Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.
And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated–and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.
You might be asking yourself “book number 1? I’m pretty sure Paula has talked about this before” well that is where you are wrong, and also partly right.
The BDL series is kind of a spin-off from the BDB series. The author, JR Ward, wanted to focus more on the original brothers in this last series so she decided to create a new one for the characters that might be appearing in the future. In this case the story is about Paradise, daughter of the King’s First Advisor, and Craeg, a commoner. And honestly, what can I say besides IT WAS AMAZING!!
JR clearly listened to the fans when they demanded a strong female lead and she has delivered x100 in this book. This is much better that I could ever expect. Not only there was a strong independent woman as the lead but also more diversity in terms of sexuality than the average heterosexual couple (that law was kind of broken with the #11 book in BDB but still). Furthermore, the book tackles issues such as the blaming of victims in cases of rape and murder, plus women owning their sexuality, something we are not very used to in young/adult literature.
However, I’m still waiting for more POC representation; I know the vampire world (in this books) has some law where black people are one species of vampires and whites are other but still SHOW ME Asians, Arabs, Latinos… GIVE ME MORE!
The book does an amazing job separating itself from the BDB series and adding new ingredients of betrayal and mystery to it. The main stories in the book were perfectly carried out, the plot line that strings them all along does a great job forcing the love stories to kill stereotypes (“men don’t cry”) and insert situations that should be in more situations (full spoken consent when it comes to sexual stuff).
Paradise’s POV was very interesting to read and you could truly relate to her feelings of self discovery. Craeg was a bit harder to crack but is the kind of boy, specially seeing the way he treats Parry, you would like to have kids with. Another good point about this book, you ask, 1 word: PEYTON. Best secondary character since Lassiter and at one point he is describe as “part Great Gatsby, part Jack Sparrow”.
I am very much excited about future books on this series if all of them follow the same path as this one.
As a sum up, I just want to say that the book was hot and sexy but also emotional and empowering. There is no need to read the BDB books before this one but it would certainly do you some good to understand certain situations and references. I really recommend you read it because J.R. Ward has outdone herself and I couldn’t be prouder.
Link to purchase: Amazon
Stars: 5 recruit-me-for-your-training-program stars