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If you’re a fan of paranormal romance with a touch of action and suspense, then J.R. Ward is an author you definitely need to add to your reading list. Known for her bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Ward has become a household name in the genre. Her backlist is extensive and can feel intimidating, plus there are related series that can get a bit confusing to figure out what’s the best way to read them. In order to help you get started, this beginners guide will cover the best J.R. Ward reading order. And that’s including chatting about her contemporary titles writing as Jessica Bird. So let’s get started!

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A Beginners Guide to J.R. Ward

A great place to start is watching our YouTube video – A Beginner’s Guide to J.R. Ward. While it’s a few years old, you’ll find the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Black Dagger Legacy, Fallen Angels series as well as J.R. Ward’s contemporary books including her Jessica Bird titles.

Who Would Enjoy Her Books?

If you’re a fan of vampire romance or urban fantasy, then you’ll love J.R. Ward’s books. Her stories are full of action, suspense, and steamy romance, and are perfect for readers who enjoy a bit of grittiness in their fiction. Her writing style is engaging and her characters are unforgettable, making her books ideal for those who enjoy series with strong character arcs.

Authors Similar to J.R. Ward

If you love J.R. Ward’s writing style, then you might also enjoy the works of Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole, Lara Adrian, Gena Showalter and Sherrilyn Kenyon. These authors also write paranormal romance with a focus on strong characters and action-packed stories.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Universe Reading Order

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a paranormal romance series that follows a group of vampire warriors who protect their kind from the Lessening Society, a group of humans who have aligned themselves with the Omega, the vampire’s enemy. Each book in the series focuses on a different member of the Brotherhood and their romantic journey with a human or vampire mate. Along the way, they must also face external threats to their kind and internal conflicts within the Brotherhood itself.

We will cover the reading order that combines the original Black Dagger Brotherhood series, the Black Dagger Legacy series and the Fallen Angels series, along with a few novellas. You will also notice that there are a few more series that take place in the BDB universe but those don’t need to be read in any particular order in relation to the original series.

Black Dagger Brotherhood + Black Dagger Legacy + Fallen Angels

  1. Darius (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #0.5)
  2. Dark Lover (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1)
  3. Lover Eternal (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2)
  4. Lover Awakened (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3)
  5. Lover Revealed (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #4)
  6. Lover Unbound (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #5)
  7. Lover Enshrined (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #6)
  8. Father Mine (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #6.5)
  9. Lover Avenged (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #7)
  10. Covet (Series: Fallen Angels #1)
  11. Lover Mine (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #8)
  12. Crave (Series: Fallen Angels #2)
  13. Lover Unleashed (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #9)
  14. Envy (Series: Fallen Angels #3)
  15. Lover Reborn (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #10)
  16. Rapture (Series: Fallen Angels #4)
  17. Lover At Last (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #11)
  18. Possession (Series: Fallen Angels #5)
  19. The King (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #12)
  20. Immortal (Series: Fallen Angels #6)
  21. The Shadows (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #13)
  22. Blood Kiss (Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1)
  23. The Beast (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #14)
  24. Blood Vow (Series: Black Dagger Legacy #2)
  25. The Chosen (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #15)
  26. Blood Fury (Series: Black Dagger Legacy #3)
  27. Dearest Ivie (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #15.5)
  28. The Thief (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #16)
  29. Prisoner of the Night (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #16.5)
  30. The Savior (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #17)
  31. Blood Truth (Series: Black Dagger Legacy #4)
  32. Where Winter Finds You (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood # 17.5)
  33. The Sinner (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #18)
  34. A Warm Heart in Winter (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #18.5)
  35. Lover Unveiled (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #19)
  36. Lover Arisen (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #20)
  37. Lassiter (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #21)

Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp

  1. The Jackal
  2. The Wolf
  3. The Viper

Lair of the Wolven

  1. Claimed
  2. Forever
  3. Mine
the bdb fandom is strong with us

Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Guide

Take a trip with us into the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. You will find specific character information along with our fantasy casting for each! It’s always so much fun to play with what these characters would look like.

J.R. Ward’s Contemporary Romances Reading Order

J.R. Ward started out her writing career writing as Jessica Bird. Nowadays you can find some of her older titles either have switched to being published under the Ward pen name, or they display both. But, even though her contemporaries don’t necessarily interconnect, you can find some more enjoyment by reading them in a recommended order so you can find the cameos some characters make from book to book. Let’s get started with those then!

Standalone Contemporaries

The books where all the magic started! Leaping Hearts is Jessica Bird’s debut novel, followed closely by Heart of Gold. Follow along in the order we’ve placed these series.

  1. Leaping Hearts
  2. Heart of Gold

An Unforgettable Lady

  1. An Unforgettable Lady
  2. An Irresistible Bachelor

The Moorehouse Legacy

  1. The Rebel
  2. The Player
  3. The Renegade
  4. The Rogue

The O’Banyon Brothers

  1. The Billionaire

The Bourbon Kings

If you are in the mood for a soap opera full of mystery, money, romance and drama then you’ll want to add this series to your TBR. It’s not connected to any of her other books.

  1. The Bourbon Kings
  2. Angels’ Share
  3. The Devil’s Cut


If you enjoy the In Death series by J.D. Robb, then this is the best place to start for you. It’s more of a standalone for now, but you’ll be sure to enjoy the police procedural feel of this one!

  1. Wedding from Hell
  2. Consumed

Download a FREE J.R. Ward Reading Tracker

J.R. Ward Notion Reading Tracker - Download Free - J.R. Ward Reading Order

Books by J.R. Ward Releasing in 2023

Our most anticipated books by J.R. Ward releasing in 2023


by J.R. Ward

Destiny, duty and desire clash in this epic new novel in J. R. Ward’s #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series…

Lassiter, the fallen angel, is too good at the savior business. In his new role overseeing the fates of all vampires, he’s influenced outcomes he shouldn’t have- so the Creator is calling him home. But the angel has a reason to stay in Caldwell. He’s bonded with a mysterious female who’s seemed to appear from out of nowhere… and has powers that defy all reason.

Rahvyn is well aware that she doesn’t belong in the present. And she never intended to stay, for her true place is in the past. Lassiter proves to be undeniable, however, and she lets herself fall for the angel- until a secret he’s been keeping comes out and she fears that for him, it’s not about love, but duty.

As the Omega’s son reestablishes the Lessening Society, and the Brotherhood must resume the deadly war- an unfathomable tragedy occurs. In the aftermath, Rahvyn has to decide whether to stay and help- or save herself from an immortal heartbreak she knows will crush her very soul…

Buy from these retailers
St. Ambrose School for Girls
Darius by J.R. Ward

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Amy R

Thanks for the post, the last book I read in this series is The Beast.


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Thank you for this helpful guide to J.R. Ward’s books! As a newbie to her work, it’s fantastic to have a clear reading order to follow. Can’t wait to dive into her captivating world of storytelling