J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood ROCKS my world… and it will rock yours, too!

by Maryse on March 29, 2014 · 43 comments

in Book Recommendations, Editorial, J.R. Ward

In celebration of the upcoming release “The King: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood“, I thought we could “play” in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series a bit.

Below, I discuss (er… more like *squee* over lol) each of the first seven books in the series, I posted links to my reviews, AND added links to pictures of how I envision each character. :D Now, I’d love to know who YOU guys “see”.

PLUS… I have a special treat coming on Tuesday for us Black Dagger Brotherhood fans (*eeeeeeep* I feel like fainting every time I think of it!!)!

Yep. I think it’s safe to say, many of us are Black Dagger Brotherhooding it this weekend, in giddy anticipation. And I still can’t believe some of us haven’t read these books yet! eek

Yes… I know our crew is more “contemporary/bad-boy/dark-read romance-centric these day, but let me tell you… —> It’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood guys that set the “bad-boy/bad-ass” standard for me. Them, and them alone. These are the REAL book-bad-asses.

The vampire thing is just a plus (a MEGA-plus), I promise you. Even today, now that I’ve settled down in my vampire-craze (and have been choosing human males over paranormal males), I’d totally re-read these and I WOULD WANT the “vampire” angle, ’cause it’s SOOOOOOOO intense and sooooooo good, and makes these guys that much awesomer. <— rolleyes I know… I know. Not a word. *giggle*

Vampire or not, these guys are SO for us. Right up our alley, and so very human, even in their supernatural state. You’ll see. You’ll alllll see.

  • You like bad-ass biker types? THEM.
  • You like brooding, angry, scarred & tortured heroes? THEM.
  • You like leather-clad rock star-like hotties? THEM.
  • You like SUPER-alphas that protect the sh!t out of their women? THEM!!!! (YEP!!!! See what they made me do? They turn me into a potty-mouth). Speaking of potty mouth…
  • You like dirty dirty-mouthed males? THEM!
  • You like invincible, infuriating alpha-jerks? THEM! (oh they’ll make you mad, and you’ll love very moment of it!) THEM!
  • You like men that might make you cry (in good and bad ways)? THEM!

Amy: I’m *really* trusting you here, Maryse. ;) I just bought the entire BDB series. The. Entire. Series. Even the ones not on sale. And you *know* how many books I already have. I would say I need a Grape Excess martini (so fitting!), but I’m pretty sure I have more self-control issues than what a martini can fix. :D

Maryse: Amy Amy Amy… Just wait until you get to Z. OMG (my FAVORITE – and his twin Phury < — *swoooooon*… for awhile they were neck ‘n neck… Z is the “bad” twin and Phury is the “good” twin but just you wait!!!!!!!) You will LOVE!

And “V” (my other favorite!!! I CRIED!!!). <—- And Butch. Ohhhhhh what a story!!!!

And for that matter, Rhage (ohhhh Hollywood, you are soooooo *oomph*). And Rehvenge (he’s all bad-boy, maybe even bad-guy… but OMG in this one?? *whoooooo*).

And for that matter, The King himself. He’s my “other #1″ BDB brother. He is THE SH!T!!!!!! (Maybe imagine Jason Momoa) His book is the first (and he’s in all of ‘em, and the next book on Tuesday is HIM again) and I LOVED his book #1 like crazy and he was my first true BDB love BUT back then? I wasn’t used to such “manly” leather-bound bad-ass characters (coming off of Twilight, you see…) ;) Tee hee, so I was a bit perplexed at first, but OMG I FELL HARD!!!!!!!!

Yep… you are in for a wild ride.

Joy: Can I read ‘The King’ without reading the other books first??

Lisa: Joy, You probably could read The King without reading the series but I would recommend reading the first book (Dark Lover) as that is the story of Wrath and Beth. This King is the continuation of their relationship. Each additional book focuses on different characters but all make appearances. hope that helps.

Maryse: Joy, do yourself a favor and read the entire series. There are soooo many of my all-time fav books in that series, and each becomes more involved. they’ll feel like family to you soon enough. A bad-ass hot family, but family nonetheless. ;)

Rebecka: Cant wait for The King!! Absolutely LOVE this Series!! Z’s is my fav but all the BDB’s ROCK!!!! You are so right Maryse! If I had an extended paranormal family this is who they’d be…….uh wait-maybe not.. it’d be so wrong to drool over family

Maryse: Right… right. Not good to drool over family. :P *giggle*

Okay now… just for fun, here are some examples of how I (and many of us) see some of the BDB guys (these guys are really clear as day in our imaginations, ’cause so many of us agree on the images of them):

  • Wrath (in Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1): He’s the King and the only true vampire from the original bloodline. I see Wrath maybe kind of like Jason Momoa here (but with even longer hair. Just look at the fury in his eyes…) Maybe even here (more dressed – leather, of course – but just as bad-assed). Oh here’s a good one! Wow…. to be the woman that THE KING chooses? Mmmm mmmm mmm. He is I-N-T-E-N-S-E!!!! (my review of Dark Lover)
  • Rhage (in Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2): He’s the “pretty” one of the group, but just as tough (maybe even more so… you’ll see). He’s cocky and arrogant and gorgeous, and they call him “Hollywood” and he’s got quite the hidden secret. LOL! Back in the day, Jason Lewis was a good pick for him. I LOVED that some of these vampire guys fell for human females. As did Rhage… *sigh* THAT was fun! There may be tears, though. Just a warning. ;) (my review of Lover Eternal)
  • Zsadist in Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3) (aka “Z”): <— my absolute favorite tortured hero of all time, and is the only one my beloved “Travis” can’t beat. EVER. He is the angriest, most “hateful” of the bunch. Gorgeous, if not for his physical scars (even on his face), and tattooed, but he has the biggest FTW attitude, and wants nothing to do with anyone. Especially the one woman that won’t leave him alone. Oh you guys… his book is INSANELY awesome. Everyone sees him pretty much the same in their heads (no matter the “actor/model” they use, he’s pretty much clear as day for us hardcore Z lovers. This is a great example of how I see him (as found on this blog). Oh see this?? TOTALLY looks like it was done for this book… that’s how close to “them” it is. And this (that’s a good ANGRY/irritated “Z’ look). And this… he just can’t take us anymore. ;) LOL! This? —> YEP!!! Are you in love yet? YOU WILL BE!! P.S. “Z” and “Travis” in my head, look VERY much alike. LOL! ;) Like in this picture. <— This guy could equally be my “Z” and my “Travis” (my review of Lover Awakened)
  • Butch in Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4): a HUMAN cop, that well… finds himself mixed up in their world and I loved every step of him getting there. *nods emphatically* All of these guys have such original story lines and book after book will keep you guessing. <— Like his. He wasn’t as easy for me to “see” at first, but I think JR WARD mentioned a resemblance (or being inspired by) David Boreanaz, and that’s when he clicked for me. Yeah… I could see that, perfectly. And good job on this!! (my review of Lover Revealed)
  • Vishous (aka “V”) in Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5) was/is my second favorite but SO close to my first favorite. I’d almost say IS my favorite (what a STORY, and his had me sobbing) but… nobody can beat out my beloved Z. Not even V. But that should tell you how AH-MAZING Z and V are, and how crazy you will be over their stories. When you ask “who’s your favorite brother”, Z & V are the ones you’ll hear the most. I’m not going to tell you much about his story, (’cause it’s got quite a few twists and a romantic angle or two that will really have you guessing). Plus he’s the resident BDSM’r/Dom in our group. But I will say it starts off with a kidnapping. ;) Yep… this vampire steals a human female doctor right out of the hospital… *giggle* Okay so what does he look like? This… <— very VERY good. Oh very good indeed. Oh and this one. That’s quite remarkable. (my review of Lover Unbound)
  • Phury in Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6) is Z’s TWIN!!!!! And I was verrrrry much into him throughout the entire series. He was neck ‘n neck with my beloved “Z” for the first few books but you know me and tortured heroes… I fall HARD for them, so my “Z’ won. Mind you, Phury is seriously tortured, too (considering who he’s twins with). But he is just soooooooo sweet, so self-sacrificing, so AWESOME, so physically beautiful… just so perfect. So different from Z. Night and day. The good twin and the bad twin. Well. Almost. You’ll see. I was hooked to his entire journey from book #1, and was so excited to finally get to finally get to his book. This one. I was worried he’d bump Z out of my #1 spot, but alas… he didn’t. Z will forever be my #1, but Phury sure gave me some serious heart palpitations. Good examples of my version of Phury (from way back when… Like here <— but maybe a slightly older/more mature version of this guy) or… oh OH Yes… excellent Phury right here! (here’s my review of Lover Enshrined)
  • Rehvenge in Lover Avenged: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood <— not fully a vampire (he’s mixed with another “being”), but a part of the crew nonetheless. Mind you, it took me awhile to warm up to this paranormal male (and all of his… proclivities). I could barely envision him as described and I was pretty upset when his book was next. I didn’t care much about “Rehv” and i didn’t think there was any way I could fall for him. Guess what? His book became one of my FAVORITES in this series (and still is, to this day). In fact, he’s my mother’s favorite (she loves the “badder guys” – you’ll see what I mean), and he’s my friend Jackie’s too. Yep… when I saw HIS book cover I knew I was done for. I could finally “see” him and I WAS SO IN!!! He is the ultimate bad-ass, and chooses to do a lot of “bad things”. But… there’s a whole other side to him, and it’s in HIS book that we truly get to know him (and fall for him. BIG TIME!!!) So yes, you already have a good “version” of Rehv up on that book cover, but here is the ultimate “Rehv” in my mind —> OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! This could be my favorite character on looks alone. WHOA. And he’s got a bit of that bad-ass “Z” ‘tude, going on, here, so you know I’m already in love. ;) Wow… I should make this my desktop image, I can’t tear my eyes away. I won’t even need to show you another picture, ’cause that’s Rehv, right there. PERFECT! That picture is also kind of my Travis, too. LOL!!!! I’m a mess. (here’s my review of Lover Avenged)

I MEAN it, guys. I was obsessed with these books HARD-CORE when I read ‘em, a few years ago, and I’m just as obsessed with them now. Maybe even more so. These are RE-READ books!!!! And you know there’s nothing better than finding a series that affects you THAT hard, that you’d totally read ‘em again. And again. And again.

Get ready for a non-stop reading marathon. If you like bad-ass alpha males like I do, you won’t be able to stop ’cause you’ll be in book heaven with these.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy March 29, 2014 at 1:32 PM

You are SO right about these alpha MALES, Maryse!! I’ve had these books in my iBooks for years (my pre-Kindle years) and am just getting around to reading them over the past couple of months. I LOVE my vampires and my human males, and while I would still want these males without their vampire lineage, the power that comes with the vamp angle is overwhelmingly awesome! Z HAS to be my all time favorite…he might even surpass Bones and Vlad (Jeaniene Frost) for my all time favorite vamp EVER.

Maryse March 29, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Agreed Kathy! I LOVE Bones and Vlad, but nobody, no human, and no vampire beats Z.

*sigh* If only he were real. And If you ask J.R. Ward… he is!! ;)

Sharon Chalk March 29, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Maryse,do you think JR will surprise us all and give the King back his ****,that would be so cool,cause he knows **** but him friends always have to **** and I would so love for him to be able to actually ****,and I wonder if she is going to make John more “official” now even though his *****,Ive always wondered if that would ever get resolved or if they would just carry it on like they left it,.oh so many answers I want to see in this book!!!@!!!!!

Maryse March 29, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Sharon… I think there will be more books to come, so I don’t think this book will resolve all that, but I DO know that Beth and Wrath are going to be dealing with some serious issues. I won’t say what, for those that haven’t read these yet… but I think we’re in for some angst.

Debra leibowitz March 29, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Maryse, don’t forget Tohr and all that he went through! How I cried over his book! And how much fun Lassiter is! And no one, but no one, says MINE like one of the Brothers!

Rachel March 29, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Ok, ok, I’ll check them out, finally! The part about being re-reads got me. I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk since finishing Ashes to Ashes, and I just keep re-reading EIT. Other than Play, I can’t find anything that hits the right spot. Hopefully these will do it! Thanks, as always, Maryse!

Amy March 29, 2014 at 3:44 PM

I’m still dying laughing here over your commentary of the guys!

“He is THE SH!T!!!!!!” <—— OMG!! I can't even explain or understand why that one has me so hysterical right now. I wasn't even kidding when I said on the bargains page that I snorted water through my nose when I read that. Ooooh, I am so excited about starting this series!

Rebecca March 29, 2014 at 4:20 PM

I loved every book in this series! I don’t even know if I could pick a favourite because each one of them was amazing. Tohr’s book was so intense but then so was Z’s. I just can’t wait to see what’s in store with this next book. I cannot wait to start reading it!

Lisa March 29, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Oh sweet lord, I had not seen the photos before. I’m with you, Maryse Z’s book is my favorite. Oh who I am kidding, I loved them all that I have the series both in e-book and printed versions.

Maryse March 29, 2014 at 7:45 PM

LOL Amy!!! These boys… I mean MEN are a bad influence on me!!! :P

You’re right Rebecca… while I was reading them, each new ONE was my favorite… but Z one out above ‘em all for me, in the end. *love*

Debra.. Tohr story… *sob* wow!!! That is a situation all on it’s own.

Maryse March 29, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Rachel… please keep us updated on your progress. There is no way this many people can love these guys THIS much and you not get just as attached.

Lisa… I know, right?? GORGEOUS!!! It’s sometimes nice to have an “image” of the man, going into his book. Helps me out, so I figured it might help some BDB newbies here.

Kim Box Person March 29, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Okay I could NOT pass this up…I’m typically really picky about paranormal romance BUT you convinced me!!! Just grabbed all 7 books!! What a steal :) Thank you so much for your post!

Tessa March 29, 2014 at 8:06 PM

I have no idea why but it is is hard for me to read some of the earlier books. Tohr, though, he won me over so quickly. He has given me the incentive to get me to try the earlier books again.

Lisa M March 29, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Omg!!! I having been dying to read these books!! I clicked 7 times!!!! My new tbr list!!! Just finishing Toxic by A.C Bextor so good!!! Have you read this series Maryse?? So amazing!!!

Maryse March 29, 2014 at 8:18 PM

I haven’t yet, Lisa, but now you make me verrrry curious!! I’m gonna look it up right now. :D

Maryse March 29, 2014 at 8:19 PM

KIM!!!! I can’t wait to hear what you think. These guys are the ultimate!

Tessa, really? OMG it’s the early guys that have me the most. These first seven books are the best out of the series for me, but I love ‘em all. Have you read Z’s book yet? No…. you mustn’t have read it yet. LOL! Or you’d be a puddle of love-mush by now. V’s book? OMG!!!

Val March 29, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Alright. You have sold me. I love alpha males. And vampires. I have a feeling I am going to miss out on a lot of sleep. :) . Kind of like when I discovered the Rock Chick Series and lost a couple weeks of life in a marathon reading rampage.

Can’t wait!

Lisa March 29, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Ok, all these posts have inspired me to start the series again tonight. Its been some time since I’ve visited with the brotherhood! :)

Michelle M March 29, 2014 at 11:56 PM

BDB is one of my favorite series ever!!! Z’s book was my favorite. Can’t wait for The King. But I’m just a little nervous because I don’t think any of the Brothers or their mates are safe from a drastic/tragic JR Ward storyline. Please, please, please let Wrath and Beth survive whatever is coming their way and give them some well-deserved happiness!

Hanneliane March 30, 2014 at 3:31 AM

I can’t wait for The King – so excited! It feels like I finally get to visit old friends again. The last book blew me away!

BTW I discovered a character that reminds me heavily of Z (oh Z!) in ‘In the compan of shadows’ series by Sonny Hassel and Ais Nym. It’s free on their website as the editing isn’t finished yet, but OH so good. I have almost finished the first book called Evenfall now. (Not affiliated)

Hanneliane March 30, 2014 at 3:37 AM

Edit: In The Company of Shadows

Ashley March 30, 2014 at 7:11 AM

For those of you deciding if this is for you….TRUST what Maryse is saying – this series is unputdownable!!!!! I have read them all multiple times, especially Z’s story who is also my favorite. These books have EVERYTHING in them so there is definitely something for everyone.

Maryse – did you also read “Father Mine”? I LOVE that short story!

Shannon Stephens March 30, 2014 at 7:55 AM

Darn I wish the emails came in sooner. I was too late. Never have read any of these books or even this author. Crossing fingers there will be a sale again as these are sadly out of my one click buying range. Maybe will need to ask for gifts of them next birthday ;-)

Ela March 30, 2014 at 8:57 AM


Danette March 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM

I remember, many years ago, when I first stumbled upon these books, thinking — uh, vamps… no… not my style. But Dark Lover was on sale so I purchased it. Oh. My. Holy. Stars. I was forever hooked!! I go back to them over and over. I love each and every one of them! I want one of them to look at me with that intense stare growling, “MINE.” whilst sending out his delicious bonding scent. :: sigh:: There are just no words as to how wonderful these books are. J. R. Ward is truly a master. Counting days to The King…

Christine March 30, 2014 at 11:46 AM

The books were not discounted. $8.99 per book a bit stiff.

Maryse March 30, 2014 at 12:06 PM

The sale price was yesterday (1 day only)…

Amy March 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Wrath. Oh my. *fanning myself* How far we have come from the “vanilla” reading days of Edward… :P

Tessa March 30, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I did read Z’s book. I liked it, but I think it’s her writing. She’s improved immensely from her earlier books and thus the difficulty. I still need to read Phury’s book. I’ll keep trying.

Rosemarie March 30, 2014 at 8:24 PM

This is my absolute favorite series. Yes, Jason Momoma. Is so Wrath!!!!

Jessie March 31, 2014 at 11:15 AM

These are by far my favorite vampire books ever. I actually read them before Twilight and cant remeber how I came across them but I tend to compare all other vampire reads to these books and you just CANT!. JR Ward has written these guy so they become people you know and want to hang out with. Im super excited for the upcoming release! (am reading Ashes to Ashes EIT so I will have to wait….sigh.).

Maryse March 31, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Right?? I still love my Twilight experience (it’s Edward that opened up my whole reading world), but OMG nothing and nobody beats the BDB “brothers”.

*swoooooooon* (and they’re so bad-ass that they’re not even trying to make us swoon). I love that!

Jessie March 31, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I loved Twilight too but this is a totally different animal. I try and explain the books to people who arent familiar and unless they read them, its impossible. You did a good job though. Looking forward to comments from people who decided to take the BDB plunge! :o )

bookster March 31, 2014 at 11:42 AM

gosh I’m so excited!! I REALLY hope she goes back to her excellent writing on this one because the last one REALLY let me down :(
I read these books because I love the brothers and if she feels she has to keep writing them for us by bringing in so many new characters that were NOT part of our posse then I would rather she stop. In the last book there was hardly any of the love and unity that there is always shown between them because of so many new stories line coming in.

Jessie March 31, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Bookster, I completely agree. I actually dreaded the bastard chapters. I hope she focuses more on Wrath and the “fam” than the outside characters.

Deniese March 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

MMMMAARRRYYYSSEEEE!!!!! I about D.I.E.D. when they delayed BDB The King! Originally it was supposed to be out last Monday. But when I saw they only delayed it a week, I was like..WHEW!!! No need to go into cardiac arrest. I know I will be going home to take a nap so I can wake up at midnight….OOOW OOOWWW OOOWWW!!! I”M SO EXCITED!!! BDBFAN4LIFE!!!!!

Amy March 31, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Same here with Twilight kicking off my reading frenzy.

And *swooooon* definitely sums it up. ;)

Danielle March 31, 2014 at 7:06 PM

I am sooo excited for The King. These books are like crack! I have to agree with you they are def re -reads! If anyone has yet to dive into them now is the time. I have goosebumps just waiting for midnight. Read these books ladies you will not be dissapointed. My fav character is Revhenge…love him so sexy!!!!!!

Pam March 31, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Where’s the “I love this post” button??

Deniese April 1, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Did anybody almost pass out thinking Wrath ****??!?!/ I was like OOHHH NO!! Who *****…but then I realized the ****. I was about to say…Oh Wrath, son of Wrath….you **** and never ******!?!? I almost wanted to reach in there and strangle him until I got myself together….WHEW..I swear I’m going to have high blood pressure when this book is over. BDBFAN4LIFE YYYEEEE!!!

Maryse April 1, 2014 at 10:55 AM

LOL!!!! :P Sorry… I *spoilered* out a few parts, but that was hilarious, Deniese!

kathy April 7, 2014 at 1:53 AM

Just finished the King, and definitely one of the best in the series in my opinion. I reread Dark Lover before starting the King, though, and I was glad I did. Brought back the meeting and start of the relationship of Wrath and Beth. I’m looking for more Layla and Xcor in the next book. Do think the Shadows as the subjects of that book will be good. Trez has alot of work to do to get his HEA.

kathy April 7, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Can anyone tell me what the ‘lie” is that Vishous tells? I can’t remember and now I’m curious after reading the Q and A. Thanks,

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