New Release: The Devil’s Cut by J. R. Ward – The Final Book in The Bourbon Kings Series

The Devil’s Cut

Bourbon Kings Series – Book 3

By J. R. Ward

Buy: Amazon / B & N / IBooks / Kobo

Synopsis

In #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward’s thrilling finale to her Bourbon Kings series, the Bradford family dynasty teeters on the edge of collapse after the murder of their patriarch—and a shocking arrest.

At first, the death of William Baldwine, the head of the Bradford family, was ruled a suicide. But then his eldest son and sworn enemy, Edward, came forward and confessed to what was, in fact, a murder. Now in police custody, Edward mourns not the disintegration of his family or his loss of freedom . . . but the woman he left behind. His love, Sutton Smythe, is the only person he has ever truly cared about, but as she is the CEO of the Bradford Bourbon Company’s biggest competitor, any relationship between them is impossible. And then there’s the reality of the jail time that Edward is facing.

Lane Baldwine was supposed to remain in his role of playboy, forever in his big brother Edward’s shadow. Instead he has become the new head of the family and the company. Convinced that Edward is covering for someone else, Lane and his true love, Lizzie King, go on the trail of a killer—only to discover a secret that is as devastating as it is game-changing.

As Lane rushes to discover the truth, and Sutton finds herself irresistibly drawn to Edward in spite of his circumstances, the lives of everyone at Easterly will never be the same again. For some, this is good; for others, it could be a tragedy beyond imagining. Only one thing is for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder.

_______________________________________

Michel’s Review

The grand finale in the Bourbon Kings series has released. The Devil’s Cut by J. R. Ward delivers a powerful conclusion for the Bradford family dynasty.  Appearances are deceptive, behind the illusion of grandeur and wealth lies deadly secrets.  These secrets are motives for deception, theft, and murder.  Fortunes are squandered for power and greed.  People are destroyed in the name of love. The strong branches of the family tree are nothing but broken, twisted limbs. The Bradford legacy is nothing but an illusion about to be exposed.

Lane Baldwine is desperately trying to save the family name and fortune his father embezzled.  His brother Edward has been charged with their father’s murder.  His sister Gin has sold herself to an abusive marriage for all the wrong reasons. His brother Max has suddenly returned home after being off the grid for years. The mother of his heart is dying and his birth mother is lost to the world of drugs and insanity.  His soon to be ex wife is pregnant with his father’s baby and trying to secure her share of the family fortune.  His father not only left the family finances destitute , he also left behind illegitimate children and a multitude of enemies.  Lane Baldwine is dealing with more than a lost fortune, he’s dealing with a broken family.

The big question is who killed “daddy dearest” ?  The answer to that question could either unravel the family more or save what is left of the broken threads.

The next big question is where did all the money go?  Is it lost forever or can Lane salvage enough to save the distillery?

Has the Bradford Legacy come to an end?  That question all depends on the first question.

If you want the all the answers… read the book!  All the answers are hidden in plain sight in   pure sarcastic and twisted J. R. Ward brilliance.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Bourbon King series.  The Devil’s Cut delivered all the answers with quite a few surprises along the way.  There were a few things that held me back from giving this book five stars.  At times it felt a bit rushed and other times too drawn out and slower paced.  Another factor that held me back was one of the characters that was introduced in book one and added to the dynamics in developing the plot was omitted in book three. I felt like they were part of the key in the new dynamics of the Bradford family legacy. Overall it was a very good book and satisfying conclusion to the series.

 

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The Bourbon Kings Series

BOURBONK

The Bourbon Kings

The Bourbon Kings – Book One

Buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes / Kobo

Synopsis

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal….

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

***

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The Angel’s Share

The Bourbon Kings Series – Book 2

By J. R. Ward

Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

Synopsis

#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward delivers the second novel in her Bourbon Kings series—a sweeping saga of a Southern dynasty struggling to maintain a façade of privilege and prosperity, while secrets and indiscretions threaten its very foundation……


In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…
No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.

Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior…or the worst of all the sinners?

***

The Devil’s Cut

Bourbon Kings Series – Book 3

By J. R. Ward

Buy: Amazon / B & N / IBooks / Kobo

Synopsis

In #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward’s thrilling finale to her Bourbon Kings series, the Bradford family dynasty teeters on the edge of collapse after the murder of their patriarch—and a shocking arrest.

At first, the death of William Baldwine, the head of the Bradford family, was ruled a suicide. But then his eldest son and sworn enemy, Edward, came forward and confessed to what was, in fact, a murder. Now in police custody, Edward mourns not the disintegration of his family or his loss of freedom . . . but the woman he left behind. His love, Sutton Smythe, is the only person he has ever truly cared about, but as she is the CEO of the Bradford Bourbon Company’s biggest competitor, any relationship between them is impossible. And then there’s the reality of the jail time that Edward is facing.

Lane Baldwine was supposed to remain in his role of playboy, forever in his big brother Edward’s shadow. Instead he has become the new head of the family and the company. Convinced that Edward is covering for someone else, Lane and his true love, Lizzie King, go on the trail of a killer—only to discover a secret that is as devastating as it is game-changing.

As Lane rushes to discover the truth, and Sutton finds herself irresistibly drawn to Edward in spite of his circumstances, the lives of everyone at Easterly will never be the same again. For some, this is good; for others, it could be a tragedy beyond imagining. Only one thing is for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder.

_______________________________________________

 

JR Ward (dog) - Photo by Andrew HyslopJ.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 15 million novels in print published in 25 different countries around the world. The books in her popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series have held the #1 spot on the New York Times hardcover, mass market, eBook, and combined print/eBook fiction bestseller lists and have debuted in the top 5 on the USA Today bestseller list. Prior to her writing career, Ward worked as a lawyer in Boston and spent many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard’s world-renowned academic medical centers. Ward currently lives with her family in Kentucky where she has learned to enjoy and appreciate all things Southern. Connect with her online at www.jrward.com, Facebook.com/JRWardBooks, and Twitter.com/JRWard1.

 

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Release Blitz + Excerpt + 5 Star Review: The Angels’ Share by J. R. Ward – The Bourbon Kings Series – Book 2

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The Angel’s Share

The Bourbon Kings Series – Book 2

By J. R. Ward

Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

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Synopsis

#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward delivers the second novel in her Bourbon Kings series—a sweeping saga of a Southern dynasty struggling to maintain a façade of privilege and prosperity, while secrets and indiscretions threaten its very foundation……


In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…
No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.

Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior…or the worst of all the sinners?

_____________________________________

Excerpt

Toyota trucks were not supposed to go seventy-five miles an hour. Especially when they were ten years old.

At least the driver was wide awake, even though it was four a.m.

Lizzie King had a death grip on the steering wheel, and her foot on the accelerator was actually catching floor as she headed for a rise in the highway.

She had woken up in her bed at her farmhouse alone. Ordinarily, that would have been the status quo, but not anymore, not now that Lane was back in her life. The wealthy playboy and the estate’s gardener had finally gotten their act together, love bonding two unlikelies closer and stronger than the molecules of a diamond.

And she was going to stand by him, no matter what the future held.

After all, it was so much easier to give up extraordinary wealth when you had never known it, never aspired to it—and especially when you had seen behind its glittering curtain to the sad, desolate desert on the far side of the glamour and prestige.

God, the stress Lane was under.

And so out of bed she had gotten. Down the creaking stairs she had gone. And all around her little house’s first floor she had wandered.

When Lizzie had looked outside, she’d discovered his car was missing, the Porsche he drove and parked beside the maple by her front porch nowhere to be seen. And as she had wondered why he had left without telling her, she had begun to worry.

Just a matter of nights since his father had killed himself, only a matter of days since William Baldwine’s body had been found on the far side of the Falls of the Ohio. And ever since then Lane’s face had had a faraway look, his mind churning always with the missing money, the divorce papers he had served on the rapacious Chantal, the status of the household bills, the precarious situation at the Bradford Bourbon Company, his brother Edward’s terrible physical condition, Miss Aurora’s illness.

But he hadn’t said a thing about any of it. His insomnia had been the only sign of the pressure, and that was what scared her. Lane always made an effort to be composed around her, asking her about her work in Easterly’s gardens, rubbing her bad shoulder, making her dinner, usually badly, but who cared. Ever since they had gotten the air cleared between them and had fully recommitted to their relationship, he had all but moved into her farmhouse—and as much as she loved having him with her, she had been waiting for the implosion to occur.

It would almost have been easier if he had been ranting and raving.

And now she feared that time had come—and some sixth sense made her terrified about where he had gone. Easterly, the Bradford Family Estate, was the first place she thought of. Or maybe the Old Site, where his family’s bourbon was still made and stored. Or perhaps Miss Aurora’s Baptist church?

Yes, Lizzie had tried him on his phone. And when the thing had rung on the table on his side of the bed, she hadn’t waited any longer after that. Clothes on. Keys in hand. Out to the truck.

No one else was on I-64 as she headed for the bridge to get across the river, and she kept the gas on even as she crested the hill and hit the decline to the river’s edge on the Indiana side. In response, her old truck picked up even more speed along with a death rattle that shook the wheel and the seat, but the damn Toyota was going to hold it together because she needed it to.

“Lane . . . where are you?”

God, all the times she had asked him how he was and he’d said, “Fine.” All those opportunities to talk that he hadn’t taken her up on. All the glances she’d shot him when he hadn’t been looking her way, all the time her monitoring for signs of cracking or strain. And yet there had been little to no emotion after that one moment they’d had together in the garden, that private, sacred moment when she had sought him out under the blooms of the fruit trees and told him that she’d gotten it wrong about him, that she had misjudged him, that she was prepared to make a pledge to him with the only thing she had: the deed to her farmhouse—which was exactly the kind of asset that could be sold to help pay for the lawyers’ fees as he fought to save his family.

Lane had held her, and told her he loved her—and refused her gift, explaining he was going to fix everything himself, that he was going to somehow find the stolen money, pay back the enormous debt, right the company, resurrect his family’s fortunes.

And she had believed him.

She still did.

But ever since then? He had been both as warm and closed off as a space heater, physically present and completely disengaged at the same time.

Lizzie did not blame him in the slightest.

It was strangely terrifying, however.

Off in the distance, across the river, Charlemont’s business district glowed and twinkled, a false, earthbound galaxy that was a lovely lie, and the bridge that connected the two shores was still lit up in spring green and bright pink for Derby, a preppy rainbow to that promised land. The good news was that there was no traffic, so as soon as Lizzie was on the other side, she could take the River Road exit off the highway, shoot north to Easterly’s hill, and see if his car was parked in front of the mansion.

Then she didn’t know what she was going to do.

The newly constructed bridge had three lanes going in both directions, the concrete median separating east from west tall and broad for safety purposes. There were rows of white lights down the middle, and everything was shiny, not just from the illumination, but a lack of exposure to the elements. Construction had only finished in March, and the first lines of traffic had made the crossing in early April, cutting rush-hour delays down—

Up ahead, parked in what was actually the “slow” lane, was a vehicle that her brain recognized before her eyes properly focused on it.

Lane’s Porsche. It was Lane’s—

Lizzie nailed the brake pedal harder than she’d been pounding the accelerator, and the truck made the transition from full-force forward to full-on stop with the grace of a sofa falling out a second-story window: Everything shuddered and shook, on the verge of structural disintegration, and worse, there was barely any change in velocity, as if her Toyota had worked too hard to gain the speed and wasn’t going to let the momentum go without a fight—

There was a figure on the edge of the bridge. On the very farthest edge of the bridge. On the lip of the bridge over the deadly drop.

“Lane,” she screamed. “Lane!”

Her truck went into a spin, pirouetting such that she had to wrench her head around to keep him in her sights. And she jumped out before the Toyota came to a full stop, leaving the gearshift in neutral, the engine running, the door open in her wake.

“Lane! No! Lane!”

Lizzie pounded across the pavement and surmounted barriers that seemed flimsy, too flimsy, given the distance down to the river.

Lane jerked his head around—

And lost one hold of the rail behind him.

As his grip slipped, shock registered on his face, a flash of surprise . . . that was immediately replaced by horror.

When he fell off into nothing but air.

Lizzie’s mouth could not open wide enough to release her scream.

 

 

Posted by arrangement with New American Library, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © J.R. Ward, 2016.

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5Star

Michel’s Review

 

The Bourbon Kings series is quite different from the previous series by J. R. Ward. The writing and tone is in a class by itself that follows along the lines of contemporary fiction rather than romance fiction. It does not have the fast paced, intense action that readers are used to in the Black Dagger Brotherhood or Fallen Angels series. The characters are not the hard core alphas with loads of attitude to back them up. This series is based upon a prestigious family and their elite world. The characters are elitist that have been raised with entitlement and vast wealth.

The first book in the Bourbon Kings series introduced the characters, the dynamics of the Bradford family, and the death of daddy dearest.  The father’s death appears to be a suicide until some very incriminating evidence is found that indicates murder.  To the Bradford heirs the death of their father isn’t as devastating as it should be.  He was a cruel man that mistreated his children all their lives.  What is devastating is the mess he has left them in.  He left the family bankrupt.  He has lost over $165 million dollars in personal and business assets.  He has also left behind mistresses, illegitimate children, and powerful enemies.  Their distillery is close to shutting down.  No body knows where the money went or how far the deceptions lie.

Lane has taken over the family finances.  He’s trying to keep the family afloat, save the distillery, and save face for the business.  With each debt he uncovers comes a multitude of deceptions and secrets.  His siblings have fallen apart.

His older brother Edward was ruined long before Lane came home.  His sister Gin is marrying a monster in order to keep her wealthy lifestyle.  His brother Max has been MIA for three years.  His teenage niece has returned home after being expelled from her exclusive school.  His mother is in her own drug induced world and the woman that has been his mother of heart is dying.  The only good thing in his life is his girlfriend, Lizzie.  First he will have to divorce his conniving wife before he can marry the woman that owns his heart.

As the story unfolds it becomes very clear that everything is not as it seems on the surface.  In typical J.R. Ward fashion, the reader needs to read between the lines and think outside of the box.  The complexities are only beginning.  I believe as the Bourbon Kings series progresses the readers are going to be in for some great surprises.

Right now the only thing the Bradfords can do to unravel the mess of their lives is to follow the money.  That trail will lead to the answers that will make them all whole and a real family once again.

I know most readers were expecting this to be Edward’s book and in a sense it was.  Readers are only beginning to see a small part of this very complex man.  I think the revelations in future books is going to make up for what they were expecting in this book.

Like a good poker game, the game isn’t finished until all the cards are revealed and every hand has been played.

I can’t wait to see what comes next in The Bourbon Kings series.  The Bradfords are in for a mighty storm.

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BOURBONK

The Bourbon Kings

The Bourbon Kings – Book One

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Buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes / Kobo

Synopsis

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal….

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

_______________________________________________

 

JR Ward (dog) - Photo by Andrew HyslopJ.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 15 million novels in print published in 25 different countries around the world. The books in her popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series have held the #1 spot on the New York Times hardcover, mass market, eBook, and combined print/eBook fiction bestseller lists and have debuted in the top 5 on the USA Today bestseller list. Prior to her writing career, Ward worked as a lawyer in Boston and spent many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard’s world-renowned academic medical centers. Ward currently lives with her family in Kentucky where she has learned to enjoy and appreciate all things Southern. Connect with her online at www.jrward.com, Facebook.com/JRWardBooks, and Twitter.com/JRWard1.

 

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Release Blitz + 6 Star Review + 2016 Favorite : The Beast by J. R. Ward – The Black Dagger Brotherhood – Book 14

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The Beast

The Black Dagger Brotherhood – Book 14

By J. R. Ward

Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

Available in Hardcover Edition and Ebook Edition

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Synopsis

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…

SBJ2016Favorite

6+star

Michel’s Review

Spoiler Free Review

I have been a Black Dagger Brotherhood fan since the first book, Dark Lover, released in 2005.  I anxiously count down the months, days, and hours for each new release in this series.  I have been on pins and needles waiting for The Beast to release because Rhage has always been my favorite brother.

Readers met Rhage in the second book, Lover Eternal. He’s the brother that carries a curse on his back.  He chose to keep his curse when the Scribe Virgin allowed his mate, Mary, to receive the gift of immortality.  Rage and Mary were granted a life of love, happiness, and prosperity  but there was one thing they would never have.  They would never be able to have their own children.  At the time it was more than enough for both of them.  Their love and commitment to one another fulfilled their needs and wants.

Ten books and several years later, Rhage and Mary’s relationship has evolved into strong allegiance.  They’re happy within their marriage and their communication with one another is honest and open.  Although they have a formed a very healthy relationship, they have also grown as individuals because of that relationship.  Every relationship evolves and as it evolves it takes the individuals to a new level with new expectations, desires, and needs. It doesn’t change the main element of the relationship, it makes it grow stronger.  Rhage and Mary have reached this point and like most people they are a bit oblivious to the changes until it smacks them in the face and the realities begin to surface.

The Beast is Rhage and Mary’s next road in their life journey. Their need to take the next step and change their inner family dynamics.

****

The Beast opens with an action packed scene that places the Brotherhood into an epic battle with the lessers.  The outcome of this battle changes the path the Brotherhood is on.  It is the game changer in Rhage and Mary’s relationship.  It is also the beginning of a new direction for the Vampire race.  New alliances will be made.  The face of the enemy will evolve into several different faces.  The dynamics in the mansion will change.  It all begins at the abandoned Brownswick School for Girls in an epic battle with the lessers. The Beast has emerged and is destroying everything in sight. It could cost more than the lessers lives, it could cost the brothers some of their own.  The one paying the highest price could be Rhage himself…

***

” I’ve seen this night.”

“I want you to go home. Now.”

***

The battle is a game changer for Rhage and Mary…

***

“I’ve missed you too,” he said in a low tone. “We’ve been….kind of parallel lately. Not apart, but parallel.”

I tried to kill myself last night, he said to her in his head. And I have no idea why.

Yup, it was official.

He’d lost his mind.

***

“You don’t have anything to worry about. Not now and not ever—- at least not about me. I love you til forever and back, and nothing else matters as long as that is true.”

***

“I’m serious Mary. Now that I’m thinking about it… now that I’m running the math in my head? No, Life without you is a tragedy. Life without our young? That’s …well, it’s just a different path.”

***

Life didn’t have to be perfect…for true love to exist in it.

***

When Mary glanced at Rhage, he cleared his throat. “ I eat people, I mean… the beast. It eats things. That shouldn’t, you know, be eaten.”

He was reminding her that the future was unknown and unknowable.

So if you had the chance…even if there was no music and no ballgown, no tuxedo or gala… when your true love asked you to dance?

It was important to say yes.

Like all of the previous books, The Beast has a lot of meat to it.  Rhage and Mary are not the only individuals going through changes.  The Vampire world has been exposed to the humans.  The enemies are increasing.  Revelations are brought to the surface that creates new scenarios in the Brotherhoods lives.

***

She stood up by herself and brushed her slacks off. “ Is it just me or does this feel like a grown up episode of Scooby Doo?”

***

Six new characters are introduced into the Black Dagger Brotherhood world.  I think each of these new characters is going to have quite an impact in the future books.

There are some bombs dropped within The Beast that will leave the readers shocked and may change the direction of the series.  The only person who knows is the author herself.

V and Assail had quite a bit of page play in the Beast.  The mysterious Assail is beginning to unravel.  It will be interesting to see it all unfold.

The Beast was magnificent!  The series has come full circle and taken on a new life. Rhage and Mary have found a new happily ever after that trumps their beautiful beginning. I fell even more deeply in love with my favorite brother, Rhage.

J. R. Ward brought her A-Game to the table.  The writing was flawless.  The meticulous scene descriptions brought the world to life.  The evolution of all of the characters made them even more dynamic.  She added layers to their souls. The thing that made this book shine the most was the beautiful portrayal of how love grows, evolves, and completes an individual.

The Beast was an emotional journey for Mary and Rhage.  The Beast also delivered a defining moment in the Vampire world.  This series is evolving and could go in many directions.  Only J. R. Ward’s brilliance could create an intricate world that has so many threads of life woven into the layers. As I finished The Beast, I could not predict what was to come next or who would be the next star in the next book. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

***

It was…. magic.
It was …. family.
It was.. absolutely, positively, everything that mattered and was important.
__________________________________________

jr ward

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.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

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2015 Favorite + 6 Star Review and 5 Star Review: Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward – Black Dagger Legacy Series – Book 1

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Blood Kiss

Black Dagger Legacy

A Spinoff of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

Release Date: December 1, 2015

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Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

Synopsis

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.

Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

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SBJ2015Favorite

6+star

Michel’s Review

***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!

*************

5Star

Kelley’s Review

*** 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.

 

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jr ward

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.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

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Happy Release + Review: The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward

BOURBONK

The Bourbon Kings

New Contemporary Series: The Bourbon Kings

Release Date: July 28, 2015

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Buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes / Kobo

Synopsis

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal….

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

4StarSun

Michel’s Review

Fans of J. R. Ward are in for a treat with the release of her new contemporary series , The Bourbon Kings.  This new series has been optioned for television.

The Bourbon Kings series is quite different from the previous series by J. R. Ward.  The writing and tone is in a class by itself that follows along the lines of contemporary fiction rather than romance fiction.  It does not have the fast paced, intense action that readers are used to in the Black Dagger Brotherhood or Fallen Angels series.  The characters are not the hard core alphas with loads of attitude to back them up.  This series is based upon  a prestigious family and their elite world.  The characters are elitist that have been raised with entitlement and vast wealth.

The first half of the book revolves around world building and character introductions.  It is very wordy and overly descriptive.  The pacing is slow and tedious.  I found myself getting bored and quickly losing interest and then the J. R. Ward magic happened.  The second half of the book was enthralling.  I could not put the book down.  The characters came to life.  The family dynamics became complex and mystifying.  The plot clearly started to unfold and set their world into play.  The mystery and intrigue as well as the inner workings of the family kept me captivated.  In the end there was a cliffhanger that had me interested in what was going to come next.  The cliffhanger was not angsty or a do or die moment but an integral part of the story that is beginning to unfold.

After I finished the book and tried to formulate my thoughts I could clearly see how this is written for television.  I think that this series is going to be a very entertaining television series that will have the same kind of effect on viewers that Dallas and Dynasty had.

I can’t wait to see what happens next in The Bourbon Kings series.

# # #

jr wardJessica 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.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

BOURBONK

Happy Release: The Shadows by J. R. Ward – Black Dagger Brotherhood – Book 13

the shadows

The Shadows

Black Dagger Brotherhood – Book 13

By J. R. Ward

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Synopsis

Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice…

Buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes / Kobo / Google Play

jr wardJessica 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.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

the shadows

New Series…Cover and Blurb Reveal: Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward – Black Dagger Legacy Series – Book 1

24903031

Blood Kiss

Black Dagger Legacy

A Spinoff of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

Release Date: December 1, 2015

c79a3-add-to-goodreads-button-2

Pre Order: Amazon / B & N / ITunes

Synopsis

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.

Pre Order: Amazon / B & N / ITunes

jr wardJessica 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.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

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