by JR Ward
I enjoyed this first book in JR Ward’s Black Dagger Legacy series, but had hoped it would bring readers back to the early days of the BDB, where almost every page was dedicated to the couple falling in love. Sigh. Remember how amazing Dark Lover was? Unfortunately, the promoted romance fell a bit short for me, but overall the book is a keeper.
Blood Kiss’s blurb is all about Paradise and Craeg, two of the new trainees in the Brotherhood’s new warrior program. Paradise is an aristocrat from one of the founding families. Craeg, a commoner’s son. They met in Ward’s previous book, The Shadows, and it was love at first sight. Despite their instant attraction, Craeg resists Paradise, which is the basis of most of their romantic arc. He has a plan for his life, which includes revenge and not a clearly-virginal female of the race. Paradise is determined not only to seduce Craeg, but to break away from the prison of the aristocracy. The two clash continually, sparks flying as Craeg resists even though he’s clearly bonded with Paradise. But despite their chemistry and some wickedly hot sex scenes, there’s no real depth to their relationship, at least not on-screen because…
In what’s become Ward’s style, this book featured TWO couples: Paradise and Craeg and Marissa and Butch. Can I tell you how much I adore Marissa and Butch? Okay, I will. I love them. This is now the third book in the BDB world that features their story. Which, just like any couple, is an ongoing one (because love is a journey!) and I love, love, love that the Warden shows us that these couples, who are so real to readers, continue to have ups and downs. Plus, any book that features Butch, feature Vischous and, hello, that’s a good book as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, my understanding is that Ward’s intention with the Legacy series is to feature a new couple and an old couple. Not that different than the Brotherhood series, but if this one is any indication the newer couple will be a reflection of the established couple. In Blood Kiss, both Craeg and Butch are struggling with the belief that the females they love are too good for them. For both males they have to discover how to love Paradise and Marissa without keeping them on a pedestal, allowing them to be true partners. I loved the parallels, but hated that Paradise and Craeg were limited to an almost novella length romance in their actual page presence in the book.
I did love the backdrop of their story, the training center for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. There’s a diabolical “first night” of training where those not up to the challenge are weeded out in some very inventive ways which just oozes with the brilliant, devious minds of the Brothers. I was torn between laughing out loud at the Brothers’ antics and sympathetic towards the trainees as they tried to make it through the night. We’re introduced to some interesting characters in the program whom I’m sure we’ll learn more about and there’s a mystery that draws the two couples together making for some good storytelling (plus a visit to a sex club, without Vischous-who would have thought it!).
3.5 stars because I liked it. Heat Level: 4
Blood Kiss was published in December 2015 by Signet.
Click on the cover for info on adding Blood Kiss to your reading library.