The Beast by J.R. Ward

The Beast Book Cover The Beast
The Black Dagger Brotherhood
J.R. Ward
Fiction
Penguin
April 5, 2016
528

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...

 

I’ve loved every book I’ve ever read by J.R. Ward.

The Beast was another winner. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series as a whole may very well be my favorite series of all. It “may” be my favorite because as a bookworm I hate to pick definite favorites.

The+Beast+Cover+JR+Ward

What is so great about her writing is that she manages to have each book focus mainly on two people, and yet there are at least 3 or more side stories going on that you equally care about. I’ve read several books that veered off the main story line for other characters and it really made me want to skim pages. Ward manages to keep you entertained and caring about EVERY character in a story.

The Beast revisits Rhage and Mary, a love match made in “Lover Eternal“, book 2 of 14. Rhage is one of my personal favorites in this series. He and Mary face new challenges in their relationship that they didn’t anticipate when they got their forever-after together. A life with each other was supposed to be enough, but maybe they were wrong. Even the strongest relationships fall on hard times.

Moving on to the side stories. Will Assail beat his addiction to cocaine? Will he ever get a chance at a life with his human love? Layla is giving birth to twins with Qhuinn and his lover Blay. How will the parenting trio manage this feat when Layla is secretly in love with Xcor, enemy #1 of the brotherhood? Xcor is currently imprisoned by the brotherhood until he wakes from his coma. Will he be allowed to live after nearly killing the king? The odds aren’t good for Xcor, but Layla has discovered something of his lineage that just might save him.

Layla and Xcor will have their fates settled in the next book of this series, The Chosen.

Is it necessary to read this 14 book series in order, plus the 2 from the spin-off “Blood Legacy” series? YES, yes it is. If someone told you to binge-watch a series on Netflix this Saturday, would you start at the last episode? No. Be grateful that you get to binge-read one of the best Vampire series ever written (start here if you’re new to this series). Honestly, I’m jealous of you. I had to wait years for all of these books.

Binge+read

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