Audio Review: Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward

Posted February 23, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 8 Comments

Audio Review: Blood Kiss by J. R. WardBlood Kiss by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Published by Penguin Audio on December 1, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Length: 12 hours, 39 minutes
Source: Library
Audio | Goodreads

The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

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.


Icon Library Book  icon ROMANCE icon paranormal icon fangtastic

I wasn’t exactly certain how this series would differentiate itself from its parent. I’m still not quite sure but my best guess is that this is the next generation of the Brotherhood.

It begins with the new slate of potential recruits who vie to participate in the training school being started by the Brotherhood. It was the most exciting aspect of the story with some truly frightening episodes that determine who moves forward.

The central romantic focus involved the new and the old. Representing the new are Paradise, the receptionist and daughter of Abalone, the First Advisor to Wrath, and Craeg, one of the recruits. Their initial attraction reminded me of the earlier romances in the BDB series, having those inexplicable strong connections. I liked both but there was more time devoted to him fighting his urges rather than pursuing Paradise. There were some rather erotic phone conversations, however, that were quite interesting.

Representing the “old” are Butch and Marissa. Butch happens to be my favorite of the BDB so bear that in mind as I declare that I loved his and Marissa’s part of the story. There’s some unrest and their relationship evolves as he comes to terms with his “pedestal” worship of her and she finds her footing.

I enjoyed the story and find it to be a good introduction to the next generation of the original series. As always, I enjoyed Jim Frangione’s narration and how he finds a way to deliver that campy dialogue in a manner that makes it sound almost normal. I’m looking forward to what comes next.

Listen to a clip!

About Jim Frangione

Jim Frangione was born on January 26, 1958 in Hyannis, Massachusetts, USA. He is an actor, known for Transamerica (2005), Heist (2001) and The Spanish Prisoner (1997).

Jim has recorded over 100 audiobooks. He loves being part of the Recorded Books family. In addition to Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie Mysteries and his new young adult series, the Bowser and Birdie stories, he is also the narrator for J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series and many others. Jim is a NYC-based actor and co-artistic director of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, a new play development forum in Great Barrington, MA. He’s performed on TV, in many of the plays and films of David Mamet, with NY’s Atlantic Theater Company, On and Off Broadway, and at many theaters across the country.

About J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times and USAToday Best Selling author of erotic paranormal romance. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. After graduating from law school, she began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot.

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8 responses to “Audio Review: Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward

  1. I can’t wait to read this book. It’s been on my shelf, beckoning me but I just haven’t had the time. So sad! And I’m glad to hear it is “old style BDB”. I love J.R. Ward but lately, her books have been kind of like watching a Soap Opera. So much back and forth and so many characters that it kind of draws away from the key/romance.

  2. I didn’t listen to this one, but I liked what I read. I couldn’t help feeling the Paradise and Craig parts were a little young for my tastes, but I still enjoyed it. The Butch and Marissa parts I felt gave me a different perspective on Butch. That could be my lack of memory from his book though!

    • Tanya, I agree that this story gave us a deeper perspective about Butch. I never knew how much his faith was still important to him, nor how he continued to keep Marissa on such a high pedestal.

    • Bruce…hmmm…don’t put that in my head! I wasn’t crazy about the last book either but this cleared my palate, Felicia. You may want to consider doing it before the next BDB book release.

  3. When I saw an audio review for this one, I knew it had to be your review Jonetta. Jennifer hates this narrator. I like him. I think he is perfect for the brothers. I haven’t decided if I’m going to tackle this new series. I’m done with BDB. Great review.