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.
Released: December 6th 2016
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #2
Published by Ballantine Books
“BLOOD VOW is packed with quietly gut-wrenching emotions, healing and sacrifice. Understated yet powerful all the same. It represents all the beautiful bonds this series stands for.”
~ Under the Covers
By now you must now that we are massive fans of J.R. Ward here at Under the Covers. So it’s safe to say that when I cracked open my copy of BLOOD VOW there was a giddy anticipation before I even read the first word. What immediately captivated me is the ease in which this author can transport me into the world with nothing more than a few sentences. Even a few words. See, I was worried that I wouldn’t remember some things before starting BLOOD VOW and considered re-reading BLOOD KISS but I knew I wouldn’t have time. I actually struggled to remember who the hero was exactly even though I remembered liking him in the first book. And after reading just a couple of pages in this book, everything came back to me. There’s something about the way Ms. Ward paints the full picture of what the world feels like and looks like that makes you feel as if you’re there. Connect with the characters as if you know them. And even if you’ve been away for a while, it always stays with you. So I was hooked, yet again.
One thing stands out to me about this book. We already know that the plan is to feature a subplot in this legacy series of an old BDB couple. In this book, it’s Rhage and Mary. But here’s the thing. Coming after from the release of THE BEAST, BLOOD VOW feels more like a continuation of that book than a standalone story. There are things left dangling for Rhage and Mary and this book picks right up where that one left off. But if you ask me, and as Suzanne has said, you can never have too much Rhage. I don’t want to touch a lot on this because I don’t want to spoil the experience for you. And an experience it is. But I think this one will touch your heart. Their struggles were so very real, their feelings and heartbreak got to me, and I couldn’t help but being sucked in and struggling along with them.
Axe and Elise, the new couple this book is about, actually felt like the subplot for me, and I was totally fine with that. I was so focused on the Rhage/Mary drama that I didn’t really feel this book lacked anything by giving Axe and Elise less page time. Their story wasn’t as complicated to solve in my opinion and I was happy to see the author didn’t come up with overly done obstacles just to make their story longer. Their romance felt very natural to me and I didn’t think it was lacking anything by being a bit more simple. I can even say I liked both of them as characters quite a bit, and Axe stood out as a tough Brotherhood contender in how he interacts with the rest of his team and the Brothers, as well as his strong bonded male persona with Elise. Overall, I loved Axe. One thing I will say, this was a bit of insta-love (or lust actually but it was a very strong instant connection). Normally, this would bother me and feel unsatisfying when it’s done by 90% of other authors. Not the case here. I think Ms. Ward can write any trope she wants because she always does it her way. Hell, there’s even a Christmas theme in this book, so it’s a Ward-style Christmas book! But Elise and Axe had an intense instant attraction that couldn’t be denied, and it was fun to see them explore it.
Then there’s the rest of the gang, who all played much smaller roles in this one. I do find that the Peyton/Novo book has been setup nicely and I’m really looking forward to seeing that develop further and Peyton being broken down a bit more. The small bit of humor in this book was perfect to lift up my spirits in the middle of all the angst, especially as delivered by Lassiter. It was so much fun to see his fun side, but also his serious side. He’s such a complex character and I can’t wait to find out more about the angel. And can we hope in the near future for some love for Saxton as well? I was thinking something else for him at the end of the last book, but maybe there are other plans. I’m excited to find out what’s in the Wardens head!
As always after finishing one of these books, I am anxious to read more. This is definitely a favorite of mine. BLOOD VOW is packed with quietly gut-wrenching emotions, healing and sacrifice. Understated yet powerful all the same. It represents all the beautiful bonds this series stands for. The Brotherhood, the friendship, the family, the love. A group that is ready to die for the others but also to protect their race. As it’s mentioned in this book, maybe the war with the lessers is coming to an end, and I might’ve had a moment of panic when I read that, but I know it’s safe to say there’s still much more to explore. If she keeps writing them, I’ll keep reading them.
“Isn’t it wonderful not to have to be perfect to be loved?”
“So, yeah, anyone tries to so much as brush the ends of your hair with their elbow, and I will kill them four times over before I light their corpse on fire.”
“Well, isn’t that something to put on a Valentine’s Day card.”
“Do I have to explain male bonded vampires to you again? You are … my reason for being. And I’ve never loved you more than I do right now.”
“Our strength must be tested,” he whispered, “for us to know it’s still there. And I will always be your warrior, Mary mine. Always and forever.”
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