Review: Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward

Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Signet
Source: Publisher
Pages: 397
Reviewer: Elizabeth
Rating: 5 Stars
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The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.

And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

Elizabeth's Thoughts
I absolutely loved BLOOD KISS!

This spin-off series of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series is just what the doctor ordered! The book is almost 400 pages, yet it was an unusually fast read. I couldn’t put it down!

J.R. Ward goes back to her roots and brings us a story reminiscent of DARK LOVER. Since DARK LOVER was the first romance book I’d ever read, it was like coming home. I love the concept of a series around the warrior training program and loved getting to see some new faces.

Paradise, daughter of Abalone, the King’s First Advisor was first introduced in THE KING (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12) and had a few appearances in the last book, THE SHADOWS (#13). She was raised in the aristocracy of vampire society known as the glymera and has been greatly sheltered all her life. Paradise wants to find her own way and not be limited by the glymera’s misogynistic gender roles for females. She feels she can do that by joining the training program. It may not be the path for her, but it’s something she’s dreamed of doing.

I really loved Paradise’s character. We’ve seen her polite and confidant but we don’t get to see the “real” her until BLOOD KISS. Her strength is astounding and she has a solid core of steel. She’s also loyal, kind and is an all-around badass female. I loved her. She is a brilliant character and a perfect fit for Craeg.

And Craeg…*dreamy sigh* this male is amazing. He’s not from a rich family but he is strong, determined prideful and a bit stubborn. In many ways, he reminds me of Zsadist, John Matthew and Rehvenge. Craeg’s characteristics are similar to theirs but he is clearly his own character. He is also brilliantly crafted and was made for Paradise. Their romance was very steamy and I loved watching them both fall.

Marissa and Butch also have a storyline in the book and it’s pretty serious. Some past and current issues are plaguing the couple and it takes a lot of strength, courage and determination in order to set things to rights. Vishous, as always, is by Butch’s side and brings his wisdom and overt sexiness to the story. Doc Jane and the rest of the medical staff have a few honorable mentions as well as Tohr and Rhage. The ladies of the mansion have a girls’ night and it is hilarious! And then there’s Lassiter who titillates and disgusts us with a few “unusual” apparel choices J

I’ll say it again, reading BLOOD KISS was like coming home again. It was so comforting and so wonderful. The entire book is amazing. I laughed several times as well as teared up at a few places and was left with feelings of peace and contentment.

Readers will fall in love with this new series and be clamoring for more!

Thank you J.R. Ward for bringing us all “home” again.

I was gifted a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.

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