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    J.R. Ward Does It Again! by Marisa O’Neill
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  • Published: Sep 21st, 2009

Covet_JRWARDCovet by J.R. Ward
Book #1 in the Fallen Angels Series
Reviewed by Marisa O’Neill
Publisher: Penguin
5 Stars

Dear Reader,

Short Review: I loved this book, buy it. You need more info? Alright. For those of you who are J.R. Ward fans, hold on to your hat, there’s so much more to love. For those of you have questioned where Ms. Ward is going, not as an author, but specifically as a romance author, please read on, I think all your questions will be answered. For those of you who don’t give a rat’s ass about labels and just enjoy an exceptionally well written book, that literally transports you to an alternate reality and keeps you there for hours on end, this one’s for you.

Long Review: There’s a new paranormal series in town and it’s called Fallen Angles. Yes, J.R. Ward has written a powerful and exciting new series with a new cast of characters, a new mythology, and a new reason to keep reading her books.  Although the series takes place in Caldwell New York (the same location as her bestselling series The Black Dagger Brotherhood) and even though there are some cross over characters, this series has a brand new mythology. With that I mean, vampires, Lessers, and the Brotherhood may live in Caldwell NY, but they live on the other side of town. It’s a fresh start with perhaps some familiar places and faces BUT with a brand new perspective and a brand new raison d’être.  With her trademark ability to create vivid images, snappy dialogue, compelling story lines, inventive and INTERESTING characters, Ms. Ward has given readers a reason to rush out and buy Covet.

J.R. Ward is an author with a big imagination and her latest release proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this woman can write.  From page 1 to page 474 I was hooked and didn’t want it to end.  I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up this book. And in fact, I didn’t want to know. I wanted it to be a surprise, and every page of it was a surprise. The main character – who will be featured in each of the books – is Jim Heron, an unlikely ‘hero’. I put hero in quotes here because he’s not your typical hero in so much as he’s not the hero of this book. In fact, that title goes to Vin Di Pietro, who is the hero of this book. Now, don’t get confused… give me a chance to explain.

Jim Heron, a very intriguing man with a very mysterious past, is just passing through town and doing odd jobs.  His past is about tragedy, pain, destruction and murder and he is a survivor. Given what I know, I tend to think Jim’s life has always been about survival.  We don’t know the whole story. We only get glimpses, albeit powerful glimpses of his past, and the experiences that have shaped him. I strongly suspect that as the series goes on we’ll learn even more about what has shaped the man Jim has become because he is the ‘glue’ that holds this series together.  With each little tidbit that Ms. Ward gives, she not only enlightens us, but compels us to guess at more of what has shaped him, and even more, what he will become.

For now, you need to know that Jim becomes a fallen angel charged with saving the world by saving seven souls from the seven deadly sins. If he fails at his task Evil will win and the world as we know it will end.

The first soul Jim must save is Vin Di Pietro, a very rich, very self-involved businessman; and yes, the hero of Covet. Vin Di Pietro’s troubled past is catching up to him and because of choices he’s made in his past his very soul is at stake in the present.  With Jim being new to the job of saving souls he’s on the ‘trial by fire plan’, which doesn’t bode well for Vin. With each new revelation on how to do his job, Jim’s knowledge about himself and the world grows. At the same time, Vin also has been given a chance to reexamine his life, his priorities and what’s really important.  Both Jim and Vin have realizations about their lives that parallel each other throughout the telling of this book.

So you tell me, is Jim the hero of this book? Or is he the hero of this series?  Can both Jim and Vin be the hero of this book? And really, is the question even necessary?  For me, they are both the protagonists in this book with their journeys intertwining and each becoming a better person for knowing the other.

The heroine in this book is Marie-Terese – some of you might remember her from the Blackdagger Brotherhood books – a prostitute at a nightclub called Zero Sum.  And for those who have been arguing ad nauseam about whether Ms. Ward’s previous books are romances or urban fantasies (I for one couldn’t care less), this new series is definitely a romance. Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy and girl live happily ever after. Let me repeat, there is a definite HEA. No equivocations. The romance is very strong and front and center in Covet. And if that’s really important to you – you’ve got it all here. But you’ve also got so much more. As with all of Ms. Ward’s books, you have secondary characters that are intriguing and essential to the overall outcomes. It’s extraordinary when a book not only has the required elements that are the root of all romance novels, but also has layers and depth, that draw you in because the parts are equally as important as the whole, creating textures and nuances that infuse the story line with multi-faceted viewpoints enabling the story to be three dimensional. I think that’s what makes this particular series so damn powerful.

For me, the book is about redemption and transformation. I was discussing this with Maria and she loved it because she felt at the core Ms. Ward has created a powerful story centered around good vs. evil from many different vantage points – and was ‘stunned’ by the ending. Perhaps we’re talking about the same thing. I think each reader will come away with their own viewpoint of what this series is about. That’s what J.R. Ward does so well; she respects her reader’s intelligence by giving them a story that captivates, satisfies, surprises and at the same time creates a sense of longing for the next book.

So dear reader, if you’re looking for a romantic paranormal suspense that takes place in present day with amazing characters, a very interesting mythology, great dialogue, a compelling story line, a touching romance, and the promise for more great things to come, might I suggest Covet.

Until then, happy reading,

Marisa

24 Responses to “J.R. Ward Does It Again! by Marisa O’Neill”

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  1. Stacy ~
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 6:08 am

    Hey I’m convinced! While I’ve not liked all the BDB books as much as I did the first 4, I haven’t given up on JR Ward yet, and I’m completely willing to be a gushing fangirl if need be.

    Fantastic review Marisa! So looking forward to this book


  2. Mandi
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 6:59 am

    I am so excited to finally read a review of this book!! Awesome review – can not wait to get my hands on it!!!!!


  3. Kim F
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 9:34 am

    I’m so excited Marissa! Thank you for the review.


  4. Laura
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 9:36 am

    I loved the BDB books! And I know I will love this series too. As a reader, I look for a certain style of reading, and hers is right on the mark for me. I am always amazed at how her story lines are so thorough. Every bit of her story line is well thought out. I have many favorite writers, but she is at the top because of her ability to leave no holes. She can answer every question I have, but in her time frame to the story. That can be frustrating, but I am a very impatient reader. Great review Marisa! I am very envious of you today.


  5. Jo
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 10:13 am

    I am so excited about Covet. I’m waiting impatiently for Sept 29th. I’m not really good at waiting.


  6. Gannon
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 11:40 am

    Squeee! I’m an unabashed J.R. Ward/BDB fan! I can’t wait to read Covet!

    Thanks for the wonderful review, Marisa!


  7. Tweets that mention J.R. Ward Does it Again! | Romance Novel TV -- Topsy.com
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 12:04 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by K.C. Kahn-Malone and Jodi Rosoff. Jodi Rosoff said: RT @smexybooks Lovely review of Covet – J.R Ward today @RomanceNovelTV http://bit.ly/xbON5 […]


  8. katiebabs
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 12:21 pm

    Does Covet take place in the same world and in Caldwell like the BDB series?


  9. katiebabs
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 12:23 pm

    Oops, my bad! DOH I really thought Covet would be a whole different world separate from the BDB series. So that means the brotherhood and the fallen angels are going to connect at some point? Don’t know how I feel about that.


  10. Maria Lokken
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 12:37 pm

    Actually Katiebabs – I don’t know that the two worlds will actually connect. There is some minor crossover, but from what I can tell, and as Marisa says – they live in opposite worlds.


  11. Fiction Vixen
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 12:45 pm

    So looking forward to this. Great review.


  12. Kati
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 12:54 pm

    I enjoyed Covet too. Not quite as resoundingly as Marisa and Maria did, but the series has some very interesting possibilities.

    Personally, I did question the fact that she based the series in Caldwell, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the series at all.

    IMO, the book is more romantic than the BDB is these days, which I appreciate because I think that Ward has such a deft touch with romance, and I miss that aspect of the BDB.

    Again, Ward has a very particular voice and if you like BDB, you’re going to love Covet. If you’re more on the fence about it, as I am, this book might work for you. Overall, I enjoyed it, and will definitely pick up the next in the series.

    Marisa, another gorgeously written review!


  13. Marisa
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 12:55 pm

    You’re all in for a huge treat. J.R. has certainly given us a new reason to stand up and cheer.

    Yes, this new series takes place in Caldwell NY – and yes, there are some characters (very few) that we’ve seen before – BUT – this series is totally different than the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. TRUST ME! I have no problem with this book taking place in Caldwell NY. Many other authors have all of their books take place in the same geographical location – fictional or real. So, really, I don’t see this as an issue. For me it was nice to see glimpses of familiar faces but if you haven’t read the BDB books no worries AT ALL, it’s all brand new. We have a brand new mythology and characters to read, enjoy and celebrate!


  14. Kitana
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 1:51 pm

    All anyone has to do is attach the name J.R Ward to a book and I’m so buying it. She is an amazing writer and a fabulous story teller. I love her Black Dagger Brotherhood and so I know that I will LOVE Covet!


  15. Penelope
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 2:38 pm

    Jimmeny H. Cricket, this sounds fantabulous! Thanks for the great review. And the countdown begins….


  16. Wendy
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 2:41 pm

    Sounds like it could be a lot of fun of a book. I am just finishing up her last Brotherhood book and curious too see what else she is writing. Thanks for the great review.


  17. Elga
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 3:29 pm

    I can’t wait to read this new series! I am a Big fan of BDB and I love JR Ward’s writing style, been hooked since day one! But as excited as I am about this new series, I’m curious if she’s going to still continue her BDB series & when she plans on releasing the next. I know several BDB books were released two a year but with the new series, will we have to wait for the BDB series on the back burner while we explore the new series?

    Great review, btw!


  18. Maria Lokken
    on Sep 21st, 2009
    @ 5:13 pm

    If only J.R. Ward was a robot, and could work 24/7, 365 – but alas, she be flesh and blood. So I’m happy with one Fallen Angles and one BDB a year. It makes me know, I need to read her books s-l-o-w-l-y so they last.


  19. katiebabs
    on Sep 23rd, 2009
    @ 11:22 am

    Was the hot loving on a motorcycle at least once in the book?
    😀


  20. Megan
    on Sep 23rd, 2009
    @ 12:16 pm

    Great review, Marissa!! I’m a hardcore Ward/BDB fan and can not wait to devour this book!!! Thanks !


  21. Maria Lokken
    on Sep 23rd, 2009
    @ 2:44 pm

    Katiebabs – you got a thing for motorcycles?


  22. katiebabs
    on Sep 23rd, 2009
    @ 9:48 pm

    I assumed there would be hot loving on a cycle since Ward said Covet has fallen angels who ride motorcycles. So yes, all for loving on a chopper 😀


  23. nong
    on Sep 25th, 2009
    @ 5:33 pm

    I’m looking forward to the new series but am really impatient waiting for the next BDB book. I wanna know what is going to happen!!! Please please Ms. Ward don’t keep us fans waiting tooo long! I went out and bought all the series after the first book!! I don’t get to read much but when I started I couldn’t stop! Drove my husband crazy cuz all I would do was read!!! He was so happy when I finally finished the series with a happy sigh! LOL!


  24. Barb
    on Sep 29th, 2009
    @ 3:31 pm

    I can’t wait to get off work this afternoon, get to Barnes & Noble, and start reading IMMEDIATELY!!! Everything I’ve read about Covet and the stories to follow simply makes me hungry for more. If there’s a crossover between the BDB and the Fallen Angels, that’s OK with me. Waiting for the next BDB, Lover Mine, is killing me! BTW, if anyone out there is interested in her earlier work, check out books by Jessica Bird. You can get them at Amazon.

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