“When you had everything in the world, it never dawned on you that there were chances to miss.”
I still really enjoyed this installment, but I have to be honest and say that this was my least favorite in this spinoff series thus far! I love Novo, I love Ruhn, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Saxton with the sum of my being, but I honestly dislike Peyton. And, like, look at the cover… he’s probably the main character of this book, even though he shares the spotlight with the three others.
But before I even get into this review major trigger/content warnings for miscarrying, talk of abortion, death of a child, and thoughts of suicide. The BDB world always has erotic sex scenes, violence, gore, abuse, killing, and war themes in general, but this book put a heavy emphasis on every mother’s worst fear: losing a child. I have never been pregnant, and it was still very hard for me to read. I was crying so very much while reading some of this book, so please use caution.
This is book three in a spinoff series to The Black Dagger Brotherhood which is publishing its sixteenth book in 2018. It’s a huge series that I love with all my heart, but I completely understand that it’s quite the task to catch up to be able to read this series.
In the Black Dagger Brotherhood we follow a bunch of powerful vampires, that are in an elite group that protects humans, vampires, angels, and a bunch of other paranormal entities, and they all live in this big mansion, and they all are one big family that’s just saving the world. Well, in this series, Black Dagger Legacy, we get to see a younger generation of recruits, trying to join the elite protection force.
Okay, so Blood Kiss is Paradise and Craeg’s story, Blood Vow is Axe and Elise’s story, and Blood Fury is Novo and Peyton’s story. Which leaves only Boone’s story, and he is such a man of mystery, and I’m so excited!
Peyton is the typical rich and stuck up vampire, with royal blood running through his veins. Novo is the tough girl, who distances herself and won’t allow anyone to get through her defenses. Yet, Novo has always had a soft spot for Peyton, no matter how much she tries to ignore her feelings. Unfortunately, Peyton still believes he is in love with Paradise, but he quickly realizes he doesn’t know the first thing about loving anyone, including himself.
Okay, so I said above that I’m not the biggest Peyton fan. He just makes everything so much harder for himself. And he makes so many insensitive jokes about suicide that honestly made me want to DNF the book every time I read one, and I’ve never felt that way about a JR Ward book ever. He also kept comparing so many girls, and borderline shaming them because of their appearances and being “too girly.” I hated being inside his head for most of this book. And obviously he gets way better the closer you get to the end of the book, but it was a long journey and it took me ten days to finish this book because of it, where normally I can’t put down any book set in this world.
But, Lord, help me, I almost converted to liking Peyton because chapter thirty-three was so damn good. JR Ward writes the best sex scenes, I swear to God. And I honestly want a whole book just about the Keys and all the “activities” that go on in that club
But Novo’s journey was beautiful, and heart wrenching, and completely perfect in every way. Reading her story was a joy and I give JR Ward all the credit in the world for telling this tale. Novo also had some very authentic panic attacks and anxiety representation, too, on top of seeing her deal with trauma and grief and the impact that everything had on her and everyone around her. I loved seeing her as a main protagonist.
Novo is also dealing with the pressure of her sister, who is seemingly perfect, getting married, and wanting a very human-like ceremony that she insists Novo be a part of! Novo does make one sort of gross comment about feminism at one of these wedding events, and it’s important to state and not make excuses for what she said, but I’m just going to try to ignore it. But I love how Novo completely tears typical beauty standards to shreds in this book, and shows that being strong and surviving is one of the most beautiful things in this world. I love Novo and I can’t wait to see more of her in the BDB world.
Okay, Saxton and Ruhn! LORD, HELP ME. Okay, first off, perfection. They are perfection. Like, they are five stars. No, six stars. No, ALL THE STARS! If you guys go back and read my previous BDB reviews, you will know I shipped Blay with Saxton very, very much. Blaylock is my favorite little cinnamon roll, and I will protect him at all costs. Also, Qhuinn is easily my least favorite brother and my least favorite character in the BDB world. Like, he almost ruined The Chosen for me completely. But anyways, I went into this book scared that I wasn’t going to like Saxton and Ruhn together, especially with how Saxton was feeling at the start of this book. Boy, was I wrong. I love them both so much.
Saxton and Ruhn’s story gets started when Wrath assigns Ruhn protect and look out for Saxton, while Saxton is settling a property battle for a nice vampire widow that lives next door to Blay’s parents in the country. Saxton is very openly out, where Ruhn is learning and processing that he has attraction and feelings for a man for the first time.
Ruhn hasn’t had an easy life what so ever, and you learn all about his backstory in this book, but he is always there for his niece, Bitty, and for the rest of the brothers, too. He is so happy when Wrath asks him to be Saxton’s body guard, because he can finally feel like he is earning his keep. But things quickly progress at the country house, for the better and for the scary. I will be honest and say their relationship did feel a little instalove-y, and there wasn’t that much build up to make it super believable, but I loved Saxton and Ruhn’s love story, and I can’t wait to see so much more of them.
And I have a very strong suspicion that this won’t be the last we see on Minnie and her grandchildren, either!
Buddy Read with Paloma ❤