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The Beloved

The Beloved, April 2024
Black Dagger Brotherhood #22
by J.R. Ward

Gallery Books
512 pages
ISBN: 1982180080
EAN: 9781982180089
Kindle: B0C7RNKKTR
Hardcover / e-Book / audiobook
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"Epic romance between two vampire offspring of mighty Black Dagger Brotherhood warriors"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Beloved
J.R. Ward

Reviewed by Make Kay
Posted April 12, 2024

Romance Paranormal

Blockbuster paranormal romance author J.R. Ward breathes new life into the Black Dagger Brotherhood series with THE BELOVED, a tale of two children descended from the original BDB warriors. This is absolutely a strong typical Ward kind of tale. THE BELOVED is chock-full of Ward’s typical witty tongue-in-cheek descriptions that bring in all kinds of fun pop culture references. There is the suspenseful never-ending battle of good against evil, with lots of hand-to-hand fighting and action. But the main driver of each story is an epic love story with tragic characters that will rip your heart out of your chest with their anguish. 



This is a very long-standing series; THE BELOVED is a full-length novel number twenty-two in this paranormal world that was started almost twenty years ago, with DARK LOVER published in 2005. Ward dropped a bomb on readers in the last book, LASSITER, and it’s fascinating to see what Ward does to jump the Black Dagger Brotherhood forward 30 years in time in her newest book to bring us a whole new cast of romantic leads while preserving the existing Black Dagger Brotherhood in the storyline too. This is a richly-developed series that will best be appreciated by reading in order, although I think a newbie could jump in here into the new story arc without too much trouble. Readers who enjoy the second generation of BDB characters will also want to enjoy the Black Dagger Legacy series.



Our heroine Nalla is the cherished daughter of Bella and Zsadist. Zsadist, a Black Dagger Brother, was the male lead in LOVER AWAKENED (BDB book #3) and the short story Father Mine. Zsadist was stolen from his family shortly after birth and kept as a blood slave. His twin brother Phury eventually rescued him, but Zsadist of course had incredible emotional damage that made him overprotective of his daughter Nalla. Nalla has led a very narrow and proscribed existence. Between her father running off any suitors and Nalla’s family’s emotional centering on her father Zsadist’s needs, she is desperately unhappy and anxious to escape to the larger world.



Enter Nate, a man with his own terrible internal demons. Nate was born in captivity and brutally experimented upon by humans until shortly before his transition. His vampire mother was killed before his eyes in captivity. He was rescued and adopted by Sarah and Murhder, another Black Dagger Brother, in the book THE SAVIOR (BDB book #17). Nate was made immortal by Rahvyn, the mate of the current Chosen, Lassiter after he was fatally injured thirty years ago. Nate has become so reckless, a result of his anger over a future of mental suffering that will have no end due to his immortality, that he is kicked out of the Brotherhood for his instability. 



Nate and Nalla discover their love for each other pretty early in the book, but boy howdy, there are a boatload of obstacles between them and any potential Happily Ever After. While navigating personal and family traumas, Nate and Nalla must also contend with fighting Lessers, the evil undead who are locked in a long-running war with their vampire race. I adore Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood world! This series has heart-wrenching drama, spell-binding action, and abiding romantic love that defies all odds. Romance and paranormal fans cheer. Ward continues to provide a stupendous vampiric saga in THE BELOVED.

Learn more about The Beloved


The daughter of a legend finds the love of a lifetime in this passionate, heart-wrenching installment in J.R. Ward’s #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

Nalla, the blooded daughter of Zsadist, has led a sheltered life. Protected by her father and the Brotherhood, kept away from the deadly war with the Lessening Society, she is chafing against the walls of the very safety that has ensured her survival. One night, she gives in to her restlessness…and finds herself face-to-face with a male whose inner darkness rivals even that of her sire’s horrific origins.

Nate is a fighter with nothing to lose—and nothing to live for. Tortured in a human lab as a young, then cursed with immortality, he is all vengeance and no purpose because he cares for no one—not even himself. The Brotherhood knows this all too well and following Nate’s deliberate violation of the cardinal rule in the war, they declare him a dangerous liability that must be dealt with.

When Nalla and Nate find themselves fighting side by side, daggers aren’t the only things that fly. A sizzling attraction is ignited, though Nalla knows her sire will never accept him—and on his side, Nate has made a secret bargain to end his own immortality. As the enemy closes in, and Nalla realizes she must choose between her mate and her sire, what starts with such passion may well end with eternal sorrow and no chance of a reunion—even in the Fade.

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