Review: Blood Fury by J.R. Ward

Blood Fury by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 9th 2018
Links: Ebook • HardcoverAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In this sexy paranormal romance novel set in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward tells the story of two couples—both fighting to find love in the midst of the war with the Lessening Society.

A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his class and carry on his family’s traditions. And he thought he’d found his perfect match—until she fell in love with someone else. Yet when his split-second decision in a battle with the enemy endangers the life of another trainee, Peyton has to face the idea that his future, and his heart, actually lie with another.

Novo, as a female in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training program, feels like she has to prove herself to everybody—and she has no interest in being distracted by falling in love. But when Peyton proves to be so much more than a rich playboy, she is forced to confront the tragedy that has broken her soul and closed her off from love.

As the two grapple with Novo’s past and Peyton’s present, another couple must contend with a connection that is unparalleled—and potentially scandalous. Saxton, who has had his heart broken, discovers in himself a deep-seated attraction to Ruhn, a new member of the household. But will the other male explore the connection? Or will he close his mind and his heart to what could be true love . . . and cost Saxton everything?

The Black Dagger Brotherhood world is one of my favorite PNR worlds out there. If J.R. Ward writes anything even remotely related to the BDB, I will read it. This Black Dagger Legacy is a spinoff of the original series, but it’s got all the goodness from the original (meaning all the OG BDB boys still play a part!), plus a little extra. These books are funny, kickass, sexy, and it’s got its own brand of uniqueness that makes it completely different from any other vampire romance series. I highly recommend you read the BDB and BDL series if you love anything PNR!

I’ve been waiting for the story in Blood Fury ever since I read Lover at Last – because SAXTON! The poor guy got the short end of the stick in LaL, but we finally get his story and HEA in Blood Fury. Alongside his romance, we get the trainees Peyton and Novo’s, which we all saw coming from a mile away, right? I do love the fact that we get a bit of s 2-in-1 in this spinoff series in terms of storylines and romances, because I can never get enough of these vampires!

Peyton is part of an aristocratic bloodline, and he is everything that Novo despises – rich, arrogant, beautiful, and did I mention aristocratic? But despite him being her total opposite, she can’t help but want him. Too bad he’s in love with another trainee in their group… or is he?

Now that Paradise has found her mate, Peyton has lost his best friend and confidante and is in limbo. The only thing that makes sense in his life anymore is his desire for Novo. To say the two of them clash would be an understatement. The chemistry between Novo and Peyton is on fire – they are constantly going head to head with each other, and their lust builds with every fight and banter.

I loved Novo and Peyton together. They were the perfect case of opposites-attract – she is the tough, badass mofo in leathers, while Peyton is always slick in his suits outside of training. But the two of them worked together perfectly. They each had their own individual personal problems to overcome, and when they finally learned to lean on each other, it was magic.

Staring at her in his arms, he knew that he would lay his life down for hers without regret. He would slay dragons and move mountains for her. He would conquer whole worlds at her command and starve to skin and bones just to ensure she had food. She was not his sun or moon, but his galaxy.
“I love you, too,” he said by her ear. “Forever and always.”

And of course, the second romance that parallels Novo and Peyton’s is Saxton and Ruhn’s. I freaking ADORED these two men. They make the sweetest, loveliest couple – there’s a special kind of tenderness with Saxton guiding Ruhn to explore his newfound sexuality. It’s a slow, innocent, and heart-warming kind of M/M romance that I couldn’t be happier about!

Blood Fury is another excellent addition to the BDB world. You don’t need to read the BDB series in order to read the BDL books, though I’d still highly recommend you do. Many of the original cast still play a part in the spinoff series, and there are so many characters you might get a little lost if you’re not familiar with them. If you have read BDB but haven’t gotten to experience the spinoff series yet, you really should, because I can guarantee that your favorite Brother will be in the books! And iff you’re a fan of PNR but haven’t read J.R. Ward yet… what are you waiting for!?


lacey


Reading Order: Black Dagger Legacy series

  

#1 ~ Blood Kiss: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Blood Vow: Ebook • HardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Blood Fury: Ebook • HardcoverAudibleGoodreads


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Release Day Review: Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward

Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward
Series: The Bourbon Kings #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 1st 2017
Links: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward’s thrilling finale to her Bourbon Kings series, the Bradford family dynasty teeters on the edge of collapse after the murder of their patriarch—and a shocking arrest.

At first, the death of William Baldwine, the head of the Bradford family, was ruled a suicide. But then his eldest son and sworn enemy, Edward, came forward and confessed to what was, in fact, a murder. Now in police custody, Edward mourns not the disintegration of his family or his loss of freedom . . . but the woman he left behind. His love, Sutton Smythe, is the only person he has ever truly cared about, but as she is the CEO of the Bradford Bourbon Company’s biggest competitor, any relationship between them is impossible. And then there’s the reality of the jail time that Edward is facing.

Lane Baldwine was supposed to remain in his role of playboy, forever in his big brother Edward’s shadow. Instead he has become the new head of the family and the company. Convinced that Edward is covering for someone else, Lane and his true love, Lizzie King, go on the trail of a killer—only to discover a secret that is as devastating as it is game-changing.

As Lane rushes to discover the truth, and Sutton finds herself irresistibly drawn to Edward in spite of his circumstances, the lives of everyone at Easterly will never be the same again. For some, this is good; for others, it could be a tragedy beyond imagining. Only one thing is for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder.

Devil’s Cut is without doubt my favorite of the Bourbon Kings series. I’ve struggled with the previous two books, mainly because of how long and drawn out the story is, but everything finally comes together in this masterpiece of an ending. I loved every part of this conclusion – there was never a dull moment, and I actually liked the characters by the end. For those of you who have been eagerly waiting to see just how the Baldwine children and their glorious fortune, estate, and company end up, along with who gets together with who (like I did), then you absolutely must read this epic finale!

Picking up right where The Angels’ Share left off, the death of William Baldwine, former CEO of Bradford Bourbon Company and father of Edward (the eldest), Max (the black sheep), Lane (the reformed playboy), and Gin (the only daughter), has been changed from being one of suicide to one of murder. Edward Baldwine confesses to killing his father, the man who hated his existence from the moment he was born and had his son kidnapped, tortured, and almost killed. Edward certainly had motive to kill William, right? But with secrets slowly being revealed and revelations being uncovered, it remains uncertain if Edward was the killer. And if he’s not, who is he protecting?

I don’t want to mention much about Edward and his love, Sutton, because spoilers, but I do want to say how much I adore their Romeo-and-Juliet-esque love story. As the heads of rival bourbon-making companies, theirs was a star-crossed love that could have been… but Edward returned from his almost-death broken. Now, with him in jail, is it possible for these two star-crossed lovers to have their HEA?

Lane has stepped up in his role of being the head of the Bradford household, trying to keep his family together and regain back their assets that his father embezzled away. With his momma, Miss Aurora, in the hospital dying of cancer, one brother in jail, an almost ex-wife pregnant with his dead father’s child, and virtually no money to support the estate, Lane is at the end of his rope. The one constant in his life is Lizzie, Easterly’s horticulturalist, the love of his life, who is sick of all the drama but there to support him no matter what. I was so thankful for Lane and Lizzie – they’ve been a constant for each other and for the series. I could always count on them to NOT create any drama between themselves, unlike all the other couples in the series. I love Lane and Lizzie so much!

Gin has married the abusive Richard Pford – but she’s no longer the dramatic, conniving, manipulate woman she was in the beginning of the series. With the loss of the Bradford fortune, she’s at a loss – is she anything without her money? She too, steps up to the plate by cutting out the drama with Samuel T., the love of her life. She will always love him, but her daughter, their daughter, comes first for her now. She endures Richard’s abuse so that she can provide Amelia with a better childhood than she had up until that point. I ended up completely loving Gin and the transformation she experiences throughout the series. I was rooting for her with not only Samuel T., but also her daughter. Their relationship is definitely the most addictive for me and was one of the main reasons why I kept reading these books.

With Edward in jail and the black sheep of the family back in town, there seems like no end to the mess that is the Baldwine childrens’ lives. I kept thinking, will any of them ever get a happy ending? But if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that I should always trust J.R. Ward because she’ll always do right by the end. The conclusion to the series was exactly what I was hoping for – we get a solid finish for every one of the characters and couples (well, most couples). I do admit I had to skim some parts that seemed to drag, but otherwise, I enjoyed this book immensely. I almost wish we could see more into the Balwine’s lives, but I wouldn’t want to ruin the perfect ending!


lacey


Reading Order: The Bourbon Kings series

  

#1 ~ The Bourbon Kings: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Angels’ Share: EbookHardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Devil’s Cut: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads


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ARC Review: The Art of Taming a Rake by Nicole Jordan

The Art of Taming a Rake by Nicole Jordan

The Art of Taming a Rake by Nicole Jordan
Series: Legendary Lovers #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 26th 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sparks abound in this sizzling new Legendary Lovers tale from New York Times bestselling author Nicole Jordan, in which a seductive rakehell must woo his spirited but love-shy bride while unmasking a mysterious assailant.

Despite his notorious reputation, Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne, has mostly honorable intentions. So when beautiful Venetia Stratham boldly enters a gentlemen’s club, demanding that Quinn stop courting her sister, he does what any bachelor would do: He kisses her. With her sharp wit, intoxicating passion, and surprising vulnerability, Venetia is irresistible—except for all this nonsense about threatening to shoot Quinn. But when clandestine enemies make an actual attempt on the earl’s life, Venetia is implicated. To save her good name, Quinn does what any true gentleman must do: He proposes.

Thus Venetia finds herself wed to arrogant, wickedly sensual Quinn, whose devilish ways are as legendary as his rumored skills as a lover. Yet vexingly, her body rebels against her vow to remain immune to his many charms. If only she could reform the infuriating nobleman—without diminishing his undeniable allure. As Venetia discovers that a true rake is hard to tame, Quinn faces an even greater challenge: winning his wife’s fragile trust . . . while defending both their lives.

I love a good historical romance every once in a while, so I read The Art of Taming a Rake, even though I hadn’t read the previous books in the series. Luckily, it can be read completely as a standalone. I enjoyed the book, though I can’t say I loved it. It was a little too clichéd and nothing I hadn’t read before, but it’s still entertaining. It’s a sexy read between a rakish hero with a reputation and a virgin heroine, but thankfully they have a lot more depth than that.

Venetia Stratham has returned to London after running away to France when she ruined her reputation by calling off her own wedding to a man with status. She’s back now because she’s heard that her sister is being courted by the Earl of Traherne, one of her cheating fiancé’s friends who also has a scandalous reputation. She’s not going to let her sister go through the same scandal and hurt she did, so she sets off to a gentleman’s club the earl attends – but the last thing she expects him to do when she confronts him is kiss her.

Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne, has always found himself captivated by Venetia ever since he first met her all those years ago. So when his life becomes in danger and Venetia is in danger by association, he saves her life and reputation by offering marriage. There’s a great chemistry between Quinn and Venetia, but soon enough, Quinn falls for his wife – he just needs to win her trust and heart in order to gain her love.

I liked The Art of Taming a Rake – it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing either. The characters had depth, but I never really connected with them. It’s overall a good book with witty banter and hot chemistry. If you’re a fan of the ‘marriage of convenience’ trope, you should check it out.

3 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Legendary Lovers series

   The Art of Taming a Rake by Nicole Jordan

#1 ~ Princess Charming: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Lover Be Mine: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Secrets of Seduction: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ The Art of Taming a Rake: EbookPaperbackGoodreads


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