The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13) by J.R. Ward

TheShadowsTwo brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.
Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm.
iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.
Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice.

This is a tough one to review for a lot of reasons. First, I totally understand why some people didn’t like it. I get it. I really, really do. For that reason, I honestly hope that those same people understand all the reasons why I’m still sticking with this series. Hopefully we can agree to disagree. There may come a time when I get tired of it, but I haven’t reached that point yet.

The Shadows was not a typical PNR, which upset a lot of readers. I knew how things were going to go for Trez and Selena a little more than half way through the book. I’m not going to lie. I thought about putting the book down and walking away at that point, but I just couldn’t do it. On the off chance that there is a reader out there somewhere that doesn’t know how this story ends, I’m not going to give anything away. Just know that there will be tears.

For me, this story went beyond the love between Trez and Selena. It included the love of the Brothers and the sacrifices that iAm had endured trying to protect Trez from the very beginning. It’s hard to think of a guy like Trez as a good guy, but if you earned his trust you had his support. Because of that, he in turn earned the support of not just Wrath, but every brother as well as their mates. iAm was given the same consideration. There was a powerful connection between them all.

Things didn’t work out perfectly for everyone, but it still came to a satisfying close for me. I’ll even forgive JR Ward for all the tears. At least one of the Shadow brothers walked away with a bittersweet ending and I’m hoping that somewhere down the line that there’s just a little hope for the other.

As is expected in all the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, there’s a lot more going on besides the ‘main event.’ There’s a shift in power inside the Bastard’s camp that is going to prove to be interesting. The Lessers are upping there game and gaining some unexpected alliances. There are also a few new characters coming into the fold that I’m curious about. It also looks like the next book in the series will feature a previous couple which I always enjoy.

So yeah, I’m not quite done with this corny bunch of alpha males. I agree, there’s a lot of ‘name brand’ dropping and more than a little of the ‘same old – same old’ but not enough for me to not still love these guys. I’m looking forward to whatever else JR Ward has in store for some of my favorite Vamps.



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