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Monday, April 11, 2016

REVIEW: The Beast by J.R. Ward

With The Beast, J.R. Ward is back with the 14th title in her bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  This book is Rhage and Mary centric but continues the multi-perspective storytelling Ward has adopted over the course of the series.  Rhage and Mary will both admit to feeling a disconnect to their relationship--the love and passion is there but so is a grey space.

Mary is engrossed with her work as a counselor at Safe Place, a sanctuary for women and children suffering from domestic abuse. One case in particular touches her and has a significant impact on the rest of the book, Mary's relationship with Rhage and their future. Rhage has a similar epiphany after a rather traumatic event which alters his outlook.

Parallel storylines lead readers back to the ongoing arc featuring Layla and Xcor with some surprising revelations hinted at in books to come.  Ward continues to explore Assail and a burgeoning role with the Brotherhood as well as introduce new players with interesting pasts and who are connected to some much beloved characters.

Reading The Beast felt like coming full circle.  Way back when, Lover Eternal--book 2 in the BDB series--was my first introduction to Ward and the BDB.  I have a certain soft spot for Hollywood and his Mary.  That being said, this latest installment wasn't my favorite of the series even though I found it engaging. I kept waiting for more to happen and overall feel that while still exploring an important new phase for Rhage and Mary, the rest of the ongoing arc seemed to stall. There are a few surprising developments that will no doubt be important for what is to come but Ward leaves readers begging for more.

Now all I have to do is wait not so patiently for The Chosen in 2017, which is promised to be Xcor and Layla's book. FINALLY!!!  Plus I can console myself with the new Black Dagger Legacy books Blood Kiss (2015) and Blood Vow (December 2016).

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @JRWard1




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