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...
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About the Author:
J.R. Ward is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She lives in the South her family.
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Review by Michelle:
I am a huge fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And I mean huge. Like mega, gigantic, monster, super fan, huge. I have read and reread each book in the series and savored each word. I've laughed and cried and cheered and screamed in frustration. I have absolutely adored each moment of each and every book of the entire series and yet, I have never felt such an overwhelming feeling of total gratification, sheer satisfaction, and utter fulfillment upon completing any of the previous thirteen books in the series, as that which bowled me over as I sat staring at the last word in The Beast.
You know that joy you experience when you've been waiting for a book for months, or possibly even years, and a release date is finally announced? You know the feeling of elation you have when you finally have it in your hands, you crack into it, and you begin reading? You know how blissed out you feel to be returning to your beloved universe with those most precious characters you could never quite get out of your mind no matter how many books you read in the interim? Then you may know that sometimes, even the most highly anticipated books can be a letdown. Sometimes it is just not enough. Sometimes a book can't possibly live up to all the hype. Sometimes it falls short of the awesomeness of the other books in the series, and sometimes it's just downright disappointing. Yeah, The Beast is in no way one of those books. Every time I read a new Black Dagger book I have the tiniest bit of anxiety going in that this new addition to the series might just maybe, possibly, be that book that falls short of my incredibly high standards for the series and my seemingly unattainable expectations. After thirteen books there's bound to be one that just doesn't cut it, right? It has never happened yet, and honestly, I'm not even sure if J.R. Ward has it in her. In fact, The Beast is so far from disappointing it would be a travesty to call it anything less than flawless. I was so in love with this book, so swept up in all the wonders of the Brotherhood, of J.R Ward's superhuman artistry, in revisiting old friends, and getting some long awaited answers, that I couldn't love this book any more if I tried.
The whole crew has joined forces for a special mission, a battlefield reunion of sorts, as we see all of our beloved vampires band together for one epic lesser brawl in a heart pounding, action packed, firestorm that doesn't let up until the unthinkable happens to one of our favorite Brothers. If you are a fan of the thrill and excitement of the fight from many of the earlier books in the series, The Beast starts out with a bang that is guaranteed to get your pulse racing.
Although we follow numerous characters with ongoing struggles in this book, and rightfully so, The Beast largely belongs to Rhage and Mary as the couple are each affected by traumatic events that will have you reaching for the nearest box of tissues. Events that do nothing but highlight a rift that has been gradually forming, one I never saw coming and was completely unprepared for, and forces the two to face issues and questions that are unchangeable and not easily answered. Though it seems the missing piece for both Rhage and Mary can be seen by readers from miles away, it's a pleasure to watch them work through their struggles together, to support one another, to have their love renewed, in a way, by bridging their separation, and to see a different side to Rhage. A pleasure to see him in all his sexy, silly, alpha male glory deal with an overwhelmingly emotional issue. A pleasure to see that Mary is, or was, human after all, that she doesn't always have all of the answers, that she is not always cool and confident, and that while she always doles out the sagest of advice, she isn't always able to swallow her own medicine so easily. J.R. Ward is just as funny and witty as ever while Rhage is just as goofy and charismatic as always, but this time around the lovable oaf isn't just the funny and crazy, sexy and romantic guy we've seen in the past, he's also sweet and thoughtful, touching, and even, dare I say it, mature . . . at times.
Quite possibly my favorite book in this entire series, The Beast had me swooning and sobbing, grinning and panicking, laughing and biting my nails. I was frustrated and grief-stricken, elated and overjoyed, anxious and exhilarated. With all the feels accounted for and more than a few shocking twists and turns, The Beast is another absolutely brilliant addition to an incomparable series that will have you relishing each moment, begging for more before you've even reached the end, and suffering more than just the dreaded book hangover, mourning a trusted companion upon the completion of the book. Let numerous rereads commence and let the countdown clock for the next book begin!
*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 6 Stars