J R Ward Book List Order
It is always advisable to read books in the order the author intended. Sometimes the order they are published in will tell you the order other times you have to have some sort of indicator. This J R Ward Book List Order will guide you to read the books in the best book list order for enjoyment as well as show you when they were published. For more detailed information on the world as created by J R Ward books see our lore article here. For more information on the traditional folk lore of vampires I have compiled an article for your enjoyment.
This page contains Affiliate Links, please see our disclaimer.
J R Ward
This amazing author began writing as a child. Often writing in her diary and inventing short stories more often than telling of her personal events. She wrote her first novel before she entered college. She wrote in her available free time while attending school. After she met her husband he encouraged her to seek an agent and get published.
Her first romance novel was published in 2002 under her given name of Jessica Bird. When she writes paranormal romance she writes under the pen name J R Ward. It is this persona that many have come to know and love.
She has stated that she enjoys creating series books to revisit characters she has previously created and likens it to an old friend introducing you to a new one. Most of her male characters fall into the typical Alpha male description. Strong and Heroic, take charge kind of men. Her females characters are often smart and strong as well. Making for interesting interactions between two fierce and intellectual minds. I have already written an article describing the lore and feel of the series as a whole, so this list will just focus on the differences and characters in each book.
J R Ward Book List Order
An introduction into the dark and vicious world of Vampires waring against the lessening society with humans stuck in the middle. Main Character Wrath is the last purebred vampire, the king of the race. Beth is a middle aged journalist who is lost in life. When one of Wrath’s fighters asks for help Wrath initially turns him down, but when the fighter dies he reconsiders. Out of guilt he initially decides to meet Beth, soon however he can’t live without her even if she is a half breed. As a series opener it creates a sense of letting go and opening yourself up to new possibilities.
Rhage is the main character with Hollywood good looks thus is nicknamed Hollywood. He is also cursed due to killing for fun. His tattoo imbues him with bestial properties if he has a surge of emotions. Mary is his counterpart. She is a cancer survivor who works at a crisis center. One of the series central characters, John Matthew needs to be brought in to the training center to have any chance of surviving his transition. During this event Rhage is first introduced through smell alone to Mary who will reluctantly go on a date with him despite being confused why he would be interested in her. Through her motherly nature she slowly wins his affections. Making a life altering choice an inevitable next step in the series.
Zsadist is a former blood slave, meaning he has tattoos marking him as a slave. His twin brother Phury rescues him from torture. The events of his past have left Zsadist very jaded and angry. This quiet personality meets up with Bella whom he immediately dislikes. She persists in trying for a friendship or more. Causing great tension between not only her and Zsadist but Phury as well. Creating an eternal link between the brothers and Bella. Making for a link between the Vampire and Human cultures through the events that unfold.
Butch is an ex homicide detective brought into the Vampire world by Vishous and his visions. As the only human to be allowed into the Vampire inner circle, he has a unique position. Sometimes fate curses you by giving you exactly what you want. Butch wanted to be deeper involved with the Brotherhood and their fight with the lessening society. When the vampire find out how injured he has become while trying to fight a battle on their behalf they send the one woman he is infatuated with to help him.
Vishous the ruthless and cursed computer and security expect among the Vampire brothers. Jane is a human doctor that is vital to the hospitals surgery unit and eventually to Vishous’ survival. Her rational and scientific mind initially keeps her from accepting the truth of his reality. Making it easy for him to remove the memory of him but not her memory from his mind. When a catastrophic event puts her life in danger he if faced with a decision that can change everything.
For centuries Phury has always been the one to protect others and look out for the needs of those around him while being celibate by choice. Becoming the Primale of the Chosen to keep the bloodline pure to allow Vishous to be with the one he loves, thrusts him into a position of mating with about forty women! Cormia is the Chosen that he is assigned to mate with first in order to create additional brothers. Cormia has lived in the Sanctuary her entire life and is very hard for the reader to relate to.
A Humorous interview style book created to fill in gaps in the storyline thus far as well as give a more in depth view of each of the characters personality. There is a short novella that glimpses the birth of Zsadist’s daughter Nalla. A must read to help flesh out a lot of the lore up to this point. I would definitely recommend reading the first six books first to avoid spoilers. With it’s writing style there is no real plot to this book itself it is more to support the other books in the series.
J R Ward Book List Order Cont.
Rhevenge and Elhena are the primary characters of this entry to the series. With Rhevenge being a sympath, a subspecies within the Vampire race with the ability and desire to manipulate the desires within others. Often discriminated against and hunted by other vampires. This however is not his only flaw. The second dark secret that he harbors could put the entire war in jeopardy. Elhena is the only light in his dark life and untouched by the darkness he is consumed by.
As John Matthews history is revealed and his personal vendetta takes him deeper into the war than ever before. Xhex the sympath is fighting the desire to be with John Matthew after losing her previous lover to madness. Fate once again intervenes and brings the two inevitable soulmates together. John Matthew is forced to make a choice that will change his life forever as well as the lives of the rest of the brotherhood.
Payne the twin sister of Vishous has been imprisoned for centuries in a state of mere existence. Neither living or dead completely unaware of events around her she is finally freed only to suffer a terrible injury. Manuel Manello MD is recruited to help save her life and thus gets plunged headlong into the dark and mysterious world of the Vampires and their war. Vishous only finds out he has a sister through her injury and subsequent fight for survival.
Tohrment has been a broken shell of a vampire since his lover and mate was killed. Forced back into the brotherhood by a self serving angel he fights again with a vengeance while being tortured in his dreams by visions of his beloved trapped in a cold and isolated underworld. The only way to save his beloved is to love another. Can he let go of the past and set them all free?
Qhuinn has been shunned by his family and the aristocracy of the vampires. Used to being on his own he finds a place as one of the most brutal fighters against the lessening society. Blay is a male vampire who has been in love with Qhuinn for years. Finally giving up on his unrequited love he has found a perfect match and they are going to have a family. Or are they? Fate often likes to twist what we think will happen into other realities.
J R Ward Book List Order Cont.
Wrath finally faces his destiny and the throne of the vampires. As the war with the lessening society and the Band of Bastards the pressure on him to bring his people to victory mounts. Beth has decided she wants to have a family. She did not expect such a negative response or to have such a distance put between them. Will love win out or will the tortured legacy take over? This book has a lot going on all at once. Both an internal and external conflict for Wrath as well as smaller plots for some of the less important characters we have met along the way.
A struggle of two brothers. Trez and iAm are brothers bound by more than just blood. As Trez struggles to find a true identity rather than the one created so that a shadow could function in the underbelly of the city. Having been sold by his parents to mate with the Queen he has nowhere to run. Serena one of the Chosen enters the picture and offers a chance at real love and happiness. Trapped between his love and his fate he has to chose whether to endanger himself and others or sacrifice his soul.
The lessening society and it’s slayers are stronger than ever as the war rages on. Rhage cannot understand why panic and insecurity are plaguing him. He is forced to reassess his priorities and the answer he finds may just shake him and his beloved Mary to the very core of their beings. Mary is on a journey of discover of her own. This journey may bring them closer together or tear them apart forever.
15. Blood Kiss Published in January-2015 First book of Black Dagger Legacy
Paradise is ready to break free from her restrictive life as an aristocrat. Her solution, join the brotherhoods training program. Until everything goes wrong. The training is amazingly difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than friends. Until she falls for fellow classmate and common civilian Craeg. He is everything she could ever want in a mate. While she is drawn closer to him an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, she is tested in ways she never imagined.
16. Blood Vow Published in December-2016 Second Book Of Black Dagger Legacy
Axe is a new recruit who has proven to be a cunning and deadly fighter in the brotherhoods program. When he takes a bodyguard position he is unprepared for the animal attraction that arises between them. Elise a female aristocrat who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder and is looking for a distraction from her grief. Axe worries a dark secret he hides will tear them apart. Rhage and Mary are facing their own struggles while trying to adopt and build their own family.
Xcor is the leader of the Band of Bastards and so much more. As he faces torturous death and interrogation for treason against the Blind King, he faces his fate like a soldier. With his only regret being the loss of Layla one of the Chosen who was never really his. Layla has to make a decision between loyalty to her family and the love of the only man she has ever loved. If somehow she is able to get him a reprieve it may pave the way for more desolation and death.
18. Blood Fury Published in January-2018 Third Book of Black Dagger Legacy
Two trainees within the Brotherhoods training program are forced to grapple with their past and present. Peyton is an Aristocrat and has always been expected to find a mate within his class and carry on his family traditions. He believes he has found the one until she falls for another. Novo is forced to confront the tragedy that has closed her off from love and damaged her soul as she tries to prove herself to everyone. While another couple Saxton and Ruhn must contend with a connection that is unparalleled and potentially scandalous.
Silas and Ivie meet in a crowded cigar bar in this short novella that includes a small preview of the novel The Thief. Ivie is a nurse at the healers clinic and the daughter of a biker while Silas is an Aristocrat. She follows her style of speaking her mind when he approaches her and she asks what sort of game he is playing. Aristocrats rarely pick up females out side of their class. Their bond deepens as he tells her he must return to the old country, but when she learns the truth she must find a saving grace before all is lost.
Cat burglar and safe cracker Sola Morte has given up her life on the wrong side of the law. On the run from a drug dealer she has found refuge for her and her beloved grandmother far from Caldwell New York. Her thoughts keep returning to Assail whom she loves deeply. He never meant to fall in love and knows it will never last. Not just because she doesn’t know he is a vampire but because he will never stop dealing arms to the Brotherhood. As a lethal new enemy appears Sola finds herself the target just as Assail falls into a coma. Will she run from the horror of his truth or into his arms?
20. The Savior Coming 2019
Still have some questions about the individual books? Check out the Wikipedia page.
Definitely a Great Read
While this J R Ward Book list order only includes the books in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, all books from this author are a great option to read. The Black Dagger Brotherhood has morphed and evolved through the various books. It has become a deeply engrossing experience. As the world became more fleshed out and more characters were added she was even able to create a spinoff series the Black Dagger Legacy. This promising series will allow her to follow up the life of the younger members. If you prefer the paranormal aspect stay with the J R Ward pen name. If you just want the romance and do not care about the supernatural or dark aspects you can read anything by Jessica Bird or J R Ward and be sure you are going to have a great time.