Review: The Beast by J.R. Ward

Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #14
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: NAL
Source: Publisher
Pages: 528
Reviewer: Elizabeth
Rating: 5 Stars
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Rhage and Mary return in a new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series “so popular, I don’t think there’s a reader today who hasn’t at least heard of [it]” (USA Today).

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...

******Mildly Spoiler-y Review******

Elizabeth's Thoughts
“Life didn’t have to be perfect . . . for true love to exist in it.”

That line sums up the entire book. Never in all of my time reading have I ever read a sentence so absolutely…right.

THE BEAST is such an emotionally draining book that you’ll definitely need your tissues and you may need to take a few breaks in between reading. I certainly did. And that’s not a bad thing. Rhage and Mary are going through some very REAL problems that many people face. It was tough watching them go through their ups and downs, some bigger than the others. But their story was all the more beautiful because of them. I won’t give out details but I do want to reassure everyone that this won’t be like the end of THE SHADOWS. That’s all I’ll say! Lips sealed!

And now on to the other characters in the story. Layla is very pregnant and still struggling with her feelings for Xcor. I hope this poor girl gets her HEA soon! She surely deserves one! There are a few scenes with Luchas, Qhuinn’s brother, as well. He and Layla spend time together while he heals and she is on strict bed rest. We don’t really see much of his character in this one and I’m hoping we will in the next book. But, his story may not be ready to tell yet and I’m totally cool with that. Xcor is in the book, but in the background of many scenes…you’ll have to read the book to find out why J

And then there’s Assail. Cue the dreamy sighs! He is going through some stuff! Holy cow! He’s sexier than hell and every time he’s in a scene, he commands your attention, whether you want it or not. He’s dealing with some serious issues too, and many things come to a head in his storyline. His twin cousin’s Ehric and Evale get page time and we learn more about them and as well as some insight into the dynamics of their (Assail and the twins’) relationship.

I can’t forget Vishous! He gets lots of page time and always has wicked insight into the Black Dagger Brotherhood warriors…as well as everyone else in the story. Lassiter is in the book as well, maybe a little less annoying this time but vital to the book. Saxton plays a very small role in the book, but he’s in a powerfully shocking scene! And Throe…I didn’t want to mention him but I have to. I hope he is staked and left out for the sun because he’s a lying, conniving, back-stabbing motherf**ker and he NEEDS to be put down! That is all.

And of course, there is the sex. J.R. Ward gets DIRTY! There are a few scenes that are very graphic, but always welcome! There’s also a few Male/Male interactions. It’s not full-on like Blay and Qhuinn’s book but there are a few heated conversations where some boundaries are tested. And no, those scenes aren’t with Blay and Qhuinn. You’ll have to experience that surprise on your own! The only reason I mention it now is because I know some readers are uncomfortable about male/male scenes and I felt I need to mention it so readers are aware. While the scenes are brief, they are not greatly emphasized.

There are SO many things that happen in the book. It’ll start slow but quickly picks up momentum. And then hold on to your socks! I think I say that with every BDB book because it’s true! It was amazing! Take your time and enjoy the book! There may be some things in there that you’ll wonder, “Why the hell is this in here?” Trust me, J.R. Ward ALWAYS has a reason for everything that goes into the story. Just be patient!

I absolutely loved THE BEAST. I can’t say Rhage’s book, because so many other good (and bad) things happen that it’s not just about Rhage and Mary. All characters are involved and affected by several outcomes in the book.

I recommend all J.R. Ward books, especially THE BEAST because it’s an exciting, dangerous, heart-stopping, heart-wrenching, humorous and tearful read that will bring you to your knees!

My biggest thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.

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