[600]: Blood Kiss by JR Ward

Series: Black Dagger Legacy, #1
Audible Audio, 12 hrs 39 minutes
Penguin Audio | December 1st, 2015
Adult Fiction | Paranormal Romance
Rating 3 out of 5 Stars

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.

JR Ward’s third release of 2015 was a spin-off of her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. A few fans of the series bemoaned the fact that most of the books has been nothing but fillers after Tohr’s story. I, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough. You must understand that BDB was my very first foray into adult paranormal series. I’m a huge follower, and as such, a loyal fan. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’ve enjoyed every single installment. In fact, the last one was a long-winded novel about well – nothing, I thought. I wasn’t really into the Shadows brothers, so I spent most of the time forcing myself to read the book. I wanted to read this one because I was promised a lot of things.


The BDB Legacy is JR Ward’s attempt to incite furor to the series once again. It’s meant to bring us back to the arch of the original novels. The training center has been reopened. This time, with new rules. No longer will the recruits be from a specific class. This time, it’s open to anyone who wants to join. But only the strong will survived. Because if they want the legacy of the Brotherhood to be revered, this breed of warriors needs to be as strong as their leaders.


We thus find ourselves meeting a whole new set of trainees. Starting with Paradise, daughter of the King’s First Advisor – whom, much like the other recruits – barely escaped the slaughter from the Lesser raids. But aside from self-preservation, each and everyone has their own agendas.  Outside of Craeg’s and Paradise’s stories, I felt that the rest of the recruits were but passing ships. Perhaps, the next few series will highlight their characters and personalities more, but this one was mere introductions.


Butch and Marissa are featured in this story as well. Their marriage is going through a rough patch, but if they were real people and I know them personally, I would have given them the “bitches, please”. That’s not a rough patch.  Geepers. Talk about making mountains out of molehills! We see glimpses of life in the compound, but I’m glad this book did not suffer from too many story arches branching out. Lassiter is a great source of entertainment. And Vishous finally admitted his deepest, darkest fantasy involving Butch in a precarious position. Lol.


It’s not as exciting as everyone was making it out to be. Not to me, anyway. I do like that I have something else to look forward to each year while waiting for the BDB installment. I think JR Ward’s attempt deserves a B for effort, but at this point, I don’t really know what she can do to rejuvenate the series for those who have lost interest. As for me, you know I’ll still buy them, regardless.

  • I love that there were some crossover characters from the original series in this spinoff. I hope to catch up on the original series soon too…

  • It’s great that she’s continuing the series for fans of BDB even though some of the instalments have been lacklustre. Great review Joy!

  • karina

    What can I say? You are a die hard fan, J.! :))) I gave up unfortunately a few years ago.

  • Adriana C

    The last book I read of the BDB series was Lover at Last…..i liked the main couple but the rest was meh. i hope to read The King this year.

  • I’m like you, and still love this series even if the last few books in the main series have been a bit bland. I’ve been wondering about this spinoff and was waiting for someone I trusted to review it. It sounds good enough, not amazing, but good enough to give it a chance. Great review as always! 🙂

  • BDB was my big introduction into adult paranormal books as well. Well, other than Stephen King back in the 70’s and 80’s(yes I am old) and some of Anne Rices back then as well.I adored this series for a long time and binge read the first 8 or 9 of them. I have The King to listen to but after so many bad reviews I just haven’t started it. So that’s when I stopped. I kinda wanted to read this one but now I am not so sure. Thanks for an honest review!

  • Hahaha I’m one of those who amped up the excitement for this. I really loved this esp as Butch is my fave brother next to JM. I didn’t care much for Paradise, and I’m glad she didn’t do the million POVs. I’m curious over Rhage’s book, I wonder if it’ll be like BDB in terms of format or if she’ll go back to basics with it like with this one.

    I don’t remember, have you read her Bourbon Kings yet?

  • Sara Walker

    I bought it, I read it, I enjoyed it. Was it amazing- nope. I found that nothing really happened in this one. But, I’m with you, I’ll keep buying these books and I’ll keep reading them.

  • Hugs. <3 YAY for still reading books by this author 😀 You are awesome Joy. But, aw, I'm sorry this one wasn't very awesome : Sigh. But yay for still enjoying it a lot 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweet girl. <3

  • I’m one of those fans who consider BDB books after Lover At Last as fillers. I stopped after book #12, because I was too disappointed with the plot and your review just shows me that I’m not missing anything.Sadly, I’m more and more convinced that I should say goodbye to this series. :/

  • I tried to read the first book of the original series, but sadly just couldn’t get into it. I know others like yourself have really adored them, but felt as though the series might be running it’s course now especially with the last few books. I’m not sure the answer to rejuvenating the series is by creating another series though as it sounds as though she’s spreading herself thin enough with new ideas as it is. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it somewhat Joy and fingers crossed it helps her create some interest in the BDB along the way as well. Wonderful review <3

  • I need to get back to the BDB books. I only read book three, ha.

  • I have to admit, I started this and it gave me a headache

  • RO

    Shari Jung from Delighted Reads gave a really in depth synopsis of this book, because I’ve been feeling a little jaded with the recent books like you. LOL on the struggle thing with Butch and Marissa, and I hear you on that one. I plan to read this book so I can try to get back into the swing of things, too. I bet she probably would like to shut things down and start something with the same following, like she did with a few other novels, but I suspect it will be just like JK Rowling’s efforts in to the adult genre. Loved your review and lots to talk about with this one for sure. Hugs…

  • I have been really picky about BDB books. I started reading them out of order ,lol. But I enjoyed them other wise. I really commend JRW on her ability to see this through and I don’t think she is doing anything wrong with her series. Like most books that go on forever there is going to be change. The only thing I disliked was the sometimes inconsistency, like even she was confused by all of her different plot lines and smaller stories. Also as a reader, I don’t like multiple povs. At this point it also seems like less and less of these books are about the people they are suppose to be about. I can see why she probably wanted to take a break from that and start with a fresh and exciting plot line. I still might give this a try, I love the world she created and those males are awesome!!

  • kindlemom1

    I’ve only tried one of this author’s books (her newest series) but I did like it. I’m not sure if I would like this or not but I’m glad that you did like it a bit even if you didn’t love it.

  • Sorry to hear that it wasn’t as good as you’d hoped, maybe she will figure out how to draw you back in

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    I did really like that we got a few snippets from the Brothers, but like you said, we didn’t follow everyone on a tangential storyline before returning to the main romance now and then. I liked seeing Butch and Marissa again, and Lassiter just makes me happy. I hope we get his book soon and that it’s not bogged down with 40 other characters. I still think Butch and V should be together 😉

  • I have not even attempted to read the BDB series. I’ve thought about it, and my library has all the books, but I just can’t. Now this new series? There are way to many books to catch up on. Great review!

  • Jazmen

    I haven’t read a J.R. Ward book yet and I want to but I don’t feel compelled to do so. Maybe one of these days. Thanks for the review, Joy! 🙂

  • shootingstarsmag

    I haven’t read ANY of these, but that’s good you’re still reading. sorry this latest attempt to revive the series a bit didn’t entirely work for you either though.


  • I’m still up in the air if I’m going to try this one. After The Shadows, I said I was done. I hadn’t really enjoyed a Ward book in a while. I keep hearing great things about this one, but I have this strange feeling that I feel very similar to the way you felt. I’ve got too many other books and authors out there that I want to try to keep giving Ward my time. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

  • I am one of those they are only fillers :/ And make that after Rhevs book for me

  • Third release of the year? Man, this author must be writing like crazy! I don’t know how some of them do it DD: But it sounds like this was a fairly decent addition to the series and that you quite liked reading it as well :3 I like the sound of the series as a whole!