“Rhage! You have a dragon! A pet dragon! I got to rub his tummy!”

The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series) - J.R. Ward

In my review for Blood Kiss I went on and on about my history with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Basically what it boils down to was that it started off all rainbows, and it ended up all storm clouds. Thankfully I was pretty happy with the first installment of the spin-off series, and that book put me in a good frame of mind for the release of The Beast.

That’s not to say I was without fear. I think in some ways I had MORE fear going into reading The Beast than I did when I picked up Blood Kiss. The Beast brings us back to my favorite story in the Black Dagger Brotherhood saga, which was Rhage and Mary in Lover Eternal. Frankly, in the romance genre in its entirety there is only a few other books that comes close to how much I loved Rhage and Mary’s love story. It really had very little to do with Mary, actually, other than in how Rhage felt about her. My love for that original book was all about Rhage. He was the epitome of everything and anything I’ve ever loved in a hero. He was the perfect balance of need, tenderness, and humor. He was beautiful, both outside and inside. He was perfection.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, I am incapable of reading a story that ruins beloved characters. Knowing that, and knowing how I’ve felt about the last 3ish BDB books, I was honestly terrified to read The Beast. I would have been inconsolable if anything horrible had happened, or if the book had just been so bad that the original story suffered for it.

Luckily none of that happened. Luckily Rhage and Mary got an amazing sequel to their story. Luckily they weren’t overshadowed by too much random otherness. The Beast wasn’t quite the amazeballs story that Lover Eternal was. It didn’t hit you in the heart, right where it hurts, but it did give you a wonderful solid sequel for their life. The best part, they never ever stop loving each other. Even when they’re hurting, and that creates a small distance between them, they never question their ability to stay together or be together.

Even better, Rhage was written exactly as he was in the original book. He’s still that same balance of everything you love in a hero. He’s goofy and funny. Mary is still his entire everything. He still struggles with his beast, made easier by the beasts love of Mary. His brothers are there to help him through it.

In the end, I’m happy to report that I enjoyed this series again. It left me wanting more, more BDB and more BDLegacy. I hope one of these two books gives me more Z, the other brother I loved the most.

 

Thank you to NAL for providing a copy of his book, in exchange for an honest review.

 

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