The Beast

J.R. Ward
The Beast
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Release Date
April 2016
Book 14 of The Black Dagger Brotherhood
Erotic Romance, Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can't understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world...and Mary's. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from...

Book Review by Vixhen (reviewer)
May 05, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
163 people found the following review helpful
Ah…Mary and Rhage - they are probably the sweetest of all the couples in the BDB saga. She's an ordinary human girl who fell for the "movie-star-handsome" vampire brother, Rhage. Theirs wasn't an easy journey, but they survived insurmountable odds and came out even stronger. While they watch some of the other couples expand their families, it's a harsh reminder that they can never have children of their own. Each of them feeling the sting of this reality and not wanting to make their regrets known to the other, their relationship becomes a bit disconnected. They pretend that all is well, though their respective hearts are breaking. While biology may not be on their side, a situation presents itself, which makes both Rhage and Mary think, what if?

And then there's the hugely pregnant Layla. While she may not be a favorite, I actually felt for her. This former chosen has had a hard time of it. We get to go on an emotional roller-coaster ride as she wonders what's going on with Xcor, and if she can carry her twins to term. She's torn between her desire to be with Xcor, the man who tried to kill her King, and her duty to remain loyal to Quinn and the Brotherhood. I really hope JR Ward does Layla justice when it's time to write her story.

Assail, believe it or not, has grown on me. While his exterior may be a bit haughty and emotionally removed, this is one tortured, drug-addicted soul wrapped in a designer suit. He goes above and beyond to not only help the Brothers, but also another who is in dire need. In his act of selflessness, he finds the purpose and strength to kick his demons to the curb.

And finally…Lassiter. I love this angel. He brings light and humor to the mansion in a way that only he can. If JR Ward doesn't write his story next, it should be on her list of the things to do soon. He deserves her full attention because I believe his story will be one that will shock and amaze.

I must confess that I was about to give up on JR Ward and my beloved BDB Series. I mean come on…it started with Payne and Manny's story and just went downhill from there. However, she did rebound a bit with The King. In my opinion, while she was busy creating the Band of Bastards, Assail, Sola and all those random peeps she kept throwing at us, I was waiting for her to get back to basics. I wanted to find out what the Brothers were up to. Well, apparently, she came to her senses and got her mojo back because THE BEAST was the best BDB book she's written since Lover Mine. This book was like coming home. I got to read about "my boys" and just everyday life. Sure, they battled it out with the Lessers, but the whole good vs evil thing wasn't the focal point of this story. This story was about family. It was about sacrifice. It was about loss. It was about love. It was about hope and second chances. This book made me laugh, cry, cheer and applaud after the final sentence was read. When I finished this book, I realized that I don't need a ton of newbies showing up in Caldwell. I was missing the Brothers – that core group of bad-ass vampires, who had a taste for Gangsta rap, black leather and Sig Sauers. Sure, JR Ward made me wait an entire year to read about their next escapades, but they were so worth it. I hope this is a new creative process for Ms. Ward because I think it's great and nothing makes me happier than catching up with "my boys" to find out what's doin'.
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