Tag Archives: J R Ward

The Beast

The Beast by J.R. Ward

25293695Description: Rhage and Mary return in a new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series “so popular, I don’t think there’s a reader today who hasn’t at least heard of [it]” (USA Today).

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. 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. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from…


When I read romance novels, I do so with the expectation of the story ending and the couple living happily ever after for ever and ever. In most series, when the previous couple shows up again, they are living happily and everything is sunshine and rainbows. However, that doesn’t work in the world J.R. Ward created with her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Her characters are larger than life and just because their book is over does not mean their problems stop. In fact, one of my favorite things about her series is being able to revisit previous couples. But instead of just being stagnant, they continue to face real issues that cause problems in their relationship. Over the course of the last few books, there have been hints of issues Mary and Rhage need to face. Needless to say, I was extremely happy that they were getting another book. And only partly terrified for what that would mean for their relationship. I think after reading The Shadows, that would be a common fear. J.R. Ward really pushed the envelope in The Shadows in terms of emotions and what the characters in her books go through. In fact, I think she even opened up the discussion to what is a romance novel (mental note, future post discussion!).

That being said, this book was truly all I wanted it to be. I adored revisiting with Mary and Rhage. The plot around them focused on Rhage’s emotional health and how their relationship could move forward. The issue of children was a big discussion. Both wanted kids but their being together was actually because Mary can not have children. However, neither let this drive their relationship apart too far. Part of this is because of Mary’s therapy background. Although, I think their foundation as a couple also played a role. The plot for the side characters included the usual cast of Assail and his issues, Xcor and Layla, and an introduction of a new human receptionist turned investigator who is questioning the strange goings-on in Caldwell. What I also liked is that the Lessers weren’t really a big part of the book. After the first book, I tend to skip over the scenes with the Lessers. They don’t really seem to change as an enemy and I’m more intrigued by the threats in the glymera. Overall, another excellent book by J.R. Ward. Can’t wait for the next one!

Rating: 4 out of 5!

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Filed under Paranormal Romance, Reviews, Romance Novels

The Bourbon Kings

The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

23398906Description: The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal….

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

Review:I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved J.R. Ward’s earlier Black Dagger Brotherhood books but the more recent ones have been hit or miss with me. So I was hesitant to pick up this book. The plot was fast-place and the characters quickly drew you in. This book was very much like later Black Dagger Brotherhood books with the focus on multiple characters and plots, not just the main couple. I did like the trope- gardener, Lizzie, falls in love with son of the house, Lane. While they were a good couple, I did have a few issues with their relationship. I wasn’t a fan of the fact that the hero didn’t have a job. I also didn’t like that their relationship started again while he was still married to someone else. Despite my reservations about the book, I am excited to read the new one in the series. And I can easily see how this series would become a TV show.

Rating: 3 out of 5. 



Filed under Contemporary Romance, Reviews, Romance Novels

Playing With Fire

Playing With Fire by Kate Meader 

25111048Description: From popular romance author Kate Meader comes the second novel in Hot in Chicago, a brand-new, sizzling series that follows a group of firefighting foster siblings and their blazing hot love interests!

As the only female firefighter at Engine Co. 6, Alexandra Dempsey gets it from all sides: the male coworkers who think she can’t do the job, the wives and girlfriends who see her as a threat to their firefighter men, and her overprotective foster brothers who want to shelter their baby sister at all costs. So when she single-handedly saves the life of Eli Cooper, Chicago’s devastatingly handsome mayor, she assumes the respect she’s longed for will finally come her way. But it seems Mr. Mayor has other ideas…

Eli Cooper’s mayoral ratings are plummeting, his chances at reelection dead in the water. When a sexy, curvaceous firefighter gives him the kiss of life, she does more than bring him back to the land of the living—she also breathes vitality into his campaign. Riding the wave of their feel-good story might prop up Eli’s flagging political fortunes, but the sizzling attraction between them can go nowhere; he’s her boss, and there are rules that must be obeyed. But you know what they say about rules: they’re made to be broken…

Review: I really relished this book. Female firemen are the best! This book made me want to reread Jennifer Bernard’s Bachelor Firemen series. While I haven’t read the first books in this series, I did just buy the first one when it went on sale. I’ll probably end up buying the novellas too. I really liked Alex’s family and I want to read more about them. I especially like that one of the stories involves a gay couple. LGBT romances are relatively new to me and I tend to read them more if they’re part of a series I like, i.e. Lover at Last from the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Cloak and Silence from the League series, or Hard to Be Good in the Hard Ink series. So I’m excited when I find a series I like that has LGBT romance as well.

Despite enjoying the book, it took me a while to warm up to Eli and Alex as a couple. They had the whole enemies to lovers, with a side of steamy attraction, thing going but I questioned their believability as a functioning couple. Part of that was because I wasn’t a fan of choices either of them made within the relationship. For example, Eli for tricked Alex into a pretend relationship. And when Eli finally revealed his secret to Alex, I didn’t like how she reacted to it. I seem to be reading a lot of contemporary romances with politicians in them lately. I did like the politics and public side of Eli and Alex’s relationship and how she wasn’t afraid to disagree with him. Overall, this was an entertaining read but not a stand-out romance.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 


Filed under Contemporary Romance, Reviews, Romance Novels

Top Ten Authors Duos You’d Love To See Write A Book Together


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Top Ten Author Dous You’d Love To See Write A Book Together.”

  1. Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter! 

    I want a Immortals After Dark/ Lords of the Underworld crossover!

  2. Sherrilyn Kenyon and J.R. Ward

    Dark-Hunter/ Black Dagger Brotherhood crossover!

  3. Eloisa James and Julia Quinn

  4. Sarah MacLean and Lisa Kleypas

    Writing about competing gambling halls

  5. Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins

    That book would be hysterical!


Filed under Romance Novels, Top Ten Tuesday

Ten Series I Have Yet To Finish


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Ten Finished Series I Have Yet To Finish”. However, I amended it this week. So my list is “Ten Series I Have Yet To Finish”.

  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 

    Outlander (Outlander #1)I read the first two books but I couldn’t bring myself to read the rest. However, I’ll probably watch the entire TV series, depending how far it gets.

  2. Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep

    Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1)
    I lost interest about 7 or 8 books in.

  3. Midnight Breed by Lara Adrian

    Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed, #1)Same as Elemental Assassin, I just lost interest and I was never fan of the alien-vampire story-line anyway

  4. Argeneau Series by Lynsay Sands

    A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1)
    I’ll probably end up picking up this series again. I just didn’t want to buy the last two books and my library didn’t have them

  5. Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

    Iced (Fever, #6) I read the Fever series but wasn’t really interested in Iced. Like the Argeneau series, I’ll eventually go back and finish it.

  6. Black Dagger Brotherhood by  J.R. Ward

    The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13)

    I know I’ll continue this series but I bought a copy of The Shadows when it came out and it has been sitting at the end of my bed for 5 months. For some reason, I just can’t bring myself to read it.

    I just realized most of these series are paranormal. Huh, that’s interesting .


Filed under Romance Novels, Top Ten Tuesday