By JR Ward
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Source: PublisherThe legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…
Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.
And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.
I have to begin this review by stating that I have not actually read the Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Since this is a spin-off series, I didn't think I would need to catch up on that series, especially considering it has 13 books out now. After reading this book, I definitely wish that I had read those books first so that I would be at least a little bit familiar with this world. Looking at Blood Kiss with all of that said, though, I actually quite enjoyed this action packed, steamy vampire romance.
Paradise is used to being treated as a precious object, but she's ready to prove herself when she decides to join the Black Dagger Brotherhood's training program. The first night of training, though, is much more difficult than she could have ever imagined, but she finds herself surviving the first night and meeting some very interesting fellow recruits. Craeg just wants to join the program for personal reasons and wants no distractions keeping him from being on top, but the intense attraction between Craeg and Paradise is absolutely impossible to ignore. As they are thrown into more and more training, Paradise finds herself challenged as a trainee and discovering passions an innocent girl like her should not be feeling…
The beginning of this book started with a bang and I was absolutely immersed into the training program Paradise and Craeg were thrown into. I loved the mystery behind what the heck was going on and how they were being tested in order to prove they were worthy of the Brotherhood. Since I have not read the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, though, I was definitely confused on who was who and what had happened to some of the vampire families. A lot of the recruits had dead families and were very bitter towards those who had killed them. I'm assuming this was explained in previous books, but that did slightly hinder my enjoyment of this novel.
I'm not sure if it was this way with the other series, but I actually liked how the point that they were vampires wasn't the main focus of the novel. At times, I actually completely forgot that they were even vampires, but instead normal people who just had an intense attraction for one another. And I LOVED how helpless Craeg was with his attraction. I thought it was fun how this big, macho, emotionless man could be so affected by someone as innocent as Paradise. I could have done without the random side story of Marissa and Butch because I felt like it took away from the main story of Paradise and Craeg. Also, I felt that after the intense initiation in the beginning, the story started to drag a little and I wanted more action all throughout instead of in spurts.
Overall, I did enjoy this novel but I would definitely recommend reading the other series first. I think that a lot of my confusion would have been cleared up and I would have enjoyed some of the side stories much more. I loved the intense passion and chemistry between the characters and there was definitely some suspense and action, which I always love. If you're a fan of JR Ward, I definitely think you need to pick up this spin-off series. If you're a fan of subtle paranormal books with a naive girl who can actually hold her own and discovers what it's like to be with a real man, I'd say you should check out Blood Kiss!