A new Black Dagger book? Wait, a new Black Dagger series! So in other words a book I must own, no questions asked. Just take my money please. I have not hidden my love for J.R. Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhoodseries, so a spin-off was such an exciting idea to me. For those not familiar with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, it features a group of smoking hot vampires who are highly-trained warriors, their lady loves and the occasional fallen angel in a war against the Lessening Society, a group bent on their destruction. While they fight for the future of their race they must hide their existence from humans. After massive vampire civilian casualties the Black Dagger Brotherhood is searching for a new way to fight.
The Black Dagger Legacy series follows civilian trainees as they prepare to fight in the war against the Lessers. Blood Kiss features Paradise, who is the only daughter of the king’s advisor, and as such should be a delicate lady. However, she wants more from life then the socially appropriate marriage and life as a subservient wife. She wants to explore, learn and push herself. Signing up for the training program is the biggest risk she can imagine, but she is determined to succeed. It doesn’t hurt that Craeg, a vampire she felt an instant attraction to, is also joining. The secondary plot features Butch, a human turned vampire, as he struggles with issues from his past that are bleeding into his current and affecting his marriage.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood series has thirteen books, so the world has been built
very well. Blood Kiss continues in that world and features very familiar people, places and things (but sadly not nearly enough Zsadist from Lover Awakened my fav in the series). The pacing is great, fast and action packed with plenty of steam. I love Ward’s character development, she delves into the intricacies of not only the character but their place in society. I enjoy that she places each of her players into a societal characterization that helps explain their thought processes and then wraps the personality around that and often in spite of it. And anytime a writer can include a fallen angel who is obsessed with reality TV and the movie Beaches, and make it fit perfectly in the story arc you have a winner.
I really enjoyed Blood Kiss and am excited that Ward decided to expand on her BDB world. Paradise was such a great character and I loved her drive to prove herself. Craeg is a strong alpha male who refuses to believe he could need a female, and his refusal to admit his attraction was very well played out. The story line with Butch and his wife Marissa showed a deep connection and how love truly can solve a lot of issues. J.R. Ward continues a great series in a new way and I for one am all-in.
Favorite lines – As he kissed her back, she thought about what happily-ever-afters were about, and decided that true love didn’t mean effortless, and ever-after wasn’t about cruise control. You started with the attraction, and then you opened your heart and your soul—but all that, which was no small thing, just got you to first base.
Biggest cliché – As much as I love J.R. Ward she does a few things in her writing that just irks me – the name of the club is shAdoWs, and yes it is spelled just like that. It looks to me like they are advertising their favorite kind of root beer. Using hash tag as an actual spoken word “hash tag awesome”. And she loves her brand names. Someone was described as tapping her Bic pen on her Office Max blotter, shoe brands are mentioned, clothes brands, everything is branded. It’s almost like seeing all of the judges on a reality show drinking out of their branded cups, logos facing the camera. I don’t care what type of pen is being used or shoe someone is wearing; I just want to read about my shemxy vampires.