Jul 10 2013 3:30pm

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Speculation: Who Should Be Next?

The King by J.R. WardNow that we’ve all read Lover At Last and sighed over the happy conclusion to Qhuinn and Blaylock’s epic, angst-ridden courtship, J.R. Ward is ready to move on, and as her devoted readers we must move with her. Ward has already announced that the next installment, The King, will focus on Wrath and Beth as they clash over whether or not to have a child. Other pairings currently on deck in the BDB universe include Xcor and Layla (yay!), Trez and the Chosen Selena (didn’t see that coming, but okay), and Assail and Sola (who?).

It’s Ward’s world—we only live in it—but aside from Layla and Xcor, none of those stories seem all that compelling. Wrath and Beth have already had their moment in the spotlight in Dark Lover; Assail and Sola are (so far) entirely unmemorable; and as for Trez, we’ve already done the whole “Man in love with a woman above his station” thing in Lover Revealed (Butch and Marissa) and to a certain extent in Lover Avenged (Rehvenge and Ehlena—yeah, Rehv is glymera, but he’s also a symphath, which would ordinarily make him social poison in that particular circle).

More importantly, Caldwell, New York is home to several characters whose time, like Qhuay’s, has surely come—four characters whose stories simply cry out to be told. Why are we reading about Sola and Trez when these individuals are still unattached?

Yes, that Havers. Yes, I’m completely serious. He’s nobody’s favorite, but there’s something tragically noble about the guy. A widower, knocked off-guard by a swiftly changing world, he’s doing his best to adhere to the strict code by which he’s lived for centuries. And what has that gotten him? His adored sister Marissa, after being cast aside by the Vampire King in favor of a half-breed (and living through the concomitant loss of status that went along with all of that), repudiated her upbringing, flouted every tradition she could think of, took up with another half-breed (called “Butch,” no less), and as of this writing is barely on speaking terms with her brother. (Okay, so he disowned her. Details.) The Brotherhood holds him in open contempt—in fact, it seems as though every other book or so, he gets his ass handed to him by a Brother, just because. Between his patients, various schemers and hangers-on among the glymera, and the Brothers who wander by every now and again to threaten and sneer, he’s rarely alone, but he’s desperately lonely.

And yet, he holds fast to tradition, because it’s what he knows, and because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. If it were Vishous behaving this way in defense of his God-given right to use cock rings and ball gags, we’d call it sexy and heroic.

So let the rehabilitation of Havers begin! I’m thinking…maybe a young, beautiful female of the glymera he encounters through Marissa’s work at Safe Place. She was bartered into marriage to help redeem her dissolute father’s debts but escapes when the male mistreats her. Havers’ initial interest is professional, but her beauty, honesty, and strength move him deeply. He manfully fights his desires – she’s mated! – but one afternoon, during a routine checkup, she seizes him by the lapels and whispers something really saucy in his ear…oooh, this so needs to happen...

Unlike Havers, Lassiter has plenty of fans. And why not? He’s snarky, sarcastic, and usually hilarious, and his multicolored hair and penchant for bad television have endeared him to legions of readers. He has saved Tohrment from death by starvation and been the unlikely hero in the Tohr-Autumn romance, and now it’s time for him to claim his reward.

That reward should come in a sweet and spicy package, but which one? A previously unmentioned member of the Chosen? One of Rehvenge’s symphaths, on the run from the symphath colony? Or what about that s’Hisbe princess Trez is all cranky about? If she runs off with a literal angel, Trez can woo Selena with a clear conscience. Everybody wins!

Lover At Last by J.R. WardSaxton
Ahhh, sweet, sexy, noble Saxton, who gives so much and gets so little in return. He really, really liked Blaylock, even though he knew full well that Blay’s true heart belonged to Qhuinn. After ending things honorably with Blay, he cheered himself up by enjoying a little meaningless vampire sex (as one does), but came home to a savage beating at Qhuinn’s avenging hands. Did his very, very recent ex pipe up at that point and say “Dude, we broke up?” No. Blay did try to call Qhuinn off, but the point is, he could have averted a whole lot of pain with just a few simple, well-placed words. And Saxton still forgave all!

That’s a rant for a different day. Today, Saxton needs someone openhearted and kind…someone who thinks the sun rises and sets on him. Possibly another vampire lawyer – maybe an apprentice who is sent to Saxton for a year or so to learn the finer points of law with respect to the King’s heritage. They grow closer as the apprentice discovers something in the old writings that calls into question Wrath’s very claim to the throne! Saxton struggles with his head – should he act on this incendiary information? – and his heart. In the end, a previously unknown document is discovered that affirms the nobility of Wrath’s bloodline, and Saxton and his young man go into practice together, partners in every sense of the word.

The Scribe Virgin
Her true name is Analisse – a name that deserves to be shouted in the heat of passion. She is enigmatic and remote. Her ways are mysterious. Her ex is called the Bloodletter...the Bloodletter?

Analisse can do better than “The Bloodletter.”

She could always hook up with a new Brother, or a Brother-in-Training. Think of the hijinks! Could Payne and Vishous cope with fighting alongside their stepfather? (Vishous: “He wants me to call him...Dad.”)

On the other hand, what vampire, even among the Brotherhood, would consider himself worthy of loving a goddess? Probably none, and that’s why she needs a human—someone who doesn’t believe in vampires and has little patience with their rituals, hierarchies, or customs. She could teach him about open-mindedness and faith; he could teach her to laugh. Maybe one of Butch’s former colleagues? “Veck” DelVecchio has a woman now, but is Jose de la Cruz still available? I suppose there’s the small matter of her being nontemporal and him being mortal. Whatever. Analisse can fix that. She’s the Scribe Virgin; she can do as she pleases.

What do you think? Which BDB romance would you like to see next?


Kate Nagy is editor at large of Geek Speak Magazine.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. amandajohobson
I absolutely agree that I want to see Lassiter and Saxton! This absolutely needs to happen! Havers and Annalisse (SV) would rock. While I'm intrigued by the upcoming The King, I don't like the cover art . . . I mean Wrath is huge and has long hair so who exactly is that supposed to be. More importantly where is Muhrder's book? There was a lot of set up for Muhrder a while back but then nothing. HMM.
2. VRValicento
Isn't Lassiter supposed to be part of the Angels series too? Can't have his story before that one.
Assail and Sola should be next because she has to be rescued. She was kidnapped in Lover at Last.
3. ames599
I remember hearing that there was eventually going to be a crossover book with the Fallen Angels and BDB. I figured that would deal with Lassiter. I'm looking forward to more Wrath and Beth, but I also found myself interested in Trez. It's kinda nice to finally learn more about the Shadows. They've been around for such a long time without any real details.
4. SassyT
Uh, I hate to pee on your parade but isn't Jose de la Cruz married? I thought I remembered him talking about his wife and kids in a previous book. I'd be interested in hearing about Trez. I mean it's getting pretty stale (unless she wants to go back to Rhage and Mary or Z, Bell, and the baby).
Jasmine Ray
5. JassyBaby
Great post, Kate! I loved it!

It is such an impressive list. Out of the four you mentioned, I most want to see Sax get with someone. I love Sax!! And I felt so bad when things didn't go well between him and Blay ('course I love Qhuay more!). Everything you said was spot-on. He deserves some kind of happy ending!
I'd love a story for Lassiter! He's such a fun character, and I'm so curious about him, too! Also, while reading Lover At Last I was totally rooting for Xcor and Layla, so yeah....deffo want their story.

Havers, I could maybe see a redemption story for him, although I hate his guts, but I'm learning to give second chances...thanks in part to my anticipation of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Styxx.

I'm also interested in the Trez/Selena, Assail/Sola stories too, but I'm not all that in a hurry to read about them. Especially Assail. You know what they say about love changing a man for the better? I don't want to see Assail changed just yet. I'm kinda crushing on him as is. As in now.

Oh, and I'm curious about Murhder, too.
And poor Analisse. Though she isn't my favorite, I can't help but feel bad for her. Both of her children despise her. And her light is dimming out! Much love for her, too!
6. KateNagy
SassyT: Well, it wouldn't have to be Jose. Someone else Butch remembers from the Force would work as well. Also, I would point out that Wrath himself was married when he met Beth, and that didn't stop Dark Lover from happening. (I actually like Wrath, but the way he treated Marissa was shabby. Ill-done of you, Wrath.)
7. Bluidsue
I agree with Amada, bad model for Wrath! I imagine him more like The Rock, with long hair like in Scorpion King, is that the right movie, where his hair was long and no shirt! Really scary guy, but when he smiles, bam!

I too would like to see Jose De La Cruz.

I buy the iBook versions and have one comment about those. Why don't they all put a full size cover in when you open it? And really the guy and gal should look as described in the story.
Felicia Smith
8. Ferishia
Would LOVE to see Saxton's book! I was so worried that she would find a way to set up a 'noble' death for him once he stepped aside for Qhuinn. I'm still worried that might happen. Look at what she did to Wellsie??!! I have NEVER gotten over Wellsie! Yes, Tohr is happy with Autumn now, blah blah. I REALLY liked Wellsie.
9. Kwcole
I want Muhrder. What happened to him? He's living in hiding down South, ostensibly still recovering from being tortured by the Sympaths. There was this nice set up, but nothing since.
10. wsl0612
@Kwcole - I'm with you, it's ridiculous that there was so much detail re:Muhrder previously and "crickets" since.
Marcie Robinson
11. txmommee1
I would like to see a Muhrder book personally. As for Havers - whatever. He may be on the path to redemption, but he's definitely uninteresting to me. The Shadows need books as well. When are we going to start seeing more young? I understand that vampires live a long time, but somewhere somehow they have to renew the species.
12. Shutterbee
I would like to see Annalise and Lassiter.
13. seattlemomma
I'm hoping that the next book will have multiple HEAs, mostly because I can't imagine an entire book filled with "are they/aren't they having a baby" angst. Wouldn't it make sense that many of these "not enough for their own book" pairings will be resolved (or at least very much expanded) in Wrath II? I hopeYou have the King's solicitor, Saxton. The King's arch enemy, Xcor. The King's new roomie, Trez. The thorn in the King's side, Assail. So many of these potential stories revolve directly around him; it would make sense to put them in "his" book.
14. SassyT
@Katy: True but Jose de la Cruz was specifically mentioned so that's why I was addressing that. Jose's situation and Wrath's were totally different. First of all, Jose married the woman he wanted to marry and he seems happily married (at least from the little bit we've gotten of him in the BDB books and I believe he made a cameo in the Fallen Angel books too) with two (I think it was two) kids. Wrath never wanted to be married to Marissa AND they had never consumated their marriage. So, basically they were just married in name only. They hadn't really ever been husband and wife. True Wrath was kind of a D to Marissa. However, he's with the woman he should be with and Marissa is with the man she should be with so alls well that ends well.
R. Smith
15. rozidozi
While all of the suggestions are good, particularly Lassiter and Xcor, why not Trez or his brother iAM as the next story or a short story? As a woman of color, I am interested in learning more about "The Shadows," and how they're connected the vampire society. An intriguing story line in my opinion. Also, as I recall, the twins are royality as well. As for Lassiter, in the BDB Companion, when he was injured saving Wrath, the characters alluded to the fact that there is a significant "woman" in Lassiter's life. Who can she be?
Although it is not J.R. Ward's style, it would be great to have some of the characters introduced in various BDB books have a story line that gets completed in anyone of the upcoming books.
16. Janine G.
I believe The Warden has stated previously that Havers will never get a book. And that is what I would prefer. If he did get a book, there is no way in hell I would read it. I hate that man with every fiber of my being.
My wish is that we find out more about Muhrder.
Trista Zohner
17. OrthoGirl
In Father at Last, Bella touched on the topic of Mary and Rhage wanting a baby. While I'm not a big fan of "post script" stories, I would like to read about a possible follow up to this. Also, I would like to have a story on Layla and Xcor or Lassiter (did I not read in Father at Last that he maybe/maybe not had a wife)???
18. Decadence
I agree that JR Ward will never, ever write about Havers and I think this is why we see the Brothers having a go at him all the time. He tried to bribe one of them to kill Wrath, threw Marissa out before dawn, which could have led to her death, and refused to help Layla when he found out she was a Chosen, which certainly would have resulted in the young's death. Instead of helping a patient who obviously needed it, he ranted at her about the bad position she put him in and how she isn't a real person, just a vessel for others. His adherence to tradition could have potentially killed 3 people. First, do no harm.

Jose is sadly married. She could have something happen to his wife, like Wellsie, but that seems like it could also fit as a Fallen Angel story.

She's teased us about Murhder for years and gave us a glimpse of him in a books, but then he's dropped completely off the radar as though he never existed.

I'm slowly accepting the Layla/Xcor pairing. I violently opposed it in Lover Reborn because she could do so much better and I was hoping she could be with Throe. I don't get how she can hate Throe who tried to save his brother and forgive Xcor who is the traitorous ringleader. But I'm coming around on that because I can see she's already pretty powerful. She's changing the war without even knowing it, and she's paving the way for the Chosen's freedom (it's a shame she has to be seen as 'fallen' to do so, though :( ).

Saxton really deserves someone of his own, but I don't see that happening for a long time yet (and yes, Blay definitely could have handled things better with Qhuinn). I want to see Throe with someone. He's had an interesting back story and despite the company he keeps, he's retained a sense of honour. I'd like to read his book.
19. wsl0612
@seattlemomma - I have been wishing there would be more stories involving the non-elite vampires like Blay's family. Maybe she could add that to the mix to offset the baby angst.
20. Leuq
I’m happy to revisit the King and Beth. In fact, I’d be happy to read 2nd stories on most everyone at the compound. Happily ever after doesn’t mean no additional challenges and the small snippets of the brotherhood we’ve seen in other stories isn’t enough for me. I want to go deeper. I want to see John Matthew become a brother and there are definitely more challenges with him and Xhex .
Layla and Xcor? I think that’s one of those tragic stories of what could have been but ain’t gonna happen (at least I’d never believe it). I don’t think Layla would become a traitor (which she would if she chose Xcor). She’s been given a young to love, two daddies to spoil her child, and a houseful of BDB to protect them. She knows there was someone for her and that there’s nothing wrong with her. And Xcor -- instead of remaining good though flawed despite the cruelties of his “father” (like Vishous), he chose the dark side and missed his chance at light. The only way out of death for him ('cause Tohr’s gonna kill him) is if he’s given a second life as an angel.
Havers? Meh. Trez and Selena? Intriguing. Murhder? Love to see him come back. Assail and Sola / Saxton? Only if within a story of the BDB.
21. Lina J Davis
Leave De la Cruz alone with his family. As a woman if color I too would like to read more about the Shadows. But how about some women of color thrown in the mix? Represent please! Lassiter and the SV? Nah! He's way too playful for her. I agree with Leuq, Xcor has to go in order to save Layla from tragedy. Yet Throe should find a Chosen and eventually become a brother way down the line. Assails's story is intriguing, Murhder should be reintroduced, new blood in the BDB and the rest like someone said, could be side stories in another's book. And by all means give us more of what's happening with some of our favorite, already established characters. Rhage and Mary, Rehvenge and Ehlena, Phury and Cormia, what's going on with them? Phury should make some changes in the rules for the Chosen if he's not going to father children with them. So much to work with.
22. ayesha09
What I want to see is either trez and selena story or saxton..n I think his mate should be lassiter..if I'm not mistaken, when sax broken up wiz blay, he had a date and hook up wiz someone who have blond hair and black hair n who have zis kind of hair??...LASSITER!!..n also want to see blay and qhuinn mating, how blay is going to cope wiz layla giving birth to Qhuinn young...
23. adoore
At this point it really doesn't matter who is next. I am a huge Wellsie fan and what Ward did to her is just horrible I just hope she doesn't break anyone is up but hey if Tohr could move on after he said all those beautiful things about his love for Wellsie any of the other brothers can move on.

I was kind of interested in Mhurder since he will cause problems with Xhex and John so that might be interesting (drama wise), but otherwise I have lost interest.
24. amberd
I don't care what couples book is next. I absolutely love all of the books. I would keep reading them no matter what. I find the entire story very entertaining. I like how the story innertwines. Anyway Assail kills the one glymera vamp so then there is another vampire doing dealings with Xcor. I think this vampire could possibley be Saxton. Reason being the vampire is very knowledgeable on the law and its not revealed who it is.
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