Review: Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward


BloodKissBlood Kiss
J.R. Ward
Rating: B

What I’m Talking About:

Blood Kiss is the debut novel in Ms. Ward’s spin-off series, Black Dagger Legacy.  For fans of the series, it is a fascinating look at how the Black Dagger Brotherhood will increase the number of soldiers along with checking in on previous couples.  Those new to the world may enjoy it, but won’t have the full appreciate as followers will.

I enjoyed the continuing story of Marissa and Butch: that the happily-ever-after (HEA) continues but not without work and choice.  The fact that Butch tries to shield Marissa, even though her work brings her face to face with domestic violence victims, causes conflict.  It is also fascinating to see that Butch hasn’t lost any of his detective skills and intuition.  I look forward to seeing how his desire to protect the innocent (and by connection, helping Marissa find justice for some of her clients) will bring about change in the vampire community.  The seeds were definitely planted in this novel.

The other couple followed in this novel is Paradise and Craeg.  Their initial meetings and dealings reminded me of the early novels of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  However, as their story progressed there was a bit of some clichéd moments and obvious foreshadowing.  Regardless, their journey was compelling even with the “big bow” wrapped around the HEA at the end.  I admit, the ending gave me warm fuzzies that I enjoyed.  Though Ward has admitted that she finds writing female characters difficult, I thought she did a good job portraying Paradise, a cosseted aristocratic female that seeks to find herself.  She enters the training program as a means to find out who she is and what she is made of.  I liked that though she is naïve in some ways, she is stubborn and tough.  It was enjoyable to experience through Paradise as she learned how strong she really is.

Though Craeg is drawn to Paradise, he tries to fight the attraction.  Craeg was a fascinating character.  He is not an aristocrat, he is a commoner who seeks the training program to find his vengeance on the lesser that slaughtered his family.  But there is more to Craeg than just this vengeance.  The journey between him and Paradise was destined to have its issues, but I liked how they resolved themselves.  However, those who are well versed in the BDB mythology might have a few moments that bring about questions.

The mystery/detective drama that begins with Butch and Marissa was fascinating.  Though it was a little convenient how it all tied together, it was still compelling.  I did like how it transcended both Butch and Marissa as well as Paradise and Craeg.  The training program was also very interesting to experience, especially as it was a contrast to the training we experienced in the early BDB series.  For the start of a new series, it lacked the rehashing of the mythology, which was a nice change of pace for established fans.  For those who are new to the series, the glossary is a huge help, but the richness of the backstories and history will be missing. But it may spur new fans to read the original series.

Blood Kiss is a solid start to the new spin-off from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Though it would be a good introduction to new fans to the world, though hopefully they will go back and read the original series. It is a great read for fans of the series, especially considering the controversy of the most recently published book in the series.  I liked it and look forward to the next novel in this new Black Dagger Legacy series.

My Rating:  B, Liked It


About the Book:

The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

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..

Release Date: December 1, 2015
Black Dagger Legacy #1
ISBN: #978-0451475329
Paranormal Romance
Paperback (397 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley

Purchase Info:
Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy #1)

Reviews in the Series:
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #8)
Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #9)
Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #10)
Lover at Last by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11)
The King by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12)
The Shadows by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13)

  • Ward and me are done :/

    • UnaReads

      I totally understand.

  • Great review. I’m not sure if I’m going to try this series. I was so ready to walk away from BDB. I so don’t want to read The Beast. Rhage is my favorite brother and I’m worried that it might change, since i haven’t been happy after the past few books. I don’t know, I might visit this. Maybe.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • UnaReads

      Wait to see reviews from The Beast (which Jen will be reviewing here) and the next in this spin-off series which I hope to review next year. I liked being in the world but stepped away from the main series after finishing the latest book in it. But I will read Jen’s review of the Beast before I pick it up.

  • Rummanah Aasi

    Great review, Una! I got my copy of the book but I’m going to have to find time to squeeze it in.

    • UnaReads

      Great, I hope you enjoy it!

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