Book Review: Blood Truth by J.R. Ward

Posted August 23, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Book Review: Blood Truth by J.R. Ward

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blood Truth by J.R. Ward
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
on August 13, 2019
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Possession, The Shadows, The Bourbon Kings, Blood Kiss, The Beast, Blood Vow, The Chosen, Blood Fury, “Dearest Ivie”, The Thief, "The Rehearsal Dinner", "The Reception", Consumed, The Savior, Where Winter Finds You, The Sinner, J.R. Ward, A Warm Heart in Winter, Claimed

Fourth in the Black Dagger Legacy paranormal romance series, spun off from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (as 17.5) and revolving around the trainees in the Brotherhood program. The series is set in Caldwell, New York. The couple focus is on Boone and Helania.

My Take

It’s a sad thing that society should be so concerned about what people think. About the bigotry that forces hurtful decisions. And it’s lovely to see that these characters are moving forward, leaving these concerns behind them, enhancing their lives with love.

Although, it was too obvious at the end with too easy a solution, even if it is so very sweet and satisfying. It was also heavy-handed with Syn’s issues, the kills he made in the Old World, and what he’s doing in the New. Balthazar certainly has an interesting conflict.

Anyway, the prologue takes us back a year and sets us up for conflicts to come, including the continuation of Boone’s information from The Savior, 17. It helps that Ward uses a third person global subjective point-of-view, which allows for perspectives from a variety of characters. Naturally Boone’s and Helania’s are the prominent perspectives.

It’s a story that is both character-driven — there are some mighty strong ones in this who are passionate about their beliefs — and also action-packed. Hey, what’s a Black Dagger book without action? These muscle-bound hunks can’t possibly survive without it!

Geez, there are some nasty suggestions in here. Boone shouldn’t be feeling bad a’tall, a’tall, on some events. He truly is a good man, just ask Rochelle. As for those double standards, they’re common in all societies, and Boone and Rochelle argue over who has the greater sacrifice. Talk about a house at war! Of course, it doesn’t help that Boone has such a physique, and the truth about his sire’s love life creates a conundrum. One that seems to confirm how his father treats him. Jerk.

As much as Boone comes across as a male of worth, he has some scary issues. Yep, he’s screwing up big time with too much in common with Syn. Not that he’s had that great of a family life. That father of his!! As for the butler…I’d be firing him right quick.

The whole will thing was not unexpected, but Marquist’s behavior and attitude are so tacky. He certainly is carrying on Altamere’s attitudes! It does lead to a different perspective about money with Boone happy to be free. And, lol, I do adore how supportive Wrath is!

The loyalty and love of the various doggen for their families is emphasized more in this story than in previous ones. Ward also goes deeper into Butch’s reasons for becoming a detective. And it makes sense. Nice detail, Ward.

And it just goes to show that you shouldn’t leap to conclusions…and always do the forensics.

The Story

Isobel had always had Helania’s back. It’s only right for Helania to have hers. However belatedly.

The Characters

The formerly deaf Helania, blooded daughter of Eyrn, is determined to uncover her sister’s killer. Isobel had been her outgoing, funloving sister.

Rexboone “Boone“, blooded son of Altamere (son of Himish), is in the Black Dagger training program. And if that doesn’t tick off his father! Marquist, son of Merihew, is the household butler, but not a doggen. Ehrmine had been Boone’s stephmahmen. Illumina had been his mahmen who died. Other doggen include Thomat, the chef, and Susette, a maid.

Rochelle is the blooded daughter of Urdeme with her future marriage arranged with Boone.

More of the Black Dagger trainees include…
Craeg and Paradise (Blood Kiss, 1 (BDB, 13.5)), Axe (Blood Vow, 2 (BDB, 14.5)), and Novo and Peyton (Blood Fury, 3 (BDB, 15.5)).

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is…
…an honor guard to the Blind King, Wrath, son of Wrath, and sire of Little Wrath. Beth is his mate and sister to John Matthew. George is the king’s golden retriever. Tohrment “Tohr“, son of Hharm, is the commanding officer. More Brothers include Phury and Z, who are twins; Qhuinn and Blay; and, Vishous “V” is the son of the Bloodletter and the Scribe Virgin. Rhage, a.k.a., “Hollywood”, has a passion for Tootsie Pops and is Boone’s favorite male to work with. He’s mated to Mary, a therapist who works with the Brothers. Butch O’Neal, a former homicide detective and former human, now lives for clothes and his mate, Marissa. Janie had been Butch’s fifteen-year-old sister who was murdered. José de la Cruz had been Butch’s partner, and he doesn’t know Butch is still alive.

Dr Manello, a.k.a., “Manny“, is their surgeon and mated to Payne. Doc Jane is their ghostly primary doctor. She’s mated to V, and they live in the Pit along with Butch and Marissa. Fritz Perlmutter, a doggen, is the head of household. Lilf is in charge of the laundry at the compound. The Audience House is a mansion in town where Wrath receives petitions and his subjects. Saxon is the king’s lawyer.

The Band of Bastards had been…
…enemies of the Brotherhood in the Old World…and the New, but are now allies. Xcor is their leader and mated to Layla, a Chosen (The Chosen, 15). Zypher is a big, brutal male with a teacher’s patience. Syn has his issues. Syn’s cousin, Balthazar, is a thief, but honorable.

Havers, Marissa’s brother, is the physician to the race with a hidden clinic. Ruth is a waitress at the 24 Hr Diner; Merv had been her man.

Pyre’s Revyval Club is…
…a vampire LARPers club. Nightingale is her alter ego and has a passion for the club and its attractions. Mai had been the daughter of Roane.

Shadow entities are…
…the latest boogieman for the race and extremely hard to kill, brought to life by Throe, an expelled and self-centered lieutenant of the Band of Bastards.

The glymera are the aristocracy of the vampire race. A hellren is a husband while a shellan is a wife. Mahmen means mother. Doggen are vampires who serve with pleasure. Talhman is evil. A Fade Ceremony is a funeral. Rocky B Winkle is an avatar name. The needing is similar to going into heat and occurs every ten years in females of the race. It sounds pretty similar to Lora Leigh’s mating heat in her Breeds series.

The Cover and Title

The cover is dark with its deep brown background, feathering around the soft peaches of Helania with her left arm around Boone’s neck, black-painted nails curling to the front. She’s in profile, her eyes cast down, her red-blonde hair flowing down her bare back and down his right arm. His face is full frontal but only from the tip of his nose down, that cleft in his chin, and his smooth chest. The black dagger is horizontal with the hilt to the left, the blade to the right as it divides the cover in half. The author’s name starts under his chin and to the right of her nose in an offset shadowed, embossed silver serif font. Immediately below it and above the dagger is an info blurb in white. Below the dagger is the title in an embossed gold with the series information in white below that.

The title is that Blood Truth Helania realizes.

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4 responses to “Book Review: Blood Truth by J.R. Ward

    • The spin-off is allowing this vampire race to move with the times, bringing the start of equality for the females. It doesn’t have quite the same language usage as the BDB, but its characters do appear.

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