Review: The Chosen by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

I know a lot of BDB fans were not excited for this book. JR Ward alienated so many people (myself included) with the ending of The Shadows, and frankly, a lot of people hate Layla. I hated Layla for a long time, so I get that. But I actually was looking forward to this book because I love a tortured hero and I’m all about forbidden romance. I’ve kinda been burning for this pairing for years.

There were things I liked in this story, but a great deal that I didn’t. I’m going to talk about the plot some, so if you haven’t read the book and you want to stay entirely spoiler free, consider yourself warned. My main problem with this book was that Ward set up the conflict with the utter annihilation of Qhuinn’s character. I’m not saying “Qhuinn makes bad choices.” I’m saying, I hated Qhuinn. I wanted to set Qhuinn on fire. Qhuinn was unrecognizable from the character we’ve known in all the books leading up to this one. That is not ok. He’s not just an ass. He is cruel, violent, and vindictive. He is beyond horrible to Layla, and frankly, speaks to Blay in a way that is completely at odds with the devoted mate he has always been up until now. Ward turned this character into something else to force the story where she wanted it to go and I am not down with that.

I’m also disappointed that Xcor and Layla start the book already in love. Yes, we’ve had a ton of building in previous books but I wanted the money scene where they finally reveal their feelings, and (especially for Xcor) it’s earth shattering and we get that big FINALLY moment. Their love was a given and I felt cheated. Don’t get me wrong, they are lovely together. I felt their desperation over their stolen moments and their abiding love, which is something Ward gets right. I just wish we would’ve had a big moment when they put their feelings out there for the first time.

As you know, these days Ward is all about the subplots, none of which I cared for. I especially Hated Trez’s story with a Selena lookalike. Hated with a capital H. I hated Tohr’s backslide. And I was completely unmoved by V’s emotional disconnect from Doc Jane. I had to fight the urge to skim often in the side scenes, when I wasn’t contemplating throwing my ereader in frustration.

I am interested in anything to do with the Band of Bastards. And the flashback scenes with Xcor broke my heart. Poor Xcor. He reminds of Zsadist. (Who I miss, BTW.) Such a gentle soul who has endured so much misery. I love how Layla changes him. He is so good to her! So heartbreakingly devoted and utterly in love with her. It’s so lovely how she sees him… as a good man and a warrior. And I enjoyed her finding her own identity.

I also thought the big climax scene was pretty awesome.

But the resolution was super-rushed and way too easy. Especially when it came to Qhuinn. As much as Ward turned his character on a dime at the beginning, she did it just as quickly at the end. It felt shallow and unsatisfying.

Overall, I found the book very uneven. It had some really satisfying moments. But just as many disappointments.

Rating: C+/B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Chosen
by JR Ward
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books


  1. I agree that she went a bit too far with the Quinn/Layla scene and but his turn around was typical Quinn. Blow up, do something stupid, and/or say something cruel…all done instantly because he hasn’t learned to control his emotions yet. Then, his core loving nature comes out and he tries to make it right. I’m glad Blay stood up to him like he did.
    V has always been my favorite character and he’s scaring me. When he recoiled from Jane’s touch, I knew things were bad. It takes two and his apathy with Jane has had a lot to do with the state of their marriage. But Jane’s over devotion to her job and her lack of awareness at how it’s affecting their relationship with Z. My prediction is that V is going to get with the “vampire” blogger. Whether he will actually cheat or not is the question. I hope not.

    In many ways, this has been one of my favorite books in the series. The only downside? I’ve finished it! When I read a new BDB book, I keep checking the % read in the corner. When it gets in the 80 range, I get depressed because I know it will be so long before I get another fix. I think I got spoiled because, when I heard about the series, there were already 10 books! I just went from one to the next. I think Ward should write a mini book every week! No, every day!

  2. I totally agree with you on everything you said. You took the words right out of my mouth. The ending was disappointing.

    • How did it end, did layla ran off with him? What did the brother hood do? I don’t feel like reading the book am plz tell me

      • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

        Only click if you really want to know. Verrrry long story short, Xcor pledges his loyalty to Wrath and his Band of Bastard fall in line behind him. They all move into the mansion and live happily ever after. –And Torh finds out they’re brothers.

        • vrinda agarwal says:

          Hey jen please tell me everything will be fine b/w V n Jane. I don’t want to read this book after knowing this plot. Lover unbound is my favourite book of the series . I don’t even get it,you r saying about his emotional disconnection with Jane. I mean how it is possible, ward can’t write what isn’t right n doesn’t make any sense. Plz tell me that everything’s gonna be fine b/w them . V is my favourite one. I wish ward writes a book based on this (totally unfair)plot ( sooner)in which everything will be better than OK n which will not going to make me hate her . V better be having a good reason for all this “detaching emotionaly” drama or I swear …. . huh I don’t know, whatever. Sorry jen for my babbling n plz reply your thoughts over this.

          • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

            LOL. I think it will be ok, but I think it’s going to be a rocky road. People drift apart sometimes and need a reason to come back together. It will probably be frustrating for V & Jane fans for awhile, but I think it will end up with them happy and stronger than ever. (Did that help?)

  3. I totally love this series and I was waiting for this book I like the way everything turns around for Layla and Xcor. But V please Don’t go cheating on Doc Jane

  4. Veronica says:

    I liked this book. It drove me crazy, absolutely insane in some places!!! Qhuinn drove me nuts!!! Layla did too, at times. I LOVED learning about Xcor, I found his back story utterly heart-wrenching, I cried while reading parts of his childhood. I saw great parallels between him (Xcor), Z, and Qhuinn. All males who have had very terrible pasts, but they seem to use that to make themselves better. I hope JR Ward will give us more of these three “males of worth”. I do love all of the brothers, these three though, they have a special place in my heart.
    On to V, brother, wtf???, Where is your head at? You and Jane need to work that sh*t out, if you know what I mean.
    Trez……His story with Selena was painful, it broke my heart. I’m happy JR Ward is trying to mend his heart, makes me wonder if this whole “look-a-like” is a way to make amends for all the suffering he did growing up knowing he was to be the sex-slave to the princess???
    I am new to this series came upon it about 2 months ago and flew through all the books as I could not get enough of the brothers and this world. I have started re-reading the series from the beginning as I feel that I can now pay closer attention to all the details within BDB and BDB Legacy.

  5. I am very disappointed in Vischous! Looking like he is about to screw up everything with Jane…but then again her work seems to be enough to keep her content, which is pretty much what she said in the beginning of their story.

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