The Beloved by J.R. Ward is a great book for die-hard Black Dagger Brotherhood fans curious about what’s next for their favorite characters. New readers might want to start at the beginning of the series though.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post contains affiliate links. That means we receive a small commission at no cost to you from any purchases you make through these links.

The Beloved by J.R. Ward

The Beloved by J.R. Ward

Black Dagger Brotherhood #22
April 9, 2024

Read this if you want:

  • Vampire romance
  • Band of warriors
  • Bad boys with tats

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The Beloved by J.R. Ward tries to kick off the next chapter in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but it’s kind of a rocky start. The book is about Nalla, Zsadist’s daughter, who’s got her own romance brewing with Nate—a trainee with a rough past and a pretty grim outlook on life. If you were hoping this would be a steamy, intense love story like Zsadist and Bella’s, dial those expectations way down.

Honestly, the romance doesn’t hit as hard as you’d want. It’s more cute than sizzling, although it is steamy. It feels like the book is more about setting up the scene for future stories rather than focusing on the here and now. This makes The Beloved feel more like a transition book that may suffer from first book syndrome in the middle of the series. Surprisingly, this was the aspect I liked about it! I needed the regrouping when it comes to the series and I feel like this book gave me that with a side of romance.

The book definitely has its moments, especially when we catch up with characters from the past. These bits might make you feel nostalgic if you’ve been with the Brotherhood for a long time. But if you’re new to the series don’t start here and if you’re just popping back in, the connection might not be as strong.

Nate and Nalla’s story also dives into some darker stuff, like Nate’s tortured past, which adds some depth but also makes the vibe a bit heavier than your typical romance. And I think in some ways it has a lot of parallels to Zsadist. Who would’ve thought Nalla would mate with someone just like her father!

And the whole next-gen angle? It leans heavily into new adult territory, complete with all the angst and drama, and whiny young vamps, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Now for my favorite part of the whole story. I was fully invested in the side plot of LW and Bitty. First, because LW has a lot going on and I am sure we are ready for his book next. And also because the build up of the romance between them is just perfect. I think that will hit it off the park. If only we were not getting a carbon copy of Wrath’s personality it would be even better though.

So, should you read it? If you’re a hardcore fan, you’ll probably want to stick around just to see what happens next. But if you’re looking for a book to get lost in for a weekend, this might not be it. Think of The Beloved more as homework and prep for fans: it’s a necessary evil.

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