1.) Dark Lover ★★★★★
2.) Lover Eternal ★★★★★
3.) Lover Awakened ★★★★★
4.) Lover Revealed ★★★★★
5.) Lover Unbound ★★★★★
6.) Lover Enshrined ★★★★
7.) Lover Avenged ★★★
8.) Lover Mine ★★★★
9.) Lover Unleashed ★★★
10.) Lover Reborn ★★★★
11.) Lover at Last ★★★★★
12.) The King ★★★★★
13.) The Shadows ★★★★★
14.) The Beast ★★★★
Dying Buddy-reading with Paloma, because I love her so very much and she writes me name in the old language and warms my heart! ♥:
Again, I’m dumbfounded by how J.R. Ward can keep this series interesting and how she keeps me so heavily invested after fifteen books! I’m honestly at a loss for words, other than she is truly the PNR master and no one else can really compare. And finally, after what feels like one-hundred- years,
the Scribe Virgin we are finally blessed with the long awaited story that belongs to Xcor and Layla. Be still, my heart.
This all being said, the truth of the matter is that this is book fifteen in a never ending series, therefore this review will contain very mild spoilers! Please, do not continue on if you have not read this book or, more importantly, the fourteen other books leading up to this one!
“We don’t get to pick who we fall for, and trying to talk yourself out of emotions is a recipe for failure.”
Xcor and Layla’s story was so worth the wait, and a complete joy to finally read about. The romance was wonderful, the sex was amazing, and the angst felt so very real. It was believable, and heartfelt, and everything I’ve been anticipating since their story-arc started!
First and foremost, I hate Qhuinn, I hate Qhuinn, I hate Qhuinn. I hate him with everything I am, and nothing he can ever say in any other BDB book can ever redeem him in my eyes. The things he said to Layla are unforgivable, and I wish for nothing more than for Blay to leave him, but continue to raise the babies with Layla and Xcor while Qhuinn is kicked out of the Brotherhood. When he called Layla an incubator, holy fuck, I legitimately saw red.
Tohr was also disgusting in this book. His vendetta because of an anniversary didn’t even make sense to me, and then, like Qhuinn, the way he treated Layla was completely uncalled for. Can you imagine how these men would feel if some dude spoke to their shellan that way? Like, come on. At least Tohr did redeem himself in the end for me, but it still felt bad that he needed a reason to not be a dickhead.
Layla got so much emotional abuse in this book; it made me feel sick at times. And that ending, where she apologized back, physically hurt my heart. It was nothing short of disgusting and it just made me hate Qhuinn even more.
Xcor’s backstory was nothing short of heartbreaking. Like, I cried so very hard. The abuse he had to endure, just because of the way he looked, broke me. Xcor’s growth is outstanding, and truly the shining light of maybe this entire series. Seeing him see his worth and see that he is worthy of love is something I can’t even put into words.
Also, can we take a minute to say how amazing it is that J.R. Ward has a main character with a birth defect, which is actually a very common birth defect that is never talked about, especially in PNR or just romance in general? I love how she showcases Xcor’s birth defect, but never makes him his birth defect. J.R. Ward seriously knocks it out of the park when it comes to diversity, and she never stops impressing me. And Xcor is bae.
Wrath was the MVP of this book, besides Xcor and Layla, obviously. Wrath always saw reason, even if Beth was helping to guide him, and always did what was right. He is truly king for a reason, and I loved him so much in this book! Seriously, he was everything.
And Beth, oh Beth! What a fucking Queen! She is everything and truly the glue that holds the entire mansion together. Her and Fitz, I’m telling you, without one of them the BDB would completely explode.
My other favorite was Lassiter! Oh, that boy is going to have some explaining to do in the next book. His personality is exactly what the Brotherhood needs, and he was seriously amazing in this book, especially that crazy ending.
Like, I know I just didn’t read and obsess over The Beast to not hear anything else about Bitty in this book! Where the hell were Mary and Rhage? Seriously, I was so sad that they were pretty much MIA this entire book.
And Assail and Sola! Where is this good, good, good angst at? All we got to see was Assail still healing, but, Lord, I need glimpses of their story-arc to get me by.
John Matthew was only mentioned in this book one time, but since he is by far my least favorite Brother, I was completely okay with it.
Saxton made a couple cameos, and I loved every time he was mentioned, but every time I was pretty much just screaming into my book about how Blay should be with him and not gross fucking Qhuinn. I can’t wait to see what J.R. Ward has in store for Saxton’s story, though, because I don’t feel as confident about the him and Throe OTP as I was in the last book.
“There is nothing wrong in this world or the next in finding out your own power.”
I feel like Vishous and Jane are going to split. Which doesn’t really make sense, because they bonded, right? Like, we have been taught for fourteen books that there is no power on Earth stronger than a bonded male, but Vishous doesn’t seem to care at all anymore. He played such a big role in this book, too, and I think it’s just setting up for him to have a brand new story line and probably a brand new lover.
As much as I love the Shadows, I’m not sure how much I love this Selena recantation story line. I’m on the fence about it, but hopefully it feels better as it progresses. Also, Trez better be kissing the ground Lassiter is walking on. Seriously, what a fucking bro.
I loved seeing all the brothers, all the friendships, and all the wonderful dynamics that make the Black Dagger Brotherhood what it is. I am seriously so invested in this bunch of warrior vampires, it’s unreal. I cried happy and sad tears so much throughout this book, I was such a hot mess, and I am not sure how I’m going to be able to wait for the next installment.
Yet, my inner pervert wants to say that there wasn’t enough sex in this book for my liking. I mean, what was in this book was amazing, but it just seemed sparser than the average BDB book, in my very perverted opinion.
Also, at this point there are so many freaking points of view that it is actually insane. Like, it is not a problem for me, and I always remember who is who, but sometimes I sit back and think about all these people and I’m just like, “damn!” And just think, we will probably be getting six new points of view very soon!
My biggest problem with this book was the sexist things that kept happening, especially to poor, undeserving Layla. I understand that this book series has been built for years and years around the definition of pure alpha males, and I’m okay with that, but this book made the brothers do and say some very questionable things that had me very upset. If you could take out the sexism, this book would be a five star book, unquestionable. Yet, I can’t unsee (or unfeel) it, so here we are.
I also understand that we as a society have a problem with identifying things/items with gender (i.e., little girls like pink bows and little boys like blue trucks), but the way Qhuinn spoke about the twins made me pretty pissed off. And everyone saying how Rhampage was a little warrior constantly, but how beautiful, perfect, and undateable Lyric was just grossed me out. Oh how far we’ve come, but oh how far we still need to go.
Okay, so that ending! Did it feel a little strange to anyone else? Like, is J.R. Ward going to time skip up ahead with the kids? I completely love reading about the younger generation in Black Dagger Legacy, but this book ending left me a little shook. Hopefully I’m just reading into things, but I’m super curious to see what J.R. Ward is going to do next. Regardless, I do trust her.
J.R. Ward is amazing, and I hope she keeps this series going forever, because I know I will keep reading for as long as she writes them. I’m so happy that Xcor and Layla finally got the happy ending that they have deserved for a long while and through very many books. And like I said above, I can’t wait to see where J.R. Ward decides to take this series next!
“The Chosen Layla was what had changed everything for him”