As much as I have loved JR Ward in the past, her recent books have been kind of hit and miss for me. While this one has gotten some mixed reviews, I actually really enjoyed it. These Black Dagger Legacy books have the feel of old school BDB, and those were the ones that I love most.
This book has two different main storylines happening at once. One follows Rhage and Mary as they settle into parenthood with Bitty, all the while knowing that she’s not quite theirs yet. The other is the romance between Axe, one of the recruits, and Peyton’s cousin Elise.
I will be honest, I wasn’t thrilled when Rhage and Mary got another book with The Beast. And I was even less excited that half of this book belonged to them yet again. But there were some moments that did tug on my heartstrings, and I suppose it was necessary for their story to come full circle. We also needed some kind of b-plot to the romance and this was as good as any. I just wish that, proportionally, this felt secondary instead of equal in page time.
What really did work for me was the romance between Axe and Elise. I’m a fan of the poor guy/rich girl trope. Axe is so destitute he can’t even keep his electricity on. Plus, he is completely closed off to falling in love. And there’s a good backstory to support that. Elise’s set-up isn’t all that different from the one Paradise had in book one. She is high born with an overprotective father who wants to keep her cloistered. But Elise is no fighter, and she is not a carbon copy of Paradise, so the similarities did not put me off.
There’s good sexual tension between these two. There is a bodyguard trope going on, too, which I enjoyed. I was a little worried at first, since I Axe liked to visit the sex club. I thought this was going to be some kind of BDSM thing, but thankfully it wasn’t. The sexual dynamic was just right.
The HEA was a little rushed in the end, but I was still satisfied. I wish Ward would continue the main Black Dagger Brotherhood series in the same vein that she is doing these. Especially since Xcor and Layla’s book is finally coming. I will keep my fingers crossed that I enjoy that as much as I did this.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by JR Ward
Release Date: December 6, 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books