Review: The Beast by J. R. Ward



Listening Length: 18 hours and 4 minutes  Publisher: Penguin Audio

Release Date: April 5, 2016           ASIN: B01AIQP6ZO

Rating:   5*

THE BEAST by J.R. Ward is the fourteenth installment in Ward’s BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD paranormal series.  This series focuses on an incredible group of vampire warriors, their King and their enemies called the Lessening society. THE BEAST is a continuing story of Rhage, and his shellan Mary Luce and tells more of Rhage’s alter ego who breaks out more in this story than ever before in any of the other installments.

Followers of this series have seen that Mary and Rhage’s relationship has been strained as of late and they seem to  have have drifted from the open communication they once had.  The rest of the Black Dagger Brotherhood family continues to grow settling in and having young.   Rhage finds himself facing a future missing ‘something’  and not knowing what it could be.  Both he and Mary are still much in love but even Mary consoling an orphaned child at the woman’s shelter known as ‘Safe Place’ is feeling the same sense of incompleteness.

***   While a large portion of THE BEAST focuses on Rhage and Mary Ms. Ward includes so many other subplots to her stories including the ongoing story of The Chosen known as Layla who is carrying twin babies in a very high risk pregnancy.  Layla has been on bed rest for the longest time in order to save her young from coming too soon but somehow she senses that the man she has fallen in love with (a mortal enemy of the Brotherhood) is somewhere near her.  Layla’s anxiety is not good for her pregnancy but who one falls in love with can never be determined logically for the heart always has the last say.

Another great storyline that is a continuation from previous tomes  is that of  Assail, a cocaine-addicted vampire who is lost after he let the one woman (a human) he truly loves slip away.  Assail has to come to terms with both of his addictions and work to rid himself of the one that is ultimately killing him and reach out to his soulmate before its too late.

In her estimable style, Ms. Ward keeps you in suspense, emotionally invested and wanting more and more.   She has created a family in which this reader feels a part of and hopes never ends…

Marilyn Rondeau

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