October 9, 2011

Braine Reviews: Crave by J.R. Ward

read an excerpt here
Series: Fallen Angels 2
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 5, 2013
Purchase Link: Amazon

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.

Isaac Rothe is a black ops soldier with a dark past and a grim future. The target of an assassin, he finds himself behind bars, his fate in the hands of his gorgeous public defender Grier Childe. His hot attraction to her can only lead to trouble-and that's before Jim Heron tells him his soul is in danger. Caught up in a wicked game with the demon who shadows Jim, Isaac must decide whether the soldier in him can believe that true love is the ultimate weapon against evil.

Isaac Rothe is a man rich in history. A farm boy turned assassin turned cage fighter. But his underground activities stirred up trouble with the law and threatened his cover. Here he meets Grier Childe, attorney-at-law who ended up being his champion. But his past is catching up with him fast and his growing affection for his lawyer is proving to be a disadvantage. Matthias, his former boss, is after his head and Grier being his lawyer is no coincidence. Matthias has a long and very colorful history with Grier's father and he's hoping to hit multiple birds with one stone with Isaac Rothe's capture.

Meanwhile Jim Heron is still working in the shadows, preempting Devina's next move and on the defense saving the next target. But he discovers that it's hard to play by the rules when the enemy finds ways to skirt around them. Jim is too emotionally invested in his mission and his grudge against Devina is now personal. But as the war progress, Jim learns the hard way that not everyone can be saved.

I didn't enjoy CRAVE as much as Covet. The love story between Isaac and Grier just didn't grab my attention the way Teresa and Vince's did. But true to Ward tradition, it's still hot and heavy between these two, maybe it's because I'm not a big fan of UFC that turned me off or maybe because Grier, though beautiful, didn't exude sexy and daring and is in a fact a little too goody-goody for my taste. But it's not a lost cause bcause the continuing tale of Jim and company is entertaining as hell, no pun intended.

I like Ward's sense of humor, how funny is it that Devina, a demon if not the devil itself, is seeing a therapist to help sort out her feelings of depression about losing round 1 to Jim and her convenient life with Vince. Though she just alludes to her recent past, the fact that she needs someone to bounce off her problems with is hilarious. And Eddie being allergic to lilacs, like he said, he's the only immortal who gets allergies.

As for the Ward signature, these men are D.A.M.A.G.E.D. Adrian and Eddie, aside from their traumatic past with Devina, have a disturbing relationship reminiscent of the BDB's Butch and Vishous but while the Brothers' relationship is chaste, Adrian and Eddie is hardly platonic. It's implied that Ad and Eddie's M.O. is always a threesome, Adrian picks up the girl and brings her to Eddie and they partay. And though graphic, Ward has a fascination about men and masturbation and sexual abuse. Jim traded Matthias' temporary safety for a night with Devina and it's a far cry from their little tryst in his pick-up. It reminded me of Zsadist the Bloodslave but with hellhounds instead of human playthings.

This led Cimmaron and I to speculate why our beloved author has a thing about abused and violated men and we came to the conclusion that it's either she's close with someone who survived an atrocious act of sexual perversion and violence or she's doing it for the controversy. Or maybe she's just pushing the envelope. Aside from erotica writers, she's the only author I've read who has no qualms about exploring the male sexual psyche and all its ugliness. Whichever the case it seems to be working though most of the time I find myself cringing. But in retrospect it's these kinds of reaction that keeps us readers supporting their work. This is what makes Ward's novels distinct from its counterparts. But I deviate...

CRAVE is a 3.5 out of 5 for me, I'm too captivated by Jim's story to skip this and though Grier and Isaac are not my favorite, I'll endure their mediocre story for more of Jim Heron and his company of three. I hope Envy is better.



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