The Beast is the fourteenth book in the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series by American author, J.R. Ward. The battle with the lessers in the opening pages of this instalment sees Rhage taking a bullet to the heart. And the Scribe Virgin’s inaction has the reader wondering: is Rhage headed for the Fade? But his shellan, Mary is not quite ready to give up and join him in the Fade: she wants to be there for young Bitty, a now-orphaned girl at Safe Place needing support.
As well as the main action in the lives of Mary and Rhage, one of the Band of Bastards is captured while another acts to join the glymera; early labour causes anxiety as an eagerly-anticipated pair of siblings is born; two members of the Brotherhood household are in for a surprise of the sibling variety (plenty of irony there!); Vishous returns from the Sanctuary with some shocking news; Assail performs an unexpected rescue; and Zhadist helps burn down a glymera mansion.
As always, the banter between the characters, in particular the Brothers (and Lassiter!!), is a source of humour, but a certain bathroom scene and the endless jokes on that theme also provide laugh-out-loud moments. Of course there is the odd battle and plenty of sex, but there is also a lot of sweetness in this one. Addictive, as always.