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!

Last updated April 2, 2024

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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.

YouTube video

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)
  38. The Beloved (Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #22)

Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp

  1. The Jackal
  2. The Wolf
  3. The Viper
The Jackal by J.R. Ward Quote
Listen to the podcast episode

Listen to our review of THE JACKAL by J.R. Ward

Lair of the Wolven

  1. Claimed
  2. Forever
  3. Mine
Listen to the podcast episode

Listen to our review of CLAIMED by J.R. Ward

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

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J.R. Ward Author Guide including J.R. Ward Reading Order and Free Reading Tracker

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
YouTube video


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

J.R. Ward’s Thriller Books

J.R. Ward back at writing as Jessica Bird writes a YA thriller, standalone novel.

Download a FREE J.R. Ward Reading Tracker

Download J.R. Ward Notion Reading Tracker

Books by J.R. Ward Releasing in 2024

Our most anticipated books by J.R. Ward releasing in 2024

Mine by J.R. Ward


by J.R. Ward
January 23, 2024

The hotly anticipated thrilling conclusion of the Lair of the Wolven series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward.

In this finale, Lydia and Daniel are bracing themselves for his inevitable decline but first, they must go on a rescue mission that will put both their lives in danger.

The Beloved by J.R. Ward

The Beloved

by J.R. Ward
April 9, 2024

The thrilling and highly anticipated next installment in the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series!

When Zsadist’s daughter, Nalla, falls in love, the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s deadliest fighter has to confront the future and the reality that he can’t protect his young forever. Or can he?

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