Review: The Dangerous Ones by Lauren Blackwood

Posted June 6, 2024 by Lillian in Reviews / 5 Comments

Review: The Dangerous Ones by Lauren BlackwoodThe Dangerous Ones by Lauren Blackwood
Published by Wednesday Books on 2024-05-14
Length: 359 pages
Reviewing eARC from the publisher Wednesday Books
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2024, 2024 COYER Unwind

One vampire to kill. Another to love.

War doesn’t scare Jerusalem. She’s a Saint. Thanks to powerful demigod-style reflexes, endurance, and strength, she’s fearless. And she has one goal - revenge.

But she never expects to team up with the handsome, arrogant Alexei to accomplish it. He’s one of those Ancient Vampires. And ever since her family was enslaved and murdered by one, Jerusalem hates vampires.

But in the year they've been fighting alongside one another against the Confederate Army and the vampires who benefitted off slavery, Alexei’s never done anything but prove he’s on the Union’s side and hers. She may know the enemy better, hate the enemy more than anyone in her battalion, but so does he. And she’ll use that to her advantage. Because if she can get her revenge by helping Black people gain freedom and equality without having to steal it for themselves like she had to, then all the better.

Together, she and Alexei set out to change the course of the war, risking their hearts and themselves as they attempt to take down the vampire who destroyed everyone Jerusalem held dear. But for Jerusalem, it’s about more than love and justice.

It's about killing a god.

Vicious read! The Dangerous Ones by Lauren Blackwood is a historical fantasy romance set during America’s Civil War about a vampire hunter falling for a vampire. Jerusalem is an escaped slave and a Saint – people with god-like strength, speed, and agility. She’s spent her life hiding who she really is, but now she’s fighting for the Northern army in the hopes of freeing others like her who were enslaved and treated as less than because of the color of their skin. Alexei is a vampire fighting beside Jerusalem in an effort to stop the Ancient Vampires who have made their home in the South. Together they make an unstoppable team. Told in dual narration, The Dangerous Ones takes a unique look at history, trauma, prejudice, and putting it all aside for love.

Jerusalem is a fierce character. You do not want to get on her bad side. At the start of the story, it’s been one year since she escaped her owners and fled to the North. Thinking her family dead, she trains daily to go back and free other slaves. Her commitment to killing vampires and hating them is easy to understand. They have ruled over her life since she was born, and every good thing she’s ever had was taken from her by them. It’s her life’s mission to end them, one at a time, and she revels in it.

Alexei is unlike the vampires from Jerusalem’s past. He sees her fear behind the anger she projects, and he finds common ground with her. This life wasn’t his choice. He had no say in becoming what he is, but he does have a say in how he acts and what he does daily. Right now, he chooses to fight on the side that wants to free slaves. He chooses to fight for humanity. He respects Jerusalem and trains her. Over the last year, they’ve built a tenuous friendship. But it is more for him.

I really enjoyed this story. It is well-written. The author’s choice of backdrop works well in highlighting both Jerusalem’s prejudice against Alexei and her PTSD from her former life. While she fights prejudice on a daily basis because of her past and her skin color, she is not immune to judging Alexei because he is the thing she hates. Overcoming this is a big part of the story. I love how the author shows how love is at the center of their story, first through friendship and then something more. Their shared trauma, how Alexei recognizes it in her, and Jerusalem’s realization of Alexei’s own trauma drive the narrative.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Dangerous Ones. Blackwood’s writing from the characters to the setting is perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better read. If you enjoy historical fantasies, adventure, and a little romance, I highly recommend it.

About Lauren Blackwood

Author Lauren Blackwood

Lauren Blackwood is a Jamaican American New Yorker living in Virginia who writes Romance-heavy Fantasy for most ages. When not writing, she's a PTA and violinist who really doesn't know how to settle on one career field. Within These Wicked Walls is her debut novel.

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5 responses to “Review: The Dangerous Ones by Lauren Blackwood

  1. Ooh nice! This one was only just starting to get on my radar because I saw it involved vampires! It sounds intriguing for sure! Definitely curious about Alexei’s background and how he came to be a vampire. The romance sounds intense! Great review!

    • It does! I didn’t even connect that at first. A little more hate involved in this one though. A lot of deep seated anger that needed to be overcome for the romance to be introduced.

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