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Thursday, October 6, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward @JRWard1 @PRHAudio

TITLE: Blood Kiss
SERIES: Black Dagger Legacy, Book #1
AUTHOR: J.R. Ward 
NARRATOR: Jim Frangione
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: December 1, 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 12 hrs and 39 mins 
GENRE: Romance/Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the number-one New York Times best-selling 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. 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, aka 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.


I am a huge fan of the BDB series, and this is a new spin-off series that runs parallel to the BDB series. I hope that it doesn’t get too confusing with reading books from both series! According to the author’s post on Goodreads about the new series, it will feature the original brothers and their involvement in the new BDB Training Center with the new recruits.

I was very stoked to learn about this new series and, although it appeared to be Ward’s intent to feature the original BDB more prominently, I feel misled! This installment focused on Paradise, who is the only child of Abalone, First Advisor to the King. Don’t get me wrong: Paradise is very book-worthy. She is a smart and beautiful young woman, who wants to be more than a baby-maker who minds the house and defers to her mate. She wants her independence and, with that, comes the freedom to choose her mate regardless of his class even if that means he is not an aristocrat. I love that about her. As we learned in the last installment of the BDB series, The Shadows, Paradise wishes to apply for entry to the BDB Training Program. We see her strength as she goes through the grueling First Night at the BDB Training Center, and we see her compassion and big heart as she is forced to trudge onward through the different tests and leave her fallen comrades behind. Her father, Abalone, would love to see his beloved daughter mated to Peyton, who is another member of the Glymera and a worthy suitor. Although they have a great friendship and affection for one another, Paradise and Peyton are nothing more than platonic friends. Paradise has an instant attraction to Craeg, who is the son of a commoner. He is just as attracted to her, but he does not want to let anything get in the way of his goal which is to become a trained fighter so he can seek revenge for the deaths of his family members in the Lessening Society raids. Their relationship develops a little too quickly for my taste, but this book is about half the length of a usual BDB novel so maybe that is why Ward sped up the pace! The connection between Paradise and Craeg sizzles, in usual Ward style.

Aside from the opening of the BDB Training Center and the training of the new recruits, the story focused on the attack of a woman who showed up at Marissa’s Safe Place. The woman’s death has a huge impact on Marissa, and she asks for Butch’s help to find the killer. What I liked about this part of Butch’s and Marissa’s love story is seeing them work through real-life problems after their “Happily Ever After” in Lover Revealed. Like any couple, they have their problems and things aren’t always rosy.

I like how Ward narrowed the focus to just the two couples. Normally, there are so many sub-plots going on at once. If this is her intent with this new series, I approve!

Narrator Jim Frangione stuck to the new pronunciations that were introduced in The Shadows. I love his style and characterizations, but I am still getting used to these new pronunciations.

As this series is supposed to be read parallel with the original BDB series in order of publication, the next installment will be The Beast which is #14 in the BDB series. It features my favourite brother, Rhage, so I can’t wait to read that and find out why he was so messed up in The Shadows.



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