Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Revealed, The King
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #14
Published by NAL on April 5th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Reading Challenges: Spooks, Howls and Fangs Readings Challenge
Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…
For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…
And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world...and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from...
May contain some spoilers.
The world has changed for the brotherhood, since the beginning when the King met his mate Beth. The numbers to the brotherhood have increased, but the number of lessers has increased. They have become more cunning and powerful. There are enemies everywhere and are gaining access to more money and technology. The world is changing around them, and keep who they are and what they do a secret is getting more and more difficult with the power of the smartphone. For Rhage and Mary, life seems just about perfect for them. However Mary and Rhage are drifting apart in their relationship. Rhage is struggling with his own insecurities and Beth is working through her self doubts and overcoming the past. But when Rhage is almost killed, and Mary is the ticket to saving his life, their world is turned in a direction they didn’t see coming. But as Rhage and Mary learn to be honest with each other again, But Rhage and Mary will need to make a choice, that could change their relationship and their future forever…
Plot and Story Line
I know….I took forever getting to this one but quite frankly I was SO dang nervous picking this one up here. This book was quite different and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. My main focus was Rhage and Mary. They are still my favorite couple that Ward has written. There are quite a few of them I love, but these two I fell in love with from the very beginning. So it was nice to see how their “happy ever after” has been progressing.
She was the watch on his wrist, the roast beef when he was starving, and the pitcher of lemonade when he was thirsty. She was his chapel and his choir, the mountain range to his wanderlust, the library for his curiosity, and every sunrise or sunset that ever was or would be. She was all the power in the universe coalesced into a living, breathing thing, the miracle that he had been granted.
Well marriage and/or mating is a challenge, and we see how these two deal with self doubts and insecurities. At the beginning of the story, we see Rhage fighting with his brothers against some lessers. Then we are taken to Mary, who is dealing with her own test. She is helping a little girl “Bitty” who suffer from a trauma that Mary relates on a personal level. I found it very interesting to see how J.R. Ward started this book. By seeing Rhage and Mary kinda on their own “mission”. But when it really matters, they come together, work out their issues and become even stronger than before. Now this couple tore me to shreds emotionally….wow this book totally packed a punch for me. Seeing how they work through their issues, and certain development that really adds more depth to their relationship. I loved the way these two grow even closer than in the first book Lover Eternal.
“Life didn’t have to be perfect…for true love to exist in it”
We see Rhage and Mary come in contact and build a strong connection with this little girl Bitty!! Now I adored Bitty, and Rhage really connects with her. Its like he is the Bitty whisperer or something. Mary has been working hard to connect with Bitty who suffered through an abusive father, and her mother has recently died. Now seeing Rhage and Bitty together is priceless. Nothing is sexier than a big alpha male be charmed by a little girl. And so many fun moments between these two from introducing her to ice cream, to showing her the beauty of horses in his GTO engine and how she is charmed by his beast.
“Personally, I like to mix and match–I prefer to get a couple of milk shakes, a banana split … a sundae or two. Then I top it off with a mocha chip in a cone. I don’t know why. I guess that’s like the dinner mint at the end of a meal to me. Know what I mean?”
Mary had to turn around again. Bitty was looking forward, her brows super-high, her little face the picture of surprise.
“He’s not kidding,” Mary murmured. “Even if you’re not into the ice cream, watching him eat all that is something to see.”
“Rhage! You have a dragon! A pet dragon! I got to rub his tummy!”
Now the brotherhood….it was quite interesting seeing what has changed, since the last book I read was book 10, so there is a bit that I have definitely missed out. The angel that loves to play with Rhage (and man I love the tricks he plays on Rhage…hilarious) and is obsessed with TV was hilarious but he is solid and loyal. We get some scenes between V and Jane that was interesting. What I found unique was how adding a couple of children to the mansion adds curiosity and questions to have kids for the other couples hehe Its like a plague or something and it was fascinating seeing characters that had no issue with remaining childless suddenly ask themselves questions about having kids. hehe I would have liked to see more of some of the other couples but toward the end we get some moments that were “put a smile on your face”. I was curious about the teaser we are left with dealing with Layla and her love interest in a enemy of the brotherhood. So I am curious to see if that thread will be continued. If you like this author and have fallen in love with this series as I have….this is definitely a must read especially if you fell in love with Rhage and Mary.
I just adore this cover….ever since it came out it is the BEST cover of the series!!! I love the night stormy scene, and the intensity of the pose here and all that muscle!!! LOVE the abs and pecs here.
The Beast is a story for fans of the BDB series will enjoy even if you have fallen away from it….you will adore these fun moments between Rhage and Mary!!! Intense and Heartwrenching