Black Dagger Legacy
A Spinoff of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series
Release Date: December 1, 2015
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.
***A Seasoned Black Dagger Reader***
First of all I want to say I am a diehard Black Dagger Brotherhood fan. I began this series when my youngest child started school and I had time to read once again. That was over ten years ago and I have become addicted to this series. Throughout the ten years I have made the yearly pilgrimage to the Black Dagger book signings that started out with about 40 people in attendance to today’s 1500+ attendees. I have purchased all of the hardcover copies, e-book copies, and audio books. I strongly encouraged my husband to listen to the audio books. He has also become a die-hard BDB fan as well. The Black Dagger Brotherhood is my absolutely, undeniably, all time favorite book series. When a new book releases in the series, I check out from the world and devour the BDB world until the book is finished. Then I spend the year theorizing, contemplating, and counting the days until the next book releases. It was an amazing treat when J. R. Ward announced the upcoming Black Dagger Legacy series. I no longer had to wait an entire year for a date with the Brothers.
Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward is the first book in the new Black Dagger Legacy series. The Black Dagger Legacy is a spin-off of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. This new series is deeply involved in the BDB world but focuses on the new characters being introduced into the their world as well as revisiting the original Brothers in their daily lives.
I am giving this book 6 Stars based upon what it adds to the Black Dagger world and J.R. Ward’s new directions in character development.
The start of this new series is a brilliant move for the Black Dagger Brotherhood world. For the seasoned BDB fans it is the ultimate prize. They are once again getting a big dose of the beloved original brothers that captured our hearts. Readers are getting to experience slices of their daily lives. The BDB world comes to life and readers are once again getting to experience their passions, their unique comradery, and their snarky repertoire with one another. This book reaffirms that they are still the sh#tkicking bad@sses that get the job done.
As for a reader new to the Black Dagger world this book may not have the same impact as it does on the seasoned fans of the series. It can be read without having experienced the entire series. It can stand on it’s own merit. I would highly suggested reading the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series first.
Blood Kiss features two couples and introduces some new characters. The readers are introduced to the new recruits vying to become Black Dagger warriors. Two of the recruits, Paradise and Craeg, begin a passionate love affair in their complicated world. They are fighting against the rules that dictate their world. There are the social barriers, the competitive training, and a very dangerous situation that is evolving within their world. Together they learn how to become warriors, friends, and lovers.
The readers are also drawn into Marissa and Butch’s wedded bliss. After being mated for several years they have reached a bump in the road. They are learning that no matter how much you love a person, the relationship still takes work. It takes compromise, unbiased understanding, communication, and unconditional love. J. R. did a beautiful job bringing this couple to a whole new level in their relationship.
The one thing that really impressed me the most was how J. R. gave Marissa a strong voice and really made her character come to life. The seasoned readers know that J. R. is stronger creating male characters and they dominate the books. In the previous books the majority of the story, the progression of the passionate relationships is from a strong male POV. The females are dynamic characters but they don’t radiate like their mates. Once their book is over their characters seem to fade into the background of the series where the Brothers still shine brightly. J. R. changed up her writing style with Blood Kiss. She gave her girls a strong voice and let their characters shine. She brought both Marissa and Paradise to life. They were strong female characters and had just as much presence as the male characters.
The reader also got to experience the magic that makes all of the Brothers and Lassiter (our favorite fallen angel )dear to our hearts. New readers will enjoy the snarky dialogue and interaction between the Brothers. The seasoned readers will embrace it wholeheartedly because of the established brotherhood and previous interactions throughout the series. Some of the passages will have a delightful impact that new readers won’t appreciate like the seasoned readers will. But the humor and engaging dialogue will keep everyone’s complete attention.
There is a subplot that engages both the new recruits and the original Brotherhood that unifies them as warriors. It may seem a bit rushed in the end but it was not the main focus for this book. The main focus is the passionate relationships evolving. It is also adding more layers to their world.
There are a few hints of what may come to pass in future books for both series. The BDB world is changing. There are old enemies gaining strength. There are new enemies within their race. The politics, the social cast, and traditions are evolving into something more progressive and possibly more deadly. Their world is not standing still. A war is coming. The home front is changing. The race is at risk of being exposed to the human world. The storm is brewing.
I have been involved with this series for ten years and am just as passionate about it today as I was when I read the first book. J. R. Ward is the queen of the romance world. Her Black Dagger Brotherhood appeals to both female and male audiences. She has proven once again that she can deliver the kind of book we all want to read. A passionate, highly adrenalized, fast paced book that keeps the reader involved long after the book is finished.
If you are new to J. R Ward or are a dedicated diehard BDB fan… Blood Kiss will keep you enthralled from the very first word to the very last.
Read Blood Kiss! And…. Sign me up for a Lassiter Calandar!
*** A Newbie to the Black Dagger World ***
This is my first BDB read and I found it quite enjoyable. I was able to follow the storyline fairly easily even though I had not read any of the other books in the series. J.R. Ward gives readers an excellent glossary in the very beginning that explains the language in this read and also gives a little background into certain characters. I found this glossary extremely helpful so if you are a new reader like me it is a must read in order to keep from getting lost.
How could I enjoy this without having read the series? That is the question that Michel posed to me several times. As in all romance the love story is what caught my attention. The story primarily revolves around Paradise and Craeg but you also get a glimpse into the relationship between Marissa and Butch. While I don’t know the background of Butch and Melissa’s relationship I can appreciate how much they working on keeping the romance alive and what happens when couples do not communicate like they should. Marissa took on a heavy burden that almost broke her. Butch was there all along to support her but didn’t know she needed support because she kept things hidden. We have all tried to do everything ourselves at least once in our lifetime and know that asking for help is tough but often makes life much more bearable.
I am also a glutton for a good forbidden romance and J.R. Ward delivers an excellent one in her character development of Paradise and Craeg. Paradise knows that Craeg is off-limits but she just can’t seem to help herself. I liked this role reversal where the Paradise was pursuing Craeg and he was doing everything in his power to keep honorable. The dam only held for so long until things were so heated that their chemistry nearly caused them to burst into flames. Then there was the walk of shame. Was it one and done or were Paradise and Craeg going to try to have a relationship? They were from completely different worlds and Paradise just knew her father would not approve so what was she to do? This dynamic kept me turning the pages especially since I am not familiar with the BDB series and had no idea if J.R. Ward was writing an HEA here or not. You will have to read Blood Kiss to find out what happens.
My final thoughts are that Blood Kiss an excellent stepping stone for new readers to get a taste of the BDB world. It was enough for me that I purchased Dark Lover on Audible. On its own it is a hot and steamy paranormal romance that is action packed and will keep you on your toes. It was an excellent standalone read on its own that I think new readers to this series will enjoy.
Jessica Rowley Pell Bird was born on 1969 in Massachusetts, USA. She is the daughter of Maxine F. and W. Gillette Bird, Jr. She began writing as a child, penning her thoughts in diaries as well as inventing short stories. She read her first Harlequin Presents novel in a rose garden when she was in her teens. She was hooked immediately. By the time she went to college, she had boxes and boxes of Harlequins and Silhouettes. Every year, her mother would ask why all those books had to live in the house and Jess would reply that if even one of them disappeared she would know. (She’d catalogued them.)
Jess finished her first romance manuscript the summer before her freshman year of college. She attended Smith College and graduated with a double major in history and art history. She then received a law degree from Albany Law School. Shortly after that, she began working in the healthcare industry in Boston. She spent many years as one of the premier medical center’s Chief of Staff. While working as a lawyer in Boston, she completed two novels more and started a number of partials. In 2001, Bird married John Neville Blakemore III. Both her mother and her new husband kept telling her to send something in to an agent, a publisher, the Tooth Fairy, anyone. She thought they were nuts, but eventually got her nerve up and bought a lot of stamps. Since getting published, she has written contemporary romances as Jessica Bird and paranormal romances as J. R. Ward. She has been a Rita Award finalist, received two Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice nominations and has been a HOLT medallion finalist.
New England born and bred, Jess is surprised to find herself living south of the Mason Dixon line. (But that’s what happens when you marry a Southern gentleman.) She and her husband live with their golden retriever, who oversees her writing in a supervisory role.