Where Winter Finds You

By: J. R. Ward

Series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood

Book Number: 17.5

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


After accidentally discovering that she was adopted by the family who raised her, Terese was left disillusioned. Feeling betrayed, she hit the road, seeking a new life and hasn't been in contact with her family since. Something about Caldwell called out to her, so that's where she ended up, getting a job as a waitress at Sal's Restaurant. A number of people there, including her employer, iAm, and his twin brother, Trez, look at her strangely, as though they know her. Trez seems to have a strong desire to help Terese, offering her a nice house to live in, but she's determined to be an independent female and make it on her own even though it means living in a crappy apartment in a bad neighborhood. Despite not wanting to accept his offer, Terese is inexplicably drawn to Trez and finds the handsome Shadow impossible to resist, but what will she think when she finds out that she's his dead shellan's doppelganger?

When his beloved female, Selena, died tragically, Trez was left a shell of the man he once was, his spirit battered and broken. He's suffering from depression and feeling suicidal until Terese shows up, giving him a glimmer of hope that his shellan might still be alive. But has Selena really been reincarnated or is his grief causing him to merely wish for the impossible? Whichever one is true, Trez cannot seem to stay away from Terese, but the more he learns about her, the more inconceivable it seems that his beloved has actually come back to him. Just as he's about to give up hope and chalk everything up to his anguished imagination, he senses Terese's life is in danger, and rescuing her from certain death brings new enlightenment that could finally give him everything his heart has been longing for.


Ever since J. R. Ward broke my heart over four years ago with the agonizing ending of The Shadows, the first book to chronicle Trez and iAm's story, I've been waiting for a better ending for poor, beleaguered Trez. I'm not sure if Ms. Ward had it planned this way from the start of their journey or if the fan outcry was too great for her to ignore, but whatever the case, I'm so glad that she finally wrote the HEA ending that Trez and Selena's story always deserved. Thanks to Lassiter taking over as the vampire race's new deity, he's able to alter certain events. Since the fallen angel is all about true love and HEAs, I guess he decided to right this terrible wrong. I couldn't be happier about that, and how better to make it all happen than in the form of a Christmas miracle?

Three months after Selena's death, Trez is still walking around in a haze. His twin iAm, as well as the Brotherhood and their allies, are all watching out for his well-being, constantly worried that he might try to off himself, which is a very real possibility that he's considered several times. The only thing that's partially keeping him afloat is Terese, the new waitress at iAm's restaurant, who is a dead-ringer for Selena. In his head, he knows she's not his beloved shellan, but she looks so much like her, he can't seem to stay away. He feels very protective toward her, too, and wants nothing more than to persuade her to leave the horrid slum housing where she's living, but Terese is an independent female who wants to make it on her own. After a near-fatal shooting at Trez's nightclub, in which Terese was very nearly caught in the crossfire, Xhex uses her syphath powers to read her emotional grid and finds a striking similarity to that of her hellren, John Matthew, which makes her believe that Terese is indeed another version of Selena. When she shares this information with Trez, he naturally runs with it and plunges headlong into a relationship with her, but when the family who raised her shows up in Caldwell, he can no longer ignore how unlikely it is that she's his mate reincarnated. I've loved Trez since The Shadows, so when Ms. Ward made the controversial decision to kill off Selena, I wasn't sure what I wanted for him in the future. All I knew is that he needed to have an HEA and this one was all I could have hoped for him. He's so broken in the beginning of the story that I wanted to wrap him up in my arms and love on him. It was wonderful to see him gradually find healing for his battered heart and most of all to find his beloved again.

Terese left her family in Michigan and moved to Caldwell when she discovered that she was adopted. It was such a major blow to find out that she wasn't actually related to the people she'd grown up with that she felt betrayed in the worst possible way. She's been living in Caldwell and working at Sal's Restaurant ever since, while studiously ignoring anyone from back home who might be trying to contact her, and trying to process all that's happened in her life. She's felt drawn to Trez ever since first meeting him, so it's an easy step for her to fall into a romantic relationship with him. He's a sweet and attentive lover, but she knows that there's something big in his past that he hasn't shared with her and that was very emotional for him. I like how she's there for Trez when his feeling begin spilling over. However, when the full truth comes out, she feels betrayed all over again, like Trez was just using her as a substitute for his dead shellan. Terese is enough like Selena to be recognizable, but at the same time, she's her own person. Deep down, she still cares for her family in spite of them keeping secrets about her origins, and I enjoyed her interactions with them when they arrived. If I recall correctly, Selena was always a smart female, but it shows in a different way now with Terese having a civil engineering degree that she will hopefully be able to put to good use for the race in the future. When the two sides of Selena/Terese integrate it's a very cool moment.

I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this couple. They were great in the beginning and they're still great together in this story. They were clearly made for one another and I'm happy to see them reunited. Where Winter Finds You is mostly all about Trez and Terese and their individual internal angst, but there is a life-threatening moment at the end to keep the tension high. The scenes where Trez's emotions spill over were tear-jerker moments for me, but deep down, I knew all would be well this time. I loved all the sightings of the various Brotherhood members, as well as iAm and maichen and their happy little announcement. I very much look forward to (hopefully) seeing more of the Shadow brothers and their mates in future installments. But for now, my heart has finally been healed, and I'm once again happy and content, knowing that one of my favorite BDB couples has found their way back to each other.


J. R. Ward


Christmas Stories
Reunion Stories
Tortured Heroes