The release of another Black Dagger Brotherhood book was met with my absolute excitement. I cannot even state how much I love the series. It’s a comfort zone and sentimentality all rolled in to one gloriously long series. I have to admit though, while I adore J.R Ward’s writing and have read so many of the books over and over and over, this latest addition was not a favourite of mine.
When Trez lost his beloved to a tragic death (The Shadows, Black Dagger Brotherhood #13), his soul was crushed and his destiny seemed relegated to suffering. But when he meets a mysterious female, he becomes convinced his true love has been reincarnated. Is he right? Or has his grief created a disastrous delusion?
Therese has come to Caldwell to escape a rift with her bloodline. The revelation that she was adopted and not born into her family shakes the foundations of her identity, and she is determined to make it on her own. Her attraction to Trez is not what she’s looking for, except the sexy Shadow proves to be undeniable.
Has fate provided a grieving widower with a second chance…or is Trez too blinded by the past to see the present for what it really is? In this sensual, arresting book full of the themes of redemption and self-discovery, two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads where the heart is the only compass that can be trusted…but that may require a courage that neither of them possesses.
I had been eagerly anticipating Trez’s HEA for years since Selena’s untimely demise and was finally looking forward to him having the happy ending he deserved. That said, I felt that this book was a stretch of not only my imagination but also my willingness to go along with the ‘magic and divine’ solves everything solution that had been used so many times in the past. When it was used in Rhage’s, Phury’s, Vishous’s and Thorment’s books I had been mostly accepting of it. Finally a happy ending had come to those who had deserved it. In this book’s case, it felt like everything was forced. Without giving too much away regarding the ending, the HEA felt like it was at the expense of a woman’s established life.
What I loved about this story was the chance to be immersed in the Caldwell life again. The inclusion of well known BDB characters made me practically giddy. I do like Trez but he was never a favourite of mine. The original BDB Warriors are my ultimate faves and their subtle inclusion in this story is the main reason I have rated it as I have. Without them, this would have felt like a very cliched rip off of some of the other books without the same satisfying ending. I know that sounds so harsh, but it felt like the author had settled for this story line without attempting to think of something that included a complete new beginning – such as in Thorment’s case.
Additionally, the naming of the book as a ‘Caldwell Christmas’ seemed like a misnomer as there seemed to be no Christmas element included, with the exception of a few brief mentions of it. Perhaps the title was placed there due to the publication date of November 26, 2019. Either way, this book was unfortunately a miss for me.