Review: The Chosen by J.R. Ward

Title: The Chosen by J.R. Ward
Series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: Purchase
Pages: 544
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A scorching forbidden love threatens to tear a rift through the Black Dagger Brotherhood in J. R. Ward’s newest novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.
         
Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.
         
As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

My Thoughts
Romeo and Juliet ain’t got nothing on Xcor and Layla!

I have been waiting FOREVER for Layla to get a happily ever after. This poor girl has been through some stuff. 1) Being born into a culture where her purpose is to serve a brood mare. 2) Having no control over her destiny. 3) Having been turned down by countless males when all she wants is someone to call her own. And here we are, 15 books later and Layla’s happy ending is so close but utterly JUST out of reach.

Xcor and his merry band of bastards first showed up in the series in LOVER UNLEASHED, Payne & Manny’s story (Book 9). They came from the Old Country (somewhere in Europe, perhaps?) with a few different agendas and ultimately got into some serious trouble. Severe enough that the Brotherhood are gunning for them.

Xcor and Layla are beautiful together. I have been rooting for these two for so long! Their path has been challenging and riddled with some big ass potholes, but it makes their destination all the more extraordinary. I absolutely loved it. I laughed, I cried (several times) and I loved right alongside them both!

What can I say about the other storylines? Big changes. Subtle changes and some jaw-dropping moments that I had to read twice to make sure I read it correctly! I finished this bad boy in a day. It was so exciting I couldn’t put it down!

What I love most about J.R. Ward is that she doesn’t force her characters into definitive molds or roles they don’t fit into or are befitting of. Unfortunately, that’s been a criticism of many readers when the heroes or heroines—or storylines—don’t “do the right thing” so to speak. Ward’s characters are completely organic and while I sometimes want to get angry at something a character did that I didn’t like, I’d rather she stays true to the story and the characters.

THE CHOSEN is everything I hoped for and so much more! It’s funny, exciting, dangerous, sexy and so emotional! You’ll definitely need your tissues! I think I cried 3 times by the 87th page! I would definitely recommend this or any books by J.R. Ward.

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