The Beast by J.R. Ward

As a long-time fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, it was a no-brainer to continue the saga with The Beast by J.R. Ward.

25293695.jpgNothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from…

There were a lot of things I loved about this book. It had the characters I know and love, the fight against the lessers, and the fear of the Band of Bastards fighting against the throne. The story primarily surrounded Rhage and Mary (hence the name The Beast), but there were plenty of other points of view captured. My favorite being V’s and a very comical conversation with his mate about children. I’m also totally on Team Assail and I want him to have his happy ever after. The book was exciting, sensual and complete. However, it felt a little stagnant.

The Beast felt like it was frozen in time. It fit the formula of a BDB story and gave us bits and pieces of the world but it didn’t move forward and progress as much. I think it’s because it was a continuation of an “old” story, that is, the story of Mary and Rhage who are already in love. Sure, something new and life-changing happens for them, but there isn’t that core “falling in love” story to tie everything together. With this book and the previous, The King, the pace of the story slowed significantly.

However, I feel that will no longer be a problem because the ending of The Beast leaves a lot open-ended for some BDB progress. For one, a major character is no longer in the picture. Who will fill the void? Also, the next book, The Chosen, will FINALLY be Layla and Xcor’s story, which I’ve been waiting on forever. With the fresh blood and new love, I feel this series will be right back to where it needs to be.

STARS: 4 out of 5

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