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Audio Book Review-A Warm Heart in Winter by J.R. Ward

by | Jun 5, 2022 | Audio Book Reviews, Book Reviews | 5 comments

This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.

About The Book

#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward is heating things up this winter with a holiday novel featuring some of her most iconic Black Dagger Brothers.

In this romantic and sexy addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series, a beloved couple has everything arranged… until it all goes horribly wrong.

Blay and Qhuinn always intended to do a proper mating ceremony, but life has a way of getting in the way. With a pair of young, responsibilities to the King, and a grueling fighting schedule, the two are exhausted and overwhelmed. When Qhuinn gives his male the proposal of a lifetime, however, they are excited for their special night and more in love than ever.

Everyone in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s mansion gets into the preparations, and the after party takes on epic- and immortal- proportions when Lassiter forms the Party Planning Committee. The celebrations promise to be all that the couple deserves… until a Nor’easter land locks Caldwell in a fierce storm, and things go from lighthearted to deadly dangerous.

Battling nature and responding to emergencies, Blay and Qhuinn get separated, and when a catastrophic chain of events puts one of their lives in jeopardy, the night they had so looked forward could mean the end of everything…

My Review

First Impressions

This is a holiday novella (although the length I would consider this a full length novel) and this is where we get a feature of Blay and Qhuinn together and seeing them work towards having their mating ceremony, including some other delights with the brotherhood enjoyed the winter holiday together and I had a BLAST with this book, it was everything I could have hoped for and more. And the ironic thing is I haven’t read their first book (yeah shame on me but I know Qhuinn is an ass in that book haha so I have been putting it off). But I was really intrigued by this one and when I was browsing my libby catalog, I just had a moment where I wanted to read it. I have really neglected this series, I really need to get back to it. I just love this world that this author creates. I have been really intrigued by this one and when I jumped into it I knew that it would be well worth the read and it definitely was. Even if you haven’t read Qhuinn and Blay’s book, I was totally fine as you see them in their HEA and there were some things that I didn’t know about, however, I catch on quickly, so it worked well for me.


A Warm Heart in Winter, begins with seeing the young pair working on their responsibilities to the brotherhood and the King, we see Qhuinn rescues a pair of girls and get injured, we see his recovery and the way that Blay and Qhuinn’s relationship get pushed to the limits when a tragedy hits the brotherhood but most especially Qhuinn who is having to face the mistakes of the past and what he has lost and seeing Blay be his core of strength. We see the delights and depths to Lassiter, we see a winter storm hit the mansion and the dangers that a simple storm can do to put the people they love at risk, and we see the depths of love Blay and Qhuinn have for each other and how that love will become more solidified through the conflicts that they will have to face and overcome…

What I Loved

There was so much I deeply loved and I will try not to reveal too much as there is a major event that happens in this book that is a primary focual point of the book that really pushes Qhuinn and Blay’s relationship. I will say that I was charmed by the winter holiday scene, I loved seeing all my favorite couples enjoying their HEA and seeing them happy with their mates and children. There is a sense of family and warmth that permeates the story and will win its way into your heart. There is also a gratifying feeling of sewing the way that they support each other and are willing to fight for each other. We see more depths to Zsadist and seeing a different side to him that we haven’t seen much before. I loved him being so honest about his past and struggles and working his way towards healing and reflecting his journey onto another brother that is suffering and needs his firm assistance and making him face up to the pain before it festers. The romance between Blay and Qhuinn is utterly delightful and I just adored seeing them together and really having to work together and face the challenges that need to overcome. I will see that sad part to this story really broke my heart and man this author had me crying BUCKETS …..,the raw emotion that is portrayed so well just spoke straight to my heart. J.R. Ward definitely works her magic on this one and you won’t be disappointed.

What I Struggled With

There wasn’t much honestly…I loved everything about this one…it was sadder though than I expected in moments but the story was such a win and won my heart!

The Narration

This is a great author that narrates the BDB so well, he tends to work great with the paranormal works and I really felt he gave the perfect voice for Blay and Qhuinn especially.

Overall View

This was a great addition to a power-packed series and I fell in love quickly with this installment, it’s packed with edgy thrills, deep riveting emotion, and characters bound to make you fall in love with them all over again.

Book Details

Title: A Warm Heart in Winter

Author: J.R. Ward

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

Length: 10 Hours and 9 Mins

About the Narrators

Jim is the voice of many of Dennis Lehane’s books (The Drop, World Gone By and Live By Night), JR Ward’s popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series and her new spinoff Legacy Series, also Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie Mysteries, as well several popular new novels by Christine Feehan. Jim has narrated over 300 titles, was selected as one of AudioFile Magazine’s “Best Voices of 2015” and “Best Audiobooks of 2020” and has received numerous Earphones Awards, including the recent titles: The Sinner, by JR Ward, Fifty-Two Stories, a collection of Chekhov’s short stories, and The Bohemians, by Ben Tarnoff. Jim was nominated for an Audie Award for fiction and was just recently nominated for a Voice Arts Award in the Mystery category for his narration of Scents and Sensibility by Spencer Quinn.  

Book Links

Amazon| Barnes & Noble| Kobo| Goodreads| LibraryThing| Storygraph| Literal Club| Audible

Book Evaluation

Storytelling Quality: 5

Story Itself: 4.5

Character Development: 4.5

Writing Style: 5

World Building 5

Feels + The Romantic Heart 5

Pacing 5

Plot 5

Narration= 5

Cover Art 4.5

Ending 4.5

Book Ratings

Rating of the Book

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Steam Level

Simmering cup of tea—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warmin’ by the fire- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.

Series Order

The Black Dagger Brotherhood

Dark Lover-Pub 2005 #1 in the Series

Lover Eternal-Pub 2006 #2 in the Series

Lover Awakened-Pub 2006 #3 in the Series

Lover Revealed-Pub 2007 #4 in the Series

Lover Unbound-Pub 2007 #5 in the Series

Lover Enshrined-Pub 2008 #6 in the Series

Father Mine-Pub 2008 #6.5 in the Series

Lover Avenged-Pub 2009 #7 in the Series

Lover Mine-Pub 2010 #8 in the Series

Lover Unleashed-Pub 2011 #9 in the Series

Lover Reborn-Pub 2012 #10 in the Series

Lover at Last-Pub 2013 #11 in the Series

The King-Pub 2014 #12 in the Series

The Shadows-Pub 2015 #13 in the Series

The Beast-Pub 2016 #14 in the Series

The Chosen-Pub 2017 #15 in the Series

Dearest Ivie-Pu 2018 #15.5 in the Series

The Thief-Pub 2018 #16 in the Series

Prisoner of Night-Pub 2019 #16.5 in the Series

The Savior-Pub 2019 #17 in the Series

Where Winter Finds You-Pub 2019 #17.5 in the Series

The Sinner-Pub 2020 #18 in the Series

A Warm Heart in Winter-Pub 2020 #18.5 in the Series

Lover Unveiled-Pub 2021 #19 in the Series

Lover Arisen-Pub 2022 #20 in the Series

Lassiter-Pub 2023 #21 in the Series

About The Author

J.R. Ward is the author of over thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, The Black Dagger Brotherhood. There are more than 15 million copies of Ward’s novels in print worldwide and they have been published in 25 different countries around the world.

After graduating from law school, Ward began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot.


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  1. Christine @ Captivated Reading

    I haven’t read ANY of these… Actually, I don’t think I’ve read anything by this author at all. And I’ve been meaning to. This sounds SO good!

  2. Ann Lorz

    I enjoyed this one. I will admit that I don’t read her like I used to. All her books seem like the same one and nothing moves on.

  3. Sophia Rose

    Haha, yes, Qhinn was something else in their earlier book (as he was in the books leading up to it and a couple after it), but he has finally come into his own and I didn’t have the urge to smack him in this one. In fact, because of that big sad event, I wanted to hug him. This was good.

  4. shygirl19748

    This was such a special story. So glad you took a chance and jumped in with it because it really felt like it brought out (for the most part) the best in the Brothers. The sad part gutted me! But the WARDen writes it as she sees it play out by the characters. The ceremony (and Lassiter!!) was truly wonderful to behold, though. sigh


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