Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2015)
Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...

23 pages, Audiobook

First published March 31, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

J.R. Ward

183 books49k followers
J.R. Ward is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She lives in the South her family.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
19,746 (52%)
4 stars
11,325 (30%)
3 stars
4,872 (12%)
2 stars
1,193 (3%)
1 star
529 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,780 reviews
Profile Image for Mandi.
2,306 reviews725 followers
April 1, 2015
We all know I love me some JR Ward. I have a freaking information page that is very out of date but devoted to her. I loooooooove her books. They are cracky fun. They have 500 different plot lines in every one, use ridiculous slang but they are my brothers.

The Shadows came out yesterday. I wasn’t that excited about reading it because Trez and iAm haven’t excited me in the past – but some peeps on Twitter said crazy things happened, so I plopped my butt down and read it. And honestly I started to really get into the story. But then I started seeing all these tweets about a Goodreads post JR Ward (Link contains spoilers) had made with lots of spoilers – so I turned off Twitter and read the book.

It’s bullshit. I’ll put the rest under a spoiler tag. It’s VERY spoilery below so please do not click if you have do not want to be spoiled. You have been warned.

Profile Image for Christy.
3,920 reviews33.1k followers
April 20, 2015
5 stars!

 photo be2a684c-e2e2-468c-8595-82e0e4164992_zps4c3fad55.jpg

Oh. My. God. THE FEELS. I cried in Z’s book. I cried in Rhage’s book. Those two books were by far the most emotional books for me when it comes to the BDB. But this book? This book made me bawl. There were just a few scenes and situations that I could not control the tears. Did I love it as much as some of the other books in this series? No. I can’t say I did. Some of the earlier ones (Rhage, V, Z) plus Qhuinn and Blay’s book will always be my favorites. But I still think JR Ward has an incredible mind, is a crazy talented author and story teller, and I still feel that The Shadows was more than worthy of it’s 5 star rating.

The Shadows primarily focuses on brothers Trez and iAm, although many secondary characters play a large part as well. Trez and iAm are not brothers in the sense that they're in the brotherhood, but they are twin brothers from a tribe called the H’sibe. We got to know them in Rhev’s book and then they were in The King quite a bit as well. In The King we see Trez’s feelings for the Chosen Selena grow. We also find out an interesting tid-bit. That iAm is a . I don’t want to rehash their stories. If you’ve read the series then you know what’s going on with them, and if you haven’t it would be too complicated to explain and riddled with spoilers. So I’ll just talk a bit about each of these boys…

Trez. I was more excited to read about iAm then I was Trez when I started this book. I’m going to begin with that. By the end? Trez 100% won me over. His love, his devotion, his heart… I loved everything about him. I loved the romantic side that came out. I didn’t think he had it in him. But as much as I loved it, his was the story that broke me.
“You know what you just proved?”

“That somebody can say ‘I love you’ without speaking.”

iAm couldn’t be more different than Trez if he tried. iAm’s always been a great male. A male with standards, who’s self sacrificing and would do anything for the one person in the world he loves more than anyone. His brother. iAm proves just how much he would do for Trez in this book. These brother’s will always hold a special place in my heart. And I am so ecstatic that someone who deserved it got some damn happy in this story!

“You and I were written in the stars…

Now I can’t write a review on this book without mentioning my man VISHOUS. I wish he was in this one more, but I’m happy with what I got. And even happier that Ward gave him a Seriously. Love it.

We’ve already learned that the next story in the BDB will be The Beast. It will be Rhage’s book. I love the idea of going back to the original brothers. And with the way things were set up in The Shadows for Rhage, I think his book will be amazing. I’m excited to see where things go from here. Even though I’m happy about Rhage, I was DYING for an XCOR book. When she finally writes Xcor and Layla’s story… I just have a feeling it will be epic. We’ve been waiting so long.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood will is and will always be one of my favorite series ever. I can’t get enough of these characters and their stories. I’ve been lucky enough to see JR Ward in person twice. This second time was even better than the first. Here are a few pics from event-

 photo 3c601164-e2ff-412e-9e34-e801cd7eff0a_zpsdgkidc3c.jpg

Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,636 followers
November 20, 2015

Profanities removed and spoilers hidden! Sheesh!

All bets are off…

I have such incredibly mixed feelings about this book, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get them sorted out. Sometimes a story will gut me, and The Shadows did just that. In truth, I don’t remember a time I cried myself to sleep over a book – but I did this time. It was at moments laugh out loud funny, window fogging steamy, sweetly romantic, and profoundly tragic.

I always say that an author should write a story the way that story comes to him or her, and I stand by that. However, that doesn’t always mean I’ll like the story they felt compelled to tell. Well, the story as The WARDen felt compelled to tell was done so, brilliantly, but this is one of those times when I did not like the story itself. This is not how the Black Dagger Brotherhood series started out, and not since Phury and Cormia’s book have I felt so cheated out of a happly ever after!


Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...

My thoughts…

The first 60ish% of the story was amazing. I loved every bit of it and had been thinking, “THIS is the way it should be! THIS is what made me fall in love with the Brotherhood so many years ago!!” Rhage’s one-liners, Lassiter’s eccentric, fallen self, V and Jane’s quickie in the clinic, and Manny and Rhage’s trip to Caldie, everything read like the original books and I was thrilled, and captivated, was falling in love with my Boys all over again! I was basking in all that Caldwell happiness… until it happened and I was devastated.

In a blog post explaining why things went the way they did, The WARDen said that if she tries to write a story any other way than the way she sees it, it shuts down. Goes blank. She either tells it the way it comes to her, or it can’t be told. I get where she's coming from, and honestly, as I kept reading late into the night because I needed a miracle…something to fix the unfixable, even as Trez I waited. Needing something, anything to make this right. At the same time, I knew if On one hand, I gotta hand it to her; she stayed true to her Rice Krispies and made it real. On the other hand... it became painfully clear to me that

And, if this truly is the way HEA was meant to play out, it should have played out in a different series, in a different world.

The bottom line…

In the real world things can be horrific and unfair and brutally tragic, which is why I read romance - I want to escape the reality that can be ugly when loved ones pass from our lives. This book is not true romance - not the kind I've come to look forward to from this author. Sure, but if that’s supposed to make me feel better, it's a failure of EPIC proportions! Am I ready to throw in the BDB Towel? Nope! I’m too invested in the Brothers to turn my back now, but as I said, all bets are off. This book scared the hell out of me because the Black Dagger Brotherhood is no longer a series I can count on to make me forget the real world, if only for a little while. I will always be on guard, always wondering who will be offered up as a sacrifice to the all powerful Rice Krispies next.

And that is every bit as heartbreaking as

Rating Breakdown:

Everything excluding the HEA: 5 stars!
What has to be the worse HEA ever: 1 star!
Overall rating: 2.5 stars rounded to 3 because I can't bring myself to give my Boys less and, besides, none of this mess is their fault...
April 8, 2023
5 There is a thin line between love and hate Stars

 photo tumblr_nb5altFOXb1qikmd9o1_500_zps7vt6iok3.gif

There will be spoilers all over this bitch. Just saying!

First read 2015
Reread April 16 2017
reread 2023

Sometimes, the evil you fought wasn’t anything you could hit or shoot or dismember. Sometimes you couldn’t even hurt it. And that was really fucking awful.

There truly is a very thin line between love and hate and this book tap danced all over the borderline. I took hours after finishing this book trying to decide what to rate this book. What do I rate a book that I both love and hate? One that made me laugh, smile, cry, scream and broke my heart all in one go. A book that kept me on edge even after I already read enough spoilers to know what was coming and still couldn't put it down. I rate that a 5 star read!

"Abruptly, Trez stopped breathing as he put the math together and came up with the impossible. Holy shit, that was the— “Hello, Mother,” Vishous said dryly. —Scribe Virgin. “I have come for a purpose.” The female voice was hard as crystal and just as clear. “And it must be served.” “Really.” V took a drag on his hand rolled. “You gonna take candy from a baby? Or is it kick a puppy night?”"

 photo 5js9acjpg_zpsa4dbv17s.gif

“Courage doesn’t mean you aren’t scared.” He dropped his mouth to hers and kissed her. “God, I love you so much. I love you so deeply. I love you forever.”-Trez

I can't say I am shocked that J.R. Ward killed off Selena even before I read all the spoilers. I mean she killed off Darius and a pregnant Wellsie. Zsadist is a former blood slave that was raped, beat and imprisoned for years, Bella got kidnapped, beat, and tortured, John Matthew got raped, and Xhex got kidnapped and raped repeatedly by Lash. So no I am not surprised that J. R. Ward went dark. I would have been shocked if she didn't do something dark. That being said If you are looking for rainbows, flowers and everyone gets a HEA don't read this book. There is no HEA for Trez and Selena. There is a HEA for Iam and Maichen.

“You’re going to find someone else,” she moaned. “You’re going to fall in love with someone else and she’s going to be able to give you young and hold you when you have daymares and make you dinner.” The tears came so hard and heavy, she couldn’t take a breath. “And she’s going to be better than me because she’s going to…” Selena collapsed against him. “…she’s going to be lucky enough to be alive.”-Selena

 photo The shadows_zpsqpvawyen.jpg

“In all the time they’d known the guy, iAm had never paid any particular attention to the females. Or the males. Personally, Rhage had always thought the poor bastard was suffering from Phury Syndrome a condition whereupon one brother was so fucked-up that the other fell into a black hole trying to save him.”

As anyone who reads the BDB knows there are lots of side stories going on in each book, almost like a on going soap opera. Xcor and Layla's story is one I have been dying for since The King. When I first read of Xcor I hated him, then I soften to him, and then I loved him. So I was so looking forward to the bits and pieces I would get in this book about Layla and Xcor and for the most part I loved what I got. Till the end when Xcor pulled a douche move that made me wanna stomp his nuts. I mean Really Xcor? You are going to decide you can't be with Lalya and fuck a hooker? WTF??????????????

She is . . . the moon in my night sky. And that is the beginning, middle, and end of it. There is no more to be told than that, and never shall I speak of her again."-Xcor about Lalya

 photo stomp_em_in_the_nuts_by_5n0w-d4j2ybf_zpsvysgvwhs.gif

Then Manny said, “There is nothing I won’t do to keep her with him. Nothing.” Now Rhage was the one pulling the pivot. “That’s what I needed to hear, Doc.” “Just don’t put your faith in miracles, Hollywood. That’s a dangerous bet.” “It happened for me and Mary. When we needed one, we got one.” Manny stared out the front windshield—and didn’t appear to see anything of the darkened street ahead. “I’m not God. And neither is Doc Jane.”

Now because Xcor and Layla are not really together but have just been talking I don't really count it as cheating but I still don't like when heroes are with o/w regardless. So Xcor is going to have to really work hard to redeem himself in his book, whenever it comes out. (Soon Please J.R. Ward Please!!!) I enjoyed getting to know Paradise and meeting Craeg in this book. They are going to get their own book in a spin off series. Blood Kiss I already like them. Especially Paradise who has a sassy side and is wanting to break out of the traditional roles of women and be more than a breeder. Woot girl power!

“Fuck you. I’m more than just a pair of ovaries you can put a ring on.”-Paradise

 photo giphy_zpsmhnwkzoq.gif

“Hey! Dragon boy Project Runway’s on if you wanna come watch. Maybe pick up some pointers on your threads.” Rhage’s stare narrowed, but he refused to look at the angel. “Isn’t there a Saved by the Bell marathon you have to go watch?” “Don’t hate on Zack. He’s like your little fucking brother, beauty queen.” -Lassiter

Assail I don't really care about. Loved getting to see Mary and Rhage again. It really pulled on my heartstrings that Rhage was having such a hard time with Trez and Selena and how it reminded him of almost losing Mary. I know The Beast is coming out and I can't wait to get more of yummy Rhage. I will tell you who I really want to see more of, beside Xcor and Lalya of course because they are on top of my list and that is Qhuinn's brother Luchas. I need to see him get a HEA badly. OMG I want some more Luchas!! My poor Qhuinn. I think J.R. Ward is a extremely talented writer and I love The BDB series. This book wrung my heart out. My heart broke for Trez and Selena, but I seen a sad beauty to the time they had together. I hate that she dies and that Trez is left mourning, but like with A Walk to Remember and The Notebook there is a sweetness to their love story. I think I will always be a huge J.R. Ward fan and I can't wait til the next book in this series. Below I leave a few quotes that moved me the most.

“Hey, on the outside chance the Grim Reaper is listening, I think he needs to know how much we hate his ass. Come on, my queen, say it with me. ‘Fuck you, death.’” She put her free hand up to hide an off-kilter smile. “You’re crazy.” “Tell me something I don’t know—and stop ducking this. ‘Fuck you, death!’” When she just mumbled the words, he shook his head. “Nope. Louder. ‘Fuck you, death!’” Selena started to laugh. “This isn’t funny.” “Couldn’t agree more.” He smiled and nodded at her, still poised with the ring at the top of her finger. “All together—like he can hear you.” “Fuck you, death!” she hollered. Then she smiled broadly. “Fuck you, death!”

“Do you think I’m happy about saying these things, thinking these things! I have God only knows how many nights left and I’ve wasted this one sitting on that fucking chair right there staring at some bullshit book I haven’t been reading, imagining you hanging yourself in a bathroom after I die! Or getting drunk and running your car into a tree! Or going on another fucking spree that lasts not a decade but a century!” She circled a finger next to her head. “These thoughts—I don’t want them! You think I want to tell you this? Jesus Christ, Trez, I love you! I don’t want you to ever be with another female, like ever! I want you to sit in a corner and mourn me until you die—I don’t want you to see the sun or the moon, or enjoy another meal, or have a good day’s sleep! I want to haunt you for the rest of your life, until everywhere you go and anyone you talk to, all you can see is the ghost of me—because then I know you won’t forget me!”

“This is real,” he told her. “You can trust this. You aren’t going to wake up and have this be over. You and I? This is our beginning.” “I love you,” she said in a rough voice. “I want no one else but you.” iAm smiled and pushed in between her legs, bringing his body against hers. “And I feel the same way, my maichen. I love you, I love you … I love you…”
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books705 followers
April 3, 2015
If you have managed to make it this far without any spoilers on this book, I congratulate you. There is a reason people are talking about it. Even in the broadest strokes, it's impossible for me not to convey that things go really wrong here. That doesn't mean everyone hated The Shadows. To the contrary, it's got its fair share of 5 star reviews floating around. You'll find readers who love rolling around in the kind of misery only "true love" can precipitate. You'll find others who find beauty in despair. And there are still others who feel like JR Ward could rub dog shit around on a piece of white paper and call it art. I fall into none of those categories.

To explain how this book is a failure for me, I am going to have to tell you why. I'm not going to spoil every single thing about it, but I am going to talk about the big twist at the end that has split the reading community. Here is your last chance to look away.

JR Ward kills the heroine. She is still dead when the book is over and she is not coming back to life. They burned her corpse and sent her off into the Fade. It's the forever kind of dead. And for that, I say JR Ward has broken her covenant with readers. Romance books are supposed to end with a working relationship between the hero and heroine. There is supposed to be happiness there. One isn't supposed to be dead while the other is left a shadow of himself. No pun intended there. I'm too mad.

I've actually seen other people claim that these books aren't romance; that they are more urban fantasy. To that, I call bullshit. Yes, Ward has broadened the scope of the series to multiple POVs (too many) but each book follows a core romance. Remember how much it sucked when she killed Wellsie? And she was a secondary character. This is so much worse, and honestly, has about a quarter of the emotional impact. I didn't cry. I wasn't even tempted to cry. I was too annoyed. The move was so very wrong that it pulled me out of the story entirely, just wondering WTF? Meanwhile, we've got iAm percolating a very second-string romance with a ridiculously predictable outcome, and that is supposed to be satisfying? IT'S NOT.

I can't even blame the ending as the only problem in the book. Rhage is prominently featured here, which some readers may be excited about. But I swear, he acts like he is losing his marbles. This plot thread recurs over and over and then it is totally dropped with no explanation. It made the character look like he had a personality disorder and then it had no impact on the plot. (And don't get me started on his self-love in the pantry.) We also get a Scribe Virgin sighting; then she is dropped like a hot potato.

The romance, itself, between Trez and Selena (before Ward killed her) was kind of meh. I had some issues with how she got so modern so fast. But my real complaint was in the melodrama. It didn't ring true. Maybe that's another reason why my emotions weren't engaged.

The most interesting parts for me were in the few cut-scenes with Qhuinn's brother, Luchas. He is a messed up guy and with good reason. --And in the b-plot of Xcor and Layla. I feel something there. I liked where it was going, until he stomped all over it with a hooker.

In the end of it all, I was just left tired... and disappointed. This is not what I signed up for as I committed myself to these 576 pages. After wading through all of the predictable, trite, and even downright ridiculous parts of the book, I should have had something to show for it. A happy freaking ending. Instead, I got a big, fat fail.

If you want total spoilers from beginning to end: http://twitter.com/tweetasiread

*ARC provided by publisher
Profile Image for Valkyrie ✨.
578 reviews654 followers
April 3, 2015
I stopped reading this train-wreck after Qhuay's unsatisfying HEA. But I heard about the drama with JRW's newest BDB book and decided to take a look. To my surprise, among all the angry/disappointed and some still bizarrely positive reviews, there was a post from her. She knew she had fucked up so badly, she literally made a post to justify her book on the release day.

Let that sink in.

Now, this is not a review of The Shadows, since I haven't and won't read it, but a comment about her post and series in general. Why? Because I can and because what I read truly horrified me as a reader and former JRW fan.

These are some of the lines that stuck out the most to me, and a clear example of why everyone should avoid her books.

"the idea of doing another Chosen falling in love (...) was a total snooze to me."

So... She's bored of her own storylines…? Okay.

"I assumed that iAm would find his love, and Trez would find his cure for his female, and then yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, classic HEA sh*t all over the place!!!! Yawn. NOT THAT I DON'T LIKE MY HEAs. It's just that felt so predictable."

You mean predictable like all your other HEAs? Boring? Yawn inducting? Yeah, I couldn't agree more.

"One of the issues with the Chosen is that (...) there isn't a lot of personality to them. "

Whose fault do you think it is that these characters have no personality and are boring to write or read about? I'm sorry, what did you say? Oh yeah, the author’s fault. Shocking.

"I suck at writing women"

She doesn't even bother to try and hide this anymore, I’m literally ????????

Not only is JRW racist and sexist, she's a bad writer. She lives off her writing and she can't write female characters? After 12 books writing M/F romance, she still can't write women?? It sounds like she didn’t even try, like she doesn't see where's the matter in saying she sucks at writing women, which says more than enough in itself. It just baffles me and honestly, I don't want to read a female author who has no idea how to write women. What does that say about her? Nothing good, that's what.

No wonder her gay men didn't use lube to have anal sex and one adopted "the girl" role in their relationship since JRW couldn't think outside of her heteronormativity box even if it hit her in the face. And don't get me started on her description of (the few) POC characters in her books. She literally compared someone to A TABLE. ("His skin was the color of the mansion’s mahogany dining room table") A fucking inanimate object. That's dehumanizing and offensive in so many ways, I don't understand how no one from her team of ass kissers didn't– oh right.

Not only does JRW have no idea how to write female characters, she's created one of the most sexist universes I've ever read. Women are owned by their husbands and treated like possessions and the males who are decent human beings to their women are considered swooning worthy because they could be total dicks to their wives but chose not to???????????

The only female character who ever questions this is constantly described as manly and butch. Not just that, but she’s just like any other male character, only with (small) tits. Because for JRW, female characters don’t have any kind of personality unless it resembles a man’s.

Let's remember Cormia being grateful because "Butch is old fashioned but he never complained about me working."

Let’s remember male characters asking other male characters to allow their women to do what they wanted to, because apparently women can’t decide on their own.

Let's remember the brothers literally being called an “anachronistic group of misogynists” in Lover Reborn.

Let’s remember the only gay couple having a female third wheel added permanently to their HEA because JRW wanted them to be daddies~ and apparently the only way to form a family is if you have children with someone from the opposite sex.

And let’s remember the “needing” and “servicing” bullcrap. JRW created an universe where women are unable to control their bodies or make decisions on their own and that’s supposed to be romantic. Lovely, isn't it? I've always wanted some dub-con in my life.

JRW's straight white cis privileges show in her writing as she insists on appropriating POC’s culture to write her white characters but hey, like JRW apparently said to the accusations of racism, that's not racist because they are not human, they are vampires!!!!!!!


How dumb can you be to write a paranormal romance and kill the main female character?????????????? My friend told me JRW did it to be controversial and have an edge. Well, I hope the edge hits her little toe someday. If you use your writing as a cathartic exercise to cleanse your soul and that's the reason why you kill your HEA in a romance novel, THEN YOU QUITE LITERALLY LEFT ALL YOUR SHIT ON YOUR READERS.

< sarcasm > ...... But ohhhh myyyy god, you don't understand, the man-pain made Trez so much more interesting!!!!!!! Thanks to Whatevers-her-name dying, his character could develop so much!!!!!!!!! Angst makes male characters so much better!!!!!!! And that's not sexist at all!!!!!!!!! < / sarcasm >

Edit: I just found out Layla is in this book. I see reviews complaining about her obsession with getting laid while one of her sisters is dying. And because she kept lying to Qhuinn.

It sounds in character for Layla, though. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Apparently she also helps Qhuinn when he's having issues with his brother?? Of-fucking-course. After all, Qhuinn/Layla was the boring, predictable HEA she had planned from the start.

You know you've fucked up when my 2 stars review of Lover Reborn and my 1 star review of Lover At Last started to get likes again in the last few days.

Lastly, whoever’s still reading her books: Please love yourself more. ♥

Profile Image for Kellie Maddox-Ward.
743 reviews518 followers
Want to read
April 6, 2014
I wonder what the new cover is going to look like? When the others have all been this hot?
 photo output_gACtXv_zps3d3a9836.gif


Personally I couldn’t wait and NEEDED to know what was coming. So if you are like me, read on!
But If you don’t want to know. Seriously don’t read it!

Profile Image for Lucy Qhuay.
1,230 reviews147 followers
April 3, 2015

This is, without a doubt, one of the saddest books I've ever read and the saddest in the series so far.

Deep aching sorrow was my constant companion while reading and it's with me still.

Thinking about what happened, of course I wish for a different outcome.

However, and even though I understand some fans were left deeply angered with the way things turned out to be, I can't help but appreciate the beauty in the pain and harbour a small flicker of hope inside of me.

J.R.Ward is a talented writer. There is no denying that after this book, since only a talented writer is able to give you something you hardly wanted, inflict great pain, leaving you completely emotionally drained, yet making it so that you can look deep into the abyss and appreciate the fall.

Trez and Selena's journey was that for me. It was like walking through a hidden path in some forgotten forest, looking around and contemplate thousands upon thousands of the most magnificent roses, as far as the eye can see.

Heart-shattering, magical even, but the road is narrow and full of thorns.

It was worth it, though.

I'll never forget them or the love they shared. I'll never forget how they lived a thousand lives in mere days. I'll never forget that they were meant to be and what they meant to each other.

And I sincerely hope that, if ever I am in the same position, I don't lose my way like they didn't.

I won't forget all the other characters and their struggles either. There was a lot to take in in this instalment and things weren't easy for anyone.

Trez. Selena. iAm. The Brothers. The shellans. s'Ex. maichen. They all suffered in some way and it was hard as hell to witness that, but I stand by my words that everything was worth it.

But the story goes on and I know J.R.Ward has a lot to give us still. This won't be the end.

I know there is something waiting along the way for Trez and that we'll see him in a different light. I can feel it.

Profile Image for Sammy Loves Books.
1,133 reviews1,463 followers
September 4, 2015

The Shadows finally get a book! YAAAY

Hold Up!! Wait a minute!! BOOOOOO!!

Dancing and Crying

****I Suffer from Mixed Emotions****

*****Not. Sure. How. To. Rate. This.****

Final review...with MEGA Spoilers ahead!!!
You have been Warned!!

J.R. Ward remains a brilliant writer, but I thought this series fell under the genre of paranormal romance? Apparently I was mistaken and this series has evolved into what ever the Warden wants it to be. Which means HEA's ( Happy Ever Afters) are no longer a guarantee. But excuse me...isn't that why I read romance novels??? So I can experience the ups and downs, all the drama and the angst, just to get to an ooey gooey ending that is full of Love and Feel Goods!!

Well, I am beyond torn on how to rate this hodgepodge experience. As always, The Warden introduces her readers to her next book, Blood Kiss, by starting the story in this one. We meet a very young vampire, Paradise. She's a sweet, strong minded girl and her story is basically a build up to her book, which will be released later this year. I can only hope it has a happy ending.

I loved the interaction of the brothers and the serious quality time with Rhage and his demons.

"This is calm, cool, and collected, you little bitch. You don’t want to see me pissed off."

There were cameos from characters that I thought J.R. Ward had forgotten existed. Xhex, Payne, Autum, oh and the Scribe Virgin popped in briefly. They did't have speaking parts, but they were present.

Asail is still hanging around, even though his true love is down in Miami, living a crime free life without him. I'm still not sure why Asail keeps getting so much air time. Maybe he will be getting his own book someday down the road. But at this point, I could care less.

Layla and Xcor break my heart. Talk about falling in love with the absolute Wrong person!

She is . . . the moon in my night sky. And that is the beginning, middle, and end of it. There is no more to be told than that, and never shall I speak of her again.

Gah, I used to look forward to these two to getting their own book. But ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Their so called affair/ forbidden romance has been dragging on for 3+ books already. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!

Now to the main story of the Shadows. There were two love stories, Trez and Selena, and iAm and his secret lover. I wanted a happy ending for Trez, to counter balance his entire life of misery.


Trez blew out his breath. “You know what my fantasy is? It ain’t porn. It’s good news. For once in my fucking life, I’d love to have some good news."

Well, he sure as hell didn't get any good news in this book.


Selena's character was a total joy and was one of my favorite heroines. She was honest, strong, and determined to live her life to the fullest. Her time with Trez was beautifully written and beyond bittersweet. Oh and did I mention the tear jerker roller coaster ride of emotions. The Warden is very talented that way. I'm talking Ugly crying!!! Have a box of klenex and a bottle of alcohol close by.

But I can not in anyway condone Everyone with access to books on healing, i.e. Manny, Doc Jane, Rehvenge, and even iAm, could find no cure for Selena. But no one asked Payne to work her voodoo healing magic. NOT ONE PERSON, not even the Primale, approached the Scribe Virgin and asked for help or offered a sacrifice for Selena. For her to have been so loved by everyone...nobody, not even the Chosen went to ask the mother of their race to save her. What a Fucking Joke!!! I mean, WTH??

I used to LOVE the BDB series. I have gotten countless other readers addicted to the series by offering friends my paperback copies of books 1-3. But I now find myself telling them to stop reading after book 5 (Vishous and Jane). Phury's book was a Disaster. Tohr's book was a Hot Mess. Blay and Qhuinn got ripped off and shafted. They may have only had ⅓ of the space in their book. The rest was nonsense about other couples no one cared about.

This series is no longer an auto buy, and hasn't been since I purchased Lover at Last. I just wait for my local library copy, because I am no longer impressed by J.R. Ward's "Rice Crispies", or her Paranormal Soap Opera of characters, or her Non Happy, Sad as Hell Endings!!
Profile Image for Lenore.
596 reviews374 followers
April 12, 2015
ETA on 11 April 2015: Please see at the bottom of my review.

1.5 stars rounded up.

First of all, I would like to clarify that the blog J.R. Ward posted on release day of The Shadows played a major role in my opinion and my rating of this book.

J.R. Ward attributes everything she puts on paper to her Rice Krispies, assuming the role of the Delphic Oracle, or that of a mere conduit who doesn't have a say in her own work.

She also keeps breaking her own rules, conveniently forgetting that writing fantasy (paranormal or otherwise) and creating your own world isn't a get-out-of-jail-free-card and it doesn't mean that anything goes. Especially not in a romance series, despite the urban fantasy elements.

For instance: You can't have your deity (the Scribe Virgin) save one heroine (Mary) from certain death, curing her end-stage leukaemia, Deus-Ex-Machina-style, or bring another heroine (Jane) back from the dead as a ghost, or have yet another heroine (Autumn) survive her own suicide for centuries, then ascend to the Fade (J.R. Ward's version of heaven) Jesus-style and then bring her back because "oops, she can't die", and you can't have the deity's daughter (Payne) do her hocus pocus and reverse a spontaneous abortion, or have her act as a font of eternal youth who will keep her human husband (Many) and the king's seeing eye dog (George) alive for evermore, It doesn't work like that. You can't play god and arbitrarily change the rules as you deem convenient. It's disrespectful to yourself, your work, and your audience.

What follows is an imaginary discussion between J.R. Ward and her editor:

I'm not rating low because of . It could have worked if J.R. Ward had put some actual effort into it, if she had convinced me there was no other way, if it weren't so sloppy and ridiculous and, well, lazy writing for shock value and emotional impact over any sort of sense, consistency, or realism within the rules of the world she herself has created.

With this book, J.R. Ward is mocking me as her reader: Here, brainless fan who will gobble down anything I put out like a modern Pythia in trance. Read this.

Well… I'll say this. I WILL be reading the future instalments because I'm interested in learning what happens next with a few of the plot lines, but I won't be rushing to pre-order them anymore. Not unless I learn what happens beforehand, and not unless J.R. Ward proves she can win back my trust as a loyal reader.

For a detailed breakdown of all the things that haven't been working in the series in general, and in The Shadows specifically, see Beanbag's review and blog post here on Goodreads.
January 12, 2021
The Shadows and the Brotherhood!

Truly a great book. The main romance in this book is that of Trez and the chosen Selena. Though one thing that I really like about these BDB books is that each of them don’t just focus on the main romance storyline, they have other storylines being set up, ongoing storylines that go from book to book, and so much going on in every single book.

It is a genius way too keep people interested and wanting to read more. Otherwise 20+ books (Black Dagger Brotherhood and Black Dagger Legacy), that are 500-600 pages would get too be way too much after a while. I took about a 5 month break after 11 books and even now that I am back to them, I am thinking two at a time is plenty before I read something else for a few weeks or so. However, I know that I will go back to them for certain because I just have to know what happens in some of these ongoing storylines and if certain people will end up together.

The next book is The Beast and this book is setting that one up, because Rhage and Mary play a big role in this book. Rhage is having some odd attacks that may or may not be related to stress and anxiety. I love the story of Rhage and Mary because he is as hot as a blonde God, his nickname is Hollywood because of his movie star good looks, but he fell in love with an average looking woman. It is usually the other way around, where average looking guys end up with fabulous looking women (though they usually are average looking wealthy guys) so not the same thing at all. It is just nice to see.

An ongoing storyline in this book is the continuing saga of Assail, the drug dealer. I had high hopes for him and Sola in the last book, but she wanted to get away from a dangerous and illegal lifestyle, and as much as Assail loves her, it doesn’t seem to be enough to give up his drug dealing. And what is it sometimes with these rich men in books? How come being rich is never enough? They have to keep making more money even though we know they could never spend it all. Once you have millions or billions, the money just sits there making more by itself from investments and interest I would think.

Assail is getting in trouble with the Brotherhood in this book because they found out he is selling to the enemy. The lessers are using the money they make on the drugs they get from Assail, to buy automatic weapons for their war against the vampires. I don’t really get it since in the drug trade, I’m sure there are plenty of buyers that aren’t people who want to kill your race. It’s like selling bombs to terrorists, but people do it. I am hoping Assail sees the light and stops, because I still want him to end up with Sola. I loved the interaction between her Grams and Assail, Avale and Ehric.

The story of Xcor and Layla continues in this book also. Xcor and Layla meet often and he has blackmailed her into agreeing to be with him. Though Xcor won’t take her while she is pregnant since he is not gentle and doesn’t want to hurt the baby. Layla is riddled with guilt about meeting with him. Though she tells herself she is doing it for the King, the Brotherhood and the cause, we as readers know that she really wants him but doesn’t want to want him.

Layla also has a storyline with Qhuinn and Blaylock since Quinn is the father of her baby. That gets interesting as well, but I’m not going to give anything away as to why. I try to stick to only background information in my reviews so the reader and I (as I look back on my own reviews), can see what the book is about without giving away what actually happens.

Another storyline is the ongoing struggle between Quinn and his brother, Luchas. After the massacre of many of the Glymera, including Qhuinn’s parents, Luchas was taken by Lessers and shoved in a drum with the black sludge from the Omega, having had his bones all broken. Then the Lessers forgot about him with all the changes of the forelessers. He Brotherhood found him at some point and he has been in the clinic at the mansion since Doctors Jane and Manny have tried to fix him in a very lengthy and painful process. Luchas feels guilt for how he treated Qhuinn and wants to die.

I personally think Luchas wants to die for two reasons aside from his guilt. The first is because he is a wimp and doesn’t want to go through more pain (though his pain is terrible, I think any of the Brotherhood would go through it). Second because if he doesn’t completely heal he will think of himself as less, like he always thought of his brother because Qhuinn had two different colored eyes.

The main story centers around Trez and Selena. Trez is one of the Shadows. They are an offshoot of the vampires that have a lot of the same Vampire traits like strength, speed, ability to dematerialize etc. However, they are dark skinned, they can bend shadows to conceal themselves, they can go out in daylight, they eat their prey after a fight (cannibalistic), and the Brotherhood is happy to have them on their side, so they must be tougher than the vampires as well.

Trez and iAm come from the s’Hsibe which is a colony of their people near the colony of Sympath’s in the North, near the Canadian border. Nobody leaves the s’Hsibe, but Trez escaped and iAm followed years ago after their parents sold Trez to the Queen to be the mate of her daughter who will one day be queen. The reason the s’Hsibe didn’t just accept the loss and get another guy forth Princess is because they have strange customs regarding things written in the stars and apparently their astrologists looked at the stars and decided that Trez was the anointed one, so the s’Hsibe are coming for Trez soon.

The S’Hsibe have other customs like the fact that Trez would be basically owned by the princess and would be basically a slave and not able to leave his gilded cage. Also they have strict mating customs, like having to be clean and they bathe before and after the act. If they knew about all of the women Trez had been with, they will either kill him or put him through some sort of cleansing that may or may not kill him.

Trez has fallen for Selena and in this book he finds out her secret and she finds out his. It is a very emotional book, but their romance is sweet in a way that is different than most. Everyone in the Brotherhood does whatever they can for them, including longtime friend Rehvenge and iAm.

There is a storyline about iAm in this book also, which I am glad about since in the past we have seen him always doing things for his brother, pretty much devoting his life to save Trez, not only from the s’Hsibe but from Trez himself and his self destructive behaviors. It was nice to find out more about iAm as a person rather than just an extension of Trez.

There is also a storyline related to the s’Hsibe Queen’s executioner. His name is s’Ex. He is built like a brick building with abs, and though he understands the two brothers, he is sworn to his duty, so he tells them he will kill in order to get Trez back when it comes time. Though he does take some bribes in order to help them stall for time. He is a very interesting character in his own right. He is covered from neck to feet in the white tattoos of their people, made from poison ink. Most males have a small one with their family insignia on themselves and get extremely sick after having it. Trez and iAm can’t imagine how strong he must be to be covered in them. I hope he gets a mating story at some point.

The ending of the book was awesome. I think this was one of the best so far. My other two favorites so far are Lover Awakend, the story of Zsadist and Bella and Lover at Last, the story of Qhuinn and Blaylock. I liked Zsadist’s story because he is so fearsome and angry but he protects Bella so awesomely, and Lover at last because it was the single hottest male/male love story I have ever read and I had been wanting Qhuinn and Blay to fix things between them for a long time.

Profile Image for Beanbag Love.
565 reviews246 followers
July 15, 2015
Popular author: "Hey, come over here, I want to show you something!
Popular author's fan: "OMG! Of course. I've been waiting a whole year for you to show me something! I'm so excited!"
Popular author: "Here, look ..."

penguin gif photo: Penguin slap 70166023_l.gif

And now for the full report. So long some of it had to be my first GR blog post.

I’m an addicted reader. If you see me, there is a Kindle or a book somewhere on my person. It’s how I spend most of my free time. I love reading all kinds of stories, but mostly I love Romance. I read a lot of different genres, but I always come back to Romance. And, being a voracious reader, I admire and appreciate the hell out of authors. Finishing a story is so difficult and putting themselves out there with their creative endeavors has got to be incredibly daunting.

But I admire Romance authors the most. Of all fiction genres, I think they have the hardest job. Romance authors have the incredibly difficult task of making the impossible possible. Writing a story that engages the emotions, challenges belief and then delivers a satisfying ”happily ever after” for the appreciative and expectant reader. Many, many authors fail at achieving all the elements that make a romance great. Many fall back on tropes and clichés and big misunderstandings (both a trope and a cliché). Many contrive stupid obstacles that make no sense and then apply an unbelievable twist at the end to bring a couple together. But I admire them all anyway for taking on something so overwhelming; making the impossible possible. And when an author is at the top of their game, it can be absolutely sublime to slip between those pages with those characters and live their story with them. Trusting, of course, that the author will have your back in the end.

I tend to give Romance authors and their stories a lot more slack than I do other authors and genres. Because I know how hard their job is and I appreciate that even if nothing else works in the story I can trust in that one thing. That ending. It may not be high literature, but there’s no trusting high literature on that point as fabulous as the writing might be. Romance, though … that I can trust.

Which brings me to The Shadows.

Because trust is important to me, and Romance as a genre is also important to me, I rate it on a different scale than I do other genres. As I said, I give it a bit more slack. Without that trust, the scale changes. Hence the dreaded LIST O’ PROBLEMS some have seen in a few of my previous reviews of non-romance authors. I read a lot of Urban Fantasy. Some of it is Romantic Urban Fantasy (where you end up with one couple) and I love it. Sometimes, in Urban Fantasy, there is . But these authors do the work when . That’s a lot of work, make no mistake. A lot of research and plotting before they get to . JRW did not do that work here. Doesn’t seem to have even tried. And that’s a shame. Because the end result might have worked for me otherwise.

I know a lot of people loved The Shadows. I don’t begrudge them that. I know they’re sensitive about it and protective of JR Ward in the aftermath. I gotcha. As I said in the comments, I’m a diehard fan. I’m a mod in one of the GR fan groups. I was a member of every message board JRW had since soon after Lover Unbound. I follow her on Facebook. Yes, there’s disappointment in how this book ended, but there are many more problems than just that. I’ll address these problems first and then I’ll address the Big Issue.

I go in depth here:


Let me end by saying that I am still a die hard fan of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. I’m disappointed in the choices she made in The Shadows, but that’s not going to stop me reading the series for now. I almost left before over a possible adultery plot line but was brought back by a friend. And that’s why I stay. Because through this series I’ve made a number of lovely friends that I enjoy so much. The community of our fan group is wonderful and I adore sharing the BDB experience with them. So I’m still in. Sadly, I don’t trust though, and it will no longer have the same value to me it once had. It was a comfort zone and it was special, and now it can’t be that again.

So we’ll see what the future brings for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. It’s a new era and a new ratings scale, which is why this one only received two stars. I hope, on this new path to something other than Romance we’ll get more detail, action, plausibility and continuity, and less maudlin inner monologue and jarring world glitch. Fingers crossed on that score. I do have hope.

ETA: And now I'm freaking pissed. PISSED! Just two weeks after this expensive book releases and the price has dropped to under $7 for the Kindle version. Similar price drop for the HC. Way to kick fans in the teeth ... again. (I know JRW didn't set the prices, but this just adds to the major disappointment of this whole debacle)

ETA2: Why did my rating disappear? The review stayed up but the star rating was blank. Seems fishy. oh rly photo confused0077.gif
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books600 followers
April 11, 2015
Read this review on Got Fiction? book blog

Original Review:

*heavy sigh*


I have to get my thoughts together on this one, but no. No more. I'm done with this.

Full Review:

*********SPOILERS ALL AROUND*********

Wow. Where to begin. So I'm not sure how many of you are aware of the spoiler that JR Ward posted, but I'm grateful she did. I decided not to buy this book after reading it. But after a few days online and seeing the reactions, I figured I owed it to you guys to write an informed review of why I didn't want to read it. And perhaps it would have surprised me? I decided to put my money where my mouth is.

Many many of my friends were torn on this book. Some whose taste is so similar to mine, loved it! Others, felt betrayed.

I felt betrayed.

But I knew this from reading A) reviews B) JR Ward’s spoiler. Words from the author’s own mouth are what decided this for me. I knew I wouldn’t like it, I knew how it would end...and yet...I still had hope.

Ward's spoiler link here

For example, if I see cheating...I know it’s a hard line for me. I won’t like it. I know my taste. I know whose reviews I can trust to have similar issues. So when I see that heroine dies, but isn’t saved miraculously, I’m out. I'm supposed to read almost 600 pages and NOT get a happy ending? Are you serious? We joked on twitter comparing this to a Nicholas Sparks novel, but the reality is that with Sparks, you know what you’re getting into, he doesn't call his books romance, AND HE DIDN’T SPEND 13 BOOKS SETTING UP HEAs IN A WORLD WE’VE COME TO LOVE.

That is the worst part of all of this; I feel lied to. You don't spend years building up a Paranormal Romance series, and base, and fans galore, just to slap them in the face.

She broke my trust.

As an author, I will tell you, part of the plotting of a Romance novel is that you try your hardest to find some insurmountable defining Black Moment, and you make your characters overcome it. They win, they endure, they survive the trials we authors throw at them. They don't get an easy happy ending, they have to earn it.

As a reader, you pick up a romance novel knowing that you have a hero and a heroine who by the end, will not only have fallen in love, but they'll have earned that love. They will deserve every happiness they've worked for. Could you imagine picking up a Mystery novel and...never finding out whodunnit? Of course not!

In Romancelandia, you have either a Happily Ever After (HEA), or a Happily For Now (HFN). This is the Golden Rule in Romance. They overcome remarkable odds and they win at the end. Someone actually said “Not all books have to have a happy ending...” well, yeah, in Romances, they kinda do. It’s the point of reading a Romance novel, rather than say, a Literary Fiction, or Urban Fantasy. And I’ve seen people mention that the WARDen is leaning towards UF, but I call shenanigans. She’s going back to her roots with The Bourbon Kings and the Black Dagger Legacy books Blood Kiss. She obviously knew her fans want more romance, or she wouldn’t be going back to it.

And this book wasn’t UF. It was a Romance with no HEA.

I’m done with the Brothers, which is a shame since they were my first introduction to vampires post-Twilight. I’m done with Ward, because I don’t trust she won’t do this again to us.

Her comment about how she grieved for her dog through this book...then write this, let it be cathartic, then put it away. Write the book with a HEA, and then release the other part as a bonus 6 months down the road. It’s a win all around! And I dno’t think anyone would be mad, because they’d have gotten the HEA. KMM did it with the The Dark Highlander by putting most of her first draft in Into the Dreaming, it made a lot of money, and we all had the other version so we were happy.

I haven’t even touched on the minor romance where iAm gets his HEA. Maybe maybe if this had been iAm’s book where his romance was forefront, and 500+ pages were dedicated to him, rather than Trez and Selena, I’d be more okay. But his romance is so secondary and so minimal, that it definitely doesn’t take the sting from the betrayal. If anything, I think it makes it worse.

Next up is Rhage and Mary. Again. DON’T MESS WITH THEIR HEA, WARD! Why return to them, and give them some contrived issue about his prior promiscuity? Why not move on to Saxton? Or Layla and Xcor? (which btw, WTF, Ward, was that even necessary?).

So, I’m done. I’m out. The End. I won’t be returning to the BDB, I won’t be reading Ward’s spin-off, or her new Contemporary series, even as she cries Romance! I have romance again! I can’t. It’s not even a matter of principals, it’s that, as I said, she broke my trust, and I won’t go back for seconds.


This reads like the previous BDB books, but the heroine dies at the end. I won't read Ward again, she's broken my trust as a reader, and pissed me off.
Profile Image for Amy.
631 reviews
April 3, 2015

What a heavy, depressing, disjointed and disappointing book. I just can't even....

I feel like I've been slapped in the face by Ward. The Shadows contradicts everything Ward has lead us to believe regarding "bonded" mates. The stars, the ending, the audacity that this is suppose to be a HEA is complete BS.

The H/h was one of MANY problems of the storyline.

I just don't have the words to express my disappointment and I can't believe I am one staring a BDB book from my favorite PNR author but it is valid. I disliked it greatly and wish V could do a good mind scrub on me at the moment.
March 15, 2023
4.5 Emotionally Battered Stars!!

I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more, than I cried some more, and finally my heart crumbled in pure agony!! This is going to be a difficult review, I don't want to give anything away about the outcome.....

Trez and Selena:
I've been intrigued by the Shadows since Rhev's book Lover Avenged. I didn't think that the WARDen could pull off Trez being worthy of a Chosen because of his manwhoring ways, he came off as..... I don't know...not callus because he was always respectful to the women he used but still, I couldn't see him with Selena. Now I can't imagine him with anyone else, and I now see him as one of the most honorable men in the series.

Now for Selena, that Chosen certainly surprised the heck out of me!!!! I didn't expect her to be so vibrant, so fearless, so inspiring, so sexual!! Her enthusiasm for life is off the charts!! She's a fighter, she fought for the man who held her heart and won!! I was totally unprepared and shattered by their story.

 photo PicsArt_1427946521109_zpsuuq1mjci.jpg

iAm and Maichen:
iAm is kind of brother you would love to have, he is fiercely loyal and protective. He would do anything for Trez. He was there as always at Trez' side knowing the threat of losing Trez to the S'Hisbe. Then when things are intense for him (like really intense) he meets Maichen and it looks as though he has finally, finally found someone. The attraction was unexpected but it seemed doomed from the beginning, Maichen has secrets but feels if she reveals them, she may lose him too soon.

 photo PicsArt_1427947369765_zpsfheos5ge.jpg

s'Ex, "The Executioner":
s'Ex has a pretty big roll in this book as the s'Hisbe leader of the Queen's army and head executioner. He is ruthless, and seems to be unfeeling and sworn to his Queen. However; we see a new side to him, and I came to care about him.

 photo PicsArt_1428111080426_zpscrdt6wq6.jpg

Xcor and Layla:
We get a couple of revelations regarding Layla's pregnancy and her relationship with Xcor...Layla is so conflicted, I feel for her...I don't know how much longer she can continue with her deceptions to the King, the Brotherhood, and Qhuinn & Blay. Her and Xcor feel deeply for one another and should be together but how? Xcor is responsible for the attempted assisanation and dethroning of (my) Wrath...I don't see good things coming.

“She is....the moon in my night sky”. And that is the beginning, middle, and end of it. There is no more to be told than that, and never shall I speak of her again. - Xcor to the BoB on Layla

Now really, who would have thought that such beautiful words can come out of Xcor's mouth!? There was some changes within the Band of Bastards, we'll have to see how this will play out....

 photo PicsArt_1427948517685_zpsbfuwodwp.jpg

Rhage, Mary, and The Brotherhood:
Rhage was very front & center in this book, I have a feeling on where this storyline will be going in the future but I'll keep those thoughts to myself and keep my fingers crossed that I'm right. The “original” brothers are all part of this book and it was awesome to have them back, not to mention the bantering...loved it!!

“Rhage cleared his throat. “My lord and ruler, Wrath, son of Wrath, blooded father of Wrath, I present you with Throe, Piece of Shit”

 photo IMG_3617020965571_zpsrtm9drsg.jpeg

Qhuinn's brother Luchas is still recovering after his rescue from the Lessers, but he has given up on his battered body & soul. While Q does all he can to to get him not to give up on his life.

“I know what it’s like to not have hope,” Qhuinn said roughly. “But destiny can surprise you.”- Q to Luchas

A little Insight into BDB Legacy:
We meet and get to know Paradise, the blooded daughter of Abalone, First Adviser to the King who will be featured in the first book Blood Kiss in the BDB spin-off series BDB Legacy , I really liked her and look forward to getting more of her. Her hero, Craeg was briefly introduced, he seems to be very shy & sweet....I can't wait!!!

My only disappointment:
I thought it was announced that Murhder would be in this book....I was sooooo looking forward to him coming back to the Brotherhood, which is reflected in my rating (otherwise it would have been a 5 Star rating, such was my disappointment). Was I mistaken or did he appear and it was a snippet so small that I missed it?

Either way, I loved it but at the same time I hated how some storylines played out, I have to believe that the WARDen knows what she's doing.

4/05/15 Update (Q&A in Cincinnati yesterday)!!!!:
I knew I read that Murhder would be in this book!!!!
 photo IMG_1695_zpsv9p4rpad.jpg

Reread Dates:
Profile Image for Erica Ravenclaw.
340 reviews97 followers
Want to read
August 15, 2015
 photo blaine_zps3f41564f.gif

OF COURSE I'M GOING TO READ IT. I can't be saved, I'm too far gone. Save yourself.
Profile Image for P .
691 reviews327 followers
December 9, 2016
“She is . . . the moon in my night sky. And that is the beginning, middle, and end of it. There is no more to be told than that, and never shall I speak of her again.”

I've been waiting for this book since I finished The King, and consequently my hope was too high before I could get my hands on this beautiful book. The Shadows follows after what happened to Trez and iAm in the previous one, while Trez can't stop whoring himself, iAm is trying to fix things his brother has done until now. The story revolves around Trez and Selena at first, but around the middle, we get to see more of iAm and his actions to help his only brother.

“Phury Syndrome—a condition whereupon one brother was so fucked-up that the other fell into a black hole trying to save him.”

The story of this book is heartbreaking and painful, yet it's so beautiful in the same time. I kept asking myself why I was this happy when I wasn't supposed to feel like that, and finally I've got an answer to my question. Why is this book so exquisite ? Because I know that love shouldn't be taken for granted. Love is precious, of course, but its value only exists for a limited time. What Ward shows us in this book isn't even out of that concept. She did her job very well when she started writing The Shadows because she knew where to start and end it.

“Rhage cleared his throat. “My lord and ruler, Wrath, son of Wrath, blooded father of Wrath, I present you with Throe, Piece of Shit.”

This is the book that I can't get it out of my head and my mind even I read it the first time last year. That scene is very epic and unforgettable.

I was satisfied by the ending and what follows after. The Shadows was my new experience for reading something different in this genre. I'm glad I picked this one up, it's worth every single drop of my tears.

Profile Image for Auntee.
1,297 reviews1,394 followers
April 9, 2015
Seeing some one star reviews kinda scares me...

Now I know what the hulabaloo was all about!

 photo ab1047e6-b503-45c1-ac58-6c7a52245db7_zpsrxaahljd.jpg

I'm just going to come out and say it...I loved this one. I had absolutely no idea before reading this that there was any kind of controversy brewing. But then I saw some one-star reviews, and I thought "Uh-oh, how can that be?" J R Ward with one-star reviews???

So the further I got into the book, I sensed what that was all about. Yet I held out hope that maybe it was something else? Maybe what I thought was going to happen wasn't really going to happen...

Now that's not to say that I wasn't disappointed about how things turned out between our hero (Trez) and heroine (Selena), but I can't help it, the story and this couple captivated me. Yes, it wasn't your usual romance (with a HEA or a HFN), but that was okay with me. Because I was just so involved in their romance...it made me feel so much...and I cried and cried and I couldn't believe that I was crying...and Trez did so many beautiful, romantic things for Selena (oh my, the amusement park, the restaurant scene, the ring shopping)...and I loved them so much as a couple! Yes, live your life to the fullest! Yes, it was a shocker when

 photo e6a9f8aa-ab0c-481c-abd3-272d8aff731f_zpsjsf2691o.jpg

So I found out something about myself. If the book is well-written, if I love the H/h, if the story makes me feel (and I'm a sucker for a story that makes me cry), then maybe, just maybe, I don't need a HEA all the time. Maybe 99 out of 100 times I need one..:).I'm going to trust that J R Ward knows what she's doing and and where she's taking this series. And yes, maybe Trez didn't get the HEA we all hoped for, but I believe he was at peace and would eventually be ok.

Now, about the rest of the book: there's a lot of plot threads left dangling...
Layla and Xcor...things started to heat up, but then...let's just say their story is far from over. Layla still has some time to go in her pregnancy, so I don't expect their story arc to be over for some time.

Who else? Assail makes a somewhat brief appearance. Still pushing drugs, still without Marisol. The King and the Brothers want him to stop collaborating with the lessers, and Assail comes up with a plan. This story arc also has a way to go, but I'm still interested.

A new character is introduced--Abalone's daughter Paradise. The Brothers are reopening the training center, and Paradise wants to try out. Huh. Somehow I don't see her as the next Xhex, but we'll see. She also meets a human that wants to try out too, so maybe this will be her love interest in Ward's spinoff series coming this December.

Luchas is back; he's in a bad way and is upset to be alive. I loved Selena's conversation with him. Hope it did some good but that remains to be seen.

Throe. He's up to something. That's all I'll say. They need to keep a verrry close eye on him.

Rhage. Rhage is in this one a lot. But I couldn't figure out what was going on with him. Is there something going on with him? Something physical? Or was it all emotional? I never could figure it out and in my mind it remains unresolved..

iAm. The more I got into this story, the more he reminded me of Phury. Always looking out for his brother, to the detriment of his own life. Actually, iAm's life revolves around Trez, so I was glad to see that he got a bit of a life in this one. I didn't totally buy the instant-love. I mean, I liked it, but I feel his story was short-changed. And the whole thing with the Princess/the Annointed One didn't surprise me much.

One last thing I forgot to mention--the heat in this book! Yowza. Oh wow. Trez and Selena. Scorching. And iAm--finally goes for it! Yes. JR Ward definitely delivers on this front.

So, I think this book is going to bum out a lot of fans. Those who insist on HEAs are not going to be pleased, no matter how well-written the story is. They're just not going to be able to get past it. And that's too bad. Ward has the guts to do something different, throw out a curve ball, shake things up. While this book has plenty of romance, it's not a typical Romance. But that's okay with me. I'm willing to go there with Ward, as long as she delivers a good story. And she did. 4 1/2 stars
Profile Image for Alisa.
1,801 reviews182 followers
April 11, 2015
 photo britneyisnotfeelingit_zpsvrbecylx.gif

Britney is not the only one not feeling it. I can not believe how boring this book was. I was as bored as a stone statue (oh yes I did go there). I'm not even going to write a comprehensive review. I'm just going to jump from one rant to another. I mean if the author can write an almost 600 pg book just jumping around randomly from plotline to plotline then why can't I? (There will be spoilers in my rants so stop right now if you don't want to know stuff)

1. I loathe these Chosen chicks. Like really a lot. I think the series has gone down hill since they started being mates. What happened to the strong heroines from the begining of the series? I want more Bellas, Marys and Beths. I'll even take bad assed warrior females like Xhex and Paine. These milk toast Chosen just have to go.
This is a quote from Ward's own blog post about the Chosen:

Fast forward a couple of years and a couple more stories, and it was funny, the idea of doing another Chosen falling in love- considering that I'd already done Phury and Cormia- was a total snooze to me. One of the issues with the Chosen is that, as they have been emerging from their cult-like upbringing, there isn't a lot of personality to them.

What on earth? If even you know how boring they are WHY ARE YOU WRITING THE THIRD DARN BOOK ABOUT THEM??(and that's not even counting the endless Layla drama)

2. WTF on Assail? He and his story took up half of Qhuinn and Blay's book. Seriously....100's of pages. Why? Why take away from their story? What was the flipping point if were going to spend the next two books with only a few glimpses of him doing cocaine?

3. What the heck happened to Layla? I disliked her immensely the first few books she was in but then she stepped up during Qhuinn's book and showed some back bone. I thought I was going to end up liking her but apparently not. She was ridiculousy stupid in this book. There were a bunch of scenes in this book where I wanted to throat punch her but the one that really made me mad was when she gets so upset seeing Xcor jack off that she trips and falls hard enough to break her arm. Really? You were SO traumatized over a guy holding his penis that you endanger your child/children? How I am supposed to buy in to this nonsense? She didn't get pregnant through immaculate conception. She spent two days letting Qhuinn screw her brains out. I would think she could handle a little jacking off. Stupid. Just stupid. All her whining and sneaking around and playing dumb games with Xcor makes me want throttle her.

4. The Band of Brothers. Still hate them all. Don't know why we have to have all these scenes with them where absolutely nothing happens. Don't understand why they still speak Old World English. That's a petty complain I know but it's just so stupid to me. They buy clothes, eat out, go to stores, rent houses etc. How can they not know current English? If the Brothers can learn urban slang and speak it to the point you want to beat them then the BOB should be able to speak normally. And on that note... enough with the urban slang. It's ok with V cuz that's always been him but now everyone talks that way. Even Manny and Lassiter. Enough with that. Stop it!

5. iAm got a shit side story. It could have been good if he would have actually had some time for his story to be told. As it was is was a snooze fest insta love. And let's talk about their first sex scene. I know they were both virgins but couldn't we have gotten more than them kissing and then him pushing his boy part into her girl part? Wow, how romantic. And how they both had fabulous orgasms from that I do not know.

6. The heroine dies. Really? First of all that's just a bunch of bullshit. You don't kill the heroine in a love story. But I have to be honest and admit I didn't care. That was my biggest problem. I just did not care. How is that possible? I ugly cried in some of the first books. No telling how many Kleenex I went through in Z's book. We know Ward can write emotions like no other yet this storyline was so damn boring that I didn't cry. I didn't get teary-eyed. Nothing.

7. I'm over all the multiple story lines. It's too much. They're out of control. Too much going on and as a result no one actually gets the time devoted to their stories that they should.

8. Paradise is boring. I don't care if she goes to the training or not. In fact I don't want to see her again. Another 20 something year old virgin in a book. Yay...we've never seen that before (*gigantic eye roll*) Craeg seemed like he might be interesting but..... Most importantly I don't want to start another series just to get back to the way BDB used to be. How about Ward stop writing all these storylines and go back to one, two things a book? There's plenty of characters who could have a book about them. I refuse to start a new series and pay another $12 for the author to fix the mess that this has turned in to.

The absolute only things I liked in this book were some of the moments between Rhev and Trez and then Trez and iAm. Some of those were touching.

There is a REALLY good chance that this the end of my relationship w/Ward and the Brothers. I am definitely not reading the new series and I just don't know about this one. I think I'm done.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,745 reviews1,306 followers
November 26, 2017
This was an adult paranormal romance, which focused on the romantic lives of iAm and Trez.

Trez and iAm were both interesting characters in this story, and both had their own problems. I liked how they supported each other though, and didn’t only think of themselves.

The storyline in this was about Trez finally getting together with Selena, and us finally finding out what her illness was and how it affected her. We also got a romance happening for iAm, after his shock revelation in the last book, and learned more about Trez’s birth right as the Princess’ mate.

The ending to this had some surprises, and things didn’t end happily for one of the brothers.
7 out of 10
April 23, 2015
So, this is my review of the latest Ward book. I love this time of year, and the traditions that come alone with it as a long-time JR Ward fan. It's a big part of why I enjoy this series so much.

Sorry, but this is a really long review. I had a lot to say!

Possible Spoiler Disclaimer: I will warn readers that while I really tried not to use overt spoilers, you will see that there is an emotional shock that comes in this book, but I don’t reveal exactly what it was. Readers beware!

The Shadows is the telling of the story of the two s’Hisbe brothers who have become unofficial members of the Brotherhood’s growing family. Trez is running away from his destiny, written in the stars, as the future mate of the Princess of the s’Hisbe. He’s done everything he could to disqualify himself, but the time is growing short and he can run no longer. iAm has stood in the gap for his brother for many years, trying to keep his brother from going over the edge of oblivion to the exclusion of having his own life. But the time is coming when he won’t be able to save his brother. Trez is stone cold in love with the Chosen, Selena, but for many reasons, a happy ending doesn’t seem to be written in their destinies. Will iAm ever get the chance to build his own life, and to make decisions that aren’t dictated by his sacrificial love for his brother?

With a storyline that like, you know there’s going to be major drama.

Drama is JR Ward’s calling card. When I read one of her books, I automatically expect it. It’s hard, at the same time, waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it often does, very hard. I deliberately took my time reading this, preparing myself for the emotional blows sure to come. Not at all sure that there would be a happy end by the last page. I know a lot of people weren’t happy with this book, and I was prepared that I might not be, or that I might like it and find myself an outlier in saying why I liked it. So, it was emotionally stressful for me to read it. Another reason to take my time.

Some have argued that Ward has moved away from her initial writing of romance. I’m not sure I agree. Even in her earlier book, there was always a sense that not everything was settled, and while there were committed and happily mated couples, troubles could be lurking around the corner. Yes, the books were shorter and they focused more on the romance, but there was always something more, and plenty of drama. As the series has progress, the books have expanded, and with them, the storylines. And yes, the drama quotient. At times, it’s wearying how the storylines get dragged out and she introduces yet another set of new characters instead of giving more resolution on current storylines. This book was not different in that regard. And there were parts of this book that ripped my guts out and gave me a headache that was just a shade below a migraine. I wanted to slap one particular character super-duper silly. And I wanted to shake another one. I wanted to rail at the capriciousness of life, and ask the whys. But at the same time, I was satisfied at the end of the story. Hence my rating.

My opinion won’t be popular on this book amongst many of my friends. Largely, I really enjoyed this book. While there were some parts that were terribly sad and that made me sob like a big old baby, I felt that JR Ward delivered the quality of storytelling I appreciate about her writing. I’m not the one to tell you if she messed up specific details. I love this books a lot, but I don’t always remember which hand of Vishous glows or which eye of Qhuinn’s is blue versus green. To me, I don’t find that terribly important. I do care about the stories and the emotional journey. I don’t care if she rewrites some aspects of the storyline, because that’s to be expected in a long-running series. As an artist, one’s creation will evolve, and Ward views these people as real, probably as real as they seem to me, but probably even more real. And real people do change.

I will say this as well, I believe in eternal life. I believe that life doesn’t end on this plane. I believe that death is an enemy in that it steals love ones away from their beloveds, hopefully not forever, but sometimes it is forever. Our mortal bodies fail us and we leave this life and go to another place. I’m a Christian, so I believe that Heaven and Hell are real. For the Brothers, it’s the Fade. But I think the pain is the same, knowing that you won’t see a beloved again in this life. And when one is dying, it’s facing one’s mortality, and the question of whether what you’ve believed that whole time was real or not.

My two cats (that I had for pretty much their whole, long lives) died this past fall, and it broke my heart to pieces. They were older and I should have been prepared. I work in animal medicine, and I lost my dad about ten years ago, so death is not new to me. But it still wrenched my soul to lose them. It’s funny what people say and don’t say to you when you lose someone. I had people say some things that were quite ugly even though they didn’t mean it that way, and that didn’t help my emotional healing. I also had people who ministered to me in my grief, and understood exactly how I felt. They can’t know how much they helped me, but I say a prayer of thanks that God put them in my path at the right time.

I think this book touched me because I saw one of the characters go on that journey. The stages of grief were so tangible to me because of my recent loss (and quite honestly, I also lost a church friend recently, so I was dealing with that as well). I could feel what it was like for this character and the pain of losing a person, but also the fact that they could not ever have regrets about having loved that person, for however short that time was. It’s real for me. I don’t know, but I’m thinking that Ward went through a loss recently, and she wrote this from her heart. I connected with that, and I can see why she didn’t change the ending to a “happy, joy, joy” one that would be expected.

Sometimes, that’s not the way life works. Sometimes, you lose people and you have to get out of bed the next day. You have to attend to the ceremonies that come along with the loss and keep one foot in front of the other until you can walk without falling. Sometimes you have to be strong so you can be strong for another person who needs that strength, and put your own needs aside. That was all so real to me, and very well-written.

Others may not like how that was done. I respect that. While it sucked that this person died, it was also valuable in the terms of the story. I can’t fault Ward for that decision. I’ve seen her make others in her stories that I was more angry about. I think she handled the situation with grace, even in the most ugly and emotionally wrenching parts. I think she knows that people are going to be angry with her, and she owns it. I respect her for that.

Speaking of things that made me angry, Xcor was a real tool in this book. I had started seeing more potential for him as a future hero in the past few books, but now I’m just annoyed at him and I question his value as a future love interest for a certain person. I really disliked what he did, for numerous reasons. Those who know my tastes can probably pinpoint why, and can understand why I wanted to bitchslap him. It’s not that I don’t understand his character or the whys but it was a jerk move. At some point you have to stop being a whiny baby and say no to the past and declare a better future. I hold out hope that he’ll get a clue, but he’ll need to get a cleansing deep inside and outside before everything will be okay with me.

I continue to like Layla’s character. She’s really growing as a three-dimensional character in her own right. I wasn’t happy about that storyline with Qhuinn at first, but now I’m okay with it. I think it’s an interesting dynamic, and I want to see where things lead with her and her ancillary relationship with Qhuinn and Blay. I just want her to have a Hellren who is worthy of her. She deserves it! I hope the male she’s in love with gets his head out of his rear end sometime soon.

One of the things I absolutely loved about this book was the relationship between iAm and Trez, and how things turned around, and the one who always made sacrifices got to be the one who was put first in a crucial way. iAm is a really classy guy, a worthy male, and while Trez did have some jerk moments in the past few books, I really liked him in this book and felt for him. He proves to be a very worthy male (although I don’t agree with his view of prostitution being okay as long as the women get the lion’s share of their earnings). Yes, they don’t consider themselves black or African American, but I liked that they do represent people of color in this book so well. I also found the s’Hisbe culture fascinating. In some ways, it’s not super well-defined, but it’s intriguing to me. An interesting compare and contrast to the Vampire and Sympath cultures. ‘s’Ex is some kind of dude. On the real! He has swagger like my beloved Rehvenge, and that is a very nice comparision from a reader who is stone cold in love with Rehv! I hope we see more of him. I like one of the new characters introduced very much, which I cannot reveal as a spoiler. Thumbs up for her. That was super-sweet too what happens with her and another character.

A few things I was indifferent about as well. I am indifferent about the Lesser storyline. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. We’ll see what happens in the next book. I can’t make up my mind how I feel about Assail. I hate drug abuse/activity, so he’s got a major strike against him. At the same time, I do appreciate the pragmatism of his character. I think he truly is amoral, and he sticks true to that. I’m not sure if he’ll turn out to be an antihero or a full on villain. I have this sick appreciation for a good antihero, I freely admit.

I feel like the Band of Brothers storyline was underrepresented in this book, but I think Ward is saving it for the next book and chose to focus on other aspects. It will be interesting to see what happens between Xcor and Throe (and I’m glad that Wrath ain’t nobody’s fool when it comes to that situation). I wish she’d spent more time on the BoB instead of developing the new storyline with Paradise. I don’t hate her, but I can’t say I really care that much about her right now. Having said that, I’ll definitely be reading the spinoff series, even though I think it’s Ward’s bid for the New Adult niche (and I’m not interested in that genre).

So, yes, I think I could go on about this book, but I’ve already written such a long review. It won’t change anything. I’m pretty set on how I rated the book. I own it. I liked this book a whole lot. I enjoy Ward’s writing. I love the elegance of the old races she writes about, juxtaposed to the gritty modern world. I even like the thug slang and urban ways of the Brothers (as odd as some find it). I know a lot of folks hate that, but I feel that it’s characteristic of her writing, and I smile every year when I get to hang out with the Brothers and their ever-growing circle of acquaintances. I think that Ward really loves writing about these characters and that joy is infectious to me as a reader. I wish that some of my favorites were more front and center, but most of them had their day in the sun and it’s time to let someone else take the center focus. I will say it was nice to see more of Rhage and Mary in this book.

I guess I’m always going to enjoy Ward’s book for what they are. I don’t expect her to be a perfect writer. She has her quirks like any other artist, but I think she’s a darn good writer, and I love this world she’s created, even more with each book. I added The Shadows to my BDB hardcover shelf with a feeling of proprietary pride. Enough Said!
Profile Image for Annie .
2,452 reviews819 followers
May 31, 2015

J.R. Ward changes the game with THE SHADOWS with not just one hero, but two in Trez and iAm. As these two brothers have their stories told, expect a lot of emotion, action and passion. All of these things are things I’ve come to expect in a J.R. Ward book, but especially in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

The Shadows have been in the series for a long time, but since they were just on the sidelines I never gave them much thought until now. As the eldest of the two, Trez is the Anointed One and he has responsibilities that are required of him. However that isn’t all that fate has in store for him. Because when Trez falls for a woman, he falls hard and everything we have come to know about the man changes when life takes a wrong turn. Unable to control the events that are happening around him, you as the reader feel his anguish. It’s hard to read. Very, very hard. But at the same time, Ward goes back to basics and Trez’s story almost reminds me of the earlier books with Rhage and Mary and the sweet romance they shared. Unfortunately things are different with Trez and his shellan and even though it devastates me, I don’t hate Ward for her choices.

There are two reasons why it works for me: One, it’s because Ward drops a lot of clues as to what is going to happen before it does so as I picked up on it earlier on it wasn’t such a shock as some of the past events in the series. That being said though, I stilled sobbed like a baby when it happened and had to stop reading because I could no longer read the words any longer.

And two, because the romance is so very potent for these two. I definitely got the sense that they were happy. Like I said, Ward conveys emotion so well.

iAm’s romance comes across as slightly different. It takes a while to develop and how it comes to be may also come as a shock to readers but again, I found that I enjoyed their dynamics together. Ward’s romance is really about putting together the hero and heroine and then letting the emotions flow as they come and I definitely felt a strong connection between these two.

Now in addition to The Shadows, Ward focuses a lot on progressing the world. There are bonds broken, some bonds forged and it’s quite interesting to see such progress in one book. Ward really paced this book out well, reaching all areas of the world and giving readers a wide scope of things without diluting any of the romances.

If you’re an Original Brothers junkie as I am, then you’ll be thrilled to know that MY BABY RHAGE IS HERE. Hallelujah! I don’t think I could have been any more happier when I saw the multiple POVs from him. Sitting up straighter, eyes going wide like lasers, I devoured all of Rhage’s moments. If you look closely, it makes sense to see him come to the forefront again in this book. And it broke my heart to see him so afraid, but again Ward handles his emotions with poise. I’m hoping she gives us more of him and Mary. They will always remain as my favorites.

Progress with Layla and Xcor are present as well. As are the Band of Brothers and Assail. Qhuinn’s brother, Luchas has some interesting things happening to him that also pulls on the heartstrings so THE SHADOWS is an all-around heartache waiting to happen. My advice to you is to have tissues ready. Lots of them.

And it’s not just because it’s all sadness. I cried like a sap at all the sweet, romantic bits too. Ward’s writing definitely puts your life in perspective, making you grateful for what you have. It’s poignant and touching and I wouldn’t change a single thing.

Interestingly, Ward introduces Paradise, the daughter to Abalone and the new heroine of her Black Dagger Legacy series, BLOOD KISS. She’s very, very likeable and I see remnants of Beth and Xhex in her so it’ll be interesting to see what her actions in the future will mean for the series. Her hero, Craeg is also introduced and I can tell he’s going to be another sweetheart. All of this makes me SO EXCITED. I cannot wait to return to the training with Tohr. I wonder if it’ll be like JM, Qhuinn and Blay all over again?

THE SHADOWS is not anything I expected. At all. Ward pulls off the twist of all twists, proving that she’s fearless when it comes to staying true to her characters. With the amount of emotions this book packs, your heart will surely burst. And if you’re like me, you’ll love every minute of it.

Read my alternate review at Fresh Fiction
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,982 followers
April 9, 2017
I'd never pegged J.R. Ward for a sadist before.

Oh, those pesky feels. You can go away now, thanks.

Yes, anger was included in that list of feels. But I'm surprised at how much I liked The Shadows in spite of the abuse I suffered.

Here we go into spoiler territory...

The story was handled beautifully, I will say. Yes, I did cry. Little tears leaked down my face for about 10 minutes straight.

However, (so sorry that there's always a "but" in there somewhere!), I'm not thrilled that

Something that felt organic to me was Selena's reaction at first

I'm still surprised that Ward finally took that real jump into Urban Fantasy away from PNR by , but I'm one of the few that is loving the direction of the series. We're going so much deeper now into the characters than we were in the past. And I really like that.

As long as I get to laugh at least a few times and someone's getting laid, I'm good with the greater story progression. ;)
Profile Image for AJ.
2,935 reviews960 followers
April 17, 2015
5 Brilliantly devastating stars

If you’re a BDB fan, then you’ll know what to expect from this series, and once again, JR Ward totally delivered. This is a multi-layered story with action, suspense, excitement, romance, sex, multiple love stories and heaps of emotion. In fact this book totally ripped my heart out. But OMG, it’s such an amazing story!

I went into this book with an idea of how I thought it would all go down, and while I had the general idea right, the story has some huge surprises, and took me places I definitely wasn’t expecting! I love that about a story, and while I was a blubbering mess for a good portion of it, I reveled in every moment.

As the title suggests, the story centres around “The Shadows” – Trez and iAm. Long time characters in the series, their stories have started to develop in the later books, and this time we get up close and personal with the mysterious twins. I’m not going to go into detail about their backstory, because their history is well developed before this book starts (don’t even think about reading this series out of order!!!), and the way everything plays out for them is a real surprise - it’s best to watch it all unfold as it happens.

I do need to say though, that the romance in this book is beautiful! Trez, in particular, surprised me with how romantic he is! I loved seeing him all loved up, and with every word and gesture, I was in a total swoon.

“I love you so much. I love you so deeply. I love you forever.”

iAm is equally amazing as the man who will do anything for his brother. I love the direction his story took - definitely a surprise, but a very welcome one.

And there is a lot more going on with the Brothers and their extended crew…

Of course, seeing any of the ‘old school’ Brothers is always a highlight, and I absolutely adored revisiting with one of my favourites - Rhage and “his Mary”, with many chapters from his POV. There are things happening with Hollywood and I am beyond thrilled that he will be getting the next book in the series!

“This is calm, cool, and collected, you little bitch. You don’t want to see me pissed off.”

There is some more story progression for Layla. Her strange and secretive time with Xcor continues, and things are still slowly moving along there. But it’s her relationship with Qhuinn and Blay that I love the best – the dynamic between the trio is gorgeous.

Xcor and the BOBs appear, with a bit more of a focus on Throe, whose allegiances are now highly suspect, and we check in briefly with Assail.

We also get to meet Paradise, daughter of Abalone and heroine of the upcoming Blood Kiss, book one in the spin off series Black Dagger Legacy. She’s a feisty girl, brought up in the pampered world of the Glymera, but secretly wishing for something more, I really like her. We are briefly introduced to her love interest and I am so excited for their story.

I enjoyed all of the time spent with the Brothers, and seeing the goings on in the mansion, and the dynamics between the larger group is sensational as always. Packed full of Ward-isms, the writing is fast paced but still descriptive and HIGHLY emotive. I was quickly sucked into the story and totally wrapped up in the BDB world. This story is a fantastic addition to the series.

Bravo JR Ward - 5 huge stars.
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,520 followers
December 11, 2017
iAm and maichen (Or )

“Will you let me see you,” he said in a deep voice.
maichen swallowed hard. Then she lifted her hands to the mesh that covered her face—but it was to hold the masking in place. “I am afraid.”
“Of what?”
What if he didn’t like what he saw?
“I already know you’re beautiful,” he said, as if he read her mind.
He touched the center of his large chest. “I see you in here. I know you … in here. You are very beautiful to me, no matter what you look like.”
Acutely aware of everything that she hadn’t told him about herself, she whispered, “We do not know each other.”
“Does that matter to you?”
“Me, neither.”


iAm is such as nice guy:
1. -He is not interested in clubs and drugs. He only wants to cook. So when he has the opportunity to get his favorite restaurant Salvatore’s, he grabs it and now he is the proud owner and chef of Sals.
2. -He is a virgin. He has been waited for the right girl for so many years and when he finds her, he does not lose another second to make her his.
3. -He is a considerate brother who cares and gives without asking anything for return and he is even accused that he suffers from the “Phury syndrome” for his sensitivity and unquestionable love.
Note: “Phury Syndrome—a condition whereupon one brother was so fucked-up that the other fell into a black hole trying to save him.”
4. -He is an animal lover. His best friend is a cat. Boo does not stop following him although iAm pretends that he does not care.
5. -He almost lost the love of his life as the rightful Anointed One and princess’ destiny mate according to the stars. And he was not bitter. He was just happy that his brother was okay.
6. -And he never stopped offering his forgiveness – even to maichen who lied to him about who she really is.

After the Sympaths that we met in book “Love Avenged”, this time we meet the Shadows which are an entirely new species. And moments like this, I really wonder why Ward does not do more spinoffs instead of packing everything in the main series. Sympaths and Shadows would have made great sub-stories and side-series.

Obviously the book focused mainly on iAms story and iAm’s HEA but from Trez’s point of view which is a bit unfair for iAm, because really Trez is a selfish, self-centered guy who thinks that the Earth revolves around him and his never-ending drama.

Apparently after he almost ruined iAm’s story, Trez’s story will continue as it was obvious in book The Chosen.

Readers were tortured for the majority of the Shadows about the question whether Selena will be saved in the end. And I really do not understand why. The two previous deaths i.e. Wellsie and Darius (three deaths actually if you count also Jane’s death) happened fast and were treated with respect. Until now all the readers love Wellsie and Darius, but most of them do not want to talk about Selena’s death.

Somehow, in the midst of the great infinite, and in spite of his mourning, he knew he was exactly where he was supposed to be at this point in time.
Guess it was fate.

Profile Image for Shawna.
3,550 reviews4,578 followers
April 16, 2017
4 stars – Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Unfortunately (and perhaps fortunately), I was spoiled and warned on this one before I started reading it, so I’d mentally prepared myself for potential anger, disappointment, emotional betrayal, and abject misery.

And yep, part of me feels like I’ve been royally bitch slapped.

 photo karen-bitch-slap-o_zps0k2ngqvr.gif

And part of me feels pretty damned emotional, devastated, and weary after reading this.

 photo giphy_zpsudh4rtme.gif

The romance lover in me wants to be mad at J.R. Ward and feel disillusioned and rant in frustration, but dammit, I still really freaking liked the overall story. So, I’m giving this a somewhat reluctant and begrudging 4 stars.

Profile Image for Jen.
1,655 reviews1,008 followers
April 3, 2015
I am going to rate this a 4.5 stars, and my reason I can't really reveal without spoiling part of the story. This book was an absolute roller coaster ride in the best, and at times;worst way. I need to sit and contemplate before I write my review. It will be a tricky one, as there is so much I wish to say; but can't because I don't want to reveal anything. This is a highly emotional book..That is all there is to it..and I will say that after reading this story, I won't ever be the same. It gives you so much to think about, and in such a profound way. One of the nicer parts in this installment was finally getting more of the Brother's that we know and love! In the past few books, I found there was so much other stuff going on, we didn't get enough of our origional brothers. I had missed that.In The Shadows though,we are treated to more of that Brotherhood comraderie and joking banter they have with one another! It was such a pleasant addition to an otherwise extremely emotional read.. More to come with my review...
Profile Image for ari.
705 reviews206 followers
February 5, 2017
Still a good book, despite you know what .

PS: Will I ever get Nalla interacting with the Brothers? WITH HER DADDY? Is all I ever want?

-----------Apr 08, 2014----------
Trez and iAm's book!
Profile Image for Midgetbee.
39 reviews75 followers
July 25, 2015
This should've been called 'Jane Whitcomb Runs the Clinic and Everyone Loves Her'. In fact just name all the books that from now on, it'll save time.

The further into the series the books go and the more it becomes less about the Brotherhood themselves and them fighting an all-out war against the lessers and the more the books become all about Doc Jane and all the patients she treats. The Brothers barely even fight any more. Instead they stand around Wrath, flexing slightly and growling. I get the series needs to move on and there needs to be new characters but why are all the main storylines these days about what's going on in the damn clinic? Ms Ward, some of us don't like Doc Jane. We didn't like her in Lover Unbound, we didn't like her in Lover Unleashed, we didn't like her in Lover at Last, or The King and guess what, we don't like her here either. She doesn't need half the book. There are other doctors. Let one of them treat a patient. I don't care if she's cracking wise, crying over patients or banging Vishous in a supposedly sanitary examination room. You've already tried to rewrite half the series to get people to like her. It didn't work. Quit it.

I don't care if every character in the book says how much they love her either. So you can cut that out too.

Basically the main plot of the book centres around Selena dying and Trez trying to get out of becoming the next Shadow Queen's personal sex slave and all the drama as everyone tries to give them a happy ending while the two of them go out on dates and try to pretend everything will work out just fine.

I'm losing my patience with this series. Like I said, clinic drama, all the time, every time. Plotlines are dropped, the ending doesn't play out to the tone of the rest of the series and where the heck is Muhrder? Yet another book his return is promised, and yet another no show. It's just another case of Ward pushing her favourites to the forefront, plot cohesion be damned. I'm just happy we got to see some more of Rhage so there was someone in the book I actually gave a damn about.
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,122 followers
June 4, 2016
I gave up half-way the first time I started reading this book last year. I wasn’t feeling it…..
Giving it a second chance…..maybe my state of mind is different now and also I was about to start on The Beast…..

No, second time around and still not feeling it!!!!!
Bored out of my mind!!!! Should I keep turning the pages or not???? What a struggle it was to finally arrive at THE END!!!!

I love the BDB brothers but Trez & IAm ….just not into those two. And I couldn’t care about Trez & Selena and IAm’s HEA!!!

And then let me rant and rave about all those multiple storylines!!! After a while, I lost track of what and who was going on!!!!

To end this rant of mine off…..I have loved Layla from the beginning but in this book…..she was beyond stupid!!!! And forget my love in the past for Qhuinn!!! What a twit he’s turning out to be!!!!

Okay…..so am I going to give up on this series???? Probably not …..there are so many characters that I have come to love and hopefully the next book will set my blood on fire!!!!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,780 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.