Blood Kiss

July 13, 2016 - 4:56 pm No Comments

The Black Dagger Legacy
Author: J R Ward
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release date: 2nd June 2016
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin



I’m not new to JR Ward but I am new to the Brotherhood series; which did not remotely impede my enjoyment of this latest installment. It starts with Paradise, blooded daughter of the King’s First Advisor, living in a patriarchal society where, as a high born lady, she is expected to follow a particular course in life. But Paradise wants to escape the restrictions of her upbringing so her answer is to apply to join the Black Dagger Brotherhood training centre programme. But this is no simple task. She must fight figuratively, and literally, for her new place in life.
The initial application programme is gruelling, but amidst the physical and emotional trials she must face, Paradise finds herself drawn to fellow applicant Craeg; handsome, strong, smart and distant. But he can’t resist the lure of Paradise, despite initially dismissing her as a ‘dumb blonde’.
As the training programme progresses we get to know the other applicants; Paradise’s best friend and joker Peyton, fiercely independent and liberal female Novo, and head trainer Butch aka, The Dhestroyer, who has emotional troubles of his own. His mate Marissa who works at Safe Place (a domestic abuse refuge) is traumatised by the brutal murder of a young woman, and Butch is intent on helping her find out who the woman was and why she was killed.
What I expected, on reading the blurb, was an easygoing straightforward read, a dash of romance, a hint of humour, a lot of sex and a shedload of blood and violence.
Well, I got all of that and so much more. The relationships are real, the characterisations solid, the narrative laced with humour, sensibilities and a lots of social commentary. Though the war and past battles are talked of in retrospect, the impact on the society are obvious, with many combatants and survivors suffering PTSD. All of the issues in the novel (domestic abuse, loss, status and reputation) are dealt with in a compassionate but exploratory manner. It makes for a book full of depth, and integrity. Both an enjoyable read, hot and steamy where needed and immense fun. I’m definitely interested in the series as a whole and want to read more about the other characters, particularly Lassiter.
In short, this was an absolute blast.

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