Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: The Beast
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #14
Hero/Heroine: Rhage & Mary
Genre: M/F Paranormal
Length: 521 pages
Release Date: April 5, 2015
Available at: NAL & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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…
I’ve been saying for years that Rhage and Mary are my favorite couple. They’re like the most perfect couple ever to me. I just love that Rhage is depicted as this Hollywood perfection, and Mary as a female who’s so ‘plain’ (according to others) that there’s no way they could be together… except Rhage loves her so fiercely I know he’ll never cheat and Mary’s so okay with males and females becoming obsessed with her man because of his looks.
Anyway, when I saw this book was coming out, I HAD to catch up on the books before this one I never read so I decided to listen to them all in audio earlier this year with Susan65! It’s hard to really talk about this book because so much happens, I don’t want to give any spoilers so what I will say is that this one actually revolves mostly around the main couple, Rhage and Mary, and their sudden realization that they want to start a family. Add to that, we have side stories about Assail and a bit from V. I was pleasantly surprised that this one had so much Rhage and Mary conflict in it because previous books showed the couple for only what felt like a third to half the book. Thankfully, not so for this book!
Rhage and Mary were great in this one, though. I loved that Rhage hasn’t lost his sense of humor and that Mary is still the rock that holds everyone together. I loved that Bitty played such a great part with them and how well all three of them connected. It made me tear up when I saw how Bitty responded to Rhage almost immediately. Another great part of this book was Assail. I never really liked him in previous books because I’m not exactly a fan of drug addicts but this one, he really turned a new leaf. I warmed up to him and now he has a place in my heart and I really hope he gets his story soon because that male is finally becoming a great character. Another part that was a surprise was Throe. I knew he’d pop up again but how he responded to Assail was a shock so I’m sorta hoping he gets his own story someday!
While I really loved this book, I had one major problem – Layla. I never liked her and never thought it was possible but she fell even lower in my eyes than she was before. She’s so selfish and all she ever does is complain about how it’s ‘not’ her fault and that she’s a ‘victim’. She instigated all the problems that she’s currently in the middle of but even worse is that she’s SUPER pregnant with twins yet she STILL puts herself AND THEM in danger. It pissed me off to no end. I don’t care how much she ‘thinks’ it didn’t put them in danger but it’s OBVIOUS it did because wouldn’t you know it, almost as soon as she gets back from the Sanctuary, she goes into premature labor. HELLO?? Totally Layla’s fault, IMO. I just can’t stand her and I honestly don’t want to read her book but I’ve wanted Xcor to have an HEA since he started showing some mercy so I am curious what will happen with that.
In the end, this was still a great book. I loved the Rhage/Mary/Bitty parts and I adored the Assail parts. I can’t wait to see what happens from here and even more excited to see how the Black Dagger Legacy series continues in December! Definitely give this a go if you’re a Rhage and Mary fan and a BDB fan!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*