[716]: Blood Vow by JR Ward

Blood Vow
by JR Ward

I’m writing this review after a second reading and it’s not because the book was THAT good. It’s the opposite, actually. There are times when books are just not meaty enough to leave a remarkable impression regardless of whether or not one had an enjoyable time reading it. And that’s exactly how I felt about this one. I can’t say it was bad but more like status quo, you know? More of the same. Nothing to see here. Move along, folks.

One of the reasons why this didn’t leave a lasting impression is that it felt more like a continuation of The Beast instead of a story that focuses on the next trainee, Axwell. I mean, there are other subplots that vied for my attention, too, of course, but this series was supposed to drum up lovin’ feelings fans had of the BDB series. Unfortunately, JR Ward just can’t help herself.ย After all these years of reading Ms. Ward’s books, I should be used to it by now, right? The fact that she chooses to not have a focal character in every book she writes has become her M.O. since the beginning of time. So I shouldn’t expect any less.

Because I was more invested in reading about Rhage & Mary’s journey towards parenthood, Axwell and Elise’s story took a back seat. The definitive crux of my problem with this book lies in my disappointment stated above. That it was an extension of The Beast rather than a thorough introspection of Axwell’s storyline.

In any rate, I still enjoyed it. Axwell came from a poor family with no prospects whatsoever (besides enrolling in the BDB Training program, that is). He’s virtually an orphan since he lost his father to the raids. His mother had long since abandoned them before then. He’s carried a guilt with him for ignoring his father’s call on the night he was killed. He’s angry at himself and at the world – more particularly to the members of the Glymera. His mother took off to become the mistress of one of those people so he doesn’t really have a good opinion about them. (You can practically smell the romantic twist from a mile away, don’t you?) He ended up being employed by one as a personal security detail. And yes, you guessed it, to Elise – whose life has gotten even more restrictive since the murder of her cousin.

As for Mary & Rhage, if you’re following the series, you’d know that they were in the process of adopting a girl whose mother just recently died. Bitty has seen the worst kind of abuse at the hands of her father. It took Bit a while to get used to being loved and cared for. She was very wary at first but soon warmed up to the idea that she, too, deserves some good in her life. But all the physical abuse her body has suffered also left her with some permanent damage that if not treated might leave her invalid after her transition. Reading about the way Havers tried to correct the break in her bones had my eyes smarting in tears. Bit was allergic to any kind of anesthetics, so you can just imagine the torture this kid went through. We also learn that the uncle she was talking about was not imaginary at all which had Mary and Rhage going crazy for the uncertainty of losing Bitty.

ย Verdict

I have a complicated relationship with JR Ward’s books. Yet no matter how I complain, I end up going back to her year in and year out. It’s like being in a bad relationship sometimes. No matter how bad it gets, I’m the weak one who keeps giving the bastard the second chance.

  • RO

    Totally love, love, love this review Joy! I haven’t read the last few books in the series, but still can’t help grabbing them when they are released. (lol) Personally, and this is just my opinion, I bet that JR Ward would really like to start writing books again as herself (Jessica Bird) and ditch the BDB series, but her die hard fans won’t let her. She has written other books that haven’t worked as well, and she she falls back to doing what she knows will work. She’s been successful, and I think at this point, she should relax a little and let the BDB rest for a few years. This would really give her time to do something she really wants to without rushing through. Hugs…

  • Lovely review sweetie. <3 Aw, I'm sorry you didn't fully love this one. But glad you still liked it a whole bunch ๐Ÿ˜€ And yay for reading so many books in this series. <3 I am curious about them ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds like an interesting book.

  • I laughed at your verdict. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve only read the 3rd book in BDB, but I was a little annoyed by all the POVs.

  • I was entertained, but not blown away by this, too, Joy. I wanted more time spent with Axe and Elise’s romance, but Ward just has so many threads going at all times. I’m not sure I’ll pick up the next book. I have to be in the mood for all of this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sara Walker

    I just don’t say I am not going to read these books- I’d just be lying. I didn’t buy this one though. I got it from the library. I found Axe and Elise’s story a lot underwhelming- but at the same time, I really loved seeing Rhage and Mary become parents. So, I dunno. I’ll read these books and the BDB books until she quits. What can I say?

  • It has been so many years since I read JR Ward. I love her books and read all of them that had been released and then didn’t remember to keep looking for them every year. I am not even sure where I left off. I am sorry this one didn’t focus on the characters that you wanted it to. Great review!

  • Sorry this wasn’t enjoyable for you. Looks like most of her readers have a love-hate relationship with her books, lol.

    I haven’t tried anything by JR Ward, but there’s something about her books that don’t really appeal to me. Probably the paranormal aspect of it? I’d like to check out the Bourbon Kings though.

  • Glad you were able to stay engaged, besides the bad involved. But with some author’s you just get into the feel of the story which is great!! I haven’t read any books be her, but they have been recommended to me!

    Tori @ In Tori Lex

  • I know exactly what you mean about Ward’s books. I have a love hate with them too. I haven’t tried this series. I also haven’t read The Beast or The Chosen. I might one day, but I’m trying to stay away. We will see how long that will last. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

  • Haha, I love the analogy – the bad relationship. That’s what I call the “yo-yo”. Pull away, pull back. Well – there must be something you like about Ward. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Karen

    I had to rip the band aid off and quit Ward quite a few books ago. Instead of being able to ignore the flaws and have fun with it – my blood pressure rises and I feel a week of rants coming on lol

    I think if she could just stay focused on her main characters I could give her another go but it doesn’t seem she’s doing that anytime soon.

    For What It’s Worth

  • A lot of J.R. Ward’s fans seem to have the love/hate relationship with her books that you’ve described! I think that everyone has an author like that, one they know will probably disappoint them but you keep reading their books anyway and still more or less enjoy them. For a long time that was Jennifer L. Armentrout for me, but I’ve finally managed to quit her! ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • kindlemom1

    I’ve heard so many good and bad things about this series that I think it’s put me off on it. Part of me wants to try it but I don’t want to get hooked only to be disappointed by later books I think. Is that weird of me?

  • i totally understand love hate relationship with authors, like me with Brandon Sanderson *Sigh*

  • I need to catch upon this series. It seems I have been missing out on a lot.

  • One day I’ll really have to try this author!

  • It’s like me and Evanovich ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I have this to listen to. So I am not reading your review except to skim it. 4 stars is a good thing!