Review – Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward

blood-kiss

 

Blood Kiss is part of the spin-off series of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Now I’m a huge BDB fan, but I have to admit that of late, the BDB books have been leaving me a little cold, so I only bought Blood Kiss because it was on offer at 99p otherwise I doubt I would have bothered.

Paradise is the only daughter of Abalone, First Advisor to the King, and as such, she is a female of worth, one to be cosseted, revered, honoured. But Paradise has her own ideas about what her life should be and so decides to join the new training centre program the Brothers have set up in order to widen the scope of fighters against the Lessening Society.

But in order to get her family to agree, Paradise has lied to her father about what the training program will entail, and the Brothers are cutting her no slack. If she is to make it, there will be no special treatment.

At the training centre, Paradise is reunited with Craeg, a commoner who she met briefly a few weeks previously, and has been unable to forget.

As the two of them fight for their place in the program, they also fight their attraction to each other. All of this angst is set amongst the brutal death of a female which throws Marissa and Butch’s marriage into a whole vat of trouble.

I’ll be honest, it took me a while to get into this book – a long while – in fact, I was around thirty percent in and considering giving up before it really started to grab me. I started to fear it was going the same way as The Beast, which I didn’t get on with at all, but no, it was way better than that, and I’m so glad I continued.

Unlike The Beast, where I found the story pointless, the involvement of the child (with a ridiculous name) a bit contrived, and the sex scenes on the cold side, Blood Kiss is the opposite of that. The backdrop to Paradise and Craeg’s story is fascinating, believable, and the sex scenes – phew – pass me a fan.

There are a lot of (not so) hidden messages in this novel about class issues. They are dealt with honestly, pointedly at times, and I really loved how it all came to a head towards the end of the novel – brilliant stuff.

My only *sigh* moment was the parallel story of Butch and Marissa. They are not my favourite couple, particularly Marissa, who I find a little dull to say the least. However, by the end of Blood Kiss, Marissa had clawed back a couple of notches in my ‘favourites chart’. She finally grows a pair of female balls in this book, and her character is all the better for it.

Highly recommended, particularly for fans of BDB who have been feeling a little bereft of late.

Four and a half stars

 

 

 

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