raised him is deathly ill. He and his TRUE LOVE, Lizzie, fell in love over the course of a summer, then his ex, Chantal, showed up pregnant and he ended up marrying her instead. So Lizzie hates him because he broke her heart (even though she didn’t get the full story from him and jumped to conclusions about his actions). She works at Easterly still, and naturally they see each other as soon as he returns. He’s been gone for two years (ever since he married the wife…he only married her because she was pregnant and he regretted it immediately, esp since she went and had an abortion like a month later). He’s been sticking his head in the sand and refusing to deal with any of it, until he sees Lizzie again and realizes he’s a fucking dumbass for not divorcing his dumbass wife immediately (or better yet, not marrying her at all).

That part of the story isn’t bad. It’s pretty lame and high-schoolish, but whatever. I actually like Lane.

The problem is each of the siblings get chapters in this book. Edward, the oldest, got kidnapped 2 years ago during a business trip to South America and was tortured nearly to death. He’s barely healed now. He’s in constant pain and left running the Bourbon company in favor of taking over the racehorses the family owns. He’s an alcoholic and a recluse who just so happens to be in love with their largest rival’s daughter..someone he can never have. So he hires prostitutes who look like her to come out once a week to service him and wallows.

Gin had a baby at 17 and oops, sort of forgot to tell baby daddy, who she still hate fucks on a regular basis. Only she also fucks everyone else. The more married, the better. Then dear old dad tells she has to marry some old dude who will secure them a lucrative business contract. She’s like “Fuck you” and leaves, so he cuts off all her money and has her arrested for stealing a car. Then they (Lane and Gin) discover that dear old dad has somehow managed to put them $53 million in debt and they have no money. So she goes and begs Baby Daddy (who still doesn’t know he’s a baby daddy) to marry her. Only he turns her down. Because hello she’s a viperous bitch. So now she DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. Oh, you know what she’ll do? Marry skeevy guy her dad tried to force her to marry. He rapes her after she agrees and she just cleans up and goes on about her business. Because that’s what she deserves and honestly, it’s better than being broke. Then Baby Daddy comes back and says she’s right, they love each other and should get married. Except, oops, she’s already engaged to skeevy, rapist dude. Honestly, I’m kind of interested in Samuel T, the Baby Daddy, and how things progress with him and Gin. But not enough to read through three books.

But wait, there’s more…

Remember the unwanted pregnant wife, Chantal, who got an abortion? Turns out she’s pregnant again. This time with HIS DAD’s kid. If Lane doesn’t stay married to her and pass the kid off as his own, she’s going to tell his mom about it…and Mommy Dearest is a very “fragile” woman who lives in a drug-induced haze, so it would probably kill her. Oh, and guess what? Silly Lane didn’t get a prenup.

That’s where I stopped. I just can’t take any more. I mean, if this was almost the end and he was throwing the wife out and getting with the TRUE LOVE, okay. I could finish it. But there’s still twenty chapters left. And this isn’t even the end of the story..the next two books are just continuations of this one. So, nope. I just can’t.

For all my complaining, the story was very well written and I can’t deny it grabbed me and made me want to see what happens next. If the book had been 100 pages shorter, I’d probably have finished it – and read the next two as well.

DNF

2 out of 5 for what I did read.

The Bourbon Kings

dnf


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