Review: Blood Fury by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

I’m almost to the point where I can just say point blank that I like these Black Dagger Legacy books more than current incarnation of the core series. Why? More focus on the romance. The main BDB books jump all over the place, from character to character, scene to scene. There have always been parts I’ve wanted to skim to get back to the romance, but with the spinoff books, it’s all romance; there’s nothing to skim.

That’s not to say there’s no jumping around here… there is. It just happens between the two romances which equally carry the book. The blurb may be all about Peyton and Novo, but this is every bit as much about Saxton and Rhun, and frankly, it’s all the better for it. The secondary romance (and I hesitate to call it that because it had equal page time) was even better for me than the headlining love story. [Read more…]

Review: Devil’s Cut by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

I was really on the fence about whether to read this book. I made no bones about the fact that I was very disappointed in The Angels’ Share. But one of the biggest reasons for that is because I expected a very different kind of book than I got. In this case, what I was looking for was resolution to those threads that were built up in the two previous installments. I got what I was looking for.

When I first started this book, I will admit that I was slow to engage. The simple truth is that I’m not really big on women’s fiction, or whatever you would categorize this as. I am a romance fan and I am used to the template that follows. The ramp up here was slow. But the book did eventually pick up. [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

Review: Blood Vow by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

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. [Read more…]

Review: The Angel’s Share by JR Ward

angels shareReviewed by Jen

I enjoyed the first book this series in an indulgent night-time soap sort of way. And I had even higher hopes for this second installment. After all, I love a good scarred, tortured hero, and Edward definitely fits the bill. In The Bourbon Kings, JR Ward clearly set up the romance between him and Sutton, the daughter of the rival distillery. Or did she?

I think one of my big problems with this book was its total failure to meet my expectations. Maybe that’s my fault. Perhaps I should not have assumed this was Edward’s book. Heck, maybe I shouldn’t have assumed that there would be a romance in each book. Because (SPOILER ALERT) there’s not. Edward is not the hero of this book at all. It’s still largely from his brother Lane’s POV. And what time we did spend with Edward frustrated me utterly. Because he seemed to be getting involved with two woman. He’s kissing and snuggling with one, having sex with another, and I just don’t want to read that. [Read more…]

Review: The Beast by JR Ward

the beastReviewed by Jen

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. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorite Books of 2015

It’s hard to believe we’re leaving another great year of reading behind us. In 2015, I found it more difficult to find books that suit my taste. I don’t care to read about billionaire bachelors, rock stars, step-brothers, biker gangs, or BDSM. Take a minute and think about how many titles fell into those categories last year.  I did a lot of backlist reading to fill in the gaps.

There were some really good new releases that I did enjoy; they were just more scarce. Here’s a look at some of the 2015 releases that really satisfied. [Read more…]

Review: Blood Kiss by JR Ward

blood kissReviewed by Jen

This is the best Black Dagger Brotherhood book I’ve read in years. I’ve struggled with some of the later books in the series, as JR Ward started including too many secondary storylines in each installment. There were so many threads happening in each book, it detracted from the main romance, which ended up rather lackluster as a result. Not here. Yes, there is a secondary storyline. One. And it ended up merging with primary story quite organically. I didn’t get bored. I didn’t want to skip anything. And both main characters made it alive to the end of the book. Progress. [Read more…]

Review: The Bourbon Kings by JR Ward

bourbon kingsReviewed by Jen

If you ever enjoyed the night-time soaps of the 1980s, get ready for the next generation of big-money, family dynasty drama.  The Bradford family made its fortune in bourbon, not oil, but all of the major elements are in place: a southern palatial estate, high end cars, private jets… class divisions, a spoiled daughter, and a dastardly patriarch that could put JR Ewing to shame.

But this is JR Ward, you say. How does it compare to the Black Dagger Brotherhood? Simply put, it doesn’t. This is in no way, shape, or form like the BDB books. There’s no street slang nor product placement. Nobody’s “gotchu.” Nobody is drinking Grey Goose.  Oh –and spoiler alert– both the hero and the heroine survive the entire book. So there’s that. [Read more…]

Review: The Shadows by JR Ward

shadowsReviewed by Jen

If you have managed to make it this far without any spoilers on this book, I congratulate you.  There is a reason people are talking about it. Even in the broadest strokes, it’s impossible for me not to convey that things go really wrong here.  That doesn’t mean everyone hated The Shadows. To the contrary, it’s got its fair share of 5 star reviews floating around.  You’ll find readers who love rolling around in the kind of misery only “true love” can precipitate.  You’ll find others who find beauty in despair. And there are still others who feel like JR Ward could rub dog shit around on a piece of white paper and call it art. I fall into none of those categories. [Read more…]