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Release-Day Review: Blood Fury by J.R. Ward (BDB Legacy #3)

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Blood Fury by J.R. Ward // VBCBlood Fury (Black Dagger Legacy #3)
J.R. Ward
Published: Jan. 9, 2018 (Ballantine)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Chelsea

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: This review will be spoiler-free, but does assume you have some familiarity with either the Black Dagger Brotherhood series or its spinoff Black Dagger Legacy. If you don’t, we suggest reading our reviews of Dark Lover and Blood Kiss.

Typically when I review we talk about specific plot points. However, given the feedback I received when I posted I was reading Blood Fury, we’re going real talk for this review.

Many long-time paranormal romance readers have thoughts about J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. As my friend Megan Frampton pointed out once, the original BDB series transitioned from paranormal romance at its core to a family saga around the time of The King (BDB #12). She wasn’t wrong, and I’m not so much into family sagas. So I was over the moon when the first spinoff book Blood Kiss came out. It was a return to the core of what I expected from BDB: killer action scenes, some urban fantasy-style world building, and a key focus on two people falling in love.

I promised readers they could jump in the BDB Legacy without reading the other series (although series are always better if you’ve read the first few of the original). Then Blood Vow came out, and I was kind of a liar. (I mean, it’s not like I can read J.R. Ward’s mind.) The secondary plot in Blood Vow carried a big thread from The Beast (BDB #14) about Rhage and Mary, and as someone who skipped The Beast for personal reasons I was angry.

So, Blood Fury arrived on my doorstep early (thanks, Ballantine!), and I held it up to show my husband and declared, “I’m going to hate read this.” Shameful, I know, but I was bitter. Not bitter enough to skip reading a BDB Legacy book, because I was invested in the story of these trainees working to become the next generation of Brotherhood members.

And then I read it, and it was delicious. Blood Fury wasn’t just good; it was Ward’s best in a long time. (While I skipped The Beast, I did come back for The Chosen.) This wasn’t a heavy saga of a book. This wasn’t family drama in that way that forces you to cry a bunch. This was a sexy book about people falling in love. There were romantic overtures. There was personal growth. There were big declarations of love. There was hospital sex, because it’s the Black Dagger Brotherhood and of course there was.

This one goes back to being enjoyable without needing past books (again, always better to read in order for full depth). Was it perfect? No. The character arcs aren’t as deep as I’d like, but I also think that’s part of what made this one refreshing to me. It was still dirty and violent and dark, but didn’t leave me feeling any of those bad vibes. The black moment(s) were appropriately dark, and the swoony reunions were exactly what I would expect in a J.R. Ward book.

On a side note, I didn’t much care for Peyton in the earlier books, but he won me (and Novo) over. If you’re in the same boat, and need a few chapters to warm up to him, you’ll get the subplot with Rhun and Saxton. Rhun is so sweet, he’ll keep you smiling until you decide Peyton is worthy of Novo.

If you’ve been on the fence about this series because you missed the core romance, Blood Fury is ready to welcome you back into the Black Dagger fold. 

Sexual content: Sex

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