The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14 )
by J.R. Ward
published by NAL
genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy, PNR,
Summary (Goodreads): Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…
For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…
And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world...and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from...
**I tried to come up with a review that did not include any spoilers but really couldn't. There may be some things given away below from this or previous books.
My Thoughts: I haven't read these books in order since the first 6-7. Some I just was not interested in and others I just haven't gotten around to. I read the Shadows but not the King so there may be some things I've missed.
With the length of these books being so long I think I'm going to break my thoughts down by person/couples/family.
Rhage, Mary, Bitsy: I like Rhage but don't love him like most. He is the most romantic out of all the brothers but I found it annoying at times. This may be more the slang the author uses rather than the character. As far as him and Mary, I came away from the book just thinking their story was nice or sweet. It felt kind of bland to me. Throw in the newly orphaned child and you have an insta family. Bitsy sudden change from quiet speaking to no one to outgoing happy child was way too fast for me. As the main story for the book, like I said, it was nice and seemed to come together in the end.
Xcor, Layla: The couple for the next book The Chosen. I will either be skipping this one and reading the spoilers or waiting until a bunch of the review come out. Layla is one of my least favorite people in this series. She has been since she first showed up and she hasn't done a lot to change my feelings. Unfortunately, I like Xcor, but don't see how he can redeem himself to make this coupling acceptable to everyone else. If it ends up being just who he's related to, it won't work for me. At the same time, I want to see him and the rest of the BoB teaming up with the Brothers.
Assail, his Cousins, Markus: There's something about Assail that I like even though I know I shouldn't. I felt his story moved further along in the book than anyone else's. There were still moments that were questionable. I don't know what happened in the last book but I didn't really understand how he could do somethings that he did if he is bonded (?not sure if he is?) with another female. I'm also not sure how I feel about him and Markus, he just seemed to latch onto him awfully quick. I hope Ward uses Markus as something more than Zsadist 2.0.
Vishous and family: Not sure what was up with V in this one. He just seemed off. I've never been a fan of him and Jane but having him say that their relationship is clinical (or something similar) was not normal behavior. I also don't understand how the Scribe Virgin can just leave. This was not explained well enough for me. She is the creator of the race, how does she just go and appoint a successor at a later date? Another thing I need more info on. Lastly, is the Omega. I want more of him. The lessers have become a joke lately. They are not believable as bad guys and sending the guys out to fight them just feels like busy work. One of my favorite moments in this books was when the Omega showed up in the field where some of the brothers were. You could feel the tension and fear from V while he was trying to keep and him and his Brothers hidden. This is what I want in villain.
Overall, it was a good book. I came away with the feeling that it was a "nice" story which is probably not what you want to feel after reading a Ward book. While I want to know what happens next I just don't know if I can bring myself to read a full book about Layla and her dramas.