The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #15)

The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #15)

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A scorching forbidden love threatens to tear a rift through the Black Dagger Brotherhood in J. R. Ward’s newest novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

Praise for J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series

“Utterly absorbing and deliciously erotic.”—Angela Knight

“To die for . . . I love this series!”—Suzanne Brockmann

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524756420
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood Series , #15
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

J. R. Ward is the author of more than thirty previous novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She lives in the South with her family.

Read an Excerpt

Mountains Of Caldwell, New York,  Present day

The Black Dagger Brotherhood were keeping him alive, so that they could kill  him. Given the sum of  Xcor’s earthly pursuits, which had beenat their best violent, and at their worst downright depraved, it seemed an apt end for him.

He had been born upon a winter’s night, during a historic blizzard’s gale. Deep within a damp and dirty cave, as icy gusts had raked o’er the Old Country, the female who had carried him had screamed and bled to bring forth unto the Black Dagger Brother Hharm the son that had been demanded of her.

He had been desperately wanted. Until he had fully  arrived.

And that was the beginning of his story . . . which had ultimately landed him here.
In another cave. On another December’s eve. And as with his actual birth, the wind howled to greet him, although this time, it was a return   to consciousness as opposed to an expelling unto independent life that brought  him forth.

As with a newly born young, he had little control over his body. Incapacitated he was, and that would have been true even without the steel chains and bars that were locked across his chest, his hips, his thighs. Machines, at odds with the rustic environs, beeped behind his head, monitoring his respiration, heart rate, blood pressure.

With all the ease of unoiled gears, his brain began to function properly beneath his skull, and when thoughts finally coalesced and formed rational sequences, he recalled the series of events that had resulted in him, the leader of the Band of Bastards, falling into the custody of what had been his enemies: an attack upon him from behind, a concussive fall, a stroke or some such that had rendered him prone and on life support.

At the non-extant mercy of the Brothers.

He had surfaced unto awareness once or twice during his captivity, recording his captors and his whereabouts in this earthen corridor that was inexplicably shelved with jars of all kinds. The returns to conscious- ness had never lasted long, however, the connectivity in his mental arena unsustainable for any length of  time.
This emergence was different, however. He could sense the shift within his mind. Whate’er had been injured had finally healed and he   was back from the foggy landscape of neither-life-nor-death—and staying on the vital side.
“. . . really worry about is Tohr.”
The tail end of the sentence uttered by a male entered Xcor’s ear as a series of vibrations, the translation of which was on a delay, and whilst the words caught up to the syllables, he shifted his eyes over. Two heavily armed figures in black had their backs to him and he reclosed his lids, not wishing to reveal his change of status. Their identities were duly noted, however.
“Nah, he’s tight.” There was a soft scratching sound and then the smell of rich tobacco rose up. “And if he slips, I’ll be there.”
The deep voice who had first spoken became dry. “To chain our brother back in line—or help him murder this piece of meat?”
The Brother Vishous laughed like a serial killer. “Such a dim fucking view of me you got.”
’Tis a wonder we are not better aligned, Xcor thought. These males were as bloodthirsty as he.

Such an alliance was never to be, however. The Brotherhood and the Bastards had been e’er on different sides of Wrath’s kingship, the line drawn by the path of the bullet Xcor had put into the throat of that law- ful leader of the vampire race.

And the price of his treason was going to be exacted here and soon upon him.
Of course, the irony was that a countervailing force had since inter- ceded upon his destiny and taken his ambitions and focus far, far from the throne. Not that the Brotherhood knew any of it—and nor would they care. In addition to sharing an appetite for war, he and the Brothers had in common another core feature: Forgiveness was for the weak, pardoning the act of the pathetic, pity a capacity possessed by females, never fighters. Even if they became aware that he no longer carried any aggression toward Wrath, they would not release him of the reckoning he had so rightfully earned. And given all that had transpired, he was not bitter or angry at what was coming his way. It was the nature of conflict.
He did find himself saddened, though—something that was not familiar to his makeup.
From out of memory, an image came unto his mind and took his breath away. It was of a tall, slender female in the white robing of the Scribe Virgin’s sacred Chosen. Her blond hair waved down o’er her shoulders and trailed off at her hips on a gentle breeze, and her eyes were the color of jade, her smile a benediction he had done naught to deserve. The Chosen Layla was what had changed everything for him, recasting the Brotherhood from target to tolerable, from enemy to coxistable tenant in the world.
In the short year and a half Xcor had known her, she had had more effect upon his black soul than anyone who had come before, evolving him a greater distance in a lesser time than he would have e’er thought possible.

The Dhestroyer, Vishous’s fellow Brother, spoke anew. “Actually, I’m down with Tohr ripping him the fuck apart. He’s earned the right.”
The Brother Vishous cursed. “We all have. Gonna be hard to make sure there’s anything left at the end for him to have at.”

And herein was the conundrum, Xcor thought behind his closed lids. The only possible way out of this deadly scenario was to reveal the love he’d found for a female who was not his, never had been, and was not e’er going to be.
But he would not sacrifice the Chosen Layla for anyone or anything. Not even to save himself.
As Tohr walked through the pine forest of the Brotherhood’s mountain, his shitkickers crunched over the frosted ground and a bracing wind hit him square in the face. In his wake, as tight on his heels as his shadow, he could feel his losses filing along with him, a grim, mournful lineup as tangible  as chains.
The sense he was being pursued by his dead made him think about all those paranormal TV shows, the ones that tried to pin down whether ghosts actually existed. What a load of bullshit that was. The human hysteria around supposed misty entities floating up stairwells and mak- ing old houses creak with disembodied footsteps was so characteristic of that self-absorbed, drama-creating lesser species. It was one more thing Tohr  hated  about them.
And as usual, they missed the  point.

The dead absolutely fucking haunted you, running their cold finger- tips of remember-me up the back of your neck until you couldn’t decide whether you wanted to scream from missing them . . . or from wanting  to be left alone.

They stalked your nights and prowled your days, leaving a minefield of sorrow triggers in their path.

They were your first and last thought, the filter you tried to push aside, the invisible barrier between you and everyone else.

Sometimes, they were even more a part of you than the people in your life that you could actually touch and hold.

So yeah, nobody needed a dumb-ass TV show to prove the already known: Even as Tohr  had found love with another female, his first  shellan, Wellsie, and the unborn son she had been carrying when she’d been murdered by the Lessening Society, were never further away from him than his own skin.

And now there had been yet another death in the Brotherhood household.

Trez’s mate, Selena, had gone unto the Fade mere months ago, passing away from a disease for which there had been no cure and no relief and  no understanding.
Tohr hadn’t slept properly since.

Refocusing on the evergreens around him, he ducked down and pushed a limb out of his way, and then sidestepped a fallen trunk. He could have dematerialized to his destination, but his brain was banging around so violently in the prison of his skull that he doubted he could have concentrated enough to go ghost.

Selena’s death had been one big-ass fucking trigger for him, an event affecting third parties that had nonetheless grabbed his snow globe and shaken it so hard that his inner flakes were whizzing around and refusing to settle.

He had been down in the training center when she had been called unto the Fade, and the moment of death had not been silent. It had been marked by a sound torn from Trez’s soul, the audio equivalent of a gravestone—and Tohr knew that one well. He’d done it himself when  he’d  been told about his own female’s death.

So, yeah, on the wings of her love’s agony had Selena been carried forth from the earth unto the Fade—
Dragging himself out of that cognitive loop was like trying to pull a car from a ravine, the effort required tremendous, the progress made inch by inch.

Onward through the forest, though, through the woods, through the winter night, crushing what was underfoot, with those ghosts of his whispering  behind him.

The Tomb was the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s sanctum sanctorum, that hidden site where inductions occurred, and secret meetings were

held, and the jars of slain lessers were kept. Located deep within the earth, in a labyrinth created by nature, traditionally it was off-limits to anybody who hadn’t gone through the ceremony and been marked as a brother.

That rule had had to bend, however, at least with respect to its quarter- mile-long entrance hall.
As he came up to the cave system’s inconspicuous entrance, he halted and felt his anger surge.
For the first time in his tenure as a brother, he was not welcome. All because of a traitor.
Xcor’s body was in there on the far side of the gates, halfway down the shelved passageway, lying on a gurney, his life force monitored and kept going  by machines.

Until that bastard woke up and could be interrogated, Tohr was not allowed inside.
And his brothers were right not to trust  him.

As he closed his eyes, he saw his King shot in the throat, relived the moment when Wrath’s life had been slipping away along with his red blood, recast that scene as Tohr had had to save the last purebred vampire on the planet by cutting a hole in the front of his throat and sticking tubing from his Camelbak into that esophagus.

Xcor had ordered the assassination. Xcor had told one of his fighters to put a bullet through that male of worth’s flesh, had plotted with the glymera to overthrow the rightful ruler—but the motherfucker had failed. Wrath had lived in spite of the odds, and in the first democratic election in the history of the race, had then been appointed the leader of all vampires, a position he now held by consensus as opposed to  bloodline.

So fuck you very much, you sonofabitch.

Curling his hands into fists, Tohr easily ignored the creak of his leather gloves and the constriction along the backs of his knuckles. All he knew was a hatred so deep it was a mortal disease.

Fate had seen fit to take three from his and his own: Destiny had stolen from him his shellan and his young, and then taken Trez’s love. You want to talk about balance in the universe? Fine. He wanted his balance, and that was only going to come when he snapped Xcor’s neck and gouged the fucker’s warm heart out from between his ribs.

It was about time for a source of evil to be taken out of commission and he was just the one to even the goddamn score.

And the waiting was now over. As much as he respected his brothers, he was done cooling his jets. Tonight was a sad anniversary for him and he was going to give his mourning a special little present.

Party time.

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The Chosen: (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #15) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 175 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series and have been faithfully reading since the beginning. However, $14.99 for an ebook is just ridiculous, I'll wait.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE BDB! This is one of my very favorite series. Ms. Ward is an amazing storyteller/writer. If you have not had the pleasure of reading this series I highly recommend you pick up a copy today. You don't have to read them in order but, it makes more sense if you do. These are not the typical vampire stories you are use to is more about a race of people, their culture, beliefs, their survival, love and loss. I really can't say enough good things about this series. If you are a fan of BDB you won't be disappointed with the Chosen. Happy Reading:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Holy sh*t!!! One of the best of this year!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can.'t think. Mind blown. Must read again, slowly. And savor. The verbal weaving of this tapestry is masterful. My thanks to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story and the back story in it,have been stories I have been waiting for. I was not disappointed. At times I wanted to hurt members of the brotherhood and it was very emotional. I did not see a lot of it coming and I usually can figure books and movies out early on. Not to spoil anything, but I see a need for and will be disappointed to not figure out what's going on with assail, trez and vishious (all separately) can't wait for the next book! Read this in a day and am sad its over but the ending was awesome. I love how the author is working on so many different stories and angles at a time in one book, have no clue how she can keep up. I never read a romance novel before this series and I am so glad a friend made me read these. Most sequels and such get sloppy and dull as the number of books in a series add up,this one gets better and better. This book is probably my favorite so far and that is rare so far into a series and I see an opportunity for so many more books and that is without the training center spin off which is also great. The bourbon kings series is great too though I am still having trouble getting through the fallen angels series. I am on the third or fourth but can't get into them. I even started when they came out years ago, but love this series, book and author. I normally don't bother to review but this book made me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lot of readers have been waiting for this story. I really enjoyed it. The side stories also tied in well and offer some hints about future books. All-in-all really good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series. I have read every book in the series and am eagerly awaiting her next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buy the book; finally Xcor's story,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J.R Ward really knows how to make you mad, depressed, make you belly laugh, cry and feel so many emotions in her books. This one had more sadness than any other emotion but was a great story all the same. Just don't read this before going out on the town.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an emotional rollercoaster. Plenty of ups and downs and soul searching decisions for the characters. The last chapter found me emotional and teary eyed. It was a pleasure to read but unfortunately the 500 pages went by very quickly. Can't wait to see what happens for Trez/Tres and Vishous/Jane.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My now third favorite book out of the series!!! Bravo Ward Bravo!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Huge fan of the BDB and I wait every year for a new one! This was a truly great story! So many feels!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was all I could ask for and more. I love this author to death. Can't wait till the next book. Black Dagger Brotherhood is da bomb...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read as always from J R Ward
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and The Chosen is one of the best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J.R Ward has done it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series! Highly recommend reading the whole series in order.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J R Ward you are amazing! I love these stories. I love all the characters. I love how you brought everybody together. You somehow make this world seem real......
FaeScot More than 1 year ago
The best book in the series, and that's saying something! Loved it. It was full of action, drama, heart wrenching moments and absolute laugh out loud moments. Loved, loved, loved the humor! "Toxic waste" indeed. Every mother can relate so some of these scenes with the twins. Oh and she turned the pot upside down on this one while tying it up in a beautiful bow. She set the next book up perfectly. What more can you say about a master of crafting a story?!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J.R.Ward has done it once again! She is an incredible writer! I have loved reading each book and they continue to get better with each one. This one has been by far my most favorite as it shows the true strength of love. The connection between the males and their females is deep and by far what we search for in life. I love how she tells us the past of each character, shares the connections between them and then sets you up with eagerness for the next one to come. I cant wait to find out who the next book is about...Im hoping V finds his way back to Jane! Now we just have to wait!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all the brotherhood books. This was another great journey. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book....not a dull moment!