Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)'s Reviews > Covet

Covet by J.R. Ward
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Mar 04, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorite-or-autobuy-author, paranormal-romance, owned-copy, part-of-a-series, christian-lore, angels, cleanup-challenge, demon, courtesan-prostitute-mistress, urban-fantasy, hero-to-die-for, flawed-hero, flawed-heroine, tortured-hero, in-disguise, heroine-i-liked, assassin
Recommended for: fans of JR Ward, Fans of angels and demons in fiction
Read from June 16 to 17, 2010 , read count: 1

Okay! That was a very interesting book. First of all, I applaud Ms. Ward for trying to do something different and tackle the whole Heaven versus Hell theme. I liked her spin on it, although the unfolding of theology is slightly different from what I'm used to. The reviews are mixed on this one. I can only speak for myself, but I loved it. I did one thing that really helped me to go into this book with no preconceived notions: I didn't look for more Black Dagger Brotherhood. If a reader does that, they will probably be disappointed. Be happy with the cameos, and take it from there. Be open to something different, and I think that will help.

This is a very different kind of story from the BDB. It's pretty ambitious too. Although the WARDen has been accused (maybe for good reason) of abandoning the paranormal format and going into urban fantasy, I really do believe this is urban fantasy with a strong romance. I will concede that the latter BDB books are urban fantasyish, but I still consider them primarily paranormal romance. This is the opposite. This is obvious right away, with the strong narrative focus on Jim Heron, who is the main protagonist, although not the romantic hero. That is Vin diPietro. Personally, I kind of like the hook about a guy recruited by Heaven in the Great Game between Good and Evil. He's got seven souls to save, and his mission starts now. It's fresh and interesting. And I love a story about "G. v. E."

Okay, so what did I like about this story?

First and foremost, I loved the protagonists: Jim and Vin. They are strong characters, both deeply flawed, but good men at heart. They are very similar in the fundamental ways. I liked how they seemed to click as friends. They had an ease between them that transcended their so-called socio-economic dividers. I think that Ms. Ward is great at depicting relationships between men that seem authentic (at least to me). She has tough guys, but they aren't all "I'm too macho for feelings." They are men with dreams, broken and intact, hearts, souls, and feelings. Like real men. I liked that they were both pretty straight-shooters, and had come from traumatic pasts to become who they are when this story starts. Therein lay the connection, I believe.

Vin was a character I loved from first meeting. He made me think of Rehv (who I am crazy about). He's ice cold on the outside (but I always felt like he was a good person at heart). I think he was somewhat remote with Devina, but he seemed to really respect women and treat them well. I like his ethics about not cheating and abusing women. His need for ownership, money and power was fascinating. I could totally see why he had that. It was a sense of false security when he had none growing up. I think there the paranormal elements were obligatory for this story, but it could have worked without him having a demonic influence to make him that way. It was great seeing him get some peace and resolution for his life. I felt so bad for how he had never had those things. Had never known love. I felt his love for Marie-Therese, and why she was what he wanted.

As for Jim, he was the other kind of hero I gravitate to. Sort of the salt of the earth type (despite his past as a lethal assassin). He really had a core of goodness. His way of taking care of Dog endeared him to me and warmed my heart, but I also liked his innate kindness and care for women. I think he found his mission in life, but part of me hopes he'll get a woman of his own one day. I think he is a great choice as the narrative focus for this series.

I also liked Marie-Therese. It was dicey crafting a heroine who turns to prostitution as a lifestyle. For the most part, I think Ms. Ward did it well. She didn't glamorize prostitution, and she didn't make it seem like doing that for a living didn't have an effect on a woman. I definitely believe it does. She didn't make Marie-Therese into too much of a plastic saint. If she was that sainted, she wouldn't have turned to hooking for a living. She even admits that she had options, but she chose that as a quicker way out of her problems (and for another reason that is a spoiler to discuss). I felt for her. I couldn't imagine doing that. We didn't really get offered the opportunity to analyze too many of the other girls, but we do get a glimpse into the other side. Gina is a girl who likes the lifestyle of a sex worker. She's up for it, and has no problem with it. I think there was a little balance there. I'm not sure if I wanted to see more of Marie-Therese, or if I was happy with what I got. I get a strong vibe that this is more of a story about men and their relationships with each other and with the women in their lives. In essence, the male voice is a much stronger focal point in the narrative. Much like the BDB books. But, by and large, I didn't have much of a problem with Marie-Therese. I did see that she was determined not to fall back into the old habit of waiting for her knight-in-shining armor to save her. In this case, he's there, but they will help each other. I could see her attraction for Vin, why he got in her heart. She was afraid that he was the same thing all over again as the man she'd made a mistake over, but I feel that she recognized the essential character of Vin, and that's what drew her to him. I think she was pretty layered. She was a good person, but she had some flaws, and she was passionate and earthy, although that part of her had been suppressed by her troubles in life and current profession. I was happy to see her find Vin (and the promise of future happiness), and I loved seeing her relationship with her son. I think she was too hard on herself, and I hope she learns to forgive herself.

The paranormal elements: I think this was well-done. Her view of angels and demons stays more on the realism side. There aren't wings and halos here. I liked how Jim could tell who was an angel or demon by their lack of a shadow. That was a nice touch. I liked the elements going into the lore and ritual of why Vin was in trouble, and getting him out of his fix. That was well-crafted and intriguing. I think Vin's backstory was fascinating. I'm hoping that he will show up in later books as a resource to the Fallen Angels in their battle. I'd love to see more of him. I liked Adrian and Eddie. I wish I had gotten to know them better. It seemed like I didn't see much of who they were initially, but as the story built, you could see what they were and how they were powerful assets to Jim. I especially liked the role that Eddie played in freeing Vin. I'm intrigued with finding out what Adrian's deal is. What's his power? What happened when he confronted the villain? My hope is that they will have a more prominent part in the forthcoming books.

The romance angle: I'm going to get busted for saying this, but I felt like Vin and Marie-Therese had sex too soon. I'd like to have seen them do more romancing and talking before they got physical. I think this was the tone for their lives prior (although Marie-Therese not by choice). I wanted to see their relationship start in a different manner, setting a new tone from the past. The love scenes were steamy, and I liked that Ms. Ward addressed a crucial issue for them both as far as being safe (considering their pasts). I do feel they had a connection and loved each other, but I probably could have seen a little more courtship outside of the physical, to be honest.

I'm loving Trez. He is the man! Can't wait to read his book! I like the relationship he had with Marie-Therese. He's a good guy. In the prior BDB books, you see him more as a bad MOFO, but he seemed very sweet in this book, although the menace was there when it needed to be.

Oh, can I say I adored Dog? What a sweet baby! He was so cute! I think he was just what lonely Jim needed. :)

The villain was a nasty piece of work. Completely evil and awful. I like to see a genuinely bad female villain, so that was pretty well done. I bet she's going to be up to even more despicableness in the following books. She was also pretty creepy (which I like in a good urban fantasy/horror setting).

What I was kind of 'meh' about: I'm not sure I really bought the execution of who turned out to be Marie-Therese's stalker. It seemed a bit anti-climactic. It played into the story arc very well, but I guess I needed more threads and breadcrumbs to buy his connection with Marie-Therese. It seemed to come a bit out of left field for me.

So, my final thoughts: I enjoyed this book a lot. I did mention some things I thought could have been a little better for me. But, overall, I was pretty happy and impressed with this story. I like this concept a lot, and I think that the forthcoming stories will be even stronger. I think that most fans of JR Ward will like this book. If you don't care for the WARDen's hip lingo and brand name dropping, you will probably hurl the book into the corner. I am used to that about her, and I consider it part of her style. The things I love about her writing are here: her detail, her way of putting the emotions and the heart there. The characters I fall in love with, and their complex relations with each other. She doesn't let me down. And, like I said, I love the big stakes battle unfolding in this book. Long story short, Danielle was a happy camper!
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Quotes Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Liked

J.R. Ward
“Surely it wasn't possible that Vin diPietro was the first assignment.

"Hello?" DiPietro waved. "You in there?"

Nah, Jim thought. Can't be. That would be above and beyond any call of duty.

Over the guy's shoulder, the commercial that was on the TV suddenly showed a price of $49.99-no, $29.99, with a little red arrow that ... considering where Vin was standing, poined right at his head.

"Sh*t, no" Jim muttered. This was the guy?

On the Tv screen, some woman in a pink bathrobe smiled up at the camera and mouthed, Yes, it is!”
J.R. Ward, Covet
tags: humor

Reading Progress

06/16/2010 page 74
16.0% "Me likey!" 2 comments
06/17/2010 page 161
34.0% "This book is captivating. I had no problem falling into it. Vin and Jim are to die for." 3 comments
05/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-47 of 47) (47 new)

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message 2: by Arch (new) - added it

Arch Bad boy on a motorcyle, showing off his abs. How bad!

valee Really wanna see what you think of this one. I was really disappointed with it but many loved it.

Lady of the Lake Yeah it's dssapointing if u go into it expecting BDB greatness but I read this I think even before I fell for the BDB! because it's different not as good but I enjoyed it I listened
to it on audio..i didn't like the first BDB book much so I
thinking once Ward gets going with the flow of this line and characters it will improve greatly as BDB did. She is a huge talent so... Time will tell.

valee Yeah, even though I didn't like this one I know I will like the next because JR Ward is awesome. I guess she just needs time with this series.

Keysha You didn't like this one? Oh my, I loved it... at first it was a bit off but then it turned out pretty well... I guess it takes times to get used to read her books without the "vampire" factor.

Maybe you both would like the second one? Crossing my fingers for you

valee Thanks Keysha, me too,lol.

message 8: by RO (new) - added it

RO I heard a lot of mixed feelings about this over at Amazon, and I think that's why I haven't pulled it out of my stack yet. But Lady D has shed new light so I'm ready to give it a chance when I find time. Ward is a phenomenal author.

message 9: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (last edited Jun 18, 2010 05:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Oh, I can't speak for anyone else. I loved it, but for my own reasons. I'll post a review of why I liked it. I think you have to decide for yourself. The big thing is, don't go into it looking for BDB part II. It's very different, although the elements of Ward's writing that make it signature for her are there. I like that she is trying to do something different here. I freely admit I'm an easy grader compared to some readers.

Mollie I liked this one too! I saw quite a few bad reviews for it but I really enjoyed it.

message 11: by RO (new) - added it

RO I think that's what's so cool about reading. Ten people can read one book and each one can view it differently, generating a lots of conversation and feedback. I love it!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I think people have different tastes and expectations. I like to be entertained, good characters, and a good story, and I'm happy.

message 13: by Caty (new) - rated it 4 stars

Caty I didn't like this one as much as the brothers, but i guess that's the thing with firs books. Great review Danielle!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Caty. First book syndrome is so prevalent!

Keysha Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "I think people have different tastes and expectations. I like to be entertained, good characters, and a good story, and I'm happy."

Ditto! And like you said, is nothing like BDB but at the same time there are things that makes de novel a Ward novel, the woman is unique!

Karen Awesome review, Danielle! :D

Bark's Book Nonsense Very nice review. I liked this one but am hoping the others that follow are better. I never became emotionally invested in the relationship between Marie-Terese and Vin and that was a problem.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks Karen and BarkLess. I think Ward focused on the sex too much b/w Vin and Marie-Therese. Maybe that was the problem, BarkLess?

Bark's Book Nonsense Yeah, you're probably right. I didn't feel an emotional connection between the two, it just felt a little flat to me and should have been expanded upon before the sex.

Debbie I loved it!!. Totally suprised by how things went with it.

Lady of the Lake Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Thanks, Caty. First book syndrome is so prevalent!"

I can definitely see the next in the series improving with each one! Wards talent is there we KNOW that! She just needs to get to know her characters better. After all she has been living with the brothers for so so long and knows them so well it's just a matter of time with this series!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Excellent review, Danielle!!! The book was was so much more than I expected it would be. I loved how the WARDen's writing "flavor" still came through, yet the book, the world, the characters, were so different. I was instantly hooked which is unusual for me. I seldom find the first book in a series totally entertaining, but I did Covet.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Dhestiny. I was hooked too! I didn't want to put it down. Here I was, trying to read it at the stoplights. :)

Debbie, It was pretty unpredictable. I liked that about it.

Elizabeth, I think she has a good concept here. I'm excited to see where it goes.

Robin *loves sexy books* i was turned off by some of the bad reviews too, but after seeing everyone's response on here, it's definitely on my to-read list now.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) When I read reviews, I look at why someone did or didn't like a book, not that they gave it a good or bad rating, because that will tell me much more. I say give it a read and see if you like it for yourself, Robin.

Robin *loves sexy books* yeah i think i will. because i've friended people here with similar taste in books, i think the recommendations and reviews will mean a lot more to me.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) That's one of the awesome things about Goodreads. I love to read reviews and see what people think of books, even books I don't want to read. But, sometimes my mind gets changed by a well-written review. :)

Debbie I don't go by the reviews of people I don't know. I only listen to people I do know.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I pay attention to my friends with similar taste, but I like to read various reviews.

message 31: by UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish (last edited Jun 18, 2010 12:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish In this case, I think most of the bad reviews were given because Covet wasn't like the BDB, which is true, but not a good reason to rate a book poorly.

Books should be rated on their own merit, not what you want them to be or think they should be. If that makes sense.

Rossy Fantastic review, Danielle!

Auntee Awesome, well thought-out review as usual, Danielle! I also thought Vin reminded me of Rehv.:)

message 34: by Rane (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rane Awesome Review Danielle!
*huggles Jim* There's alot am looking forward to, and seeing Adrian man up after being a punk to Jim, I did feel sorry for him when he went face to face with Devina and what he had to do *cringes*

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Even the name, Devina, sounds evil.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Rossy, Aunt, and Rane.

LOL, Dhestiny.

Riya, I waited until I was ready to read this, and I decided I would enjoy whatever the WARDen put out there for me to read in this story. I think of it as a bonus and different read from the Brothers. I'm glad that the WARDen can write different kinds of stories.

message 37: by Ally72 (new)

Ally72 Wonderful review, Danielle! I bought this when it came out and then it put it in my TBR pile. This terrific review has motivated me to move it up now. Thanks!

Laura the Highland Hussy great review! It took me 6 months to read the first 60 pages...Me! 6 months!!! But after that, it took me 2 days to devour the rest. I wasn't expecting the cameos, so I was stoked to see them, but I think that moving the next book out of Caldwell will help disassociate it from the BDB.
I think I was confused as to who the "hero" was..Jim or Vin? Once the first 100 pages or so were past, I totally fell into the rhyme and reason for everything. I hope that the slow beginning was just "first book syndrome," but I will definitely read the next book.

message 39: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (last edited Jun 20, 2010 12:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Ally. I think you'll like it.

Thanks, Laurie. I got sucked right in. I liked the story a lot, so that's probably why. I think Jim and Vin were good foils for each other. I'm sure you'll have better luck with the next book, because I could see a little First Book Syndrome going on.

Treece Danielle, I agree with everything in your review except for the sex being too soon. The context in which it was placed was real to both characters since The Warden used it to make a point that it wasn't just sex, and how Devina couldn't touch it. Sex is used as a bridge of emotional/psychological healing for them.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was really different for me than the direction BDB has taken. I needed something different.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish PR wrote: "
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was really different for me than the direction BDB has taken. I needed something different...."

I completely agree with this. So many people didn't like it because it wasn't enough like the BDB. That's one of the things that made me like it more! I'm a hardcore BDB fan, but I thought the Fallen Angel concept was excellent.

PegiRae (Tig) Ross-anderson I loved it too

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I liked that it was different from the BDB. And I respect that Ms. Ward wants to write different kinds of stories from the BDB. An artist always tries to grow in their craft. I can see her efforts with this story. PR, you raise a good point about the sex, but I guess I didn't see it that way.

Regina You know I didn't go into Covet expecting BDB. I like BDB but it isn't my favorite series. Anyway, I still did not think Covet was a good book. I loved the idea. I loved the world building, the characters were interesting and I think I will like where she was going but the story telling itself bored me. But I am glad other peole liked it b/c I think it was a good effort and I look forward to where it is going.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Regina, I hope you like Crave more.

message 46: by Julianna (last edited Dec 12, 2011 08:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Julianna Great review, Danielle! My thoughts on this one mirrored yours almost to a tee. Vin reminded me of Rehv early in the book too.;-) Looking forward to the next one.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Julie. Great minds think alike. I haven't read the next two books, but I'm looking forward to it.

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