**spoiler alert** I did list this review as containing spoilers, but they're only mild ones ;)
I admit, when I first started this book, I was skeptical...more**spoiler alert** I did list this review as containing spoilers, but they're only mild ones ;)
I admit, when I first started this book, I was skeptical. As a huge fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I was concerned that the new Fallen Angels series would fall short.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Covet managed to equal the BDB in my opinion.
There was even a cameo of a certain vampire Brother we all know, though don't be fooled -- there's no reference to vampires, lessers, the SV or Omega at all in these books.
J.R. Ward has a very distinctive writing style, and I think that's one of the things that endeared this book to me, even in the early chapters when I was still reminding myself that this was not the same "world" as BDB.
While I enjoyed delving into Marie-Therese's character (as I respected her a lot from the BDB), I have to say one of my favorite "crossover" characters was Trez. We still didn't get a whole lot of history on him, but his character was developed more than it had been, and we get to see what a good guy he really is despite his career choice.
One thing I really enjoyed about the Fallen Angels in this book were that they all lived up to their names -- fallen angels. Not a single one was purely good, and quite frankly, it was their darker sides that drew me in the most. While Jim was the main focus (obviously), we got to see insights into both Adrian and Eddie, which definitely make me look forward to future books in this series.
I have to give J.R. Ward kudos for her strong female characters in this book as well. Her previous books were not noted for having had as much character development for the female protagonists as I might have preferred, but she certainly made up for any prior such discrepancies with Covet. Marie-Therese's story had been hinted out in previous books, but even so her struggles with where her life choices had taken here were a thing of beauty to read.
As for Devina, she's so deliciously evil and yet, I can't even bring myself to hate her because she's simply playing her natural part in the game just as the other side is.
I was disappointed, however, when a major male antagonist's identity was revealed -- I felt as though there wasn't enough explanation as to the "why's" of his behavior.
Overall, I can't wait for this series to be continued. I'm interested to see if future books are set outside of Caldwell, since it appears the Angels are headed to Boston for the next novel. While it was certainly exciting to have a familiar location for the introductory novel to the series, I admit that it would be disappointing for them to continue in Caldwell without getting to play with the Brotherhood.
Covet does contain mild spoilers for BDB, specifically in reference to a few events from Lover Avenged (and a small one spoiler to Lover Enshrined). However, I don't think that necessarily means that one would have to have read BDB in order to enjoy this book, nor do I think that someone in the middle of reading the BDB series would be put at a huge disadvantage if they skipped straight to Covet before finishing the others first. (less)
Ahhh that was bloody fantastic! Very much worth the wait.
While there were a few things that bugged me (that I'm not going to mention since I don't w...moreAhhh that was bloody fantastic! Very much worth the wait.
While there were a few things that bugged me (that I'm not going to mention since I don't want to spoil it just yet for those who can't resist reading reviews), I must say that overall this was one of the best stories in the series.
There was a nice little surprise at the end that had my jaw on the floor, and let me tell you, that doesn't happen often.
I'm very very anxiously awaiting Payne's story, though I know it'll be a long time coming (boo).
A word of warning though, do yourself a favor and read the series in order. While the earlier books (books 1-4 perhaps) are easy enough to read as standalones if you must, Lover Mine is definitely not for the uninitiated.
I will definitely be re-reading this one in the future.
It's entirely possible that I simply need to re-read Covet, because I see everyone else saying that Crave didn't quite live up to the standard set by...moreIt's entirely possible that I simply need to re-read Covet, because I see everyone else saying that Crave didn't quite live up to the standard set by that book. I disagree wholeheartedly. There was definite chemistry between Isaac and Grier, and the whole bit with Jim and Devina -- well, that was skeevy beyond words. Even though Jim isn't technically the hero of these books, y'all know how much I love a tortured male, and Jim's got it in spades in this one.
I did figure out the twisty twist way before the aha moment the characters experienced, and without giving ANYTHING away, I will say that things panned out satisfactorily.
I also died from a joygasm in reading the nice little tidbit from Lover Unleashed at the very end ;)
Ahh I do adore Nalini Singh :) I swear she could write a biography of Abraham Lincoln or something and I'd happily read it.
Archangel's Kiss is the second novel in her new Guild Hunters series (which began with Angels' Blood, and includes both Angel's Judgement from the Must Love Hellhounds anthology, and the e-release novella Angels' Pawn) and is the continuation of Elena and Raphael's story.
One notable difference between the two novels is the romance aspect. In Angels' Blood, there was much more of an Urban Fantasy vibe with a bit of romance and heat thrown in. Archangel's Kiss, on the other hand, is much much steamier.
However, UF fans should note that there's still plenty of fighting -- everyone it seems is out to kill Elena. The entire Cadre sees her as Raphael's weakness, and attempts to use her against him. Additionally, she has to watch her back from members of Raphael's Seven, since old rivalries continue and new ones are formed as the Seven struggle to balance their loyalty to Raphael and their desire to protect him -- even from himself.
I would suggest reading Angels' Blood first. Even though NS did a great job of seamlessly integrating the necessary history from the first novel, you miss the nuances of Elena and Raphael's burgeoning relationship and the transformation and adaptations that they both are forced to undergo in order to truly make their relationship work.
I LOVE that Elena and Raphael both struggle to find a balance in their relationship. Elena doesn't suddenly become a docile little doormat who allows Raphael to walk all over her, but neither does Raphael suddenly give in to her every whim or automatically relinquish the total control over someone he rightfully feels is less than his equal. Instead, they both begin to make small concessions to the other; both give up some of their own power and vulnerabilities to the other in order to build trust and to begin to rely on the other's strengths.
Fans of the first novel will be happy to note that we're given much more information a certain childhood incident that played a such a big part in shaping who Elena is, although there are still several unanswered questions in regards to her relationship to her father.
In addition, there are quite a few new characters who are introduced in Archangel's Kiss that will hopefully play large parts in future novels in the series -- I'm incredibly interested in both Jason and Aoden and hope that they will play a large part in future novels.
One confrontation at the end did feel a wee bit anticlimactic upon first reading it, but I went back and re-read the chapter and realized that really it couldn't have been done any differently. The speed and severity at which it was dealt with was an important step in character development, and in the end, a later confrontation definitely erased any feelings of anti-climax.
I greatly look forward to reading any new novels in the series (with the next one due out in 2011 I believe), and enjoyed the snippet from her newest Psy/Changeling Novel, Bonds of Justice, due out in July of this year.
A must read for urban-fantasy and paranormal romance fans!
There's not much I can say that won't spoil things (outside of what's already mentioned in...moreA must read for urban-fantasy and paranormal romance fans!
There's not much I can say that won't spoil things (outside of what's already mentioned in the synopsis), but I have to say Dawn McClure is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I can honestly say that just based on her two books I've read (Azazel and Asmodeus), she's ranking right up there with J.R. Ward and Nalini Singh for me, and that's a high compliment, trust me.
I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did. The premise is wonderful to me -- it's got ancient warriors, shape-shifting, psychic juju go...moreI wanted to like this book much more than I actually did. The premise is wonderful to me -- it's got ancient warriors, shape-shifting, psychic juju going on, fated mates (which are really my thing if you didn't know), but it really fell short.
I think it was the whole guy-transforms-into-a-hawk-and-has-sex-with-his-human-girlfriend thing. Don't get me wrong -- I adore shape-shifters, and I think it was hella cool that Ajax went from big imposing human dude to wet-your-pants-if-you-saw-him glowing ginormous freakishly awesome Hawk Dude. However, having a shape-shifter boff a human while they're transformed into their animal just squicks me something fierce..
I liked Shay, and really felt her frustration at her family's tendency to keep secrets from her. I also adored the interaction between the Oracle and good King Leo... I know River's book is next, but I'm hoping Leo and the Oracle do get their own.
There were a couple continuity errors that irked me as well.. For one, it was almost implied that Shay was a virgin (her blushing when Jax's brother said something about virgins having a harder time with the portal travel, and the flash of pain when she and Jax first have sex), but then she talks about numerous previous lovers... Kinda bugged me. Then there's the whole Apollo severely punishes anyone who touches an Oracle thing and yet there's supposedly a whole lineage of them? Well how were they havin' babies if nobody touched them?? Or was it just a case of menfolk being willing to suffer Apollo's wrath in order to bag an Oracle? *shrugs* Either way, it bugged me a wee bit. And finally the conversation Shay and Ajax had about his previous lovers -- he talks about how he had a lot of human lovers over the years, and she said something about how he could have gotten married, and he's all like "no I was waiting for you" and she's all squee-ing over how sweet it is that he was faithful... to her... while banging all these chicks... just because he never married them? Yeahhh... Not feeling it.
Don't get me wrong -- the man's 2500+ years old. If he'd been abstaining the whole time I would imagine he would be MUCH less pleasant to be around.. Nor would I judge him for his past were I in Shay's position.. I'm all about reformed rakes and all, so the fact that he's most definitely going to be faithful to her for the rest of eternity is wonderful.. But I still wouldn't be thrilled about it nor would I be seeing big puffy hearts in the air because he chose to bang multitudes of women but that he knew one day she'd be around and he'd love her, so he never gave any of those women his heart. Makes me feel kind of bad for at least some of those women, even though he wiped their memories when they were done.
It wasn't all bad mind you -- hence the three stars...
There was a lot of action for the Urban Fantasy fans (though keep in mind this is mainly a PNR not UF), the side characters were all interesting enough to look forward to more of the series, and Shay's awakening combined with the little twisty-twist at the cemetery were all positive points. I also enjoyed the meshing of ancient gods and goddesses with Christian theology. That was a surprising little twist that made for an interesting read.
Overally, I'd say a solid 3 Stars. I'm planning on reading the second book in the series, Red Kiss, so I hope that it is an improvement now that we've got the "universe setup" that's necessary with PNR's out of the way.(less)
While this book is technically the first in a series, it seems to be very prudent to have read the Night Huntress Series (Halfway to the Grave, One Fo...moreWhile this book is technically the first in a series, it seems to be very prudent to have read the Night Huntress Series (Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave,At Grave's End, and Destined for an Early Grave) in order to delve more deeply into both the characters' backstory and the history of that world itself. However, having never read any of those books, I have to say that it did a fantastic job of standing on its own. I was only left with a few questions (such as, what the heck are "ghouls", and how exactly does one get changed into a vampire?), which honestly didn't detract from the story at all.
I loved loved loved Spade. *THUD* He's firmly entrenched on my "favorite heroes" shelf now ;) He was an alpha male without the arseholiness that so often comes with the title, and I adored how the romance progressed.
This novel had everything -- action, romance, sizzle, some really cool supernatural elements, heartache, and yes, even a Too Stupid To Live Moment which totally made me wanna V8 someone.
I also have to comment on how perfect the pacing was. I rarely speed through books as quickly as I did this one without feeling as though I'm being rushed or that something is dragging. Instead, I was surprised every time I noted just how far I'd read, despite the wealth of information I was left to absorb.
I find myself wanting to glom the entire Night Huntress series, even though I know that many of the elements from this book won't be present in the earlier bits of the series.
I'm so so glad I picked this one up, and imagine I'll be re-reading it in the future.
That was..... well.. really interesting would be the best term I can come up with.
I wish the romance had been even slightly steamy, and I was very di...moreThat was..... well.. really interesting would be the best term I can come up with.
I wish the romance had been even slightly steamy, and I was very disappointed that the bleedin' SYNOPSIS in my copy of the book gave a HUGE spoiler for the SERIES that wasn't even MENTIONED in this book :-/ Very very disappointed there.
But really, I loved the uniqueness and the world-building, and would be interested in someday reading some more from this series. Right now, however, my eyes are protesting any further reading since it's ONLY available in print (and therefore teensy print) and not available in digital format on any platform (boohiss).
Overall though, 4/5, even if I was a little cheesed off at the "chaste" steam rating :P
It's a strange feeling for me to read a book that's more UF than PNR.. I've always been a Romance Reader -- that is, I typically want a strong romanti...moreIt's a strange feeling for me to read a book that's more UF than PNR.. I've always been a Romance Reader -- that is, I typically want a strong romantic storyline in my novels, with a clear "hero" and "heroine", possibly some steam, definite monogamy, and a clear Happily Ever After (HEA)
And yet, despite the fact that this book had none of those save the bit-o-steam, I adored it.
Kara Gillian is definitely one of my new favorite heroines. She's kick-butt awesome (I mean, she is a cop y'all) without being all Xena-Warrior-Princess.. She's able to hold her own with the Good Ol' Boys she works with, but still shows just the right amount of vulnerability -- emotional and physical -- to keep her real without making her a pathetically delicate little flower always in need of saving.
Rhyzkahl. Is awesome. *falls over* I absolutely adored how scary sexy cool he was and was so thrilled to see Diana Rowland throw in a nice tasty reminder that HELLO! HE'S A DEMON LORD! DON'T F*** WITH HIM! lol He kind of reminds me of an Anne Stuart hero *snickers* Y'all AS fans know what I'm talking about here -- the man (er.. demon) is not a traditional "hero" -- rather he's completely self-serving, and while he does have distinct moments of being super awesome to the heroine, you can NOT forget that he's not only a demon, but a demon lord and as such you shouldn't try to manage him or treat him as you would a human because he will f*** you up!
When I started the book, I was absolutely Team Rhyzkahl, but as I continued to read, I started to understand why so many people are Team Ryan (gah. I'm getting flashbacks to my Twilight days :P). Ryan is.. *dreamy sigh* Yeah. Ryan's great.
I'm actually about a third of the way through the next one, Blood of the Demon.. It's going to KILL me waiting for Secrets of the Demon (the third book in the series) which is still being written. I typically try not to start a series until there are at least three or four books in already out because I'm not a very patient person. At all.
I would recommend this one for fans of police procedurals (Law & Order and CSI fans for example) who also enjoy a healthy dose of the arcane, and don't mine a few mildly explicit love scenes thrown in for seasoning.