Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Hump Day - November Style

Wow - once again, we find ourselves midweek and somehow we manage to survive the preceeding days and steel ourselves for the coming ones. Reward yourself for doing your best with a little calorie-free goodness....mmmmmm eye candy always works for me! And look, he's all bundled up for the cool fall weather we're experiencing...

So as I burn my way through my ever growing TBR pile, allow me to review for you a pretty recent release I know many folks have been buzzing about, J.R. Ward's latest - Crave. The second in the Fallen Angels series, Crave continues to spin the epic tale of the battle to beat all battles, the one for all humankind!

Seven deadly sins. Seven souls that must be saved. One more no-holds barred battle between a fallen angel with a hardened heart and a demon with everything to lose.

J.R. Ward's Crave finds Fallen Angel, Jim Heron, back on the job, trying to help the good guys win the Ultimate Battle, the one for all Mankind. The wager - all souls, the score 1-0. Crave centers around black ops soldier Isaac Rothe who is desperately trying to get out of the elite assasins force that he and Jim Heron once belonged to. For an underground soldier, there aren't a lot of jobs he's qualified for that will make him big money fast to get out and run away, so he turns to cage fighting. Isaac finds himself arrested and fiercely attracted to his classy, uppercrust pro-bono attorney, Grier Childe. Unfortunately, his past and his former boss, Matthias, catch up to him just about the time Jim does. Jim and his band of bad-ass biker angels monitor and intercede in an attempt to save the lives and souls of both Isaac and Matthias - fellow soldiers who embody all that is good and bad with mankind. Both have blots upon their souls for the killing they have done, both souls in the balance, but Isaac reaches a place where he wants it to change and Matthias continues to manipulate to further his power. All the while Isaac and Grier battle an attraction unlike any either has experienced, knowing that it was impossible and probably very wrong and in spite of all that, leading to love.

For those readers familiar with J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books, this series is similar in that the author continues her use of gritty street vernacular, lots of guy speak, and fast paced action sequences with plenty of bloody fights. While this most definitely qualifies as a story about love and redemption, it is not a love story per se. Jim Heron, the warrior angel, is flawed, not completely in control of himself and at a loss how to save the unknown souls he's been sent to protect. Devina, the evil demon, makes most serial killers seem warm and fuzzy with her underworld palace of torture and pain and her plans to use Jim to alter the contest for souls. Isaac and Grier play nobly at fighting their attraction which morphs quickly into passion and love. Daniel, Grier's dead brother, makes frequent appearances to her without providing much input or purpose other than to remind her that life is less than perfect and most assuredly short. And Grier's father proves that more than tangled webs are woven when secrets spin out of control.
This being said, the Fallen Angel series did not hook me at first. I struggled with Covet. Perhaps it was my desire to see something more like the BDB stories with strong alphas and HEA's. This series has HEA's for some but not for all. It bears a decidedly darker tone and there is a lot of bad stuff to wade through and very intricately woven plot twists and characters to keep up with. Crave flowed much better and was a fast read for me. Fast but painful and the overall ending, while Grier and Isaac come together in the end, delivers a bittersweet taste. Final score after book two - 1-1, 5 souls to go. I defintely plan to keep reading this series, it will hook you, make you think, push your buttons.

I happily give J.R. Ward's Crave 4 chocolate covered strawberries and hope that my gluttonous soul isn't up for grabs next!
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