Review: Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

Review: Blood Vow by J.R. WardBlood Vow by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy
on December 6th 2016
Published by Ballantine Books, Random House Publishing Group Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Source: iTunes, Purchased
Format: eBook
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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.

REVIEW: Blood Vow is book #2 in the Blackdagger Brotherhood Legacy (BDB Spinoff), in this installment we experience the new and found love of two very different people and we visit again the story of Rhage & Mary.

Ward brought us a love story between two very different people. Not only different in social status but also in life style, desires and needs.  We were first introduced to Axe during Blood Kiss as one of the program trainees. Axe was presented as the mysterious and dark whose past was unknown. The way in which Ward portrait Axe was enticing, sensual and very very mysterious, she made him to be one of those characters one can’t help but be curious about.

Axe as part of the brotherhood trainee program has to be lethal, no room for mistakes and unnecessary entanglements, but his past keeps hunting him and bringing back memories he rather forget. His reasoning is that love can only bring pain and long term suffering.  But as the story develops we get to slowly experience Axe’s transformation. I think these characters as usual bring a lot of to the table, from Axe’s sexual nature to his need to cause self harm (through sex) he bores the demons his parents left behind. The death of his father weights heavily on him while the anger towards his mother makes him doubt love and the bliss that comes with it. I liked Elise, but while I think she wasn’t necessarily the female I would’ve chosen for Axe I think the pair made their relationship more interesting than I thought they would.

As the story progressed I realized that while Axe came across as a very sexual, almost a sexual deviant Ward neglected to continue that trend about him. Instead we got a very subdue character that at some point in his life used humans to sedate his sexual needs, but nothing for which he should’ve been regretful. While it is easy to perceive Axe as a hardcore sexual and dominating male, what we get instead is a traumatized young man who holds a lot of anger towards his parents, not only because he was left alone in the world, but because his mother left him and his father and never looked back. While at times his emotions were strong and heartfelt, often time his actions left me wondering if he wasn’t just a stubborn child who was just angry because things didn’t go his way.

Elise on the other hand was more methodical and analytical. She was an interesting character, while not exactly an exciting one, Ward managed to make her the better half of the relationship. The relationship between Elise and Axe started slowly, and perhaps the best part of it was just how Elise didn’t shy away from pursuing the man she she wanted. I liked her straight forward personality but on the other hand I think her need to analyze Axe’s feelings an emotions didn’t feel real or sincere, making their relationship feel a bit forced and unbalanced. The story takes a few turns that explore other characters relationships, and we find characters relating and establishing certain type of alliances that seem to be the foundation for future love interests and stories. Ward managed to also include variety, bringing into the story the drama that followed Rhrage & Mary’s story after adopting Bitty.

As in other books, Ward bring back characters who seem to have more story to tell. While at times their story seem inconsequential it is most often interesting to see where their lives have taken them. However, as it is the case in Blood Vow we get to see more of Rhage & Mary story, a story I thought had been completed in The Beast.

Do I recommend this book? YES

Can’t wait to read it? Buy it now!