Title: Blood Kiss
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1
Author: J.R. Ward
Release Date: Dec 1, 2015
Genres: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Blurb: The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…
Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.
And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.
I have been reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series since 2017. The last book I read for the series was The Shadows, book 13 in the series (not including novellas). I have been aware of the Black Dagger Legacy series for some time now, but I had it in my head that the series were completely separate but based on the same world building. I got talking to another blogger and discovered a lot of the same characters were in both. So, that had me wondering if I shouldn’t hold off to read BDL, but if they should be read side-by-side. SOOOO glad I checked! Lo and behold, the first BDL book should be read right after The Shadows! Talk about perfect timing!!
I had no idea how entwined these series were! I do need to stop and say here that these series really need to be read from the beginning. It’s possible to jump in in the middle, but you’ll miss a lot. The series really works like a soap opera, and well, I’m addicted. Each book features at least one couple getting an HEA/HFN, but there are always other story lines building and twisting around, and often past couples have issues in future books, etc. And with this first book we revisit Butch and Marissa from BDB as they are having some issues. I always dread revisiting past couples that I have already fallen in love with and see them struggling, but I thought this was handled just soooo beautifully! Seeing the way they worked through things was wonderful to watch and I ended up so happy with the results and their journey.
But, while I did love the Butch and Marissa story line, they weren’t the feature couple in this story. That honor belonged to Craeg and Paradise, who we first meet in BDB. They have an instalove sort of connection, but things are far from lovey dovey at the start. Marissa is as high society as you can get and Craeg is a commoner. If you read the series, then you know that that’s a no no. And Craeg has an agenda that he isn’t willing to let anyone get in the way of. But their chemistry is just off the charts. I loved them together! But mostly I loved watching Craeg slowly lose his struggle to fight his feelings.
But there was so much more going on in this book that I loved. We still get Lassiter, and he just never gets old. He has to be one of the funniest characters I’ve ever read. LOTS of laughter! But there are also several intense action scenes, there’s a thriller who-done-it plot weaved in. There’s a little focus on Paradise and her relationship with her father, too.
I know for some that this series fizzled out for them, but I just keep finding myself further and further sucked in. I can’t get enough! And this story just had a little of everything – including ALL the FEELS! I absolutely loved every minute of it, and it was all I could think about when I was forced to put it down. This was a solid 5 stars for me and I can’t wait to pick up the next one!!
I am currently listening to the final 2 hrs of Devil in Spring. I have really become engrossed with The Ravenels. I’m still reading standalones, but I am definitely seeing that series are really doing it for me lately. I think maybe because the more time I spend with a family or group of characters, the greater the connection is with them. Do you have a series that you love that you’d recommend?