While I was reading the Beast (became a fan last year in October. ) my minde just went “Why couldn’t there be a female character who is just so flirtatious and starts to just hit on the Brothers Shellan’s etc.? ” So of course like any other daydreamer i made an entire scenery inside my head where its just like.
Female: “Wow Beth, you look amazing! Could you turn around a little bit? ”
Beth:“ Thank you?! And sure” *turns around*
Female: *smirks and whisper* nice…
And later on the girls notice and just goes along with it and the Brother are just to stupid to realize until later on…
Wrath: “HOLY SH***, SHE IS HITTING ON THE GIRLS! ”
All the Brothers:!!!!!
Summary: Paradise, daughter of Abalone, the King’s Advisor, has been accepted into the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training program for soldiers. Though the program is open to both commoners and aristocracy, they certainly didn’t expect a female of the aristocracy to sign up. What she finds in the program is less self-actualization and more overwhelming attraction to a male named Craeg.
Marissa, Butch’s shellan and the head of Safe Place, the vampire’s only shelter and rehabilitation center for abused females and young, has problems of her own. The brutal death of an unknown female leaves her haunted with guilt and embroiled in a mystery.
Review: Ward’s writing style is, as always, entertaining and an easy read. While she has a disconcerting tendency to needlessly abbreviation and use netspeak in her books, it is for the most part effortless and not distracting from the story. The problem comes only when she uses uncommon abbreviations or when she has characters use netspeak or certain colloquialisms that they shouldn’t reasonably know.
Though Ward has built an extensive universe with the potential for some really interesting stories, she remains focused on formulaic plotlines involving introducing a female character who then somehow “saves” a male character’s emotional well-being, and then living happily ever after. While it can be a relief from all the thinking that daily life requires, it can also be somewhat frustrating because the characters that drew you into the series never get developed fully. That’s the reason why I like this book: it takes us back to Butch and Marissa, the focus of Book #4, and actually looks at the relationship a few years later, addressing some of the lingering questions readers might have.
The murder-mystery aspect was an interesting change of pace, and frankly, I wish it had been focused on more instead of dealing so much with Paradise and Craeg, two characters I’m not particularly invested in. I’d be curious to see what this novel would look like from that angle rather than from the romance angle.
Favorite Part: I love love loved seeing Marissa and Butch really tackling each other and their own issues head-on. Marissa deals with some of her personal emotional scars in a healthy and productive way, and helps Butch confront his own issues dealing with internalized misogyny. It’s beautiful to see, and heartwarming character development. I was never a huge fan of Butch and Marissa just because for me it seemed like they were determined to play Stepfords with each other. Their relationship never seemed quite real (and frankly I relate more with Rhage, Vishous, Zsadist, Payne, and Xhex than the other characters). Now I think I’ve finally seen that development I needed to make them real in my mind’s eye.
Least Favorite Part: Ward created an inherently heteronormative, misogynistic world. It is one where females are naturally weaker than males, and they still live under coverture laws, subject to the whims of their fathers until they’re married, at which point they become subject to the whims of their husbands. Fortunately, Ward seems to have realized, to a certain extent, the terrible representation she’s given women in her work, and has been gradually seeking to correct it. First by offering characters like Payne and Xhex, then by including LGBT+ characters, and by going so far as to have the characters rewrite the laws of their world. However, she’s still got a long way to go, because the internalized misogyny is all over the place in this thing from Butch not wanting Marissa to give him oral sex because that makes her “dirty” to Paradise being consistently looked down on because she’s pretty and female and “will be a distraction in battle;” something women in the U.S. have heard cited for many years as to why they can’t be assigned to active combat units.
Overall Rating: 3/5
As part of the series, it’s not Ward’s strongest work. When compared to the last book, The Shadows, this is like a stroll in the park on a Spring day. It doesn’t really do much to further the overall plot of the series.
As an introduction to the series, this might be an okay place to jump in. You get some context clues on world history and how the vampires operate in Ward’s world, and the plot isn’t so heavy with politics as to scare you off.
So I just finished The Chosen. I’m still not a fan of Layla and somehow the end with everyone just frickin happy came a little to quick. I like that the whole drama is over but somehow it feels as if one step to the HEA is missing. At least to me. But as usual I loved the book anyway, even though I wanted to throw it against a wall or maybe just eat it out of frustration in some moments. V and Jane are killing me a little. I don’t really understand how she could so easily leave while he was down there and actually, like all the other guys she sees down there all the time, needed his shellan more than any medicine. Dedication to the job or not. His emotional expression issues and all the other shit involved or not, they should be each other’s priority. Same goes for him. He could just fucking go down to the pt suite and try to talk to her. But that she left him when he was just coming back around broke my heart a little. Like Lassiter crying in the sanctuary. I just wanted to lie down there with him and cry along. I’ve think I’ve already said quiet a lot about the whole Qhuinn/Layla/Blay/Xcor thing in other posts. But here’s some more for the ones even interested and reading this.
Qhuinn is still part of my favourite characters. The gun in the same room with his kids pointed at Blay and Layla who held the kids was a dumbass move and pretty much the lowest point of their relationship. Though I wasn’t too shocked, Qhuinn has had those blind anger moments before (choking his own cousin until he’s grey). But as Blay didn’t seem to hang on that particular part of the whole drama, I didn’t either. Of course no other bonded male would pull that off. But no other bonded male was trained with his mate, sparred with his mate or sees them as an equal opposite, physically speaking of course. So I think the distance to cross to pull of that move was shorter for Qhuinn than for the other guys and after all, when Blay attacks him, he manages to keep him in place which proves Blay’s power. And I understand why Blay in the end put the conditions the way he did. After all, Qhuinn is smart but Blay is smarter in the way that he always returns to a point where he sees the whole picture and not just his little piece of it and is more rational than Qhuinn. Apart from that it seems as if that possessive and protective uber aggression seems alright when it’s for the mate towards everyone else but it’s that same instinctively controlled behaviour that led Qhuinn to behaving that way “for his young” . Irrational as it was…
Xcor developed exactly the way that could have been expected in my opinion, which was good. One character who didn’t make a sudden turn into new directions. I would like to read more about Tohr and Xcor in the next books. See how they bond as brothers. And I really wanna know what happens when Zypher and Rhage finally interact with each other. I hoped to get a glimpse, but the Warden would probably just tell me to keep reading if I wanted to know about that stuff between them…
So the worst for me are still Layla and Beth. I really don’t like the route the characters have taken. Beth doesn’t have any right to get into the personal space of others like that and Layla annoys the living crap out of me. From devastated to needy to raging to whiney and to discovering herself as all that.
I had the feeling with the few light moments in the last third of the book The Warden was trying to sell her again. But to me it just felt weird. Apart from that, the way the fight between her and Tohr went, it did nothing to improve my aversion for her.
I’m glad that the main focus will soon be in someone else than her again…
So last but not least, Throe. It’s so fucked up where things went with him. Considering the stuff with Croner, the ones who read The Fallen Angels will know what I mean, and now he is actually doing all that evil shit on his own. The Warden had said Devina would make a return but I didn’t really count with it this way… The war will then be completely different than it used to be. I’m a little worried about that. I anyway missed the fighting scenes in the books. Brothers running down alleys chasing the enemy… I wonder how that change in general structure of the BDB world will play out…
So basically I can’t wait for everything to go on, as always after finishing a book!
Phury smiled as he held Nalla in his heavily muscled arms. The little girl who looked like a replica of him and his twin brother would always hold a special place in his heart.
Long fingers threaded through her blonde, red and brown curls, so very much like his own, only his hair was wavy rather than curly.
Nalla cooed at her uncle, enjoying his ministrations. Her bright yellow eyes looking up at him with such pure happiness. She was dressed in a little Red Soxs jersey and matching shorts along with socks and running shoes. Phury was sure Vishous and/or Butch had gotten a hold of her before first meal this evening and dressed her. Not surprising considering there was a game on this evening and the guys always made sure Nalla watched it with them, cheering for the ‘home’ team.
Phury sat down at the table with Nalla in his lap, moving the silverware out of the young’s reach before she could even think to reach for it.
I mean, I don’t mind Butch x Marissa, and I also like Jane and Vishous, but… Do you remember when Butch becomes a member of the Brotherhood in Lover Revealed?
Butch closed his eyes and absorbed the feel of it all, the warmth of their bodies so close, the way V’s hair felt soft on his jaw, the slide of a powerful male arm as it slipped around his waist. On their own accord, Butch’s hands left the pegs and came to rest on V’s hips, squeezing that hard flesh, bringing them together from head to foot. A tremor went through one of them. Or maybe… shit, it was more like they both shuddered. (Lover Revealed, chapter 48)
Or when they lie together in the bed after Vishous had healed him in Lover Unbound… They wanna kiss, they wanna have sex, they wanna EVERYTHING. I ship them so hard, even more than I ship them with their shellans. No regrets.
(I found this picture in fanpop and I had to post it.)
-Normally my nightmares are dark and filled with screams. So I am either dead or hallucinating. All around me is white and I hear song birds instead of my shellan and young’s cries. Maybe I had internal bleeding or something from the fight last night. “Ghrimm… you are not dead.” Spinning around so fast I literally fall on my ass I see Phebe holding Cahal, his blonde curls falling in his gray eye. “Surely the Scribe can not be so cruel to give me a vision of you and condemn me to Dhuid.” I reach for her and she kneels next to me, setting Cahal on my lap. “The Scribe Virgin is not cruel Hellran. She has given me this chance to tell you we are well and it is time to move on. That female you saved will save you. She is your angel. Do not fight what you feel because of us. We will always be in your heart, but your heart can hold so much more. Be her warrior just as you were mine.” Cahal tapped my cheek with his tiny hand and gave me a kiss only a toddler can give. Phebe smiled and kissed my her cheek, her lips searing my flesh. “I love you so much Phebe and our young. How can I move on from you?” She stood and took our young from my grasp, smiling sadly. “Your angel will show you how. Let her in and let her guide you. We will always watch over you.” With a final nod, they vanished from my sight. I awoke with a start, silent tears falling down my cheeks. Quickly I brushed them away and looked to the bed. The female was gone and if not for the smell of food, I would have panicked, thinking she was taken. Groaning at the stiffness of my body, I worked my way to my feet and found the bathroom, hitting the head. I caught sight of myself I nth mirror and sure enough a faint outline of a kiss was on each cheek. My fallen shellan and young had visited me from the Fade and told me to trust the female I saved. Now can I let myself do as they said?-
“I’m here. Where’s my chauffeur hat?”
“Here, use mine,” Butch said, outing a B Sox cap and throwing it over. “It’ll help that hair of yours.”
The angel caught the thing on the fly and stared at the red S. “I’m sorry, I can’t.”
“Do not tell me you’re a Yankees fan,” V drawled. “I’ll have to kill you, and frankly, tonight we need all the wingmen we’ve got.”
Lassiter tossed the cap back. Whistled. Looked casual.
“Are you serious?” Butch said. Like the guy had maybe volunteered for a lobotomy. Or a limb amputation. Or a pedicure.
“No fucking way,” V echoed. “When and where did you become a friend of the enemy—”
The angel held up his palms. “It’s not my fault you guys suck—”
Tohr actually stepped in front of Lassiter, like he was worried that something a lot more than smack talk was going to start flying. And the sad thing was, he was right to be concerned. Apart from their shellans, V and Butch loved the Sox above almost everything else—including sanity.
Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11) by J.R. Ward
Bella hummed softly as she traced her mates face. They were both in bed, completely sated and Bella resting on her side, her elbow bent, hand pillowing her head, Zsadist was laying on his back, hands stacked on his chest, rising and falling with each breath he took. Her finger traced down the strong line of his nose, the curve of his jaw, the jagged scar that ran down his face.
Just as she was about to trace his lips Zsadist caught her hand and brought it to his mouth, kissing her just inside the wrist. Bella smiled turning her hand to take his and brought it to her lips, kissing him in the exact same place he kissed her.
Zsadist closed his eyes and let his hand drop back to his chest as she continued her ministrations, her hand gliding across the hard muscles of his chest, toying lightly with his nipple rings before caressing the abs that stood out in stark relief against his golden hairless skin.
Yellow eyes cracked open as he gazed at his mate, his scarred lip lifting with a smile.
“How did I get so lucky to have you as my mate?” Bella asked as she nuzzled her nose against his cheek. Her hand stroking his broad chest as she murmured her love for him, her fingers ghosting over the scarred tattoo that marked him as a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
“You have that turned around - it was a blessing from the Scared Virgin that I have you as my shellan.” Zsadist said as he lifted his hand to run through the thick locks that cascaded over her shoulder like a silken mahogany waterfall.
Bella blushed, her pink cheeks drawing his hand up to caress the delicate curve of her face.
“You are wrong. The scribe virgin was the one to bless me with you my darling.” Bella said as she kissed his soft lips.
Zsadist chuckled “I would hardly describe me as a blessing.”
Bella glared at Butch as he sank the 8 ball in the corner pocket. Butch stood up and smirked, his hands held out as if he couldn’t help that he won.
Beth and Butch had been teamed up against Bella and Vishous who were gathered in the billiards room playing game after game of pool. Games that Butch and Beth had all won.
“You two are like pool sharks.” Bella said as she took a sip of her vodka and cranberry, her’s and Beth’s drink of choice for the night. They had also had a few straight shots of vodka, which V was not happy about having his Gray Goose pilfered. Of course with as much as Vishous drank, Fritz always made sure they had a few case of Gray Goose on hand to keep the bar and the Pit well stocked with V’s drink of choice, so it wasn’t like he was going to run out, but that didn’t mean he was going to be happy about the females drinking his Goose.
“What do you mean ‘like’? We are pool sharks.” Beth said with a wink as she clinked her glass against Butch’s glass of scotch as they toasted to their win.
“True? True.” Vishous said as he took a sip from his squat glass of Gray Goose.
“Remind me never to play against you two again.” Bella said as she put her pool stick up onto the rack that was bolted onto the wall. “And remind me to never have you as my partner.” Pointing at Vishous and giving him the evil eye.
Zsdaist’s eyes were a warm bright yellow as he walked into Nalla’s nursery. Nalla was sitting in the corner of the room with a bunch of stuffed animals surrounding her. She looked as if she was having some sort of meeting with them as she was babbling at each one and nodding her head as if they were agreeing with her.
“How is my baby girl tonight?” Zsadist asked as he walked over and lifted his two year old daughter into his heavy arms.
“Papa!” The little girl exclaimed as she wrapped her chubby arms around his neck and hugged her daddy tightly.
Zsadist flashed one of his rare grins as he hugged his daughter close and made his way to the rocking chair. Sitting down he cradled his young in his arms, cuddling her against his massive chest.
It was his daily ritual with his daughter. Every day after class, rotation or a night off, he would rock his baby girl to sleep and put her to bed. Bella had already bathed and fed her, Nalla was dressed in a gray and white sleep sack and a long sleeve yellow t-shirt. It brought out her bright yellow eyes and her blonde, brown and red curls.
Zsadist had already showered and shaved, he was also dressed for bed, in a black muscle shirt and plaid sleep pants. He had come off rotation and was going to get some much needed sleep after he put his little one to bed.
Bare feet pushed the rocking chair into motion and then Zsadist started to sing.
Bella smirked as she came up the mansion stairs and looked at all the people who were milling in the hallway by the nursery door.
It happened every morning. Ever since Zsadist had started his bedtime ritual with Nalla, most of the household would show up in the hallway, looking busy with some imaginary task to hide the fact that they were all there to listen to Zsadist sing.
Beth was walking back and forth in front of the door, holding Little Wrath in her arms to “soothe the fussy young” who was in fact dead asleep.
Quinn, Blay and John Mathew had developed an interest in art and were examining the statues that were standing against the wall next to Nalla’s door. The same statues the three of them have been examining for the past year and a half.
Fritz was to the left of them, polishing said statues.
Phury was in the doorway of the room he used when he stayed over at the mansion that was directly across from Nalla’s room. Butch, V, Rhage, Marissa, Manny and Jane were all in a circle around the doorway “talking”.
Wrath was a little ways down the hall with Mary and George. Both Wrath and Mary were kneeling, “fixing” George’s collar from the looks of it.
As Bella came approached Nalla’s door, she gave all of them a knowing look, which got her a lot of sheepish looks as blood hit some of their faces. Bella opened the door to Nalla’s room and walked in - making sure to leave the door open enough that everyone out in the hall would be able to hear Zsadist all the better.
The pure tenor of his voice always stole her breath away. Phury had once said that Zsadist had the voice of an angel and Bella was in full agreement of that statement. She doubted she had ever heard a more beautiful voice. She didn’t blame the household for showing up at the nursery door every morning.
Zsadist looked up and gave his mate a wink as he continued to sing to his daughter. The little girl had heavy blinks as she was rocked to sleep by her papa. Soon, she was fast asleep, and Zsadist softened his voice so that it was a soft whisper so not to disturb the little angel, finishing the hymn to the Scribe Virgin.
Zsadist took his time as he rose from the rocking chair, careful to lay his baby girl in her crib. Bella walked over to stand next to her mate and both of them stood quietly as they watched the little girl’s chest rise and fall with each breath she took.
Zsadist slid his arm around his shellan and tucked her gently into his side, his lips finding the hollow just behind her ear and pressing a kiss against her skin.
Bella smiled and wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned into him, tucking her head just under his chin and watched her daughter’s little chest rise and fall with each breath she took.
Both of them absorbed the quiet stillness of their young. The little girl was constantly in motion when awake, so it was nice to just enjoy their little angel sleeping peacefully. To see what was hidden in constant motion - that she was a little taller, her hair a little curlier and the little impish smile that promised mayhem when she was awake.
After both of them kissing their daughter on the forehead, Zsadist guided Bella out of the nursery, closing the door quietly behind them they both headed for their room. Z noted that Bella had an amused look on her face as she looked around the empty hallway. Arching a brow he looked at her in question and she just gave him a smirk and a slight shake of her head. Deciding to let his mate have her secrets he shrugged his shoulders and guided into their room and into bed.
“Uncle Rwooster!” Nalla exclaimed as she ran to Rehvenge who had just walked through the mansions front door and into the colorful foyer, the Moors and Xhex coming right behind him. Rehvenge and his crew had been called over to meet with the King, and since he was headed to the mansion he had called ahead to let Bella know he was coming so they could spend a little time together before his meeting. Bella and Nalla had been waiting him in the foyer. Bella smiled as she looked her brother over, Rehv was dressed like he always was, high end suit, a pair of nine millimeters peeking out from under his sable coat and his red cane. Along with his trademark mohawk and amethyst eyes.
Rehv ignored the chuckles behind him, although he did give his sister a rueful look as he knelt down to lift Nalla into his arms, his cane clattering to the floor as he fitted her against his chest. She was in a little dark green sun dress that brought out her canary yellow eyes that were currently shining with love and laughter. Her blonde, brown and red curls pulled up high into a ponytail. Nalla really did look like the female version of her father, only softened with Bella’s elegant bone structure.
Bella smiled mischievously at her brother as she gave Xhex and the Moors a wave of greeting, which they returned.Rehvenge was surprised to see how dressed up Bella was. A sapphire cocktail dress that hugged her curves and a pair of black stilettos that easily topped her out at 6'5", her mahogany waves were pinned up high on her head, showcasing her swanlike throat. She was a knock out.
“Bock Bock” Nalla said in a giggle as she lifted her hand to pat the short mohawk that he usually sported. Rehvenge gave an exasperated sigh, but tilted his head down so the little girl could have better access to his hair.