After the train wreck that was The Shadows, I had my concerns about where JR Ward would take the Brothers next. And I have to say that here, the pendulum swings all the way in the other direction, as far from an unhappy ending as you can get. In Rhage, Ward gives us a hero that is damn near perfect, save for a bit of over-the-top baby blues. And Mary remains his ideal match — loving, supportive, and secure. This is the story of their quest to grow their family. While there is nothing you can’t predict in their journey, it is one that totally satisfies.
There’s plenty of other stuff going on here as well. One of the biggest secondary storylines follows Layla, as she is put on bedrest for the health of the twins, just as Xcor lingers near her orbit. Big things happen here. There’s also a sideplot featuring Assail. And then one with a group of human characters.
I know many readers hate Layla. I actually don’t. I feel like I’ve been waiting ages for progress with her relationship with Xcor –and for her forever-pregnancy to end. I’ve got to say that the story of the twins totally delivered the Feels. Not much happened with her and Xcor per se, but the stage is finally set for their book, and how the King of the Bastards can redeem himself with the Brotherhood.
I never cared much about Assail one way or the other in the previous books. In fact, his threads always annoyed me, since they got in the way of the romances I felt like books were supposed to be about. But here, something changed for me. As he spiraled and found an unexpected purpose, I actually started to gain a little interest. I might could come around on Assail book if Ward keeps this up.
And then there are the humans… or what you could call the filler portion of the book. I didn’t care. I doubt you will care. There’s always at least one such thread in these books –and this one is it.
But Rhage and Mary? You’ll care. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll cry –more than once. But they are good tears. Their story is all about love. And making a family. It’s about rebuilding after loss. And it’s good stuff. My only small complaint (believe it or not) was too much sex. I’m usually down with the hot loving in these books, but here, I was just kind of meh about it. Maybe because there isn’t anything resembling sexual tension involved. The sex was just there, a lot. But the overall dynamic between these two worked in every other way that mattered.
Basically, it’s the antithesis of The Shadows. So I liked it. And I think most BDB fans will too. I’m actually looking forward to The Chosen.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by JR Ward
Release Date: April 5, 2016