Published by Hachette on December 6th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, General, Paranormal, Romance
Click here to buy the book from Amazon •Booktopia • Book Depository • Angus and Robertson
A tough vampire warrior in training and a quick-witted aristocrat develop an irresistible attraction and work together to uncover a mystery. The second in a new spin-off paranormal romance series set in the world of the #1 New York Timesbestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Trainees at the Black Dagger Brotherhood' training centre continue to prepare for the fight against the Lessening Society, but fighting is the last thing on Axe's mind. Still plagued with the guilt of his father's death, the brooding loner finds himself battling an unlikely attraction to Peyton's bright, aristocratic cousin, Elise.
Elise feels it too - and when the two are thrown together in unusual circumstances Elise must decide whether she can trust Axe to help her uncover the mystery surrounding her sister's death.
Meanwhile, Mary and Rhage are in the process of adopting Bitty, a young pretrans orphan, until the appearance of a young male claiming to be Bitty's blooded uncle threatens to tear the new family apart.
Axe knows Elise is out of his league but when a job opportunity brings them closer together, he can’t say no. Elise should be off-limits for so many reasons. She’s a daughter of the aristocracy, her cousin is one of his fellow trainees and she deserves so much more than he could ever give her. When physical attraction and intense chemistry make Elise hard to resist, Axe finds himself a situation more dangerous than he has ever faced with the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Meanwhile back at the mansion, Rhage and Mary are facing their own demons. Their family is being threatened and there’s nothing they can do. Rhage needs to come to terms with his changing world before he loses everything he and Mary have made for themselves.
Blood Vow is the second book in the Black Dagger Legacy (BDL), a companion series to the best selling Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB). With sexy and dangerous warriors and the women who fall for them, this new series is a great addition to JR Ward’s vampire universe. What makes this new series interesting is it is not as intense and complicated than the original series. There’s less business with Lessening Society and almost nothing about the other dark creatures which inhabit the BDB world. This makes the romance the focus. What makes this series a companion rather than a spinoff is that this book assumes you have up to date knowledge of both series. There are two main storylines in Blood Vow. We get to witness the ups and downs of trainee Axe’s relationship with highborn Elise. We also gain insight into Rhage and Mary’s family life which is continued on from the most recent BDB book, The Beast (BDB #14). I feel you do need to have read The Beast to fully appreciate where Rhage and Mary stand with regards to the Bitty situation.
I thought this book was going to be a little more adventurous than it was. Axe has a sexual reputation yet (if you disregard the first scene) he’s relatively tame. The chemistry between Axe and Elise was fun to read and they are more than a match for each other but overall I felt as if I had read their story before. JR Ward has written the bad boy with the innocent maiden over and over again now and whilst I enjoyed the writing and how the story was told, I wasn’t surprised by anything any of the characters didl. Peyton’s interactions with the two showed off a few different sides to the young vampire and has made me eager to read his story – especially if his mate is the female it was alluded to in Blood Vow.
The Rhage and Mary plot was nice to read as it offered something different to the overall BDB universe. But there were no surprises there either with vague (and not so vague) allusions to the outcome being scattered throughout the novel. It’s nice to see the next step for them and their lives after finding each other. Whilst I understand that children is the next stage for many of the Brotherhood couples, I am not someone who finds the Brothers in fatherhood roles all that sexy. I found having past two chronological additions to the BDB universe (The Beast and now Blood Vow) centralise around Rhage and Mary’s child issues to be a lot and I hope that now that their situation has come to a conclusion of sorts things will settle down on that front.
Blood Vow was more sunshine and rainbows than I have come to expect from a BDB novel but I think that is something else which differentiates the original series from the Legacy books. The Brothers are more in touch with their feelings and are more like the cuddly, protective, uncle types than the badass legendary warriors of books past. It’s a nice change but it does take a little getting used to.
IF you like JR Ward’s unique style of writing then you should give Blood Vow and the Black Dagger Legacy a chance. There are things which might bother some readers (these books do tend to be a little misogynistic and elitist but for some reason I don’t mind that in JR Ward’s novels) but overall it’s an engaging read with characters I wanted to spend more time with.
Many thanks to Hachette Australia for the review copy.