Blood Fury (Black Dagger Legacy #3) by J.R. Ward

A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his class and carry on his family’s traditions. And he thought he’d found his perfect match—until she fell in love with someone else. Yet when his split-second decision in a battle with the enemy endangers the life of another trainee, Peyton has to face the idea that his future, and his heart, actually lie with another.
Novo, as a female in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training program, feels like she has to prove herself to everybody—and she has no interest in being distracted by falling in love. But when Peyton proves to be so much more than a rich playboy, she is forced to confront the tragedy that has broken her soul and closed her off from love.
As the two grapple with Novo’s past and Peyton’s present, another couple must contend with an erotic connection that is unparalleled—and potentially scandalous. 
Saxton, who has had his heart broken, discovers in himself a deep-seated attraction to Ruhn, a new member of the household. But will the other male explore the connection? Or will he close his mind and his heart to what could be true love . . . and cost Saxton everything?

Even though Black Dagger Legacy is a separate series, it is so tied into The Black Dagger Brotherhood that probably needs to be read – as suggested – in the order published. I’ve done that, for the most part, but as usual, I’ve had to do some back tracking. I’m actually kind of glad that I did, because even though this book falls immediately after The Chosen, I read it right after Blood Vow. I picked up Black Dagger Legacy before I realized how strong the connection between the series was to the BDB. If I would have read them in the actual true order, I don’t think I would have been in tune to Ruhn as I was. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

So, yeah, the Black Dagger Legacy series features the trainees as the main focus, but there is also a connection to familiar characters within the BDB. Glimpses that go beyond previous couples’ original stories. I’ve loved those glimpses so far, but in the case of Blood Fury, the focus is on someone that is long overdue in finding his HEA. Although I loved reading about Peyton and Novo, I adored Saxton and Ruhn’s story even more. ❤

Peyton has come a long way since he was first introduced in Blood Kiss. He was a spoiled aristocrat who was pining away for someone who didn’t return his feelings. Once she was bonded with another male within the program the attraction should have ended, but of course it didn’t. Once readers got to know him better, it was obvious that there was a lot more to him than the rich playboy. He was broken and he eventually realized that his attraction to Paradise was more about emotionally connecting to someone than connecting physically. It was nothing like the attraction he felt toward Novo.

Novo didn’t make things easy though. She was even more broken than Peyton and she held a tragic secret that she had shared with no one and never planned to. When she was hurt in the field, there was a shift in their relationship and it wasn’t just the guilt that Peyton felt for knowing that he unintentionally caused it. Their attraction grew, but trust was hard to come by for both of them.

Then there was Saxton and Ruhn. Readers already knew about Saxton’s heartbreak. He was loyal to the King and the rest of the BDB, but it was almost physically painful to be around Blay and Qhuinn. Ruhn was the first person that he had encountered that eased those feeling just a little. Rhun felt the attraction to, but he had no idea what to do with it. He was raised in a way that didn’t even consider anything but a male – female pairing. His attraction to another male was terrifying, but it felt more right than anything he had ever felt for anyone else. His back story was tragic and it was a past that he didn’t want to remember.

There was so much to love about Blood Fury
• The working relationship and mutual respect between Wrath and Saxton.
• Wrath’s no-nonsense approach to ruling
• Manny’s no-nonsense and unapologetic approach to the care of his patients
• Manny’s comic relief during – he was the star of many interactions
• The way that everyone who knew about Ruhn’s past held no judgement agains him, only admiration that he had survived and was a true member of their family, regardless of his past

The BDB has focused on the ridiculous way that the aristocrats hold on to the old ways, but it seems like at times that aspect is front and center in the Black Dagger Legacy series. Maybe that’s because a lot of the trainees either come from those families or have been deeply affected by them and their actions. Wrath has no patience with their prejudice – which is rampant. Neither does the rest of the BDB, which is a great example to impart to the generation that they’re training.

Yeah, I know I rambled and I know that some readers have become disenchanted with the BDB. I’m one of those die-hard fans though. Of course, I have my favorites and I have some books in the series that I didn’t get drawn into as much as the rest, but I’m far from getting tired of the BDB. The Thief is next in the time-line reading order and it returns to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Since I’m just a little bit behind, I’m sure it won’t be long before I pick it up. 😉



Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy #2) by J.R. Ward

The Black Dagger Brotherhood continues to train the best of the best to join them in the deadly battle against the Lessening Society. Among the new recruits, Axe proves to be a cunning and vicious fighter—and also a loner isolated because of personal tragedy. When an aristocratic female needs a bodyguard, Axe takes the job, though he’s unprepared for the animal attraction that flares between him and the one he is sworn to protect.
For Elise, who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder, Axe’s dangerous appeal is enticing—and possibly a distraction from her grief. But as they delve deeper into her cousin’s death, and their physical connection grows into so much more, Axe fears that the secrets he keeps and his tortured conscience will tear them apart.
Rhage, the Brother with the biggest heart, knows all about self-punishing, and he wants to help Axe reach his full potential. But when an unexpected arrival threatens Rhage and Mary’s new family, he finds himself back in the trenches again, fighting against a destiny that will destroy all he holds most dear.
As Axe’s past becomes known, and fate seems to be turning against Rhage, both males must reach deep—and pray that love, rather than anger, will be their lantern in the darkness.

So, I guess I’m playing catch up, or maybe backtracking? I purchased Blood Kiss a while ago and although I knew that Black Dagger Legacy was a spin-off of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I didn’t realize how connected it was until I was already two books ahead in the original series. So, in an effort to keep that happening to any other clueless reader – here’s the link to the Reading Order of both series courtesy of J.R. Ward’s website. You’re welcome 😉

Axe was the “bad boy” of the group of trainees. Or at least that’s the side of himself that he let everyone see. Once Elise and Axe are forced to spend more time together, Elise sees that side that not even Axe truly sees in himself. It’s almost as if he’s a different person when he’s around Elise.

Although I liked the story between Elise and Axe, it was Rhage, Mary and Bitty (along with a certain fallen angel) that really drew me in. Their part of the story just about broke my heart and made me love their little family even more. But the real pull was the love and support that they gained from their extended family was amazing. And yeah, Lassiter kind of stole the show.

Next up for the Black Dagger Legacy is Blood Fury, which means I’ll finally be caught up and can continue with The Thief from the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy #1) by J.R. Ward

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.
And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

It’s been a while since I’ve read any books in this world… well, actually it’s been a couple of months since I read The Chosen, but I had a LONG BDB dry spell before then. *sigh* I’ve also had this book for what seems like forever and it was one of the first that I picked up once I realized how long it had been since I had read a physical book. Now I make it a habit to read at least one book off of my actual shelves along with whatever I’m currently reading on my Kindle, but that’s another story.

Blood Kiss is the first book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Legacy series and I love the concept. Along with new recruits, each book in this series revolves around a couple from the Brotherhood. This one revisits one of my favorite couples, Butch and Marissa. ❤

Paradise doesn’t take the easy way of rebelling against the aristocratic way of life. The initiation into the BDB’s program is NOT for the faint of heart. The only way that she thinks this will work is if she’s not recognized as an aristocrat to the rest of the recruits. Which is the only reason that she has a chance with Craeg. He has a good reason not to trust anyone with Paradise’s background. He may not be what her father would expect or want for his daughter, but he’s proven more than once that he’s a male of worth, which is all that matters to her.

As for Marissa and Butch? They’re suffering for a lack of communication and a need to protect each other. Nothing new, but it was great spending some time with them, even under stress. They both still had baggage from their past that they needed to unravel, they just needed to figure out that it was easier to do that together, rather than apart.

Although this series isn’t technically part of the main series, events overlap, so J.R. Ward has a reading order to follow. (Which I’ve already screwed up, BTW) You can find it on her website, if you want.  I’m going to make a valiant attempt to follow it from now on… maybe?

DragonFlyRating5

The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15) by J.R. Ward

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.

It’s been a while since I read The Beast, which was the 14th book in The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. To be honest, I probably should have gone back for a quick re-read before I picked up The Chosen, but it didn’t take me too long to catch up.

Layla was in an impossible position. She loved her life for the most part. She had two beautiful, healthy children and two supportive males who loved them as much as she did. Plus she had the entire brotherhood, their mates and the staff as well. Yet, her heart belonged to the enemy and there was no way to be with him and keep her family together. That’s basically the gist of the story. It’s how Xcor and Layla overcome all these odds that keeps the pages turning.

As with most Black Dagger Brotherhood stories, Layla and Xcor aren’t the only focus, although even the side stories revolve around them to an extent. There are a lot of crazy revelations and some surprising outcomes. Hopefully it won’t be 2+ years before I get a chance to pick up The Thief and The Savior because I really, really want to read Where Winter Finds You… *sigh*

As for The Chosen… here are some of the things that struck me the most:

  • More than one Brother needed a LONG time-out
  • Wrath is still the biggest, baddest of them all and will remain one of my favorites
  • What in the h*ll is V thinking?!?
  • The females in the brotherhood are the only ones with level heads (most of the time)
  • Qhuinn… I have no words… none
  • Blay pretty much broke me
  • Trez… Where Winter Finds You can’t come soon enough
  • Thor… I haven’t been this frustrated with him in a VERY long time

I think that about covers it. Of course, there were quite a few other things going on and some added craziness on the sidelines that will be coming to a head soon. I know that there are lots of readers who think that this series has gone on long enough, but I’m not one of them. I love the BDB and will continue following them as long as J.R. Ward choses to write about them. 😉

The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14) by J.R. Ward – Bout-of-Books 18 Review

thebeastNothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself 
For Rhage the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart life was supposed to be perfect. Or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. But he can’t understand or control the panic and insecurity that plague him. Terrified, he must reassess his priorities after suffering a mortal injury. And the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his and his beloved Mary’s world… 

Gotta tell ya, Rhage scared me in this one. To be honest, he scared pretty much everyone who cared about him, including himself. He wasn’t quite sure where his head was or his heart, which was totally not like him since his Mary came into his life. So yeah, he scared me. Mary scared me and then they both totally broke me. *sigh*

It’s kind of hard not to know where things are going from pretty early on, but the journey is so totally worth it, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else. Just know that a LOT happens in The Beast and not just to Mary and Rhage.

One of the things I like most about this series is something that some readers complain about, which is the multiple POVs. I love spending page time with familiar characters and the introduction of new characters. To me it gives this series a ‘family’ feel, which is exactly what the Brotherhood is. More than once in The Beast, the entire family was there physically for whoever was in need of their support.

There were tears – both happy and sad, life or death situations, more than a few nail biting moments, some jaw dropping revelations and alliances that were unexpected. Pretty much what faithful readers have come to expect from the BDB and more.

Needless to say I can’t wait until the next book in the series is released. I’ve been patiently waiting on the paperback versions for the last couple of books, but but I don’t think I can put off The Chosen (Layla & Xcor) that long. Plus, there are so many other loose ends left hanging at the end of The Beast. Waiting until April will be long enough.

DragonFlyRating5

 

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.

DragonFlyRating4

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. And if he can’t have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.

I’m not sure if I’m in the minority here or not, but Lover Revealed is one of my favorite BDB books. I’m not saying that Butch is my favorite character – I’ve said more than once that I can’t pick one, but there is just something about this one that draws me in. I don’t know if it’s because of how much Butch wants to belong, the connection between him and Vishous, his love and respect for all the brothers or his raw devotion to Marissa. I just know that my opinion about Lover Revealed doesn’t change no matter how many times I read it.

Butch doesn’t have as much back story as the vampires that he is surrounded by, but it doesn’t make what he has experienced any less painful. We saw how unconnected to anyone he was when Ward first introduced him in Dark Lover. He’s come a long way since then. In each book he’s come closer and and more trusted by the Brotherhood. He’s still on the fringes though and he’s also in love with someone who he feels is totally out of reach. Ward’s solution to Butch’s circumstance is brilliant.

Marissa may have been surrounded by family and aristocracy, but she is just as disconnected as Butch. They are perfect together. I love her devotion to Butch and his patience and tenderness with her. I love the way she learns to stand up for herself (even though she made me mad more than once) and watching her grow as an individual, not just a ‘token’ female.

The journey that all the characters take in Lover Revealed is sometimes painful to watch, but it builds to where it needs to go. Without the pain the good parts wouldn’t be nearly as good. The rewards in this one are almost worth the pain.

Butch, Vishous and Marissa are front and center in Lover Revealed, but other characters are also featured and we see sides of them that we haven’t seen before. John Matthew goes through a lot in this book and his story is far from over. We get to learn more about Rehvenge and Xhex is also introduced. I think the biggest surprise to some readers will be a glimpse into the softer side of Wrath. I’ve always liked Wrath, but Lover Revealed shows you just how compassionate a king he is and how devoted he is to those he considers his family.

Who was my favorite character in Lover Revealed? Even though I don’t have a favorite brother, Vishous was my favorite character in this book. He may be the most broken of all the brothers. He just does a great job of hiding it. His love for Butch is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Butch’s love and devotion to him is almost equal to his love of Marissa. It’s just not something you see very often and having these strong men break down and show each other that raw emotion makes them more real. Ward does a great job of making these characters ‘human.’

Okay, I’ve gushed enough. The next book in the series is Lover Unbound. It’s another heartbreaker, but what book in this series isn’t? Ward rewards us for sticking with her through the heartbreak though. That’s what keeps us coming back for more. 😉

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

If you polled BDB readers about who their favorite brother was, odds are Zsadist would come out on top. You may be hard pressed to figure out why until you read Lover Awakened. Trust me, once you’ve read it, even if he isn’t your favorite, you will totally understand why he is chosen by so many.

Ward introduces us to Zsadist in Dark Lover in a very strong way. She lets you see exactly how unbalanced, feared and savage he can be. The only person who trusts him at all is his twin, Phury. In Lover Eternal we’re given a glimpse of Z’s vulnerability and Bella’s initial attraction to him. Lover Awakened brings Z’s story full circle and it is totally worth the wait.

In the first two books in this series Ward gives us a little bit of information on the background of Wrath and Rhage. Lover Awakened is the first book in the series that I feel really delves into the character’s background. Because Zsadist and Phury are so tied together you get to see their history from both of them. The background stories are painful, but they give you an important image of the characters. Their history is what makes them who they are now. Without these histories, you wouldn’t really know or appreciate where either Phury or Zsadist are coming from in this book. It was very well done and adds a lot to the feel of the book.

Zsadist is given almost a child-like quality in Lover Awakened. For all his strength and anger, he really is clueless when it comes to love. Not necessarily loving others but allowing himself to be loved or feeling like he deserved it. He doesn’t feel worthy and pushes everyone away. I think it’s all these qualities that make us all love him so much. Bella’s patience with Zsadist along with her determination and love for him make this one of the most touching books in the series. Hard to believe that this isn’t one of my favorite books in the series isn’t it? Imagine how someone who is totally devoted to Zsadist would review it? 😉

Lover Awakened not only deals with Zsadist and Bella, but true to Ward’s style with this series, several new characters are introduced and other characters’ POV are given. That’s what keeps this series so interesting. We learn a lot more about John Matthew, Butch is given some more time and some important key characters that will be featured in future books are finally introduced.

I think that I should stop before I give any more away. I’ll just leave you with a warning. As much as Lover Eternal was the first book in the series that broke my heart, parts of this book tore it apart. Expect more tears. There is a lot of pain in this one, but there is also a lot of love and there are even a few surprises. Hang in there, as usual, there is a balance and Ward makes it all worth it. Enjoy!

I’m not even sure how many times I’ve read this one, but when a book can make you feel as much as this one does no matter how many times you read it…. well, there you go. 

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Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood #2) by J.R. Ward

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret bound of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed bu a deadly beast Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant to Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…

DejaVuReviewGraphicI’m not sure exactly what it is about these BDB boys, but they totally get under my skin. It’s not just the heat (not that the ‘heat’ isn’t worth reading) it’s the intense emotions that these tortured souls evoke. Wrath’s book gave us just a glimpse into his mysterious brothers. Even though Dark Lover may be one of my favorites, Lover Eternal was the first book that came close to breaking my heart. Yep, the emotion is that intense. At least it was for me.

We were introduced to Rhage’s beast in Dark Lover. We saw the torment, pain and fear he experienced each time the beast took over. In Lover Eternal we saw even more of the pain Rhage lived with, more than he even let the brothers see. Rhage put up quite a front and hid behind his reputation. On the surface he was a playboy, but underneath that mask he was broken. Then Mary came into his life. They weren’t looking for each other, but fate brought them together. Their story is amazingly beautiful and heartbreaking. They need each other desperately but there is so much going against them that the odds are insurmountable. Yes there were tears. More than once there were tears.

I love the way these books are written, mainly because Ward gives each of her key characters a voice. It gives the story so much more depth. You get inside not only Rhage and Mary’s head, but you also get a feel for everyone else, including the bad guys. Several new characters were also introduced in Lover Eternal, which keeps things interesting.

One of the best things about these books is the cast of characters and they are always changing. Ward keeps throwing new players into the mix. That’s a good thing, because as long as there are new characters, there will be new books. As long as there are new BDB books, I will keep reading them. It’s a vicious cycle I know, but one I’m fully prepared to continue. 😉

On a side note, I think this marks my 3rd time reading Lover Eternal. Yeah, it’s kind of corny at times and yeah there were some moments that weren’t exactly perfect, but my initial feeling about this one still hasn’t changed. When I read a book this many times and there are moments that still hit me hard enough to make me even a little teary, I can’t deny it. I’m just one of those readers that is still and always will be a lover of the BDB. 😉

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Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11) by J.R. Ward

LoverAtLastQhuinn, 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: 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.

Those of us who are stead fast fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood have been waiting for this book since we noticed the first spark between Blay and Qhuinn. Every moment of denial about their true feelings has been pure torture. Thank goodness they finally get their turn. That’s not to say that this book immediately brought them to where they ultimately needed to be. That’s just not Ward’s style. No, she has to make her readers work for it. I’m not complaining though. The wait is usually worth it and Lover At Last definitely came through.

This was one of those books that I spent a lot of time wanting to grab the characters by their ears, throw them in a room and make them talk. The thing is that Blay and Qhuinn were both equally stubborn. They both wanted the best for each other and neither one of them thought that they were it. Silly warriors. *sigh* Blay thought that Qhuinn had committed himself to Layla and Qhuinn thought that Blay was totally committed to Saxton. It seems that they were the only two people that were totally oblivious to the fact that they were meant for each other. As frustrating as it was, it was necessary. It just wouldn’t have been a BDB book if things would have just fallen into place now would it? 😉

What were some of my favorite moments in Lover At Last? I loved that Qhuinn finally got a chance to shine – out from under the shadow of his miserable childhood. Blay’s parents were the polar opposite of Qhuinn’s and I loved them even more by the end of this book. I also found a whole new respect for Saxton. As much as I wanted to hate him for keeping Qhuinn and Blay apart, he stepped aside. Trust me, there’s a lot more to love that you just have to experience for yourself. For me, these were just the highlights. Not necessarily one of my favorite moments but one that was totally deserved was when Havers had to face a couple of irate warriors. I honestly didn’t think I could hate him any more than I already did but the good doctor hit an all time low in Lover At Last.

As with all of the BDB books, there is a lot more going on than just between the two main characters. Lover At Last was full of side stories. Granted, some of them were more interesting than others, but they all added to the intrigue. I’m going to enjoy getting to know some of these characters even better. Including the Band of Bastards, especially Xcor. I really never thought I’d say that, but he’s kind of growing on me. Trez and iAm had quite a story line going on as well and getting to know more about these Shadow brothers is going to be more than a little interesting.

Was Lover At Last perfect? Of course not, very few books are. There could have been a little more from some characters and a little less from others, but all in all it was everything I expected and then some. Things are far from settled as far as the war between the race and the lessers, but that’s okay. It just means that there is much more to come. Given the fact that the next book is The King (yep, we’re back to Wrath in Book #12) things are far from over for our beloved Black Dagger Brotherhood, and that’s a very good thing. 😉DragonFlyRating5