Sunday, April 17, 2011

Four Umbrellas: Covet by J.R. Ward

So vampires don't usually work for me, but Fallen Angels do . . . Any BDB fans want to convince me to try out that series too?

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was quite possible the only person on the planet who viewed the Star Wars movies in order—the prequels and then the classics. My husband likes to introduce me to other geeks as a freak of nature. And, I’m also quite possible the only romance reader on the planet who has never read J.R. Ward and isn’t a Brothers of the Black Dagger groupie. However, vampires are so seldom my thing that I’ve put off trying the BDB books. Also I’m not sure I have the brainpower to keep all the no-vowel heroes and heroines and complex world building straight. But, Covet was available on Overdrive from my library, and I jumped at the chance to read this new series from Ward. While vampires = not so very sexy, I really like the fallen angel trope, especially when it’s not burdened with a lot of world-building and other paranormal activity. (If you love the fallen angel trope AND a lot of paranormal world building surrounding it, I really recommend Anne Marsh’s work). Covet didn’t disappoint me—I liked how instantly appealing Jim Heron is as a protagonist, and while the start of the books is rather slow as we focus on Jim’s new mission of saving seven souls in a demons vs. angels game to control earth. His first soul is Vin, a wealthy real estate mogul who long ago lost track of any soul he had. The unlikely friendship between Vin and Jim occupies most of the first third of the book, but eventually the love story between Vin and Marie-Therese, a mysterious woman with a dangerous past, heats up. The romance is almost secondary though to Jim’s journey and acceptance of his mission as a newly fallen angel and to Vin’s journey away from coveting material items towards coveting connection. Marie-Therese also has a journey of almost biblical import as she overcomes her self-imposed penance. The entire novel has a really unique tone—almost like a parable but imbued with Ward’s unique voice. I can see why Ward has so many fans—her voice is truly one of a kind. She immerses readers in the POV of her male characters with the kind of authenticity that most romance writers strive for but few achieve at this level. I will be really disappointed if Jim doesn’t get a HEA of his own in the final book as I felt the most connection to him. I’ve read some reviews for this book where readers who love the BDB series don’t care as much for this series—I can’t speak to them, but as a reader with no preconceptions or expectations going into this book, I thought it was a great introduction to Ward and really enjoyed the book. I will read the rest of the series. I might even finally read Dark Lover. Feel free to talk me into it :)

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