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March 27, 2016

Loved It: The Beast by J.R. Ward

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood 14
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: NAL
Source: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal Romance

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.




I've slowly lost interest in The Black Dagger Brotherhood after Lover Unleashed. I appreciate J.R. Ward's efforts to expand our view of this amazing vampire enriched universe she created, but I wasn't a fan of the new formula: too many people talking, sharing their lives at the same time on top of whatever crisis the Brothers are faced with currently. It got noisy and loud for me with the character and plot development suffering IMO; The in-your-face brand name dropping was more distasteful than classy; Then there's the unnecessary angst which, I'm guessing, is the series' way of keeping up with the current book trends; And lastly, the novels started to shift away from the Brothers.

THE BEAST is a going-back-to-basics kind of installment and I can't help but think that this book is an effort bring interest back to the series and also the revitalize its stagnant plots and arcs. Now I'll keep this review simple and spoiler-free just in case you do decide to read Rhage's new book.

The many angles and POVs of THE BEAST:

  • Mary & Rhage: these two gave me the feels! THE BEAST isn't a marriage-in-crisis story like Butch and Marissa's Blood Kiss. It's more of a "next chapter" kind of thing for Mary and Rhage. It's very emotional but not angsty, I love Mary's no-drama-momma attitude and how Rhage handled this bump in the road. There's a lot of touching, sweet, sweeping, and swoony moments that made my heart melt and my belly warming with excitement which sent my ovaries into overdrive and my dying eggs an adrenalin rush. If you love Rhage, then reading THE BEAST is a must for you. Warning! Tissues might be needed.


  • BDB: We get sneak peeks in all the Brother's lives. All is well in Wrath's domain and the mansion has come a long way since Dark Lover. Everyone is bonded, kids are now part of the landscape, and every Brother is now a family man to some degree. Have I mentioned it gave me The Feels? Yup. P.S. I won't be surprised if Vishous and Jane are next on the block.
  • BoB: Are nowhere to be found. Well, something happened to Xcor which wasn't dwelled upon but I'm sure Ward will develop later on. It's a game changer for sure. 
  • Humans: Someone has sniffed the presence of our Caldwell vamps. It teased more than pursued yet it promises complications down the road for everyone. I wonder if the Brothers are "coming out" anytime soon... 
  • Etcetera: There's a lot of new storylines that are introduced here. Some are chill, some might be impacting, and there's one that simply shocked me. I don't know yet if the last item will play a bigger role later on because it surely skewed and screwed up the Mythos of BDB. 
  • I haven't read the book before this, The Shadows, and I probably won't ever. That said, I didn't have a problem diving into THE BEAST. I'm sure I've missed certain events, but from the bits and pieces of brief recaps here I was able to piece together the important parts. 

Overall I'm glad I read THE BEAST. I'm even gladder Ward decided to write this book and follow this direction. There's a few notable changes like the label drops weren't as obnoxious and the multiple POVs aren't as loud which helped Mary and Rhage's story shine through. For what it's worth, THE BEAST is 80% romance and family, and 20% action and paranormal. This is the formula that made me fall in love with The Black Dagger Brotherhood and I'm hoping Ward keeps it this way from now on.










Talk Supe


62 comments:

  1. I'm impressed still good after 14 books. I have the 5 first books in French, I need to read them one day.

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    1. There's a dark phase at least as far as I'm concerned. Its not all good but this.one have promise. I hope this sets the tone for the next installments

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  2. Quick peek at your rating. Still have this one to read and review. Looks like it scored well.

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    1. I loved it, a lot of fans are skeptical though. I hope we'll be on the same team

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  3. My best friend actually recommended this series to me, but I feel like I won't be too interested in a series this long. I feel like it's gonna drag in between. Oh well, glad to see you still continued! I might give this series a try... someday, lol! Do they have to be read in order?

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    1. The first few books are really good. Then it got spotty. Then it went shitty. This is good

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  4. I'm like Melliane...I too am impressed the writing is this good after so many books. Happy reading.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. It's not all good. It's more like a love hate relationship at this point lol

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  5. I don't know if even Rhage and Mary can make me give this series another chance but you have me tempted damn it! lol

    I thought for sure she was going to add in some 3rd party freaky sex thing for the baby wiht the way she's been going lately.

    I tapped out after Qhuay. The mulitple story lines were killing me.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  6. I never got into this series though I did read the first book. I'm not sure why! Anyways, I had heard the series had gotten a little bit annoying with the latest book. It's good to know that this one went back to its roots. I would be okay with FEELS! ;)
    Great review!

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    1. It's probably timing. PNR isn't all that hot nowadays so maybe that's a reason?

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  7. I feel like I'm the only one to not read this series! And I wanted to read the spin-off, but I feel that I need to read this one first. I'm so conflicted.

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    1. I do not recommend you reading the spin-off first. It'll feel like an "inside joke". Then again, you just might get away with it :)

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  8. I don't remember which number I'm on but I know I'm way behind in this series. My taste changed when I started blogging and I just struggled with whichever one I was on so I set it aside. Now it's been like 5 years and I've forgotten a lot. Maybe one day I'll get caught up. I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. I feel you. If I read this now, I might not have enjoyed it as much

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  9. Well, 14 books is a great achievement, however you look at it. That she lost her way there for a while is not all that surprising - I mean, 14 books will do that to you, lol :) But it's great that she found herself again by going back to basics. Kudos to her. Another super-duper review from you, my lovely :) I hope you're doing okay and that you spent Easter with lots of chocolate and family around :) Hugs

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    1. I'll take your word, you know more about writing than I do. I guess it does happen...

      I did, I hope you did too! You have lots to celebrate :)

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  10. Here is a series I haven't tried yet, I keep meaning too but then everyone kind of lost interest after the last couple of books, it is good to know that this series is going back to their roots. I should try it sometime.

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    1. I feel the same way aboout Darynda Jones & Kate Daniels. Sigh

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  11. oh Yippee!!! These two are my favorite couple of the series. So I can't wait to get this and get back to Mary and Rhage.

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    1. Oooh then you will LOVE this! Enjoy!

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  12. I'm so far behind on this series that some of what you said didn't quite take in the brainpan. Ah but Rhage! Yea, I loved him so I know I need to catch up to read this one. So glad you enjoyed it. I was worried she would change it too much somehow and I wouldn't be a Rhage fan anymore.

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    1. This was a fun read. I miss the boys and the humor. I got a good dose here :)

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  13. I said bye bye after Rhev, I wanted his book, got half of it

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    1. Ooh, Rhev's book was iffy for me too. At least I got some Wrath to balance things off

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  14. I was wondering if the multiple POVs would be calmed down. I remember the last one I read, it was not mainly the main character which just plain confused me.

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    1. Right? It's so annoying. It'ss like being stuck in a room full of kids and they're all talking at the same time about their favorite toy or some shit

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  15. Oh boy, this is a VERY long series that I have yet to start!!

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    1. I can tell you which ones to skip :D

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  16. I stalled out in this series as well so I'm happy to know that Ward went back to what made readers love BDB!

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    1. Can't blame you. I'm in this conve with a former fan, trying to convince her to pick it back up. No luck

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  17. Jealous. Jealous. I can't wait to read this!

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    1. Enjoy! This could be book 11 on your Currently Reading

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  18. I just read their first book this month and lord I want to jump ahead, cause I love them..but I will begin book three ...boo

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    1. Hmm I forgot the order, but I remember not loving Phury's book. Meh... enjoy just the same

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  19. Glad to hear that this was a good return to the series even if last started losing interest

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  20. I've heard and seen this series around a lot, but haven't had the urge to pick it up yet. It sounds like the change in direction the author took with this book really worked, it's sad when a series you love turns to meh, so I am glad to hear this book reminded you of why you love this series. Great review!

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    1. Anytime you're ready, they'll be there :)

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  21. I love this series but I'm a little behind right now and have't read this book yet.

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    1. I dared to skip The Shadows... I got away with it I think

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  22. I'm glad that this was such a good installment in the series for you, especially since it's #14! I added the first book to my GR TBR a looong time ago but still haven't picked it up. I'm a little intimidated by how much catching up I need to do, lol.

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    1. I don't blame you. I have to tell yout hough, there's a lot of skippable or skimmable books...

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  23. I'm so happy this is going back to basics in a way, Braine! I've not read the last couple of books for the same reasons you mentioned... I don't really care about those other vampires, and once we got to know more about the Lesser community (was that even what the baby-powder people were called??) there wasn't all that much to fight.
    However, there is still quite a bit to do with the story arch that started at the very beginning... I would love to see something happen to trigger someone's memory for real!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Wasnt the book before the shadows about them too? I think you can go right ahead and read this. I mean I didn't feel like I missed out on much...

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  24. I won't be reading the series any longer but I'm glad you enjoyed it ;)

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    1. I don't blame you, thanks for checking my review out just the same :)

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  25. I've never left!! I think I've loved everyone! Yes there were too many story lines going in them, and even now some remain open. J.R. Ward writing style is unique that's for sure. I can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the spoiler free review! I have it pre-ordered on Audible. Jim Frangione is sexy!!! :)

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    1. In that case, you will have a blast with this one, Nelle! Enjoy the sexiness :)

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  26. Hrms maybe one day I'll try these again. I really started to hate them and just bailed around Tohr's book. :/ If more like the old ones though...

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    1. Tohrs was iffy for me too. God damnit! What book did I like?! lol

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    2. Tohrs was iffy for me too. God damnit! What book did I like?! lol

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  27. I'm up in the air about if I'm going to read this book. I have complained about all the issues you mentioned. Another issue is the plotlines that seem to disappear into thin air. You mention that BoB are MIA. Yet another villain in this series to disappear just like the Lessers. It just seems like plots just vanish for no reason and with no resolution. At her signing, she keeps saying that Lash is going to have a story, but he has been MIA forever.

    Another thing is, I'm more for the action and less the romance. You mentioned 80% romance and 20% action. This doesn't make me want to read it. I'm really glad that it worked for you. Maybe one day for me, but not right now. Too many other books out there I want to try. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. Sounds fair. With everyone commenting, I'm starting to realize this isn't as good as I remember. Phury's book was bad, so was Rhev's and Payne. Payne was MIA here too. Like does Ward have "buyer's remorse" and decided Payne was a bad character to add? Her book was trash too

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  28. I've always seen this series in Goodreads in one list or another, and it's no surprise it's so popular! It seems like there's a huge fan base for this series. :D I'm so glad you enjoyed The Beast, and here's hoping that the upcoming books in this series are just as good - or better!

    - Aila @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. I don't think this series is something you'll enjoy. Thanks for stopping by, Aila :)

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  29. I am so behind on this series! The last one I read was Lover Unleashed! Mary and Rhage are my favorite couple so it might be worth reading just for that alone. :)

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    1. I love their part in this book. I was tingling all over!

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  30. Loved this one! I have read the series from book one, but like you said was getting very tired of the direction and name dropping. This really brought it back to the greatness that it was and I am now excited for the next one.

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  31. I'm glad you enjoyed The Beast after not reading a few books. I have read up to Lover at Last, so I'm a few behind too. I like that it more focused on the romance and family. Fab review.

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