I'll be honest, I didn't know how much I'd like this one because Rehv isn't directly a BrotheOh, Rehv. Oh, gorgeous, dangerous, tortured, badass Rehv.
I'll be honest, I didn't know how much I'd like this one because Rehv isn't directly a Brother, so I was a little unsure. BUT, Rehv proved me oh so wrong. Not to take anything away from Phury and Cormia, but the relationship between Rehv and Ehlena was much more what I love about BDB, and Ehlena herself was one of my favorite shellans. Absolute favorite part? When we first see them interact. When Rehv is sitting there waiting and the door opens and Ehlena comes in and he looks up with that small smile and thinks, "My Ehlena." Right there we saw this tiny moment of softness from the badass, and I knew I was a goner. What I also loved about this one is that we get to step back into the mind of Wrath, and see that the lives of the Brothers aren't static and don't stop happening just because their book is done. It's been too long since we've seen things from his perspective, and his ordeal twists the heart.
It was also great (heartbreaking, yes, but damn I missed the guy) to see Tohr's experience back in the brotherhood. Seeing his disparity made me realize how far as readers we've come with these characters. The sunny side to that? Lassiter's presence. He is such a snark, and bless his heart for it.
The sympath's were a new element to the world that J.R. Ward has created, and it was great to add that extra layer of WTF that she does so well. This is the point that we know just how far the series can stretch beyond the main Brothers. There is a whole big complicated world out there in Caldwell, and lucky for us it's coming to the mansion's doorstep and into our books. The Sympath princess? Creepy as all get out. Twisted thing, she is. And the deal with Rehv is angry and nasty and you'll cringe, but you'll be breathlessly waiting for her to get hers.
The war with the Omega has reached a whole other level, and it's evident that it's going to get nastier. Ehlena is a sufficient, lovely and badass shellan, and in this one Ward, even with as many characters as she has going on, gives the girl her due. Xhex is on the stage too, and you see the beginnings of her story with John Matthew. I can't say enough about this one, but that it's definitely one of my favorites. It's an ass-kicking, romantic, sweaty sex, heartbreaking, awe-inspiring good time. All in all, everything you love about the BDB series. Ward is back down to business, and Rehv, with his cane and sable coat, delivers. ...more
The introduction to the Black Dagger Brotherhood brings a story that manages to be gritty and sweet, violent and romantic, dark and sexy. This isn't aThe introduction to the Black Dagger Brotherhood brings a story that manages to be gritty and sweet, violent and romantic, dark and sexy. This isn't an easy street romance with just some quick quips and sexual tension. This is a surreal setting that is grounded in reality. Caldwell is filled with rough, dirty streets and twisted people, but the story's point isn't to shock, at its heart this is a romance that delivers on all the points one would but goes so without sparing action, intensity or cue-the-rap-song Alpha male swagger.
Wrath is dangerous and sexy and angry and Beth is his switch. The introduction to their world is easy to follow. Favorite scenes? Wrath shaking down the whole barn with his rage. Beth's first time seeing him. And above all, Thor's line, "Nice. Fucking. Suit."
Yeah, their names aren't Joe and Steve, they fight in leathers and insist on calling their boots shitkickers, and there's a bit of a Gothic element to it, when you consider the realistic stage it's set on, but I love the juxtaposition of it. The lessers are weird as shit, and aren't necessarily terrifying villians, but their creepy as all get out, and I can get on board with that. It's different. Let's see what happens.
These vampires are just fun to read. The world and its books get addictive. The BDB steal your heart and your breath while kicking ass, spilling charm, riding in Escalades listening to JayZ, and running off at the mouth at each other. I'm the kind of girl that likes my heroes to have a couple of issues but still be able to pound back a couple of drinks at the end of the night with a shit eating grin. You can tell from the get that anywhere these males take us is going to be well worth the ride. ...more
Z is my favorite of the brothers and always will be. Yeah, i'm a Z girl.
This book...I'm trying to think of the words...but I just can't.
I'll level witZ is my favorite of the brothers and always will be. Yeah, i'm a Z girl.
This book...I'm trying to think of the words...but I just can't.
I'll level with you, one usually expects a paranormal romance to entertain, be a quick read or escape, and then to disappear on the shelf for the next time you need a beach read. It's one of the things I love about the genre. It's pure escapist and hell, it's fun.
This isn't that book.
This is so much more. This book is heartbreaking and romantic and it takes you to some of the darkest and saddest places, but in true Ward fashion there is always the light. Believe in her ability to steal you away to places you may not want to go, because she'll always bring you back to somewhere better. This is a story of healing, and some parts are pure torture to get through, but Z's journey will forever stay with you.
From the very first sentence, where Phury is shouting at Z to not jump, as he flies out of a speeding car to attack a couple of Lessers in his focused, homicidal need to find or avenge Bella, you know the momentum for this one is not going to stop until the final page. Some of the most heartbreaking but lovely scenes I have ever read in any book are in this one. The shower scene before Bella feeds absolutely destroyed me. It was there that I knew that Z would always be it for me.
So it was this book that showed me where J.R. Ward was going with this series. This was the point that I realized that I was fully committed to these characters and their stories, and that nothing about the journey would be easy or simple, but I was already lost to the gritty, heartbreaking, sexy, changing and violent world where somehow, things as basic as true love and family finds the will to prevail.
I can't say enough about Bella and her unflinching dedication to Z. He is such an alpha male, and to read the scenes of his past, and how afraid and used he was at the hands of the Mistress, how he didn't understand why it was happening to him, and how unloved and untouched he was and how that translated to this huge and terrifying male not being able to handle touch or process emotions? I just...I can't.
And then there's the scene with Tohr. The Brothers at the door. Oh, God. :exhale: I can't go there either.
So no, this book isn't easy to read. Not one bit. But it's amazing. I promise that this book will suck you in and leave you breathless. It will prove how much these characters mean to you as a reader, at the level of emotion you'll feel for them.
The places J.R. Ward went to produce this book leave me eternally grateful. She did my boy Z justice, and...yeah...I just could never say enough about it....it's....just....damn....more
This book was surprising to me. Don't get me wrong, from the first introduction to Rhage in Dark Lover, I was ready for his book. Come on:sigh: Rhage.
This book was surprising to me. Don't get me wrong, from the first introduction to Rhage in Dark Lover, I was ready for his book. Come on, he's gorgeous, gets off on beating the shit out of lessers, and is always running off at the mouth. I wanted to see the type of woman that could tame this Brother.
I loved everything about this book. I can't say enough about Ward and the way in which she can hit all the needed points for a romance (and SO well) but also develop these meaty stories that deliver action, heartbreak, laughs, steam and thoughtful moments. These stories aren't fluff, and you don't forget them.
Rhage's story is everything you wanted it to be. We get to see exactly how tortured he is by the beast and the anonymous sex, and the way he is completely unhinged by Mary. Their first scene together stole my breath away. I also love Mary. Another of my favorite shellans. Her inner monologue was pitch perfect, and her struggle was incredibly heartbreaking and realistic. Watching Rhage step up to the plate to be with her whatever the cost, was amazing and lovely and ridiculously romantic.
Also, we get to see the Brotherhood together in their new digs and it's a new era of cohesiveness with Wrath as king, and it's just a lot of sweet moments and badass fun....more
Butch, you Red Sox-lovin', Escalade-drivin', Southie-speakin', gravel-voiced heartbreaker. I don't know what it is about him, but suffice to say thatButch, you Red Sox-lovin', Escalade-drivin', Southie-speakin', gravel-voiced heartbreaker. I don't know what it is about him, but suffice to say that Butch had my attention from the first book, and he wasn't even one of the vampires. Yes, a human amongst those scene stealers was able to hold his own, and thank the good lord for it.
I didn't expect to like this book, honestly, as much as I did. I was kinda thinking i'd race through it to hurry up and get to V, but I loved it. I think it was because I wasn't totally in love with Marissa, and she's still not a favorite BUT I enjoyed the evolution she went through. You understand her and Butch together oddly enough. And his struggles about not being able to be on the outside of anything anymore? Ugh, heart hurts for the boy from Boston.
I love his relationship with V. Even when it gets complicated and intense, I love that J.R. Ward was able to go there and every bit of it felt authentic and real. This is what I love about the Brotherhood.
And here we're finally getting to know Rehvenge. This is a vampire that gets you excited for his story. He is the ringmaster for a circus of drugs and sex and he does it with panache.
When it comes to holy hot hell, Butch is a dirty talker and I love the crap out of him for it. I loved the scene with him and Beth when the vampire comes out of Wrath. Loved. It. The role he takes on in the fight against Lessers is intense, and had me questioning where-the-hell is Ward going with this, but it's badass and strange and twisted. Of course it is though, it's J.R. Ward and BDB. The badassness is always off the charts, you feel me?
V is complicated and dangerous and antagonistic and effing brilliant. This story was everything you expected for V's story, and I'm so glad that WardV is complicated and dangerous and antagonistic and effing brilliant. This story was everything you expected for V's story, and I'm so glad that Ward did not hold the punches. She truly showcases, through the BDB series, how far a paranormal romance can go. Yes, she holds true to the genre of romance and the HEA we're all looking for, but hot damn, does she push the boundaries in the effort to develop some of the most unique and fully-fleshed out characters that stick with you looooooong after you put the book down.
V and Jane are so perfect for each other, and to tell you the truth, after the first books I didn't know who could hold it down for V, but Jane delivers. She's smart, scientific and a doctor, for chrissakes, but she's a healer so she's warm and lost to love. She's a lot like Butch in the way that she stands up to V, calls him on his shit, and is a class act in the smart ass department, but she's just as developed as any of the others. Her past shapes her so much, and we see that through her memories and one of my favorite BDB scenes is her and V side by side on his bed sharing scar stories. The way Jane approached it made him completely understand that this is the woman for V. Without a doubt.
I'll be honest and admit that while I do see Jane clearly enough, and understand her actions and the heart and growth she experiences it does need saying that Ward's female characters (shellans) never hold the spotlight in the way the males do. The deeper you get into the series the more characters are scrambling for page space, and so the romance may not feel as straightforward as let's say Wrath's or Rhage's BUT I do think it still hits all its points. There's a lot more grit to get through to get to the sweet, but maybe i'm already bias at this point, but I think that's just part of getting deeper into this world that is just getting more layered and complex.
And yes, the HEA was out there. I'll give that. But I'm okay with it. Especially having read further into the series and seeing how prominent Jane becomes of all the shellans.
This is a series that doesn't lose it's appeal. Read it once and submerge yourself in a fascinating, enthralling world. Read it again and get that initial high all over again. It never loses it's fizz.
This book was tough to get through, because of everything Phury had to go through, but if you've read the other books you know the hurdles Phury willThis book was tough to get through, because of everything Phury had to go through, but if you've read the other books you know the hurdles Phury will have to overcome, and it's really interesting to see him at the bottom and Z be the one to have to watch helplessly as his twin falls apart.
The world of BDB is getting really interesting and intense in this novel as well. You can just feel the fact that the war is about to hit the fan, so to speak.
The love story was different than all the others. The pacing wasn't as intense and it had a more romantic softness to it than the others, but that's to be expected despite Phury's demons, because, come on, it's Phury.
This one is all wrapped up with the role of being Primale and the Chosen, and since that's not my favorite aspect of the BDB world, this one wasn't one of my favorites. But when you're as involved in the BDB world as you are by this point it doesn't really matter, because you just want to get deeper with each book. Unfortunately, Phury and Cormia's relationship wasn't my favorite either, but I was impressed with Cormia. The scene with her coming out of the pool? Girl's got a little sass, and I respect that.
Here we also see the growth of the "boys": John Matthew, Blay and Qhuinn. These boys are making their mark in the BDB world and the shit is going to hit the fan with them and their war with Lash. It's evident that a can of worms was just opened and these boys are going to be sitting front row and center for it.
Best part of the book? The reason I absolutely loved it? The final scene. Brought tears to the ol' eyes, but such good tears. Reminds a girl all over again why she fell in love with these vampires. ...more
If you love the Black Dagger Brotherhood then get this book. If you like the Black Dagger Brotherhood then get this book.
If you do, you probably alreadIf you love the Black Dagger Brotherhood then get this book. If you like the Black Dagger Brotherhood then get this book.
If you do, you probably already own it, so any review is pointless unless to say that it's everything you'd want in an Insider's Guide. Thanks, J.R. Ward. And the novella Father Mine? Here's my heart. Just take it already. ...more
Another great story from Sarah Dessen. This one gets a little heavier, a little deeper into some prevalent issues for teens, but this one had characteAnother great story from Sarah Dessen. This one gets a little heavier, a little deeper into some prevalent issues for teens, but this one had characters that I found refreshingly real for a contemporary YA. Annabelle lives in a world where everything and everyone is judged by what they see. How they look. Everything is a presentation that needs to be at its best, and then everything goes to crap, and she's left on the outside looking in. But when you drop your guard, and sit back, it's pretty interesting who you can meet out on the fringes. People like Owen. One of the most interesting and honest boys I've run across in a YA book. This is a guy I felt like I could have known. This one wasn't a romantic hero, or a charming bastard, this one was real.
I loved Owen from first sight because not only is he the obligatory tall, dark and handsome, but he's the sort of handsome you can't catch because you're too afraid to look at him too long. Because he's just this side of scary. And why is he scary? Because. He. Doesn't. Care. He has no interest in popularity or the games so many teenagers play. There is an authenticity about Owen that is both refreshing and liberating to find on the high school stage. He's a reformed bad boy that sits alone at lunch without a backwards glance. He works a radio show at an ungodly hour because it matters to him, regardless if anyone else is listening. He has a thing about honesty and won't tell a lie, even the small ones that most of use without thought every single day. And this big monster of a guy is the only one to reach out to Annabelle after her friends turn on her. He's the one that offers a sandwich, will share his headphones, and who believes in music. The one that teaches her to just listen. Music is an obsession, and he's captivating when he talks about what it means to him. He's also doting to his little sister, because beneath the roughest exteriors there's sometimes the softest of hearts. And us girls just eat up the idea of uncovering one....more
There's just something about the boy from a Sarah Dessen book. Every single one of them feel like a way sweeter version of a boy I knew. The boy I wanThere's just something about the boy from a Sarah Dessen book. Every single one of them feel like a way sweeter version of a boy I knew. The boy I wanted to know when I was fifteen. There's just something to these books; something that snuggles up to the secret corner of my heart that's determined to stay young forever. They feel like this long ago idea of summer. They're cut off jeans, sunburnt noses, sand in my toe rings, raspberry body spray, cheap beer, jelly bracelets, and boys with messy hair that I just want to kiss. These books are a time capsule for a memory I can't quite catch anymore, but when I read her stories, her characters and her setting always take me back to that feeling. I may have never been to the place, but I feel like I've been there, and it's always a great trip back to it for awhile.
The lead female characters always seem to be a little bit like Macy. Smart but socially awkward girls that haven't had THAT summer yet. The one that pulls them out of themselves, teaches them somethings, makes them really experience life for themselves for the first time. And there's always that Sarah Dessen boy at the heart of it. That boy it would have been so good to know at fifteen. And Wes? Wes would have been the best of the best. He's that guy that's just a little bit older, who has just a little bit of mystery to him, has a couple of shadows that contradict the loyal, mannered, sweet guy you know. Like maybe there's something there, something small, in his past but that shaped him quickly. That made him a man earlier than most. I fell in love with him at first sight because I'm ridiculously vain, but through his game of Truth with Macy, that love for him found some real ground to stand on. He's the guy who is gorgeous but doesn't care about that stuff. He's the one you find hanging out not caring whether or not he's where everyone else is. Somewhere along the way, this is the guy that moved past all of that and found himself before the rest of us.
Feeling like you just spent the summer with a beautiful boy spilling your guts and running around with the gang of Wish catering learning about life is a pretty sweet thing, which makes this book a pretty sweet time. ...more
Let's be completely honest here for a minute. I had this book for YEARS before I read it. I bought it and Second Helpings from a thrift store becauseLet's be completely honest here for a minute. I had this book for YEARS before I read it. I bought it and Second Helpings from a thrift store because I liked the covers and figured I'd get around to reading them both eventually.
Well, yeah, and then things happened. Like I graduated from high school and moved away to college, and then finally I got into this YA kick last year and remembered those two books that I had somewhere. So I found them. And I finally started to read them. I didn't expect much. I read the blurb and saw that it was about some snarky teenager whose best friend moves away and that seems to be the height of her problems. But I dove in to see where it would take me.
This is one of my favorite series. Ever.
I hate that these books were in my possession for SO long before I gave them a chance. Then again, I'm kind of grateful too, because by the time I got around to reading them Perfect Fifths had JUST been released so I wasn't forced to endure the "WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT" torture that comes with waiting for a next installment.
The Jessica Darling series is told to us through Jessica's journal and her letters to and from her best friend Hope who has moved away leaving Jessica to face the trials and drama of her high school alone. The characters you expect to be there are there, because this is high school in America, but Megan McCafferty gives them all such an authentic voice that they become more. This school becomes as real in your mind as your own experience was.
We're also introduced to Marcus. This is SO the anti-hero to the YA dream boy mold. He's a white boy with dreads, wears boy band shirts to be ironic (we think) and he's high most of the time. Oh, but those notes! Oh, I sped through Jessica's diary like a mad woman needing to know what happened next. Needing to know what she said. Needing to know what he said. Just needing more from this girl who I should never have doubted. ...more
Megan McCafferty gave the Jessica Darling series the perfect finish, and that's not something you can always say about a beloved series. It's tough toMegan McCafferty gave the Jessica Darling series the perfect finish, and that's not something you can always say about a beloved series. It's tough to finish something as loved as these books, and it was hard to turn the last page, but I did so with a total smile on my face and no regrets about putting the book back on the shelf.
I loved that it was a step away from the diary-style writing. As readers we got to see the events unfold as they happened, and for the first time we got to step inside of Marcus' mind, which was fantastic. A long stretch is just conversation between the two, and the banter between them highlighted everything I've always loved about their relationship and everything we've missed during their rougher periods. Seeing the growth of them as individuals and their relationship reminded me of everywhere we've been with these two, and getting to see it to the end was really...truly...kind of...perfect....more
This one if my favorite of the bodyguards series and rings more like her Black Ops books, which is why I probably love it. That and Ethan. This one haThis one if my favorite of the bodyguards series and rings more like her Black Ops books, which is why I probably love it. That and Ethan. This one had a romance that was different than most. These aren't two people who just met. Oh, no. This one is between Ethan and Darcy, the ex-wife he'd never talk about in the last books. She calls him for help when she gets herself in a nasty pickle, which is actually her getting abducted by a crazy extremist group in the jungle. And who better to save her than her badass former Special Forces ex-husband who just so happens to still be in love with her. Their beginning is told alongside the drama of their current situation, which I really enjoyed. When they finally were on the same page in the present I was already invested in their tumultuous story. As torn as they were, feeling the intense pull that was still there between them. Damn, I love stories like that.
Best parts? Nolan driving the plane. Meeting Manny. The cherry Lifesaver. ...more
This one was my introduction to Cindy Gerard, and it's an example of why I love her as much as I do. In the last year I've read a lot of the romanticThis one was my introduction to Cindy Gerard, and it's an example of why I love her as much as I do. In the last year I've read a lot of the romantic action genre. The alpha military guys with a dark side that save the mouthy girl backed by a team of wise-cracking brothers in arms who will eventually get their own love story in an upcoming book of the series. It's a tried and true formula, but to my way of thinking, no one does this as well as Cindy Gerard. She has a knack for writing these male characters honestly. The action feels real. It's not just filler for a romance, one that is always supremely enjoyable, but yet the dark parts are there and you feel stuck in the jungle right with them with one bullet left, a phone that no longer works, and a hurricane on the horizon. She's good with this kind of material on this sort of stage starring these kinds of characters.
That being said, the Bodyguards series stars the Garrett family from West Palm Beach, Fl. Three gorgeous brothers and their fiery sister who all are badasses in their own right with their own demons and who all play a pretty mean game of croquet. They're a tight knit group who are now in charge of their father's security company that brings in, you guessed it, bodyguard duties. Nolan, the brother whose fighting ghosts, past mistakes and the bottle finds himself watching over the local news channel's princess whose getting threatening notes. The actual drama in this one is the weakest of the series in my opinion, but it sets a tone that's hard not to enjoy. Nolan is a treat, and even Jillian isn't as annoying as she sounds in theory. Plus you get introduced to all the others and the final scene of camaraderie makes it hard to say no to the next one.