Seriously, my book habit is getting out of hand! I am either reading too much (Is there such a thing?) or the books on my shelf are just that darn good! Whatever the case may be I`ve wrapped up another one and am ready to pass along some word of mouth. This time around we`ll be talking about the latest book in the Fallen Angels series ‘Envy’ by the one and only goddess of paranormal romances J.R. Ward.
Now first off I do wish to say that I went into this third installment with one thing in mind. That was to not compare it to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series Ms. Ward pens. Obviously I am a HUGE fan of those sexy vampires as my little picture on the right there states. I settled things in my mind that I would approach this book as if the authoress had not penned those well-worn and dog-eared copies of the BDB that sit so erotically beside my pillow.
Envy is the tale of two men actually; one is Jim Heron, a fallen angel working to save the souls of seven people. This is a fight for the world, good vs. evil and only one side can emerge victorious. Jim and his two angelic helpers Eddie and Adrian have faced the demoness Devina in the two previous books and Devina really defines the term sadistic, heartless and cruel. There is also a B word that fits her quite well.
The other story deals Thomas DelVecchio, Jr., a homicide detective and an Internal Affairs officer Sophia Reilly. Officer Reilly is called to the scene when Detective DelVecchio is found standing above the badly mangled body of a serial killer that DelVecchio set out to capture. Sadly he can`t recall one blessed thing about what has transpired but he feels, deep down inside, that he is responsible for the grisly attack. Now DelVecchio has grown up in the shadow of a terrible evil and one has to wonder if ‘Like father-Like son’ is true. Seems the senior DelVecchio was a serial killer as well. Will DelVecchio be saved in time, or will he make the wrong choice at that crossroads?
The battle between Jim and Devina over Detective DelVecchio`s soul is tense, brutal and at times nerve wracking. Since the angels lost the last encounter this one is very important for them, lest the tide begin to turn too heavily in favor of the dark side. Heron is really starting to grow on me. I`ll be honest and say that the first two books in their series were rather luke-warm reads for me. They just seemed to be lacking something and I couldn`t put my finger on what it was. I thought it could be, as I said above, that I was comparing them to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And while they do have some nice links and a Caldwell connection that is a joy to read, they are not the same books.
This novel really felt like Ms. Ward is getting into her stride with the characters involved. I grew to care about each one strongly (Something I couldn`t do no matter what in the first novel) and was literally brought to tears at one point. I won`t divulge any spoilers but the loss was terrible. Jim is growing into one hell of a savior! He is strong, soft, driven, flawed, rough and gentle.
And then there is DelVecchio. Wow. This man wrapped his fingers around my heart and tugged every string that needed tugged. The struggle of him fighting his inner demons was superbly penned. The romance that blooms between DelVecchio and Reilly is smoking hot. I mean, ‘Forget the extinguisher because this baby is fully engulfed’ hot! This couple had the pages igniting and I feared I might have to douse the book in a bucket of water. Then I opted to dump the water over my head.
‘Envy’ is J.R. Ward at her best. The dialog is snapping and bristles, the plots are neatly woven and tight, the action is crisp, bloody and realistic and the sex is driven, passionate, raw and steamy. It gave me blisters from holding the book. Just the way I like it! I don`t even mind typing with band-aids on my fingers, I really don`t. The pain was worth it. *Winks at Vishous*
By far this third book is the best of the series in my opinion. This book now has me gnawing at the bit for the next one to hit the stands, just as I do for any Black Dagger book. It is a page turner, a face fanner, a roller coaster and I devoured it in less than three days. That says something to me as I was wrapping up my own book and revising and editing. That I couldn`t put it down with all the work I had to do shows me that the WARDen was at top form.
If you are a fan of this genre do not walk to the nearest bookstore. Run. Or, if you are lucky enough to have wings as Mr. Heron does, fly to that bookstore and grab ‘Envy’. You will not be disappointed. Just be careful when reading and keep a bucket of water nearby. You`ll need it!