Tag: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Review: The Thief by J.R. Ward

Posted June 15, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Thief by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
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
Published by Ballantine
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 454
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

New enemies rise from the shadows in the next novel of the New York Times bestselling paranormal romance series the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Having allied themselves with the Band of Bastards, the Brotherhood is committed now more than ever to eradicating the Lessening Society. Recovering from their most recent battle against the last of the lessers, the Brotherhood comes to realize that the fight against their enemies is far from over.

Throe, Xcor’s former second in command, is using an ancient tome to summon a new army engineered by a force more dangerous and evil than the Omega.

And now the brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will be tested both at home and on the battlefield.

I don’t know where to start with this review. I read this book about six weeks ago. My intent was to let it settle in my mind for a few days, maybe a week, then review it. A week turned into one, then two, then I forgot. So I’m trying to think about what stands out in my mind about Assail and Sola, but nothing really comes to mind. They were kind of blah. Or it might be they were blah because V and Jane were so fucking hot. I mean, like, steaming hot.

After a bunch of stuff went down in The Beast (I think), Sola took her grandmother and went on the run. She ended up in Florida where she is constantly on guard. She has enemies and she is never sure if any of them will find her. She has never forgotten the man that saved her life in Caldwell. She thinks about Assail almost daily, though she hasn’t spoken to him in over a year, nor does she plan to. It is with some dismay that she finds his two cousins on her doorstep with news concerning Assail. He is sick and he needs her. Sola turns down their “invitation” to return to Caldwell. She has her grandmother to protect. They barely made it out of Caldwell alive. Then her grandmother confronts her about returning. There is little she can do after that and she soon finds herself at Assail’s bedside. She can’t believe the difference in the strong forceful man she knows compared to the shell of the man in the hospital bed. Though cancer will do that to a man.

Oh yeah, she doesn’t know vampires exist. That will be a problem.

As for V and Jane…they have big problems. Why? Because relationships aren’t all flowers and puppies. They need to be worked on. V and Jane haven’t worked on their relationship at all. They are barely roommates. V is feeling an itch to return to his old life and Jane has no idea. All she cares about is her patients. They are forced to confront their problems when Jane catches V almost cheat on her. It is so heartbreaking that I almost cried. Almost. Seeing these two find their way back to each other was the best part of this book. I loved it. These two made the book for me. Sola and Assail disappeared. It was all about V and Jane. Jane and V. V. Jane. Love.

Lassiter’s secret came out. The war escalates in a dangerous way. I found the book intriguing. When Sola found out vampires existed, I was rolling my eyes so hard I’m surprised they didn’t roll out of my head. Then I started wondering what I would have done if I found out vampires existed. My reaction probably would have been the same as hers. So I tried not to judge. But seriously, her reaction seemed a little overboard. And annoying.

V and Jane. Sigh.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

three-half-stars


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Review: The Chosen by J.R. Ward

Posted April 10, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Chosen by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
The Chosen by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #15
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, Lover Mine, The Thief
Published by Ballantine Books
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 544
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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four-stars

A scorching forbidden love threatens to tear a rift through the Black Dagger Brotherhood in J. R. Ward’s newest novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

With so many secondary characters, it is hard to review this book. I’m going to give it my best shot without rambling, so stick with me.

The Chosen started off where The Beast left off. The Brotherhood still hold Xcor captive and they’re waiting for him to wake up to do whatever they need to do with him. Tohr wants to kill him, but he can’t. The Band of Bastards are in the wind. Layla had the twins. Throe wants to overthrow Wrath and be the King of the race. The Scribe Virgin is no more.

If you were worried about Layla being a boring heroine (which I was), you needn’t have worried. She was fierce. From the beginning of the book, all Layla could think about was that she betrayed Wrath and the Brotherhood. She never put her love for Xcor above her duty to her King or her love her her children. She didn’t have her head in the clouds. She knew that she and Xcor had no future. Love isn’t all it took. Love by itself doesn’t solve everything after all. She had children to consider. What she didn’t consider what the Qhinn would go off the deep end when he found out that she was seeing Xcor. And boy, did he ever.

Qhinn was incredibly sweet at first. He didn’t know about Layla’s betrayal and thought she had postpartum depression. He was extremely worried about her. That changed in a heartbeat when he found out what she did. Then he turned into a psycho. No joke. He was a maniac. I can’t even describe what an asshole he turned into. I wanted to throat punch him. He deserved it. The way he treated Layla, Blay, and even his own daughter deserved a throat punch or three.

Xcor and Layla realized that they had no future, so every moment they spent together was like their last. Layla wouldn’t let Xcor hide from her. Xcor was so used to hiding himself. His childhood was heartbreaking all because of a birth defect that he had no control over. Xcor was ready for Layla to turn away from him at any time, but she never did. The time they spent together was even more special because any moment could be the last. It was just sad.

Wrath was intense. So freaking intense. It doesn’t matter that he’s blind, you don’t cross the guy. Which Tohr and Qhinn did. They put their vengeance before their King and they got told. Both of them. I can understand (a little), that Tohr would go against Wrath. Kind of. A little. But Qhinn? He’s just been recently inducted into the Brotherhood. That he would go against Wrath? No. Wrath isn’t having any of that. This book totally makes me want to reread Dark Lover.

V and Jane. I never liked them together. V and Butch all the way. Jane is too absorbed in her career. And V needs someone that is a little absorbed in him, I believe. Not overly absorbed, but a little. Right? Yeah. Well, V is looking to cheat. That’s right. V and Jane are on totally separate pages here and V is considering cheating on his mate. Who does that? I appreciate that JRW doesn’t just end a book with a HEA the end period. But cheating? That’s harsh. V is so damaged so seeing him so torn up over this was some good reading.

The end was a little too pat for me. I mean, really. If you read it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Come on. The scene with the four of them and the babies? Seriously. After all that angst? Please. Gag me. The thing with Lassiter? The only way it could have happened. Tohr and Autumn? Sigh. I love those two. Qhinn and Blay? Blay deserves better. The only redeeming moment for Qhinn in this book was when Blay called and Qhinn dropped his vengeance and went after him. Overall, I was happy with this book.

Assail and Sola’s book is next.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

four-stars


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Guest Review: Lover At Last by J.R. Ward

Posted May 2, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Lover At Last by J.R. WardReviewer: Chrystal
Lover at Last by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #11
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief
Published by NAL
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 608
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Goodreads
three-stars

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: it seems Qhuinn has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young. It’s hard for Blay to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. And Qhuinn needs to come to terms with some dark things before he can move forward…

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together… finally become one.

As with all Black Dagger Brotherhood fans, I was excited to finally be able to read Qhuinn and Blay’s story. Until I read it. I loved the start, the Prologue actually brought tears to my eyes. Ward builds an amazingly beautiful but violent and passionate world in this book, just like the books before it. She has a beautiful way of seamlessly integrating new characters, and setting the scene for future story lines. But this book wasn’t supposed to be about Assail and Sol, or Trez and his arranged betrothal to the Shadows queen.  It was supposed to be about Qhuinn and Blaylock.

I have to honestly say this was the weakest part of the storyline. It was very disappointing to read the few parts that were meant to be the key elements to this book. They were so few, and felt very forced. One minute they hate each other, the next they are screwing like there is no tomorrow, then again they hate each other. At one point at the very end I began to question if this book was going to give us a happy ending (seriously it was the last chapter!) they finally worked things out!!!!!!!

I wish I could say I loved the book. Qhuinn is after all my absolute favorite character in the series. But I almost feel that their story would have been better off as a novella. At least that way the two would have been given the attention they deserved. I’m not opposed to books building up a story line for other characters for future books, but this time the main story line suffered greatly. There was too much anticipation and build up for a book that had very little to do with the main characters. It was, in my opinion, anticlimatic when you think about this book in comparison to the build up for it in the previous books.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Black Dagger Brotherhood

three-stars


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Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

Posted October 2, 2007 by Casee in Discussions, Reviews | 13 Comments

Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #5
Also in this series: Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief
Published by Signet
Publication Date: October 1, 2007
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 502
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Goodreads
three-stars

The ruthless and brilliant brother Vishous possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that does not include her...

I’ve been sitting on this review for a few days. Why? Because I’m still trying to process where it all went wrong. After finishing the book, I was sitting on my couch just thinking “Whaaaaa?”. I’m sure it was quite amusing for my husband when I started muttering to myself about the book and the series and wondering WTF happened.

Bottom line: I’m over the series. When I read Dark Lover, OMG, I was obsessed. I couldn’t wait until Lover Eternal. Then Lover Awakened. After that, my obsession level went way down. Lover Revealed ended my obsession all together, but V is one of the Brothers that I had been waiting for (Tohr is the other one). While I wasn’t expecting spectacular, I wasn’t expecting Jane to turn into a GHOST at the end of the book. A ghost, fcol. I don’t care what fancy-smancy words are used to make it sound less ghost-like. A ghost is a ghost. And Jane is a GHOST. *headdesk*

So the book went like this…

Early on, it’s revealed that the Scribe Virgin is V’s mother. Whoop-de-do. This really should have been more shocking to me than it was. Especially considering how clueless I usually am. Basically, good ‘ol Mom tells V that she’s waited the agreed upon 300 years that she gave him up to ask him to step up to be the Primale. What this means is that V will mate with about billion Chosen and have about a gazillion children who will in turn help fight the War. The War? What War? Ohhhhh, the War that the Brotherhood is fighting against the Lessers to prevent the total annihilation of the vampire species? I’d forgotten about that since the War has basically gone on the BDB back burner since Dark Lover. One of the foremost focuses of the series seems (to me) to have been forgotten. Not that I missed all the POV from the Lessers, but come on. It’s all about shock value now.

After being taken to the hospital, V’s life is saved by Dr. Jane Whitcomb. When his Brothers arrive to bust him out, they take Jane with them at V’s insistence. See, even though V hasn’t been having visions, he had one while at the hospital and he knew that he had to take Jane with him. Not to mention that he feels the mating urge when he looks at her. So off they go to the Brotherhood’s fortress, hostage in tow.

Jane soon realizes that her patient is not human. Though a part of her is horrified, the scientific part of her is fascinated and wants to study their genes. Yeah, Wrath was really down for that. Not. Anyway, V tells Jane that she will only be there until he’s fully healed. Then she’ll be able to go back to her life with no memories of her time with him. She’s not too happy about that.

Anyway…I’m just going to go straight to the things that I didn’t like b/c the plot is pretty much explained by the book description. V wants Jane. Jane wants V. V gave his word to the Scribe Virgin before meeting Jane, so he can’t break it. V must also let Jane go b/c she has a life in the human world.

Complaint #1: Way too much Phury. Way too much. I’ve never really been that intrigued by Phury. Now I’m even less so. Though he wasn’t as obviously tortured as Zsadist or V, he was tortured. He looked for his twin brother for hundreds of years before he found him. He cut off his own leg. He’s celibate. Before Z mated to Bella, he routinely beat Z up at his request. So the guy was tortured. Now he’s a junkie. He’s addicted to “red smoke”. He’s also found that he’s addicted to pain. Yup, addicted to pain, just like Z was. *rolleyes* How clichéd. He’s obsessed w/ Bella. Like stalker-like obsessed. It was freaking creepy. In Z’s book, it was kind of sadly sweet. In LU it was just icky. So now he’s the Primale. Since he failed to lose his virginity (not for lack of trying) in LU, he’ll now be able to lose it with a zillion Chosen women. Go Phury.

Complaint #2: Payne. W.T.F.????? I still need to go back and re-read that part. Seriously. What the f was up with that? So not only did the SV hide Payne from V’s dad, the Bloodletter, but she has her in suspended animation? Huh?

Why does Ward feel the need to make this series complicated? I’m a huge SK fan, but the Dark-Hunter world is waaaaay complex. I’m sure that throwing in all the Greek mythology doesn’t help matters. What is Ward’s reason? Again, shock value. Now we have another character that is going to get her own story. Because obviously there aren’t enough characters to write about.

All I’m waiting for now is for Ward to announce that Payne is Wellsie reincarnated. Btw, if that happens to be true just remember that Clueless Casee figured it out first. *snort*

Complaint #3: No Tohr. How effed up is that? John Matthew went through his transition. The fact that Tohr wasn’t there, even in a dream or some contrived thing like that, really annoyed me. Regarding Tohr, Ward needs to be careful that she doesn’t make her readers (*cough*me*cough*) lose interest in a character that was around for 2.5 books before he disappeared. Especially when she’s presumably planning to have him make a big and shockingly shocking comeback.

Complaint #4: Manny Manello, M.D. It was heavily eluded to that Manny is a Brother. Ooookay, then. At this point, the BDB just needs to take out an ad. Wanted: Fighting machine. Must be at least 6’7 and 300lbs. Males preferred, but females considered. Vampire or human ok. Fax resume and salary history to 555-555-5555 Attn: Fritz.

Now that I’ve gotten a few of the things I didn’t like out of the way, here’s something I really liked. Ward finally admitted that V had man-love for Butch. Even if it was done in a total contrived manner, whatev. I can see if a reader had never read a m/m or m/m/f book that this would be shocking or uncomfortable. To me, it wasn’t. I think that it was about freaking time that it was finally spelled out in black and white. V wanted to make luuuurve w/ Butch. He was jealous of Marissa. Of course all that went away quite nicely when V found Jane. So she didn’t make her readers too uncomfortable by making them accept the issue for a long period of time. I’m sure that V was pissed at Ward for not letting him have at least one real love scene with Butch. Actually, I think that’s why V never wants to talk to Ward when she visits the Brothers.

I also enjoyed the relationship between V and Jane. When V finally broke down and went back to return Jane’s memory, I was really curious to see how they were going to work out the small matter of Jane’s aging. I would have been perfect happy if the book ended with Jane living at the Pit, but not having any resolution to the aging issue. Why-oh-why did Ward have to go and make Jane a fucking GHOST? I’m still stuck on that and pretty disgusted, too. I think the ending was a total cop-out.

My final thoughts…the series originally started out with six Brothers. Wrath, Rhage, Zsadist, Vishous, Phury, and Tohrment. Now we have a whole slew of additional characters that are going to need their own books before Tohr speaks to Ward and gives her permission to write about him. If I seem bitter about that, well, I am bitter. Now we have Rehvenge, John Matthew/Tehrror, Payne, Xhex, Muhrder, Qhuinn, and Blaylock. Those are the the few that pop into my head. After Rehv’s book, when she introduces more of sympaths, there will probably be a bunch more. So why am I so bitter? Because, six books turned into ten. Now it’s open-ended. It’s also gone into hardcover way early. I definitely need to dust off my library card. There’s no way I’m buying these things in hardcover. Okay, okay. I probably will. Maybe.

So thank you, J.R. Ward. I am happy to say that I’m not eagerly awaiting Phury’s book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

three-stars


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