The Beast by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14
Released: April 5, 2016
Reviewed by Mandi
To be honest, I wasn’t that excited for a second Rhage book, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Rhage and Mary have the majority of the page time and they are super cute and sweet together. Yes, they are going through something, which is putting a little distance between them. Mary works as a therapist a the clinic they have set up to help domestically abused vampire women and their children find shelter. A very badly injured woman was brought in (I believe towards the end of the last book) with her nine-year old daughter, named Bitty. In the beginning of this book, Bitty’s mother dies, and Mary puts all of her effort into helping Bitty through the grieving process. She gets very emotionally involved in this, and it takes over her life a bit. Let me note that Bitty annoyed me a lot at first, but I grew to like her.
Meanwhile, Rhage is in a depression that he just can’t snap out of. Vishous gets a vision that Rhage is going to die on the battlefield killing lessers and Rhage could care less. Later (don’t worry, he doesn’t die!), Rhage sees Wrath and Beth’s baby and gets extremely emotional. He realizes he wants to be a father, but Mary is unable to have children. He feels guilty for having these feelings, as he is deeply in love with Mary and he should feel complete.
They talk this through and nothing dramatic or traumatic happens – which I appreciated. It takes the entire book to get them completely on solid footing, but Rhage is sooooo sweet and sexy and willing to give so many orgasms to Mary *wink* It’s a process that will put a smile on your face, rather than frustrate you. It’s sappy cute – but it really worked for me.
Layla is on strict bed rest still pregnant with her twins. She has some good page time in this book.
Assail is another character with a good amount of page time. He infiltrates the glymera on behalf of the brotherhood to see if he can gain knowledge of any future attacks. Assail is not my favorite character – so I didn’t looooove the stuff with him, but I didn’t hate it either. I’m pretty indifferent with him.
Xcor makes some appearances. I won’t say in what capacity.
And there are a few brief scenes with some human investigative reporters that see some grainy footage of what might be a vampire and they start to check things out. I found this story line pretty much filler, although there is a development towards the end.
Vishous has some fun scenes, Lassiter has a lot of fun scenes. The whole gang is featured as they eat dinner or fight together.
I found this book to be much more focused on the main couple and just one main story line than in some of her previous books. Rhage and Mary are sappy and sweet (and dirty – they have sex in the pantry – Rhage and his dirtiness in the panrty!! Remember him jerking off to potatoes?) It felt more like one centralized story rather than 50 different things happening. Vishous and Jane discuss some things in this book as well, so I would be surprised if they get a second book – unless that is Ward’s plan? My guess is Assail or Xcor to get the next book.
I give this a solid B.