Series: Black Dagger Legacy #2
Published by Hachette UK on December 6th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, Urban, General
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
A tough vampire warrior in training and a quick-witted aristocrat develop an irresistible attraction and work together to uncover a mystery. The second in a new spin-off paranormal romance series set in the world of the #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Trainees at the Black Dagger Brotherhood' training centre continue to prepare for the fight against the Lessening Society, but fighting is the last thing on Axe's mind. Still plagued with the guilt of his father's death, the brooding loner finds himself battling an unlikely attraction to Peyton's bright, aristocratic cousin, Elise.
Elise feels it too - and when the two are thrown together in unusual circumstances Elise must decide whether she can trust Axe to help her uncover the mystery surrounding her sister's death.
Meanwhile, Mary and Rhage are in the process of adopting Bitty, a young pretrans orphan, until the appearance of a young male claiming to be Bitty's blooded uncle threatens to tear the new family apart.
“The great thing about family, Mary mused, was that they showed up. When it really mattered, your family, be they blood or by choice, were always where you needed them to be, even though they had busy lives and jobs and children of their own.”
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know how much I love J.R. Ward’s books. Especially, The Black Dagger Brotherhood. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I loved Blood Vow so much that I nearly read it again immediately after completing it. Having said that, there was one major problem with this book that plagued me throughout reading it. How is this a part of the Black Dagger Legacy series? As much as I enjoyed Blood Vow, it seemed like it was just the next book in the BDB series.
On the one hand we have the romance between Axe and Elise. Two members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training program. Even though they appear to be polar opposites, these two made a really great couple. Axe is a tough guy with a history of drug addiction who now uses sex to dull his pain, while Elise is the daughter of an aristocratic family. Despite drastically different upbringings, Axe and Elise have lots in common, and their courtship was very sweet and swoon worthy.
When Ward wasn’t writing about Axe and Elise, she was continuing the story of Rhage, Mary and Bitty that began in the last BDB novel, The Beast. Rhage and Mary are my favorite couple, so this wasn’t a big issue. In fact, I loved reading more about their little family. The problem was that this took up most of the book, and didn’t read like it was a spin-off story. As excited as I was, I was also very disappointed that I didn’t get to learn more about the training program, trainees, or upcoming couples.
Paradise and Craeg were the two to hook up in the first BDL book, and yet were just a footnote in the sequel. I still feel like Boone is an enigma, and you don’t learn much about him in this book either. Aside from a few clubbing and fight scenes, he’s basically MIA. As for Novo and Peyton, readers only get enough of a glimpse at them to indicate that they’ll be the pairing in book #3. In fact out of all the trainees (aside from Axe), Peyton and Novo got the most page time. Considering Peyton was also a major character in the first novel, he’s the best developed of all the trainees.
Aside from the romantic and familial entanglements, the Brothers battled a few Lessers, but not many. Apparently the number of Lessers have dwindled significantly and there’s not much for the Brothers to do. Ward does indicate that a new terror will be unleashed, and it’s supposed to be deadlier than the Lessers, so I can’t wait for it/them to debut in a future novel. It’s about time, as the Lessers became less formidable as the series went on and the Brothers became embroiled in gang wars, taking the series in a different direction from which it started. I recommend this novel to all BDB fans, but if you’re trying to hop on to the new series without having read the first series, you will be lost. Ward has entertained these two series so much that they’re basically the same series, instead of a true spin-off.