Release Day Review: The Beast by JR Ward

The BeastThe Beast by JR Ward
Black Dagger Brotherhood #14
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Publisher: NAL

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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…

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Wendy’s Review

In my review for Blood Kiss I went on and on about my history with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Basically what it boils down to was that it started off all rainbows, and it ended up all storm clouds.  Thankfully I was pretty happy with the first installment of the spin-off series, and that book put me in a good frame of mind for the release of The Beast.

That’s not to say I was without fear.  I think in some ways I had MORE fear going into reading The Beast than I did when I picked up Blood Kiss.  The Beast brings us back to my favorite story in the Black Dagger Brotherhood saga, which was Rhage and Mary in Lover Eternal.  Frankly, in the romance genre in its entirety there is only a few other books that comes close to how much I loved Rhage and Mary’s love story.  It really had very little to do with Mary, actually, other than in how Rhage felt about her.  My love for that original book was all about Rhage.  He was the epitome of everything and anything I’ve ever loved in a hero.  He was the perfect balance of need, tenderness, and humor.  He was beautiful, both outside and inside.  He was perfection.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, I am incapable of reading a story that ruins beloved characters.  Knowing that, and knowing how I’ve felt about the last 3ish BDB books, I was honestly terrified to read The Beast.  I would have been inconsolable if anything horrible had happened, or if the book had just been so bad that the original story suffered for it.

Luckily none of that happened.  Luckily Rhage and Mary got an amazing sequel to their story.  Luckily they weren’t overshadowed by too much random otherness.  The Beast wasn’t quite the amazeballs story that Lover Eternal was.  It didn’t hit you in the heart, right where it hurts, but it did give you a wonderful solid sequel for their life.  The best part, they never ever stop loving each other.  Even when they’re hurting, and that creates a small distance between them, they never question their ability to stay together or be together.

Even better, Rhage was written exactly as he was in the original book.  He’s still that same balance of everything you love in a hero.  He’s goofy and funny.  Mary is still his entire everything.  He still struggles with his beast, made easier by the beasts love of Mary.  His brothers are there to help him through it.

In the end, I’m happy to report that I enjoyed this series again.  It left me wanting more, more BDB and more BDLegacy.  I hope one of these two books gives me more Z, the other brother I loved the most.

Rating: 4 Stars = B

Thank you to NAL for providing a copy of his book, in exchange for an honest review.

Series Reading Order:

1. Dark Lover
2. Lover Eternal
3. Lover Awakened
4. Lover Revealed
5. Lover Unbound
6. Lover Enshrined
7. Lover Avenged
8. Lover Mine
9. Lover Unleashed
10. Lover Reborn
11. Lover at Last
12. The King
13. The Shadows
14. The Beast

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