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Authors: J.R. Ward

Blood Kiss

BOOK: Blood Kiss
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“J. R. Ward's unique band of brothers is to die for. I love this series!”

New York Times
bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann

“Utterly absorbing and deliciously erotic.”

New York Times
bestselling author Angela Knight

“J. R. Ward's urban fantasy romance series is so popular, I don't think there's a reader today who hasn't at least heard of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.”

USA Today

“Frighteningly addictive.”

Publishers Weekly

“Tautly written, wickedly sexy, and just plain fun.”

New York Times
bestselling author Lisa Gardner

“A raw, gritty tour de force.”

(starred review)

“Ward's paranormal world is, among other things, colorful, dangerous, and richly conceived.”

RT Book Reviews

“Delicious, erotic, and thrilling!”

New York Times
bestselling author Nicole Jordan

“Different, creative, dark, violent, and flat-out amazing.”

—All About Romance

“Awesome . . . a midnight whirlwind of dangerous characters and mesmerizing erotic romance. Dark fantasy lovers, you just got served.”

New York Times
bestselling author Lynn Viehl

“J. R. Ward takes you deep into her intense, dark world of vampires and holds you captive until her last breathless word.”

Affaire de Coeur
(reviewer pick, 5 stars)



Dark Lover

Lover Eternal

Lover Awakened

Lover Revealed

Lover Unbound

Lover Enshrined

The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide

Lover Avenged

Lover Mine

Lover Unleashed

Lover Reborn

Lover at Last

The King

The Shadows








The Bourbon Kings


Published by New American Library,

an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

This book is an original publication of New American Library.

Copyright © Love Conquers All, Inc., 2015

Author photo by Jan Cobb; author photo background © Michael Trevillion; Trevillion Images

Penguin Random House supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin Random House to continue to publish books for every reader.

Signet and the Signet colophon are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

For more information about Penguin Random House, visit

ISBN 978-0-698-19327-7


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.



Dedicated with love to the Pup xxx


Thank you so much to my readers, and to everyone who loves the Brothers as much as I do. And thank you also to Steven Axelrod, Kara Welsh, Leslie Gelbman, and everyone at NAL!

Thanks, too, to Team Waud, and my family, both those of blood relation and those of adoption.

And as always, with love, to my wonderful WriterAssistant, Naamah.


ahstrux nohtrum
(n.) Private guard with license to kill who is granted his or her position by the King.

(v.) Act of mortal retribution, carried out typically by a male loved one.

Black Dagger Brotherhood
(pr. n.) Highly trained vampire warriors who protect their species against the Lessening Society. As a result of selective breeding within the race, Brothers possess immense physical and mental strength, as well as rapid healing capabilities. They are not siblings for the most part, and are inducted into the Brotherhood upon nomination by the Brothers. Aggressive, self-reliant, and secretive by
nature, they exist apart from civilians, having little contact with members of the other classes except when they need to feed. They are the subjects of legend and objects of reverence within the vampire world. They may be killed only by the most serious of wounds, e.g., a gunshot or stab to the heart, etc.

blood slave
(n.) Male or female vampire who has been subjugated to serve the blood needs of another. The practice of keeping blood slaves has recently been outlawed.

the Chosen
(n.) Female vampires who have been bred to serve the Scribe Virgin. They are considered members of the aristocracy, though they are spiritually rather than temporally focused. They have little or no interaction with males, but can be mated to Brothers at the Scribe Virgin's direction to propagate their class. Some have the ability to prognosticate. In the past, they were used to meet the blood needs of unmated members of the Brotherhood, and that practice has been reinstated by the Brothers.

(n.) Symbol of honorable death in the Old Language.

(n.) Conflict between two males competing for the right to be a female's mate.

(pr. n.) Hell.

(n.) Member of the servant class within the vampire world.
have old, conservative traditions about service to their superiors, following a formal code of dress and behavior. They are able to go out during the day, but they age relatively quickly. Life expectancy is approximately five hundred years.

(n.) A Chosen trained in the matter of sexual arts.

exhile dhoble
(n.) The evil or cursed twin, the one born second.

the Fade
(pr. n.) Nontemporal realm where the dead reunite with their loved ones and pass eternity.

First Family
(pr. n.) The King and Queen of the vampires, and any children they may have.

(n.) Custodian of an individual. There are varying degrees of
, with the most powerful being that of a

(n.) The social core of the aristocracy, roughly equivalent to Regency England's

(n.) Male vampire who has been mated to a female. Males may take more than one female as mate.

(n. or v.) Term referring to a lapse in judgment, typically resulting in the compromise of the mechanical operations of a vehicle or otherwise motorized conveyance of some kind. For example, leaving one's keys in one's car as it is parked outside the family home overnight.

(n.) A person of power and influence.

(adj.) A term of endearment loosely translated as “dearest one.”

Lessening Society
(pr. n.) Order of slayers convened by the Omega for the purpose of eradicating the vampire species.

(n.) De-souled human who targets vampires for extermination as a member of the Lessening Society.
must be stabbed through the chest in order to be killed; otherwise they are ageless. They do not eat or drink and are impotent. Over time, their hair, skin, and irises lose pigmentation until they are blond, blushless, and pale eyed. They smell like baby powder. Inducted into the society by the Omega, they retain a ceramic jar thereafter into which their heart was placed after it was removed.

(n.) Gift.

(n.) A term of respect used by a sexual submissive to refer to her dominant.

(pr. n.) A mythic beast renowned for its sexual prowess. In modern slang, refers to a male of preternatural size and sexual stamina.

(n.) Torture tool used to remove the eyes.

(n.) Mother. Used both as an identifier and a term of affection.

(n.) The masking of a given physical environment; the creation of a field of illusion.

(n., f.) or
(n., m.) Beloved.

needing period
(n.) Female vampire's time of fertility, generally lasting for two days and accompanied by intense sexual cravings. Occurs approximately five years after a female's transition and then once a decade thereafter. All males respond to some degree if they are around a female in her need. It can be a dangerous time, with conflicts and fights breaking out between competing males, particularly if the female is not mated.

(n.) A virgin.

the Omega
(pr. n.) Malevolent, mystical figure who has targeted the vampires for extinction out of resentment directed toward the Scribe Virgin. Exists in a nontemporal realm and has extensive powers, though not the power of creation.

(adj.) Term referring to the potency of a male's sexual organs. Literal translation something close to “worthy of entering a female.”

(n.) Highest level of the vampire aristocracy, second only to members of the First Family or the Scribe Virgin's Chosen. Must be born to the title; it may not be conferred.

(n.) Refers to a critical weakness in an individual. The weakness can be internal, such as an addiction, or external, such as a lover.

(n.) Savior.

(n.) Ritual manner of assuaging honor granted by one who has offended another. If accepted, the
offended chooses a weapon and strikes the offender, who presents him – or herself without defenses.

the Scribe Virgin
(pr. n.) Mystical force who is counselor to the King as well as the keeper of vampire archives and the dispenser of privileges. Exists in a nontemporal realm and has extensive powers. Capable of a single act of creation, which she expended to bring the vampires into existence.

(n.) Status conferred by the King upon a female of the aristocracy as a result of a petition by the female's family. Places the female under the sole direction of her
, typically the eldest male in her household. Her
then has the legal right to determine all manner of her life, restricting at will any and all interactions she has with the world.

(n.) Female vampire who has been mated to a male. Females generally do not take more than one mate due to the highly territorial nature of bonded males.

(n.) Subspecies within the vampire race characterized by the ability and desire to manipulate emotions in others (for the purposes of an energy exchange), among other traits. Historically, they have been discriminated against and, during certain eras, hunted by vampires. They are near extinction.

the Tomb
(pr. n.) Sacred vault of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Used as a ceremonial site as well as a storage facility for the jars of
. Ceremonies performed there include inductions, funerals, and disciplinary actions against Brothers. No one may enter except for members of the Brotherhood, the Scribe Virgin, or candidates for induction.

(n.) Word used between males of mutual respect and affection. Translated loosely as “beloved friend.”

(n.) Critical moment in a vampire's life when he or she transforms into an adult. Thereafter, he or she must drink the blood of the opposite sex to survive and is unable to withstand sunlight. Occurs generally in the mid-twenties. Some vampires do not survive their transitions, males in particular. Prior to their transitions, vampires are physically weak, sexually unaware and unresponsive, and unable to dematerialize.

(n.) Member of a species separate from that of Homo sapiens. Vampires must drink the blood of the opposite sex to survive. Human blood will keep them alive, though the strength does not last long. Following their transitions, which occur in their mid-twenties, they are unable to go out into sunlight and must feed from the vein regularly. Vampires cannot “convert” humans through a bite or transfer of blood, though they are in rare cases able to breed with the other species. Vampires can dematerialize at will, though they must be able to calm themselves and concentrate to do so and may not carry anything heavy with them. They are able to strip the memories of humans, provided such memories are short-term. Some vampires are able to read minds. Life expectancy is upward of a thousand years, or in some cases even longer.

(n.) An individual who has died and returned to the living from the Fade. They are accorded great respect and are revered for their travails.

(n.) Equivalent of a godfather or godmother to an

BOOK: Blood Kiss
4.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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