I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by J.R. Ward
Released: December 1st 2015
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1
Published by Signet
“J.R. Ward shows the world how Paranormal Romance is done!”
~ Under the Covers
What were your first thoughts when you learned that Ward was going to be returning to the training centre and giving us stories about new trainees?
Annie: I was excited! J.R. Ward is my all-time favorite author and I knew that going back to the training centre would give readers an intimate and in depth look into how the Brotherhood worked. And although Ward essentially went back to basics, it was the most natural course to take in this series with the brewing war with the Lessers.
These new recruits all have their own set of experiences that have molded and defined them and they bring that to the program every time they train. I have my favorites already and can’t wait to see what Ward has planned for them next!
Francesca: So excited! My favorite moments in this series go back to the training center with JM, Blay and Qhuinn and being able to revisit that while seeing some of my favorite brothers as the head of the program was like a dream! I think although she’s going back to the concept, she’s doing it in a fresh new way as this training center is nothing like it was then. We are not dealing with inexperienced pre-trans here and it was a lot of fun to see. I think fans will be very pleased.
What did you think of the other trainees? (Anslam, Peyton, Novo, Axe and Boone)
Peyton: He can be a jerk but a guy’s guy kind of character, the one that doesn’t like to admit he likes something unless it’s cool to do so. But I have a feeling that Ward will bring him to his knees 🙂
Novo: Love her! She reminds me a lot of Xhex so I’m wondering if in her book if we will see more of Xhex and JM.
Axe: This guy also reminds me of one of the Brothers, V. There’s no doubt that the two of these guys would get along well. I can only hope that we’ll revisit more of V and his kinky side 😀
Boone: This guy is an easy one to forget but I am not fooled for a minute that Ward doesn’t have something up her sleeve with this character.
I don’t want to give too much away but I can already see how some of them mold after other characters we already love. I especially loved Novo because she’s the other female to make it into the training program and she’s very much like Xhex. I have hopes for a romance between her and another one of the recruits… 😉
The rest of the guys are quite like the current BDB. There’s a kinky one, a buff one and a couple of pretty boys. But I KNOW with Ward things are not always what they seem and I can’t wait to explore more of them all.
Which of them are you most excited about?
Annie: Definitely Novo and Axe. Novo seems like a tough as nails character from what we have seen of her so far, but she also has that playful side as well that is open to anything. I can’t wait to see what Ward has in store for her.
Axe is probably the one I’m most intrigued about. Ward dipped into his backstory a little bit but I’m dying for more. Who would’ve thought that a kinky Goth would excite me?
Francesca: Like I said before, I’m most excited about Novo. We know from first impressions she’s tough and can hang with the boys easily but as the book progresses she lets us in to her softer side, even as a romantic with her matchmaking skills. I can’t wait to delve deeper into her character and see how she will bring her male to heel. 😉
What did you think of Paradise and Craeg? Did you like their romance?
Annie: They were a great pair. Ward builds their romance in a believable manner and this is something to note because one, these characters are younger so they are a little more hesitant with conveying their emotions and two, IT’S NOT INSTALOVE! After all the books that seem to jump into love so quickly, I love that Craeg has his reservations about Paradise. He thinks she’s too good for him and there are a bunch of reverent lines that absolutely melted my heart. I also liked that Paradise had no problem telling him off when he was being too stubborn.
Francesca: I think they were so adorable. Great first pairing in this new “series”. Their romance is a constant presence throughout the story even when it takes a while for them to get together. I liked that slow pacing, although I would’ve preferred a little bit more of meat between when they first got together and their I love yous. Craeg is just the best. He’s determined and a fighter. In everything he sets his mind to. I loved him! And I think Paradise is one of Ward’s best heroines from the start. She’s got balls and smarts. She goes after the male she wants and she won’t let anyone push her around, not even him. You can definitely tell they are younger characters but that didn’t take anything away from the way they perfectly fit with the Brotherhood.
Alongside Paradise and Craeg, Butch and Marissa are the other main couple featured in BLOOD KISS. What did you think about their storyline?
Annie: For me, it was natural to see Marissa and Butch sharing the page time with Paradise and Craeg because their stories aren’t that different from one another. The females are born into a world filled with position and power but because of their sex, they are boxed in with expectations and traditions, preventing them from making their own decisions about their own life. Craeg is very much like Butch too. He’s from a different world than the one Paradise was raised in. He knows that and yet he can’t seem to resist her.
When Ward said she was revisiting some of the past couples we’ve come to love, I was a little worried about what might happen. I was glad that Ward didn’t break them down only to put them back together. But as with any relationship there are rough patches and that is what Ward explores here. Some distance is created but it isn’t something that can’t be dealt with with some communication. In this type of situation, I was happy for the swift resolution. It’s not to the point where the author is milking everything from her characters just to produce a book. Butch and Marissa’s storyline is the perfect compliment to Paradise and Craeg’s main dish.
Francesca: I completely agree with Annie, they were the natural choice to place in this book. I was more than a little giddy to see Butch heading the training program and in doing so, we had to revisit with him on a more personal front. Marissa has always seemed one of the weaker heroines in the series, with her coming from the glymera and being pushed aside by Wrath for so long. I needed to see her find her stronger self and Ward did an amazing job at that in this book. I may have wanted to throttle Butch a time or two but good for Marissa for showing the male how things should be done and handled. This resolved some long pushed down unfinished business and it only makes the series stronger to see that side of their relationships. Perfect!
Do you have a favourite scene in the book?
Annie: Oh, it has to be the Magic Mike XXL scenes. I literally laughed my ass off while reading those parts. Of course Ward had to put her man, Channing in her book, right? It was nice to see all the girls together, just having a good time. Doesn’t hurt to see the men sulking either, does it.
All in all, BLOOD KISS exceeded my expectations. Once again, J.R. Ward shows the world how Paranormal Romance is done!
Francesca: I know this is so not about the main couple of anything but I have to say Lassiter and his calendar. The jokes about the selfie stick and Kinkos just about did me in. I absolutely love him, can I keep him?
BLOOD KISS is very much another book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. It didn’t feel like a separate series, which I was worried about. Ward knows how to give fans exactly what they crave and this hit that mark for all of us long time fans of the series. Giving us everything we loved from before mixed in with enough of what we love now. Still to date, the best paranormal romance author out there.
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