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Audiobook Review: Blood Vow by J.R Ward

Audiobook Review:  Blood Vow by J.R WardBlood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy, #2) by J.R. Ward, Jim Frangione
two-stars
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #2
Published by Random House Audio Publishing Group on December 6th 2016
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Length: 14 hours, 6 minutes
amazon b-n
Goodreads

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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#1 "New York Times" bestselling author J. R. Ward returns with an all-new tale of paranormal passion in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood continues to train the best of the best to join them in the deadly battle against the Lessening Society. Among the new recruits, Axe proves to be a cunning and vicious fighter and also a loner isolated because of personal tragedy. When an aristocratic female needs a bodyguard, Axe takes the job, though he s unprepared for the animal attraction that flares between him and the one he is sworn to protect.
For Elise, who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder, Axe's dangerous appeal is enticing and possibly a distraction from her grief. But as they delve deeper into her cousin's death, and their physical connection grows into so much more, Axe fears that the secrets he keeps and his tortured conscience will tear them apart.

Rhage, the Brother with the biggest heart, knows all about self-punishing, and he wants to help Axe reach his full potential. But when an unexpected arrival threatens Rhage and Mary's new family, he finds himself back in the trenches again, fighting against a destiny that will destroy all he holds most dear.

As Axe's past becomes known, and fate seems to be turning against Rhage, both males must reach deep and pray that love, rather than anger, will be their lantern in the darkness.


I have love/hate relationship with the BDB, but so far the Legacy spinoff is not exciting me at all.

I am not entirely enamored with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I have issues with the basic outlines of the series. See My love/hate relationship with the black dagger brotherhood. But I really like several of the characters and for those alone, I continue to read on.

So now I have even more issues with the BDB Legacy spinoff which features the new trainees of Brothers.  I will ignore the obvious question of why are we only training six new trainees since there are currently down to only five active fighting Brothers.  Have Blay, Quinn and John Matthew ever been officially made Brothers?  Considering there is a high likelihood that these guys won’t survive a real fight to the death that they have each time against the lessers, you should be training new Brothers by the dozen.  But obviously Ms. Ward doesn’t agree.

So far, and I will include the hinted at romance of Payton and Novo, the biggest issue with these spinoff romances have the fact that one party is a member of the elite Glymera and the other is a poor commoner, and both Paradise and Elise’s fathers are high up in Wraith’s counsel. That’s the big issue thatshe is using over and over, rich girls and poor boys.   Glymera girls are still bred to make good marriages so poor boys are a no-no.  So the Brothers are treated as a special class of Lordship in the Glymera, but the trainees don’t get any bonus points above “commoner” status for being on the road to becoming Brothers?   Wouldn’t landing a Brother or a Brother-in-Training as a husband be considered a coup?

Axe and Elise (Payton’s cousin) meet and have instant chemistry which Payton is completely against so that lowly Axe won’t taint his cousin.   Axe is hired by Elise’s father to protect Elise so she can continue her studies but mostly they go off and fool around.   Elise wants to be a psychologist and help all the vampires who are still suffering trauma from the lesser attacks back in the start of the BDB series. Yet, Elise handles every situation badly and will make the worst psychologist ever!  She should give up school and just work with Mary if she wants to learn how to help people. 

I am certain the next book will be about Payton who is an asshole.  I haven’t like him from the beginning. He is constantly on drugs and definitely has his head stuck in the mindset of women being saints or whores. There is set up with Payton’s interest in Novo (and her reciprocal feelings) and again, will it be all about rich vs poor. Is there no other issue? How are they all going to fight with each other as couples? John Matthew even had problems with Xhex fighting once they got mated and she was a dangerous fighter for decades before they got together. 

The brilliance of J.R. Ward is that even though this is the Black Dagger Legacy spinoff series, these stories are combined with the continuing BDB series and if you decide you want to skip this book, you miss the intermingled story of Rhage and Mary and the fact that this book takes place about two months after The Beast and Bitty’s missing Uncle steps forward to claim the girl before the adoption can go through. While it is heartbreaking to go through the possible loss of the little girl they were starting to think of as their own, you know there is no way this kid is going to be ripped away from them and somehow there will be a happy ending.

I am a fan of the audiobooks for this series or else I would have simply skipped the Axe/Elise part of the story and just read the Rhage/Mary/Bitty saga.

If you are a BDB fan, just suck it up and hand over your $7.99 now for every book she will ever put out. Good or bad, you know you have to do it. While each book features a new romance, the other stories are so blended in each book and only about half of any book is actually dedicated to the new romance, you have to read each novel in order to keep up with the happenings and any new characters introduced.

Maybe I should just be thankful there are only 6 new trainees.  That would mean there will only be two more books in the spinoff series and we can stop wasting our time. 

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