Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward

Dearest Scribe Virgin, THANK YOU.

That’s what I’m thinking as I turn the last page of J.R. Ward’s Blood Kiss, the first book in her new spin-off Black Dagger Legacy series, which follows the young recruits in the Brothers’ new training program. I am a HUGE fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I was ecstatic when I heard Ward was going back to her roots as a paranormal romance writer – same world, same Brothers but new characters to love and hate.

24903031The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.

And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

I am so grateful that this book preserves the writing style, excitement and badassery that can only be unleashed in the Caldwell setting with the variety of brothers and shellans we all know and love to entertain us. We are introduced (yet again. There is a sneak peak of Paradise in The Shadows) to Paradise, Craeg and Peyton among other new recruits in the Brotherhood’s training program to prepare soldiers for the war against the lessers. Paradise is part of the vampire aristocracy and Craeg is a commoner, making for a forbidden and explosive romance.

Although there is a surprising amount of face-time with the brothers, specifically Butch, this novel focuses on the relationship between Paradise and Craeg as they fight to stay in the program and away from each other. It was refreshing that Paradise and Craeg were “young” adults, which made for a less intense storyline than the brothers but focused on sexual awakening and pushing past societal boundaries. If you’re still looking for intensity, it’s still there with this couple but it’s particularly evident in the furthering of the brothers’ stories throughout the pages.

If you love the BDB, there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll love this new spin-off series. It was everything I hoped for and I can’t wait for the next installment.

STARS: 5 out of 5

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