Blood Fury by J. R. Ward

Book #3 in the Black Dagger Legacy series.

Book #3 in the Black Dagger Legacy series.

Back when my son was a baby and it seemed too big of a hassle to keep him quiet in a library so I could select books, I discovered my library's collection of ebooks.  Scrolling through thousands of choices can be very overwhelming but I have always been a science-fiction, fantasy, and paranormal fan.  I found a random vampire book and checked it out.  That book was Dark Lover, book one in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I was instantly hooked.  

There are now 18 books in the Brotherhood series and Blood Fury is the third book in the spin-off series, Black Dagger Legacy.  

I own them all.  Even the Bourbon Kings and Fallen Angels series.  J. R. Ward knows how to do vampires. 

With all of the variations in vampire lore, there is a vampire for everyone.  Mine don't sparkle.  My vampires are 6' 5", 350, and carry daggers.  They have psychic gifts, fighting skills, and more money than they will ever be able to spend in their incredibly long lifetimes.  They also turn in to puppies when they're mates are around.  They have a complex set of social rules and expectations and are led by their King, Wrath son of Wrath.  Wrath is protected by the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a tight knit group of warriors who protect the King and all vampires from their deadly enemy the Lessers.  The Brotherhood live mostly together in the mansion filled with servants, a medical wing and a training facility.  The Legacy series focuses the younger vampires who are participating in the new training program for Brotherhood recruits. 

I love how the books are structured-each book containing multiple story lines that intertwine and pick up in later books.  However, that also makes summarizing the books tricky.  Each book has it's focus couple, and for this book, it's Peyton and Novo.  

Peyton is part of an aristocratic family with one duty-mate a suitable female and get her pregnant.  But the hard partying playboy has one woman on his radar and she fell in love with another man.  After a wrong decision in a battle with the Lessers that causes his fellow trainee Novo to nearly die, he realizes that it's time grow up and reassess his life.  

Novo has her own family drama to deal with.  After leaving home to prove herself in the Brotherhood's training program and keeping herself isolated from her family and peers, she is dragged back in to the family drama with her sister Sophya's  upcoming wedding.  Not only did her sister ask her to be the maid of honor at her wedding, a human style wedding, but Sophya is marrying Novo's ex-boyfriend.  The ex-boyfriend who also got Novo pregnant and left her to deal with the unplanned pregnancy and the sudden miscarriage all on her own.  Novo and Peyton are brought together after Peyton finally realizes he’ll never have Paradise, his best friend, and he nearly kills Novo.  While recovering from her injuries during the disastrous battle with the Lessers, Novo needs blood to speed her recovery.  Guess who has the magic blood that makes everything all better?  Yep, Peyton.  Guess who gets hit by the love freight train?  Peyton again.  

Unfortunately for the two of them, their relationship does not develop smoothly.  Past hurts, family drama, and social expectations get in the way.  Peyton learns that his father has secured an arranged marriage for him.  Luckily for him, his bride-to-be is not interested in getting married and gives Peyton the heads up he needs to try to make it all go away.  Meanwhile, Novo is still trying to heal from her injuries while her sister guilt trips her into helping with the wedding planning. 

Throughout all the pain and deception, the two do find love.  It’s an amazing ride full of twists, forgiveness, and self-discovery.  

Alongside this story, we finally get the HEA for Saxton.  Oh, Saxton, the hot and sexy lawyer for the King.  He had once found love with Blaylock only to have his heart broken when Blay was able to reconcile with Qhuinn.  When Blay asks Saxton to look into a legal matter for a friend, Saxton is reluctant to work any more closely with Blay than needed.  But after hearing the tale of a lonely widow being harassed by a local developer, Saxton can’t help but step in.  When the situation turns dangerous, the King appoints Ruhn to be his bodyguard.   Ruhn spent much of his life enslaved as a fighter and has worked hard to overcome the trauma.   Ashamed by his lack of education, Ruhn tries hard to fit in at the mansion and be useful, and the role of guard is the first chance he has to prove himself.  Mistaking Saxton’s interest as disapproval, Ruhn is hurt further by the confusion he feels at his own feelings towards Saxton.  Luckily, the two man have one passion in common-old houses.  Remember the widow being harrassed by developers?  

J. R. Ward writes some very steamy books and this one is no exception.  I do think that she doesn’t give fair play to the gentlemen in this one.   I just think that Saxton finally getting the man of his dreams should include more of the fun times.  
But that’s me. 

This is an amazing series with great world building and characters.  It’s an automatic preorder for me.  I know, this book came out in January and I’m just now writing about it.  It’s my absolute favorite series of all time and I waited four months to read it.  Ward also only publishes one book a year.  That’s a long time to wait for the next book, especially after I stayed up late so I could read it all in one sitting.  

It’s that good.  

Fair warning, these books are very explicit in language, sex, drug use, violence, you name it.

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