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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2016)
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...

508 pages, Hardcover

First published April 5, 2016

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About the author

J.R. Ward

183 books49k followers
J.R. Ward is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She lives in the South her family.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,043 reviews
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,636 followers
April 12, 2016
Just an updated, quickie review....

This is a story that made me laugh out loud, made me sigh, made me cry and made me believe that the WARDen might just have her groove back... though I said that before, only to be gutted by the Shadows.

Seriously, The Beast reminded me more of the original stories than any other recent book, even The King. I'm very optimistic that we might finally be seeing a return to the Brotherhood we fell in love with all those years ago!
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,057 reviews12.2k followers
March 31, 2016
4 Stars
Spoiler Free Review

She was all the power in the universe coalesced into a living, breathing thing, the miracle that he had been granted in spite of the fact that he had long been underserving of anything but his curse.

I'm going to be real for a hot second here; the last few releases in this series left me underwhelmed. So much, in fact, that I was about to give up on it entirely. There's been a plethora of secondary characters introduced since Lover at Last and I've been itching for them to finally get a book. Instead what soon followed was more Wrath, then the book that shall not be mentioned, and now Rhage. I loved the original brothers, and I loved (most) of their HEA. But that doesn't mean that I want a second book for them in what I felt would be messing with that perfectly satisfactory HEA. I couldn't understand why Rhage needed a full second hardcover book, when Z's story in Father Mine was perfect in the novella length that it was. So to say that I was questioning reading this book would be an understatement. But man am I glad that I decided to take the chance with this book, and I can fully admit that all the preconceived notions I had about it couldn't have been more wrong.
Time was too finite; no matter how much of it you had with someone you loved, when the end came, it wasn’t nearly enough.”

The Beast doesn't mess with a happy couple's HEA; it expands on their emotional journey. It's an emotionally gripping, lovely, and at times sweet and at times sexy continuation to a beloved couple.

Rhage and Mary are happy together, but after everything that has been going on with the war and his brothers, Rhage finds himself questioning some of the inner turmoil that he can't explain. Then a mortal injury on a battle field where he ignored all danger finally brings him the answers he's been seeking; but not quite the answers that he's ready to deal with.

I'd say a predominant part of the book focuses on Rhage and Mary's story. There's no unnecessary drama or angst, just a shellan and her hellren dealing with normal relationship issues as any married couple would. It was sweet and at times emotional, and if you loved Rhage before, I guarantee you'll fall for him even more here. As much as Mary frustrated me in their first book, I adored her here. Her inner strength, her love for Rhage and the brotherhood, her commitment to Safe Place and the people she helps paints her in such an admirable and endearing light.

But aside from their story, there's quite a bit more happening here. So if you were thinking of possibly skipping this book, I'd advise you against it. There are some twists here that you will not want to miss, including the introduction of a new secondary character that is sure to shake things up in the future books. While there's still a number of secondary POV's, for once that really worked for me here and it flowed well with the story instead of distracting me from the main couple.

There's quite a few revelations happening with Xcor, Assail, and Layla. As well as some real doozies happening with the Lesser war and Scribe Virgin and Omega. While the book is over 500 pages long, I was glued to every word and couldn't put it down and I haven't had that with this series in quite some time. Assail gets quite a bit of pages here and I'm utterly salivating for his book. I'm not even touching on Xcor because I plain need his book.

The Beast is a page turning and at times action packed and twisty ride. It had everything; action, suspense, swoony romance, and mind-blowing twists that guarantee you'll be unable to stop reading.

That being said, if I don't get either Assail or Xcor next, Lana is going to be one angry panda. I love my original brothers, but my patience is about to go Beast on me soon.

***Before reading***

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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April 14, 2023
5 Pet Dragon Stars

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First read 2016
Reread 4/20/2017
reread April 2023

“You are both my strength and my weakness, Mary mine. So what do you say? You want to make my whole night? And may I remind you . . . I died in your arms earlier.”-Rhage

I want to give a warning here. Almost all my reviews have some spoilers so I always try to write *spoilers* at the start of them. Some have more spoilers than others and this one is going to be full of spoilers. There is just too much I want to talk about. So DON'T read this if you don't want Major Spoilers! The Beast was a great book that not only moved the plot along in the series for a lot of characters, getting things ready for their upcoming books like Xcor, Layla, and Assail, but it's main focus was on the past beloved couple Rhage and Mary. So since there are a few different story lines going on in this book I will try to touch on each one .

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“Your not being able to have young? It’s the reason we’re together. It’s not a curse, Mary . . . it’s a blessing. It’s what saved us.”-Rhage

I will start with the stars of the book Rhage and Mary. Rhage and Mary are one of my top 5 couples in the BDB series. In this book we get to see that though they are very much still in love there are some bumps in their road. They both want children. They are watching other couples start families. As we know from book 2 they can't have children because Mary is infertile. In book 2 Mary was dying of cancer and became infertile from chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They are both feeling this hole in their heart. Rhage doesn't want to hurt Mary by telling her of this longing he didn't know he would ever feel. He has been trying to shield her so she doesn't feel like she isn't enough for him and in doing so they have been feeling a distance in their relationship. But when Rhage almost dies in battle they have to face their demons. Like with all marriages things happen, but what I love about Mary and Rhage is they turn to each other, they are open, honest, and vulnerable. They talk about their problems, how they feel and they support each other. My heart broke for both of them. Mary felt like less of a woman and like she was failing Rhage. Rhage felt like he was betraying Mary for even wanting kids and making her feel inadequate. I can't tell you how many times I teared up but damn their heartbreak was moving.

“It wasn’t supposed to happen for us. We were just talking about it. It’s not . . . supposed to happen for us. The parent thing.” “Says who?” Mary opened her mouth. Then it shut as she held those papers even harder to her heart. “I was okay with it. I really was. I really . . . with me never being a mother.” As her tears started to fall, Rhage reached up and wiped his love’s face. “It’s okay if you can’t say it. Because I’ll say it for you. You would be . . . the most wonderful mahmen to that little girl. Bitty would be so lucky to have you in her life.”-Mary and Rhage

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All of a sudden, little arms wrapped around his neck, and Bitty’s voice was in his ear. “Does this mean you’ll be my father?” Rhage’s breath caught in his throat. Then he carefully hugged the girl back, mindful not to crush her. “If you’ll have me . . .” Okay, he couldn’t talk here. “Yes, yes, I will.”-Bitty and Rhage

Bitty was adorable. My heart broke for all the pain and loss that child suffered. Her and her mother were beat severely and abused by her father. Never allowed to leave the house she has never seen the world. No school, never been to a store, didn't watch tv nothing! She lived in only fear, hunger and pain. Her father beat her mother so bad that her pregnant mother lost her baby brother. The BDB kill her father to get her and her mother away from him. Then her mom dies. So she has lost all her family. I loved the relationship she and Rhage had. She was so fearful and alone and it was so damn sweet how Rhage broke though her walls with his big heart. They had something special. I loved the way he help her learn how to be a child, try ice cream, go out to eat at a restaurants, learn about cars, and he even lets her drive his baby. I swear when they were out to eat and he was giving her the best off his plate I think I melted into a puddle. Mary also had a beautiful relationship with Bitty. She made Bitty feel safe to talk about her feelings. Mary helped her deal with her pain, loss and shared some of her own pain. I thought Mary and Rhage made great parents for Bitty. I was smiling so hard when the Beast came out and loved Bitty too, rolling on his back so she could rub his belly. Too funny like a big cuddly pet dragon!

“Rhage! You have a dragon! A pet dragon! I got to rub his tummy!”-Bitty

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Assail didn't do much for me to be honest. I never really cared for him. I kinda always found him boring. In this book I have mixed feelings about him. One moment I didn't like him. He would go on and on in his head about how much he loved Marisol, but then was sleeping with other women to gain info for the King. Eww. I get they are not together, and normally that thing wouldn't bug me because they aren't together but it felt dirty and gross. IDK, also what the hell was Assail doing with Throe. One minute he was sad and in love with Marisol the next he is going after Throe kissing him and trying to sleep with him huh? I am not feeling his love for Marisol at all. Then he goes and saves a blood slave and I am like okay maybe he is redeemable. I am just all mixed up on what I think of Assail. I guess I will just have to see when his books comes out.

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There’s also one potential problem.” “What’s that?” Marissa asked. When Mary glanced at Rhage, he cleared his throat. “I eat people. I mean . . . the beast. You know. It eats things. That shouldn’t, you know, be eaten.”-Mary, Marissa, and Rhage

Xcor I don't know what it is about that Bastard but I fucking love him. I have been waiting since the first time he showed up in the series for his story. He is just so raw, and damaged. Such a bad boy with a good heart and redeemable qualities. I will say that I do like Layla with him. I love the way she sees the good in him. The way she softens him. I can't wait for their love story. Ward has been feeding me crumbs on their relationship for a while now and I can't even start to tell how crazy fan girl I went when I found out the next book is Xcor and Layla's. I will say that although I do like Layla I feel she is ditzy at times. I feel it's because she hasn't really lived a life being as she was a chosen so I try to over look some of the stupid things she has done. I would like to V8 face palm her though! Just sayin'

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“Ever. Even without the visual, it’s some priceless shi—ah, shitake. Mushroom. That is.” “Ha!” Rhage said to his King. “Having fun with that? Not quite so easy, my Lord, is it.” “Technically, I can have you beheaded for that kind of insubordination.” “Promises, promises.”-Wrath and Rhage

The Jo line I am not real sure how I feel with that. She is new to the series and I don't have a real feel for her yet. I loved Lassiter in this book. He is always so damn funny. I can't wait for his book to come out. I was crying when Layla had her, Qhuinn, and Blay's twins. When Qhuinn screamed because his daughter was born dead OMG gutted me. I loved Payne's roll in this book. How she saved Qhuinn's daughter, but I am worried that her powers may be going and what will that mean for her and Manny??? I didn't really care that the Scribe Virgin kicked it. I didn't really like her. Vishous did some soul searching in this book and I'm wondering if it is leading to another V and Jane story? Where the hell has Xhex been????? I am missing me some JM and Xhex! And Z... every moment with My Z is magical! GOD but I love that Brother! Z just does it for me. I think we need more Z please J.R. Ward!!! Ok there is so much more I want to talk about as this book is full of all kinds of awesome, but if I keep going my review will be as long as the book. So below I will leave some Spoilers from Ward's facebook for all the spoiler whores out there like me who can't wait to get a little more of the BDB world!!


My favorite part of the book

“And I’m sorry, I may already be biased, but how fantastic is she? Did you see Wrath? He’s in love with her. I think he wants L.W. to marry her.” “Well, she’s strong. She’s smart. Who wouldn’t want to—” From out of nowhere, a snarl twitched his upper lip, and a growl percolated up out of his chest—while at the same time, the beast surged around his back looking for a way out. And all that got worse as he pictured some male standing next to his Bitty with all kinds of bright fucking ideas in his— “Rhage. Stop it. She’s going to probably want to date someone at some point—” “Over his fucking dead body anyone is touching my daughter—” “Rhage, okay, three-part yoga breath.” She petted his shoulder like she was soothing a lion. “It’s perfectly normal for little girls to grow up and want to get mated to—” “Nope. She’s not dating. Ever.” Mary started laughing. “You know, this would truly be funny if I didn’t worry that you weren’t slightly serious.” “I’m totally fucking serious.” “Here we go already.” Mary sighed. “I swear, Bella and I are going to have to get you and Zsadist into a support group.” “Yes!” he announced. “My brother will know exactly how this is. Solidarity among fathers—”-Mary and Rhage
Profile Image for Mandi.
2,306 reviews725 followers
April 5, 2016
To be honest, I wasn't that excited for a second Rhage book, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Rhage and Mary have the majority of the page time and they are super cute and sweet together. Yes, they are going through something, which is putting a little distance between them. Mary works as a therapist a the clinic they have set up to help domestically abused vampire women and their children find shelter. A very badly injured woman was brought in (I believe towards the end of the last book) with her nine-year old daughter, named Bitty. In the beginning of this book, Bitty's mother dies, and Mary puts all of her effort into helping Bitty through the grieving process. She gets very emotionally involved in this, and it takes over her life a bit. Let me note that Bitty annoyed me a lot at first, but I grew to like her.

Meanwhile, Rhage is in a depression that he just can't snap out of. Vishous gets a vision that Rhage is going to die on the battlefield killing lessers and Rhage could care less. Later (don't worry, he doesn't die!), Rhage sees Wrath and Beth's baby and gets extremely emotional. He realizes he wants to be a father, but Mary is unable to have children. He feels guilty for having these feelings, as he is deeply in love with Mary and he should feel complete.

They talk this through and nothing dramatic or traumatic happens - which I appreciated. It takes the entire book to get them completely on solid footing, but Rhage is sooooo sweet and sexy and willing to give so many orgasms to Mary *wink* It's a process that will put a smile on your face, rather than frustrate you. It's sappy cute - but it really worked for me.

Layla is on strict bed rest still pregnant with her twins. She has some good page time in this book.

Assail is another character with a good amount of page time. He infiltrates the glymera on behalf of the brotherhood to see if he can gain knowledge of any future attacks. Assail is not my favorite character - so I didn't looooove the stuff with him, but I didn't hate it either. I'm pretty indifferent with him.

Xcor makes some appearances. I won't say in what capacity.

And there are a few brief scenes with some human investigative reporters that see some grainy footage of what might be a vampire and they start to check things out. I found this story line pretty much filler, although there is a development towards the end.

Vishous has some fun scenes, Lassiter has a lot of fun scenes. The whole gang is featured as they eat dinner or fight together.

I found this book to be much more focused on the main couple and just one main story line than in some of her previous books. Rhage and Mary are sappy and sweet (and dirty - they have sex in the pantry - Rhage and his dirtiness in the panrty!! Remember him jerking off to potatoes?) It felt more like one centralized story rather than 50 different things happening. Vishous and Jane discuss some things in this book as well, so I would be surprised if they get a second book - unless that is Ward's plan? My guess is Assail or Xcor to get the next book.

I give this a solid B.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,918 reviews33k followers
September 18, 2017
5 stars!!!
It was just a different path.

“How on earth did I ever get to end up with you?” she whispered. “I won the lottery.”

“Oh, no, Mary. It’s the other way around. Trust me.”

 No one gives you sexy, funny AND the best kind of feels like JR Ward. It’s like she has this perfect formula when writing. Going into this book, I had this feeling it was going to be spectacular… and I wasn’t wrong! Rhage and Mary’s first book (book 2 in the BDB) is my favorite book of the series. I liked the first book a lot, but their book was the one that completely hooked me. I was so excited to read more about Mary and her Beast.

This book was crazy emotional for me. I cried like a baby. More so than most I’m sure (due to personal issues) but my god. Anytime we got a chapter with this couple, I was crying. Mary and Rhage’s story was heartwarming and beautiful. I can’t talk too much about whats going on with them, as I don’t want to spoil the book but GAH! It was just great. And this scene… so stunning.

The story was majority Mary/Rhage, but you know there were other things going on and other characters who had lots of chapters. One thing I loved beyond measure… The MANY chapters from my VISHOUS’s pov! He will always be my favorite brother and character from this series and it was nice to see him so much.

Also, Assail- I’m so ready for his book! I loved all his scenes as well.

And can we take a moment to talk about The Scribe Virgin!?!?! I am not a fan of hers at all but the fact that

I feel that Ward really is one of the best (if not the very best) PNR authors out there. I can’t get enough of her books. And she’s really in her stride with these last few books. Sometimes, long series can drag out. I won’t lie. There have been a few books in the middle of the series that had too many lesser scenes for my liking and the stories weren’t as great as the earlier ones, but these last few books… she has nailed it! And I have a feeling this trend will continue with the next few books she writes!

And now FINALLY. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The next book in the BDB(#15) will be The Chosen. And guess what? It’s freaking XCOR and LAYLA’s book! This will be EPIC. I can just tell. I’m so excited I can’t even stand it!

Photos taken from THE BEAST signing with JR Ward on April 9th, 2016 at The Millenium Hotel in Cincinnati OH

Profile Image for Kristen.
834 reviews4,769 followers
October 9, 2016
4 1/2 Stars


I didn't read the whole book, as I quit this series years ago. But Rhage and Mary have always been my favorite couple in the series; so, when I heard they were getting another book, I was excited to get more of them. I only read the parts that featured them, and I have to say, I absolutely loved everything about their continuing love story. ❤️ This book reminded me why I use to read this series.
March 15, 2023
Reread in anticipation of the release of The Chosen, I can't wait!! I'm so glad I decided to reread this fantastic book....there is so much I had forgotten, can't wait for more of my favorite vampires!!

Blog Review: http://sweptawaybyromance.com/review-...


5 Beautiful Beast Stars!!

Rhage, aka “Hollywood” is the most handsome brother who’s cursed with a Beast. His Mary is the immortal human who owns his heart and soul, together they make the most unlikely couple, yet they totally fit. Rhage is very humorous, he always has something funny to say and is very sweet, whereas Mary is very serious. I have to say I didn’t totally fully connect with Mary in Lover Eternal but in The Beast…I totally connected with her and fell in love with them as a couple. They truly convinced me that they completely belong together, they are meant for one another.

“You are both my strength and my weakness, Mary mine.”

Rhage and Mary are both having epiphany’s in The Beast and their journey to become parents is both beautiful and heartwarming. Mary has become very close to an orphaned child at Safe Place. Bitty and her mother were introduced when the Brothers saved her and her mother from her abusive father. It’s Mary’s job to now find out if there are relatives to take care of her, as Bitty insists that she has an uncle who will come for her. But Mary is longing to keep Bitty as her own.

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Meanwhile, Rhage who has met Bitty and fallen completely in love with the child, is going through his own turmoil about parenthood. With Mary so wrapped up in Bitty, he confides in V who offers some sound advice. So when he and Mary finally open up to each other they find that they are both suffering for the same reason. They have both fallen in love with Bitty and want to make her a part of their family.

“It wasn’t supposed to happen for us. We were just talking about it. It’s not… supposed to happen for us. The parent thing."

“Says who?”

Mary opened her mouth. Then shut it as she held those papers even harder to her heart. “I was okay with it. I really was. I really… with me never being a mother.”

As tears started to fall, Rhage reached up and wiped his love’s face. 
“It’s okay if you can’t say it. Because I’ll say it for you. You would be… the most wonderful mahmen to that little girl. Bitty would be so lucky to have you in her life.”

Layla and Assail have prominent roles in The Beast. Assail is in the Brotherhood’s fold and actually puts himself in harms way to help them. Marisol is still very much on his mind so I think we’ll be seeing her again soon. Layla continues to put herself and the twins in danger by not following doctor’s orders and getting the bedrest she needs, and there are consequences for her actions. Xcor is front and center in her mind and I have to say she is frustrating me….a lot!

There is a development with Xcor and the Brotherhood but not to spoil it, you’ll need to read The Beast to find out what that is. A couple of new characters were introduced and I’m anxious to see where the WARDen goes with their storylines.

Looks like Rhage, Mary, and Bitty’s story will continue in the next Black Dagger Legacy book Blood Vow (Dec 2016), there may be some trouble brewing for them since nothing was really formalized for them to keep her. All in all a FANTASTIC addition to the BDB Series and I can’t wait for more!!!!

Favorite Scenes:

❤ ️When Bitty meets Rhage’s Beast.

❤️ When Rhage and Mary take Bitty home to meet “the Family”. Z and Bitty together was so sweet it brought tears to my eyes!!! All the Brothers were awesome and welcoming, and Bitty’s reaction to them was delightful and fun.

❤️ Lastly, each and EVERY scene with Rhage and Bitty!!

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Reread Dates:
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.9k followers
Want to read
April 4, 2015
This is the next book in the series!

— "THE BEAST" will focus on Rhage & Mary. —

Releasing Spring 2016!
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,520 followers
December 11, 2017
Rhage, Rhage's beast, Mary and

I definitely cannot give less than 5 stars to a book that I was waiting for months to read and when I finally read it, it was actually very good.

First of all this book is not exactly about the BEAST. This book is mostly about the family ties and the CHILDREN: the unborn children, the born children, the toddlers, the babies, the teenagers. This book is full of emotions about families being happy together and about families coming together.

The negatives (maybe?) in the book:
-It is not a stand alone book. It is so complicated and with so many references in previous books that you definitely need to have read almost all the previous books to understand the connections.
-There are so many stories going on at the same time that you end up with more questions than answers and you have already start biting your nails waiting for the next book.

The positives in the book:
-It has a sweet feeling of being invited in your best friend's house, there is a party there and you have the chance to see all your best friends and learn their news. Everybody is invited, everybody has a small or bigger role to play and everybody is happy to be there.
-The book is focused in some interesting characters and we get the chance to learn more about them, e.g. Assail (do I dare to hope for his book next in the series?)
-the book introduces some very interesting new characters

Nevertheless it is a really good-feeling, enjoyable book.
God, how much I needed this after 'the shadows'...
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,174 reviews98.8k followers
March 4, 2023
1.) Dark Lover ★★★★★
2.) Lover Eternal ★★★★★
3.) Lover Awakened ★★★★★
4.) Lover Revealed ★★★★★
5.) Lover Unbound ★★★★★
6.) Lover Enshrined ★★★★
7.) Lover Avenged ★★★
8.) Lover Mine ★★★★
9.) Lover Unleashed ★★★
10.) Lover Reborn ★★★★
11.) Lover at Last ★★★★★
12.) The King ★★★★★
13.) The Shadows ★★★★★

J.R. Ward is truly the master of book endings.

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Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,122 followers
November 11, 2016
I have been addicted to this series since I read the 1st book, Dark Lover, in 2011. I have devoured each book and became totally obsessed with the characters.

But...........the last two or three books have been a total disappointment to me. I kept asking myself if I wanted to continue after the disastrous The Shadows..........but I still feel some kind of loyalty to the brothers and their families....and despite my surprise..........why another Rhage book???? Yes, this is one brother that I absolutely love!!!! But, seriously!!!!Wasn't one book enough?? Why not a novella like Z's Father Mine???? But who am I to question JR WARD????

I have to be honest here - and probably going to be "lynched" for diehard fans.....and yes, most of the reviews are 4 and 5 stars.........but seriously....I cannot lie!!!
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I love Rhage and Mary and I am beyond devastated that their second book didn't do it for me.

Some parts that I did like:

Bitty - she was such a sweet kid. And her interaction with Rhage was really incredible.
Vishous - his feelings for Jane and watching his brothers with their children.

These are the parts that drove me absolutely batty:

The many times that I read about Rhage/Mary/Bitty going for a trip.....
Layla - after being one of her diehard fans........i'm now rethinking that.......what the hell is the matter with her??? She's behaving so stupidly!!
Xcor- hell, I never wanted him paired with Layla.....and still don't!!!
Assail - this whole thing of him and Throe!!! The sexual innuendos....blah blah blah!!!! Are u getting another Qhuinn & Blay scenario????
Jeez....all of a sudden........everyone is related to someone!!!! Xcor, Throe, Jo.....where does she come from????

Despite all my gripes, I did finish the book.......even though I had to put it down a few times and go back again and again.

Now, I am going off to wait for Xcor & Layla!!! I just hope I will be surprised in a nice way!!!!!
Profile Image for Sammy Loves Books.
1,133 reviews1,462 followers
June 28, 2019
***4.25"Love Myself some Rhage!!" stars***
It's about time I got caught up with my BDB.


I was just afraid to have high hopes after suffering the debacle of The Shadows

And Yes, I still miss the days of the past where a book focused solely on the main couple but those days are gone. So I've given up complaining about Ward's soap opera style writing that focuses on 5 different stories at once. I actually enjoyed the different storylines. (except for Jo's)

1) Rhage and Mary discover they both want to have a family and we get some quality time with Biddy, Mary and Rhage.

2) Assail is working undercover for the BDB under the covers...ahem. He is also flirting with Throe and struggling with a drug addiction.

3) Layla still has her pregnancy issues and is pining for and stalking Xcor

4) Xcor has his struggles

5) Aaaaannd Some chic named Jo searches for proof of vampires

This book was a great progression of the BDB family saga and had some wonderful Laugh Out Loud, along with some tear jerker, misty eye moments.

Best Bitty Moments:

"Rage! You have a dragon! A pet dragon! I got to rub his tummy!"

"What's that in your arms, little one?"
"This is my mahmen. She passed. That's why Mary and Rhage are fostering me. I hope I get to stay here, though. I like them a lot."
Zsadist inclined his head low, his yellow eyes glowing. "My condolences for your loss. And welcome to our home- which you should now call yours, too."
Bitty leaned her head to the side and regarded the Brother. "I like you. You're nice."

Best Rhage speech of the book:

"Bottom line is, I'm prepared to lay down my life for that little girl. I'm ready to get up at high noon for her if she has a daymare. I'm ready to feed her and clothe her, and show her how to drive. I'm also prepared to hold her close when she gets her heart broken for the first time, and present her to her mate if she finds someone she wants. I want to help her get a good education, and follow whatever dreams she has, and be there to pick her up when she stumbles. I understand that it's not going to be all puppies and unicorns, and there's going to be conflict, and maybe even anger . . . but none of that will change my commitment. I knew my Mary was the one I was supposed to be with the moment I met her and I knew the other night, with the same clarity, that Bitty is my kid. If you'll let me have the chance to be her father."

Best Zsadist moments:

Before something could be said, Zsadist burst into the room and everybody recoiled....
The brother had steam rising up off of him-and not because he was pissed. There was, like, actual smoke curling from the shoulders of his leather jacket and the bottoms of his shitkickers. And, Jesus Christ, the stench-he smelled like burned rubber, bad chemicals, and a three -day -old campsite.

"You're Zsadist," Biddy piped up. "You have a young-may I meet her? I should like very much to meet her, please."
"Her name is Nalla", "My daughter is much younger than you. She would like to have a big sister, if you'd like to teach her things."
"Oh, yes. I would."

Favorite Assail moments:

"You taste like Scotch," Assail murmured as he reached down and cupped that massive erection. "And you feel hungry."
"Are you," Assail growled as he hovered above Throe's lips. "Are you hungry . . . for dessert?"

When Vishous answered, Assail didn't recognize his own voice.
"Where am I going? Tell me . . ."
Vicious started to speak.
"I can't hear you . . . I can't . . . see . . ." Assail wiped his eyes. Fates, was he crying? "Help me . . ."

Well, this was totally enjoyable and I look forward to the next installment!
June 10, 2020
Rhage and Mary get in tune with each other and their world!

I love coming back to the Black Dagger Brotherhood after a while and being able to jump right back into the lives of the Brothers and their mates, families and associates without missing a beat. It’s like catching up with old friends and finding out what’s going on again. For a while their I had been reading book after book in a row, but they are fairly long books at 500-600 pages each, so I sort of went into BDB overload. Now I just read one or two every few months and I hope to finish this year.

I really liked this installment because Mary wasn’t as frail as she was in her first book when she was dying of Cancer, though she will always seem a bit frail next to Rhage since he every description of him is about how huge he is and how much he eats, and how small Mary is compared to him. But despite that, the fit together so well. Mary is the perfect foil to Rhage. She is quite an gentle whilst he is loud and boisterous. He has the curse of the beast on his back and she is the only one that is able to calm the beast. Mary can even talk to the beast whether the beast is out or just on Rhage’s skin as a tattoo and inside him.

This book began with Hollywood knowing something was wrong in his marriage but not what that something was. He figures it out one day when Beth asks him to watch LW (Little Wrath). Rhage gets emotional and figures out hid issue is that many of his Brothers are starting families while he knows he and Mary will never be able to have a child together.

The funny thing about the vampires in Black Dagger Brotherhood is that despite the fact that they do live very long lives, it seems that they are not really that hard to kill. I mean a good shot to the head or the heart will kill them, even a few shots in other places if they star losing more blood than their healing can handle and if they don’t get to a clinic. Also the women often die during pregnancies, and those last eighteen months so that is a long time to wait to find out if you will survive the birth or not.

Anyway, I also have been waiting to hear more on the story about XCor and Layla and that was furthered in this book. While Layla was on bed rest with twins in the clinic below the BDB Mansion, she sensed that XCor was near because she had fed him with her blood. She found out he had been captured and was worried that the Brothers would kill him. Which is in fact what they planned to do after interrogating him.

What I really loved about this book was the focus on the Brotherhood as a family. From Layla, Qhuinn Blaylock and her babies to Rhage and Mary and this little girl at the Safe place where Mary and Marissa work. The little girl had been abused by her father and her Mother finally left him only to have lost her baby boy and now after a long battle the mother died and the little girl (Bitty) was all alone in the world.

Mary had been doing her best with Bitty but not quite able to connect with her until she started bringing Rhage along on some outings and Bitty has taken to both Rhage and Mary and started to open up more. This book has turned into one of my very favorites and Rhage is now one of my favorite characters. Rhage is over the top handsome, with the nickname of Hollywood because he gets so many stares when he is out in public, and he is such a huge muscular guy that he looks like he could break Mary and Bitty when he hugs them but he is so gentle with them.

Profile Image for Laura.
471 reviews557 followers
April 10, 2016

One of my most anticipated books of the year… and boy, did I have mixed feelings about it.

I’m a die-hard Ward lover and I will always have a soft spot for the Brotherhood and Rhage! Gosh, I love Rhage and Mary and I’m in love with their love and I’m so sad this book didn’t make it for me.

Untagged spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I just can’t help thinking this book is just a filler.

I’ll talk real quick about what I loved of this book because the rant that’s coming. Damn, that’ll be a mess.

Rhage is my second favorite Brother and Mary is such a sweetheart and I just love them so much together, you know? So the fact that Mary can’t get pregnant and they wanting a baby, all of it actually felt very organic. Rhage is watching his brothers having babies and it’s normal he wants that too so I didn’t have any problem with it.


It broke my heart when he realized he wanted to kill himself because he didn’t want to have those feelings-he knew they were going to hurt Mary and he of course didn’t want that so he holding Wrath’s baby and the baby holding onto Rhage… man, that scene was really hard to read. I think Ward delivered Rhage’s feelings in a really fluid way and I’m very glad for that.

I always thought Mary was going to be the one pushing on this topic, to be honest. I recall Rhage saying "Mary wants a kid" so I was expecting Mary in a different emotional state. Yes, she indeed wanted a kid but she was ready for the moment to never happen and I think that speaks a lot of her. She’s always known Rhage is what she truly wants in life and she was ready to follow him to the Fade… until she was not.

Enter one of the most adorable kids I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. Bitty was so fucking cute, I hurt my hand while punching into my pillow because of her cuteness. I kid you not.


That little girl was Mary and Rhage’s baby. That’s it. She had Mary’s maturity and Rhage’s heart. I think this was also a perfect opportunity to explore deeply into Mary’s character. She’s always so put together and ready to help that we often forget that she’s dealing with things on her own. She misses her mother and she feels less of a woman for not being able to have a kid and so many other things that were perfectly normal given all the situations the faced so that also was very progressive and well written.

Bitty was perfect for them and dude, you gotta love that girl. She’s been through a lot and yet, when she got comfortable, she was all smiles and questions and she was a cute hurricane. She got along so well with Rhage and she and Mary understood each other and let me tell you that when she went to the mansion and started calling everyone by their names, I lost it. I was laughing and crying and utterly delighted and man, when she went to Zsadist… I put the book aside and took a deep breath. It was oh so beautiful.

I’m going to enjoy watching them being this adorable and funny family.


We actually got a glimpse inside V’s head and that was such a surprise. He starts doubting about his relationship with Jane (as in why he didn’t feel the need to be more affective with her and vice versa) and I liked that. Not that he was feeling that way but more like the logic of it. Just like Rhage, V’s watching his brothers forming families and Jane’s a ghost, there’s no way for them to have a kid and Jane doesn’t really want one either and I applaud her for thinking that way.

And they discussed things the way they should and while their relationship, at times, can be quite clinic as V’s said, they understand each other really well. I liked that sort of vulnerability of V. I think it was pretty cool to see.

Aaaaaaaand that was it. I’m surprised I didn’t like this book as much as I wanted to so here’s my rant. If any of you don’t wanna read this, I advise you to stop now.


Layla is fucking dead to me.

Well, not really dead but close enough.

I spent years defending her when a lot of people talked shit about her here, on twitter, tumblr and stuff like that. I also defended her from my friends when she got pregnant with Quinn’s young. I was on her fucking side even when started to be stupid about Xcor. I had hopes… and then this dumb ass woman threw everything away.

Look, I don’t care if you’re so horny that when you put your hand on your vagina, it catches on fire oops, sorry. If you’re so in love that you can’t see through what’s right and wrong in this situation.

Actually, scratch that. Layla already knows what’s good and bad and she fucking knows that being with Xcor is the worst mistake she can make and that she’s putting, not only herself but everyone else in danger and I do not care if Xcor knew their location and didn’t do anything. That does not excuse her behavior because why, WHY WOULD YOU DEMATERIALIZE WHEN YOU KNOW YOU’RE ABOUT TO HAVE TWINS AND YOU’RE NOT AT YOUR PEAK AND DOING SO IT CAN BE BAD FOR THE BABIES? WHY WOULD SOMEONE WHO LOVES THEIR BABIES DO SUCH THING? HOW CAN BE SOMEONE SO STUPID AND SELFISH? AND NOT ONLY SHE WENT TO LOOK FOR XCOR’S LOCATION BUT SHE ACTUALLY STAYED LONGER TO INVESTIGATE SHIT AND WHY? HOW COULD LAYLA BE SO MORONIC AND SELFISH? Why didn’t she think a bit longer about the consequences?


And she had the nerve to feel bad about it. She had the nerve to start crying for the situation she got herself and her babies into.

One of the twins actually died and if it’s not for Payne, she would’ve stayed dead. I would’ve loved that. I would’ve loved for that baby to die and Layla to live so she could always remember how everything is her fault.

Guys, I’m very disappointed and angry. I haven’t been this angry in a long time but she deserves it.

Now, Assail.

I don’t understand why Ward is trying to redeem this man. First of all, he’s is boring. His chapters seemed to drag forever and I just got tired of him.

At first I was intrigued but then realized I only “liked” him when Marisol was involved and that shit hasn’t happened in a long time and now all we have left is this prick addict who does what exactly? Ugh, now he seems to be a spy for Wrath and got that slave out of that hellhole but still.

I’m getting real tired of Ward giving so much spotlight to characters we can perfectly live without. And now that thing with Throe?

Look, I get that Assail had to sleep with that women and with whoever he needed to get things, I get it but how can he say he’s in love with Marisol when he was very entertained with the idea of unraveling Throe? That’s something more than just fucking someone.

Oh, and all those calls to Marisol and her actually acknowledging him at the end? It leads me to believe she’s coming back and while I truly enjoyed her, we don’t have the time nor the space for more characters for fuck’s sake.


This chick Jo is Manny’s sister/daughter or something and so what? Why is Ward introducing this character? Why is this character going to be used as a plot device to create drama between Manny and Payne? Where is the need of that?

Instead of introducing more characters, Wrath should start wrapping up her shit.

•I’m always hearing Lash’s coming back but when?
•Wasn’t Payne weakening?
•Is Luchas ever going to be relevant?
•Doesn’t John have any more episodes in Beth’s presence?
•Why Nalla isn’t growing up?
•Is Muhrder ever coming back?

You get my point. There are tons of stuff left aside that need some closure and she’s adding more characters.

The Virgin’s being gone was not surprising at all but her needing to leave a successor is. Who can it be? Lassiter? John Matthews aka Darius (?)? That mutant baby (guys, Payne saving Layla’s child is definitely going to affect her in some way so I really think that baby will end up with some powers)?

And isn’t the Omega going to do the same? Wasn’t there supposed to be a balance? If she’s gone then he needs to be out of the picture and IF YOU TELL ME THAT JOHN OR BUTCH ARE GOING TO BE THE VIRGIN’S CHOICE BECAUSE LASH WOULD BE OMEGA’S THEN I’M DONE. I want to be surprised.

And now, Xcor being Tohr’s half-brother.

I will not accept Xcor as a member of the Brotherhood. Never. And if this is what this crap is getting at, I can’t respect Ward anymore.

So, Layla will fight for Xcor (gods, I hate this so much) and Xcor would have to prove himself and being related to the general of the Brotherhood… you know what I’m getting to?’ I hate it. I really despise the idea of the Band of Bastard because they are not posing a threat anymore and now Wrath doesn’t know what to do with them.

At the end of the day, this book did little for the storyline and that’s just sad.

Not only this book was somewhat shorter than the others but Rhage and Mary’s story felt like a novella within this messy and pointless book.


Like, why is it named The Beast where it only appears twice? Once when Rhage almost got himself killed and it saved him and the other to basically approve Bitty. Ward didn’t have any other name for this book, that’s it.
Profile Image for Bev .
1,915 reviews417 followers
November 17, 2017
This book right here is why I adore paranormal romance, and Ward brought it with The Beast. It ticked every check box I didn't even know I had.

LOVED it! Rhage has moved to the top of my Brothers list. I adore how he loved his Mary, be still my beating heart 💖💖
June 25, 2016
I am so late reading this for me. I usually read these when they first come out. I couldn't afford the hardcover, so I was glad that it was at the library and available. I still plan to pick up my copy when I can afford it, but at least I had the trusty loner copy to read. God bless you, Round Rock Public Library!

This book was fantastic. I am an unashamed Black Dagger Brotherhood fan, I would never dissemble about that. I truly enjoy each book in the series. The last book didn't make five stars for me, but this one does. I felt like this book was almost like a status update for the Brotherhood, as odd as that sounds. And when I say that, I don't mean that the book was phoned in. I just mean that Ward doesn't go overboard with trying to introduce major plotlines, but instead explores threads that have been ongoing in the series. She does introduce a few intriguing new characters, but it's not done invasively where you get annoyed because she isn't following up with the ones you are so assiduously following.

I recently reread Lover Eternal, and that was a good move. I first read Lover Eternal many years ago, probably like eight, and it was so nice to revisit the early books and go back to the basics of the storyline. Unlike some of the BDB fans, I do really love the later books (including the much maligned Lover Enshrined. But one of the things I really appreciated about rereading Lover Eternal was the more pared down storyline before so many characters got introduced and the world became so complex. In the process, I realized what a sweet guy Rhage really is. He's drop dead gorgeous, and he's been with a whole lot of women. My guards go up with that kind of hero because life seems so easy for them. But that's the really interesting thing about Rhage. His life is so not easy. Some parts of his life frankly suck. So when he and Mary got their happy ending, that was very satisfying. I worried that Ward would go for the drama and do something to make trouble for this couple, but thankfully she doesn't do that at all. instead, their relationship is cemented in the most vital of ways. They deal with the issue that neither has wanted to focus on, knowing they got their very own miracle in being together. That is dealt with beautifully. One might argue that things come together a bit too conveniently, but I don't think so. I loved it. The Beast plays a major role is a very satisfying way. I think of him like a very big, rowdy pet. Is that wrong of me? Anyway, I think Mary/Rhage fans will be very satisfied with this book. They are one of the most unqualified romantic couples in this series, and I say that sincerely, since everyone knows my favorite couple is Xhex and JM.

When I look at other aspects of this book, I felt they were also well done, although Xcor and the BoB storyline is rather sidelined. Assail has a very forward plotline in this book, and I wasn't sure where it was going. I'm still not sure, but it promises to be interesting. While Assail is quite the anti-hero, I can't help liking him. But then, I do like my antiheroes. :)

Layla's storyline is very focused on two aspects of her current situation. I still hope that she will somehow gain the opportunity to be more developed in other ways. While her complex relationship with Qhuinn and Blay did grow on me, we don't really get to see her interact with Xcor, which I was disappointed about. Now that a major source of angst for her is resolved, I hope to see something else with her narrative. I like Layla a lot.

Vishous seemed to have a very prominent role in this book. I'm convinced that Ward is very partial to him. I was talking to my sister about Vishous and I really nailed his character in a way that surprised me. I feel that his relationship with Jane is disappointing to many readers, but while they blame Jane for not being the right person, I think the reality is, Vishous is just not an easy guy to be in a relationship or be mated to. I don't think that he would do any better with Butch, although I know there are some hardcore Vutch fans out there. Don't get me wrong, I love him, his big hairy warts and all. But he's not an easy guy to be around. I liked the developing friendship shall we say, with Assail. That was different and kind of unexpected. His relationship (or not) with the Scribe Virgin was explored and I am ambivalent about that. I wonder where Ward is going with it.

I have to say that I can't get enough of these characters. I always feel like I want more of of them than what Ward gives me in each book. In my secret heart of hearts, I hope that HBO does a show for the Black Dagger Brotherhood, just so I can look forward to weekly episodes with the Brotherhood and Co. instead of having to wait a year to read more about them. I trust HBO to do a good job after how wonderful they have done with the Game of Thrones series. Maybe one day....

This is probably one of my shortest BDB reviews in a long time. I think it's a combination of my reviewing just becoming more concise because of life and also because this book is really back to basics. Even though it was as long as her other books, I feel that Ward trimmed a lot of the fat and she keeps her focus on the main storylines that need exploration. She does drop some breadcrumbs to intrigue the fans to keep reading, but it's not as audacious as typical. I am intrigued with the new female character and what role she will play in the series. And I am still wondering where the heck is Murdher? I'm having a Murdher deficiency here.

This was a great book. It helped me through a difficult situation I had to face this week and kept my mind off some of the ramifications of that. That's the power of great fiction. Thanks for that!
Profile Image for Lucy Qhuay.
1,230 reviews147 followers
April 6, 2016

J.R.Ward never disappoints and 'The Beast' isn't an exception.

I absolutely love the writing and the ever-changing world she created.

There is never a dull moment, since all our beloved characters' lives are never stationary. They're constantly facing new challenges and struggles, as well as going through different new and wonderful things, each in their own way.

You either hate or love them. You either hate or love what is happening to them, and as such, you are never bored.

I must admit Rhage was never one of my favourites, but with this book the WARDen made me fall in love with him.

I love his strength, his sense of humour and his looks, of course. But above all, what made me love him was his complete and utter devotion towards those he loves, particularly his shellan, Mary, and now little Bitty.

Rhage and Bitty together were a thing of wonder. I truly believe that they were meant to find each other and soothe each other's pain. Mary needed her too, of course.

But there was just something so special about those moments. True father/daughter bonding times. So sweet!

And I'm already anticipating Bitty's future book. She simply has to have one. She's so clever, strong, mature and self-contained for her age that you can't help but falling in love with her.


Of course that if my wishes would come true, their book would be much further into the future. Talk about pain. But it would be so worth it.

I'm so riding the feels right now and I'm sure this will last for quite some time.

Assail was another one squeezing my heart out and not letting go. If you can say something about that man, is that he loves as deeply and as fiercely as he hates.

The fact he doesn't have any problems about shooting you in your freaking piehole and burn all your possessions to ashes if you do something he perceives as treacherous or evil or simply because you got between him and what he wanted only adds to his appeal.

And the little situation between him and Throe? Sad. Disturbingly hot, too. I can't even...

I can't even about a lot of things. My Qhuay twins for example. THEY'RE HERE, BITCHES! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOU! MY PRECIOUS!

And those little secrets Ward revealed? That was just mean, woman! I need the next book in my greedy little paws right now, which sucks since this one was only released yesterday.

By the way, whom do you think the next one is going to be about? Considering how things played out, I would bet on Assail and Sola or Layla and Xcor. Hope it's the former, because I don't know how to deal with the others, since I hate their guts.

I burn! I pine! I perish!

Profile Image for ȷαεlα.
714 reviews
April 11, 2016

That's me right now. I can't even contain my feelings. I got too many. Rhage and Mary were awesome. So beautiful together, dealing with their problems and everything. So understanding and loyal. Life is not easy. There are obstacles to be overcome.

Time was way too finite: no matter how much of it you had with someone you loved, when the end came, it wasn't nearly enough.

I loved the Beast. He's so adorable. Sometimes like this:

and sometimes like this:

We get to see glimpses of everybody's life. Important events that regard everyone.

I think we're getting near to X-cor's or Assail's story. We get to see them in a different light and I just can't wait. There are new characters introduced. I couldn't understand their importance, but then, at the end, my mind was blown. You realize that the world is not so big after all... ;)

And there is one thing, that changes absolutely effing everything! I'm anticipating so much how they are going to deal with that.

And of course, my favorite brother, Vishous. He's perfect.
I love his relation with his mother:

"Where the fuck are you!"

Just brilliant >.<

The humor is great,thanks to Lassiter and Rhage. The steamy scenes are just that. Steamy..

" Yeah? Tell me how big I am."
"You're very, very big."
"Just my chest? Or are you thinking of...other places?"

The only problem (for me) was the lack of real villains. I just wanted more action, more lesser killing. I want to see again a strong and evil fore-lesser, like it used to be. But I guess this book was more concentrated on the soft side of the Brothers' life, which has its very significant importance.

Looking forward to the next book.
Profile Image for Mahlet.
214 reviews
Want to read
April 6, 2015

Always a great time at the Ward signings; today was no exception. I attending with Liza of Blogging by Liza and we did our best to live-tweet, take notes and correct each other where we could. It was especially difficult to hear this time around because the audience members weren’t passing around a mic during Q&A, so we’d often hear an answer without hearing the actual question. Sometimes the questions were repeated; other times they were not. Even JR’s assistant who was furiously transcribing the event begged, “Repeat the question!”

As usual - UGH - no food or drink allowed in the ballroom. But also as usual, that didn’t stop fans from working through several bottles of champagne during the hallway pre-gaming hehehe :)

I interviewed some fans before the signing to post later on YouTube and...surprisingly...no one I spoke with was raging over Selena’s death. I was expecting to find at least one person to commiserate with. While everyone admitted it brought on the sads and lots of tissue, they seemed to understand the decision and were just super psyched to have lots of scenes with the original brothers in The Shadows. I’m glad about the latter, but I couldn’t even properly experience Selena’s death because I was in COMPLETE denial about Selena’s death, even after she was burnt to a crisp. I think I had 5 minutes left on my audiobook when I realized, “wait, she’s really dead?” But back to the Q&A coverage, with some of my tweets from this afternoon tossed in for good measure :) There's a ton of stuff I didn't get that's covered in JR's post. And there's stuff here that's not there. I'll let you sort that out ;)

Next BDB hardcover book: The Beast (Rhage & Mary)
(Liza yells at me, “I KNEW IT! I WAS RIGHT!”)

Q: Can you elaborate on what’s going on with Rhage? (People all around me “He seems like he’s PMSing")
Tweet: "'Rhage is too big to fit in a small package' ;) Hence no longer a novella. Rhage has survivors guilt."
JR: He has lots of survivor’s guilt (referring to his shellen living while other shellens have died). Then she closes by mentioning an aspect of their life coming to fruition. (Of course we’re all thinking baby....What what I REALLY find interesting is the Twitter theories this afternoon. Most readers think they’ll adopt the baby from the shelter in The Shadows. But after JR’s comment later in the afternoon, about trouble ahead for Rhage and Mary, and how with as many women as he’s f*cked, that’s bound to come back and bother you...That perhaps he knocked up one of the past hookups and THAT’S how Rhage and Mary end up with a baby....To me, this is pretty much the ONLY way I could see a past woman/past fling becoming a problem. Because right now, Rhage and Mary and so OVER that garage from his past.)

Tweet: “JR: ‘Next Question!...Are you gonna tell me to F*ck Off?" I KNOW people are pissed. I respect that.’”
Next questions is a comment, and it’s actually about exactly that.
Q: There’s a lot of haters for this book, but you handled it perfectly. (basically echoing everyone I spoke with in the line today)
JR: She tells us a funny story about the time she went to see Steel Magnolius in the theaters, thinking it was just a Southern comedy. Then she left the theater extremely pissed, feeling she’d wasted her time and her mom’s $$ on a “piece of shit where the bitch died at the end” LOLOL! So yeah, she gets why people are pissed with The Shadows but that’s what happened in her head. Lover Unbound was the last book where she tried to interfere with what was happening in her head, and she said that Lover Unbound sucked as a result, so she didn’t want to mess with it again. So basically a kind of reiteration of her recent Facebook post where she explained that she wrote what she saw and the characters made her do it.

JR: “Questions! Would anyone ELSE like to tell me to Fuck Off?” LOLOL! (lots of laughter of course)

JR loved the Mercedes scene with Fritz (Me, too!!!)

Q: Will we see more of s’Ex?
JR: In the course of giving her answer, she says, “I love s’Ex” several times and giggles afterwards. We’re all laughing, too. Then she jokes about the men in the audience thinking her husband is a lucky man :) She loves s’Ex a LOT. Someone says something I can’t hear about his now-dead baby. And JR’s like yea yeah that was horrible and adds that her boss had said, “You killed the BABY!” and JR’s said, “You think THAT’S bad? Wait for it....” LOLOLOL #DEAD She’s SO f*cking funny. But I digress.

Q: Will Rhage be pardoned by the Scribe Virgin?
JR: SV can’t get out of her own way.
Tweet: “Keep reading on whether Rhage gets pardoned by the scribe virgin.”

Q: Will Darius and Murhder come back into the books?
JR: Darius is NOT coming back. He’s kind of back in JM. I though Murhder was coming back in this book, but he didn’t. Probably the next book.
Tweet: “When Murhder comes back, that re-tees JM/Xhex. And that's gonna be some shit. In Blood Kiss that fact that Butch fucked Xhex comes out.” (yup I TOTALLY forgot about that)

Someone comments about golden retriever hair found in their virtual signing book so JR apologizes*g*

Tweet: “Don't hold her to it, but she thinks Layla and Xcor will be after THE BEAST.”

JR: Lash will absolutely be back but we’re not there yet.

Q: will we learn more about Throe’s family? Then someone adds, “What’s the name of his sister again?” (trying to play it off as if it’s information that has already been given to us - sneaky bitch - I loved it!)
JR: What was the name of his sister? “FUCK” and “YOU” LOLOLOL *cue the uproarious laughter

Q: Can bonds be unrequited?
JR: Yes

Q: Will the humans find out about the vampires?
JR: The shooting on the roof from way back when? We’re going to find out that it was YouTubed It’s coming out over the next few books.

Tweet: “Anything significant about Creag's parentage? Keep reading.”

Tweet: “We probably won't see Shellans joining the training camp.”

Tweet: "Lassiter will absolutely get a book." (My friend can only envision his mate as another male...Ditto.)

Tweet: “I think it's a LONG way off but I think Trez will fall in love again. Selena kind of gave him permission.”

JR: I think the “Cunt Devina” will be in Lash’s book.

Tweet: “Most fearsome male in the sack? Probably Rhage. Zsadist. Wrath....WRATH."

Tweet: “On Layla: ‘She needs to have those babies. We need to move that along.’” Agreed!

Q: When Rhage is flipping out, why didn’t his Beast step in and say, “Dude, calm the fuck down?” LOL
JR: The Beast can’t talk.

Tweet: “Now that you turned my man into a crackhead is he going to need rehab? JR: Assail's going to be fine. He just needs his woman”

Tweet: “Why can't the Brothers smell Xcor on Layla?? She's pregnant that's why. But once she drops that load, that’s ova!”

Tweet: “The Brothers are going to rip the recruits new Assholes. Saxton's HEA will come in...Can't Answer. I'll get in trouble.”

Tweet: “Butch and Manny ARE connected. That baby daddy's been out there. (I think this is not new news right?)”

Tweet: “Will Lassiter hook up with a sister? Answer: Do you think a beautiful proud African American (woman) would put up with all that stuff?’ LOLOL!

JR can’t wait to see when Zsadist finds out Nala has a boyfriend.

Tweet: “On Butch and Xhex: "Butch was all UP in that shit. Dirty public sex. I think john Matthew will have a hard time with it."
(from the back, against a bathroom sink, is consensus around me)

There’s lots of discussion and debate about Xhex’s sexual history and what JM does or doesn’t know (between JR and an audience member and also the audience with each other, whispering). Consensus with the girls sitting around me: V found out about Butch fucking Xhex and V got jealous (?!?!) For me, as I’ve completely forgotten about Butch f*cking Xhex, I’ve also completely forgotten about this “V jealously” thing as well.

JR: There would have been no HEA for Iam if Trez had stayed in the Fade.

Tweet: “JR's assistant: "I don't care what you have to do, no more deaths. If you kill one of Layla's babies, I'm going to f*cking kill you!!" (based on JR’s impression, assistant's tone/delivery was initially super sweet and sugary, but turned straight up angry demon at the “I’m going to f*cking kill you!!” part, LOL)

Q: Why did Qhuinn only see one baby? (lots of chatter around me about Qhuinn only seeing ONE baby with multi-colored eyes)
JR jokes (I HOPE): I can’t answer but I’ve been told I’m not allowed to do that anymore. (alluding to my tweet about her assistant's threat)

Tweet: “Asked @Katiebab’s question: ‘will Saxton's HEA be one of the recruits?’ She did a cute little jig dance, ‘I know something YOU don't know!’”
Tweet: “Then she said ‘I'm not telling you G*d damn thing. You're not gonna get ME in trouble.’”

Tweet: “Hollywood bought rights to The Bourbon Kings. BDB series being looked at again. But she thinks BDB would be so much $ to do right.”

JR refuses to comment when Liza asks about the sex of Layla’s babies.

Bourbon Kings signing likely in July and likely in Nashville. Blood Kiss signing in December.

Cute moment where she takes a live question from one of her VIP fans currently in Dubai and allows her answer to be videotaped for him. It’s the question about the Scribe Virgin. I only caught the stuff about deities losing power if no one worships you. JR goes into better detail on her Facebook transcript.

Q: Any chance of a women in the Brotherhood?
JR: (Takes a suuupper long time for her to answer) Yes.

JR talks again about Rhage’s survivor guilt (for what happened to Mary/Mary getting to live/other shellans - Wellsie...Selena...not so much)

Audience member comments that she appreciates that unlike Tohr, Trez got some closure by speaking with Selena in the Fade.

Tweet: “Rhage and Mary and gonna have to work some things out. All that pre-Mary f*cking Rhage did? She thinks that's going to come up.” This lead to lots of audience moans and grumblings, of course. Then JR tried to reassure us to not worry, and that it would be fine. Then she hilariously added, pretending to be US speaking to her: “You have NO credibility; you’re a F*cking murderer; so F*CK you” LOLOL! (looking at JR’s chat transcript tonight, I think I misunderstood and that my tweet’s inaccurate....It’s not the PRE-Mary women that becomes an issue, but rather it’s the fact that he f*cked another woman when he was WITH Mary)

Legacy books will be more focused; more traditional HEA’s

Profile Image for warhawke.
1,332 reviews2,014 followers
March 13, 2018
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Book 13 of Black Dagger Brotherhood series
POV: Third Person

Rhage's love for his shellan Mary had no boundary. When he had to face his mortality head on he was forced to reassess his life. As things changed around them, he started to feel the emptiness creeping in. But what he wanted could either strengthen them or break them.

But that was what happened when a warrior lost his fight—he was nothing more than a gun dropped from a shooting hand, a dagger let loose from a palm, a grenade released, not thrown, into thin air.

Rhage is my second favorite Brother from the original generation so I was excited to dive into this one. I love how strong his love was for Mary and his big heart made him even more loveable.

Mary also had a big heart. As a therapist, she knew how to handle various situations, but it's hard when things started becoming too personal.

Backing up so his shoulders hit the wall, he let himself slide down until the floor caught him in the ass. Then he hung his head because he couldn’t bear looking at her.

This book turned out to be different that I expected. I like the storyline with the funny and heartwarming moments, but it's a little too cute and sweet for a BDB book. I was somewhat distraught at the petting scene. I need more badassery haha! There were several revelation throughout the book and significant events that will change the direction of the series.

The Beast is a story of living a fulfilling life. I'm looking forward to more of this addicting series.

Standalone books in the series:
Must be read in order
Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) by J.R. Ward Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2) by J.R. Ward Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3) by J.R. Ward Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4) by J.R. Ward Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5) by J.R. Ward Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6) by J.R. Ward Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5) by J.R. Ward Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) by J.R. Ward Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8) by J.R. Ward Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9) by J.R. Ward Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10) by J.R. Ward Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11) by J.R. Ward The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12) by J.R. Ward The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13) by J.R. Ward The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #14) by J.R. Ward The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15) by J.R. Ward Dearest Ivie (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15.5) by J.R. Ward The Thief (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #16) by J.R. Ward

🔹 🦎 🔹 . . . (F)BR With Loyda . . . 🔹 🦎 🔹

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for P .
691 reviews327 followers
April 21, 2016
“Rhage! You have a dragon! A pet dragon! I got to rub his tummy!”

10+ stars ! It'll be my first five stars review of this year, if I cut all of the rereads out.

I do want to keep this review simple, but I can't. This book deserves a long one and these five freaking stars. The Beast is far beyond awesomeness. Frankly, I had been worried since the moment I saw the title. I was in fear for this couple, as you knew, their issues were big and the weight would crush you terribly if the way out wasn't good enough. However, J.R. Ward proved me wrong, again. The book flows smoothly and the dialogues are exquisite. The character are very much alive. The bonds between them are palpable I can touch them through the pages. The hero is handsome, dark and yummy and the heroine is also discerning, badass and lovable. Anything else I could have asked for ?

“Life didn’t have to be perfect . . . for true love to exist in it. ”

The Beast is so beautiful I want to cry over. Rhage and Mary continue their story at the first chapter with a mindfuck and I'd say that it tore my heart out to see how they struggle with not only their lives, but also their domestic problems. J.R. ward know to hit the right spot when it comes to my beloved series. Rhage has an internal struggle after the ending of The Shadows, you'll see he tries very hard to overcome his suicidal thought, survival guilt or whatsoever. To be a better man for his shellran.

The first chapter is a bomb ! I'd not prepared about what happens and my emotion when that scene comes is WTF !? Don't let it be that way any longer or I'll stop reading this series, if you let him (Actually I'm a die hard fan of Ward and I won't stop reading BDB, no matter what. LOL) So the rest of this book is a pure gem. It brings me to the highest point where I cried unashamedly, then it considerated me with Lassiter's scene and you have no idea how much I love him. Please give him his book, Ward ! C'mon ! And Jo, OMG, I want to know about her MORE !

All in all, The writing style is exceptionally excellent in every way. It's intense, sexy, emotional and heartbroken. But in the end, everything will fall into place and shock you once again. When I think J.R. Ward can't write a book as good as Lover Awakened or The King, she bangs me in my face with her new book anew.

The best of this year, of course, I think it's a bit better than The Shadows. Because when I see Trez, I can't even look him in his eyes. EVER.

She knew what he was doing. She knew exactly why he had asked her to do this.
He was reminding her that the future was unknown and unknowable.
So if you had the chance … even if there was no music and no ballgown, no tuxedo or gala … when your true love asked you to dance?

It was important to say yes.

Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,243 reviews969 followers
June 6, 2016
Originally posted on The Book Nympho

Rhage and Mary are the central focus of the story with a few other secondary plots. Their's is sweet, heartwarming and uplifting, sorely needed after the last depressing saga.

I was hoping to see Assail reappear and he makes a heroic comeback here. He was so deeply mired in the muck I worried that redemption would be elusive. Hope springs eternal after this story. Layla's pregnancy provided some tense moments and her relationship with Xcor continues unresolved.

Lastly, most of the Brothers are featured in the story, some more prominently than others. What I really enjoyed was seeing them interact meaningfully with each other without an eminent threat in the background. While it lacked the intense action typically found in the series, this was an uplifting story that also set up some pretty interesting future plots. Nothing earth shattering but I still couldn't put the book down.

And, I'm still enjoying Jim Frangione's narration. He pulls off all that "campy" and Brotherhood dialogue, making it sound almost (just almost) natural. 4.5 stars rounded up

(I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,991 reviews870 followers
April 3, 2020
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance My Review Updated
May contain some spoilers.
The world has changed for the brotherhood, since the beginning when the King met his mate Beth. The numbers to the brotherhood have increased, but the number of lessers has increased. They have become more cunning and powerful. There are enemies everywhere and are gaining access to more money and technology. The world is changing around them, and keep who they are and what they do a secret is getting more and more difficult with the power of the smartphone. For Rhage and Mary, life seems just about perfect for them. However Mary and Rhage are drifting apart in their relationship. Rhage is struggling with his own insecurities and Beth is working through her self doubts and overcoming the past. But when Rhage is almost killed, and Mary is the ticket to saving his life, their world is turned in a direction they didn't see coming. But as Rhage and Mary learn to be honest with each other again, But Rhage and Mary will need to make a choice, that could change their relationship and their future forever...
Plot and Story Line 
I know....I took forever getting to this one but quite frankly I was SO dang nervous picking this one up here. This book was quite different and I honestly didn't know what to expect. My main focus was Rhage and Mary. They are still my favorite couple that Ward has written. There are quite a few of them I love, but these two I fell in love with from the very beginning. So it was nice to see how their "happy ever after" has been progressing.
She was the watch on his wrist, the roast beef when he was starving, and the pitcher of lemonade when he was thirsty. She was his chapel and his choir, the mountain range to his wanderlust, the library for his curiosity, and every sunrise or sunset that ever was or would be. She was all the power in the universe coalesced into a living, breathing thing, the miracle that he had been granted.

Well marriage and/or mating is a challenge, and we see how these two deal with self doubts and insecurities. At the beginning of the story, we see Rhage fighting with his brothers against some lessers. Then we are taken to Mary, who is dealing with her own test. She is helping a little girl "Bitty" who suffer from a trauma that Mary relates on a personal level. I found it very interesting to see how J.R. Ward started this book. By seeing Rhage and Mary kinda on their own "mission". But when it really matters, they come together, work out their issues and become even stronger than before. Now this couple tore me to shreds emotionally....wow this book totally packed a punch for me. Seeing how they work through their issues, and certain development that really adds more depth to their relationship. I loved the way these two grow even closer than in the first book Lover Eternal.
"Life didn't have to be perfect...for true love to exist in it"

We see Rhage and Mary come in contact and build a strong connection with this little girl Bitty!! Now I adored Bitty, and Rhage really connects with her. Its like he is the Bitty whisperer or something. Mary has been working hard to connect with Bitty who suffered through an abusive father, and her mother has recently died. Now seeing Rhage and Bitty together is priceless. Nothing is sexier than a big alpha male be charmed by a little girl. And so many fun moments between these two from introducing her to ice cream, to showing her the beauty of horses in his GTO engine and how she is charmed by his beast.
“Rhage! You have a dragon! A pet dragon! I got to rub his tummy!”

Now the brotherhood....it was quite interesting seeing what has changed, since the last book I read was book 10, so there is a bit that I have definitely missed out. The angel that loves to play with Rhage (and man I love the tricks he plays on Rhage...hilarious) and is obsessed with TV was hilarious but he is solid and loyal. We get some scenes between V and Jane that was interesting. What I found unique was how adding a couple of children to the mansion adds curiosity and questions to have kids for the other couples hehe Its like a plague or something and it was fascinating seeing characters that had no issue with remaining childless suddenly ask themselves questions about having kids. hehe I would have liked to see more of some of the other couples but toward the end we get some moments that were "put a smile on your face". I was curious about the teaser we are left with dealing with Layla and her love interest in a enemy of the brotherhood. So I am curious to see if that thread will be continued. If you like this author and have fallen in love with this series as I have....this is definitely a must read especially if you fell in love with Rhage and Mary.
The Cover
I just adore this cover....ever since it came out it is the BEST cover of the series!!! I love the night stormy scene, and the intensity of the pose here and all that muscle!!! LOVE the abs and pecs here.
Overall View
The Beast is a story for fans of the BDB series will enjoy even if you have fallen away from it....you will adore these fun moments between Rhage and Mary!!! Intense and Heartwrenching

Series Order (2)

[foogallery id="18892"]


About The Author Updated

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Profile Image for Princess under cover.
589 reviews247 followers
March 17, 2018
I absolutely LOVE Rhage!!! This might be blasphemy, but I might even like him better than my other fav Hero from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by the totally awesome Ms. JR Ward - Zsadist.


Rhage is such a devoted lover/ mate, with the biggest heart (and beautiful looks) and now you see him as the world's best daddy too???? Can't get more perfect than this! Where can I find a Beast of my own!


The opening scene was jam packed and hillarious. I want to read more about our drug dealer turned good. Wonder when Ms. Ward is going to get to his story.

Please write more about the Brothers and their friends, JR! Forget the Legacy youngsters, focus on the BROTHERHOOD! Love you!

Profile Image for Maria Clara.
1,016 reviews538 followers
February 6, 2017
Me ha gustado bastante, lo único que es un libro de transición, pues apenas pasa nada importante... Salvo lo que ya sabemos de Ward y su amor por recuperar parientes perdidos.
April 16, 2016
4.5 ★'s

I was really thrilled to get another story about Rhage and Mary. Their first story was...tough and I wanted to read about them just being happy and I'm glad J.R.W. gave us that.

However, after a crazy start things were a bit mundane and all the infamous POVs started to take over. I implore you to muddle through it because the last twenty-five percent will rock your socks!!



• Rhage and his Mary!

• Rhage, Mary and Bitty...ice cream, TGI Fridays, GTOs and The Beast!

• "Little Mermaid" and the other "surprises" courtesy of the house.

• V!!! V and Rhage, V and babies, V and Assail, V and his powers, V and SV. :(

• Tohr and Mary.

• Assail...and Marisol...and Markcus...and Throe!! and especially Zsadist!

• Lyric and Rhampage. ♥ ♥



• Naasha.

• The "somebody's" again.

• SV (However finding out more from J.R.W.'s signing has me feeling better!)

• I've missed Xhex...too many books without one of my favorite characters! :(

• It's getting harder and harder to remember/keep track of everything and everyone!


Another wonderful installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series especially for the long term fans. Don't read these books out of order...there's just too much back story going on!

Next Book:

Next up is The Chosen, coming out next year. Yes, Layla and Xcor...finally!

♦ BR w/Jen

(Prior to review...)

woooohooooo...MORE Rhage!!!

Profile Image for Lo Bookfrantic.
773 reviews574 followers
March 13, 2018

I love the BDB world just want to live there haha 🙄😆😍😍😍

F(BR) with War... I have been collecting the hardcovers and honestly I am having trouble finding the first books is driving me insane lol

Time to continue with my babies BDB I miss them so damn much and I might be half into that wine bottle too ... whatever LOL

Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews796 followers
April 26, 2016
This book, it seriously hit all the feels and had me absolutely falling in love. I am still a Zadist girl, but Rhage was the first brother having me questioning who my fav guy was/is. This guy and his bond with Mary had me falling so in love with these stories all over again.

If you follow the series you know Mary and Rhage can’t have kids and with all the brother’s moving on and starting families he begins to want them, but not more than he wants his Mary. Bitty, becomes and orphan and things just fall into place for Mary and Rhage to adopt her. It’s a long battle and I swear my heart hurt so much for everyone. This book had me laughing one minute and crying the next.

The Beast is one of the more emotional ones I have read in the series. My heart hurt so much for these two, but I also felt so much real love between them. Like all the stories there is so much more going on with the Brotherhood, but Mary and Rhage obviously stole the show. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, JR Ward is just killing these last few books. I think they have revived the series and I am so anxious for more!!

Next is Xcor and Layla and I have not anticipated a book so much since Blay and Qhuinn.

ALSO, I almost forgot, I listened to the audiobook and it's so freaking fantastic. I mean legit awesome!! The narrator is amazing!

April 6, 2017
“I tried to kill myself last night. And I have no idea why.”
- Rhage

* * *
“Sometimes emotions were too much for even the most logical of fighters.”
- V

* * *
“Life didn’t have to be perfect … for true love to exist in it.”
- Mary

* * *
“He was reminding her that the future was unknown and unknowable.
So if you had the chance … even if there was no music and no ballgown, no tuxedo or gala … when your true love asked you to dance?
It was important to say yes.”

* * *
“Yes, indeed, miracles most certainly did happen ���”
- Mary
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