Release Date: September 25, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Mels Carmichael, reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery. After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they're over their heads with his past. Over their heads with passion, too ...As shadows walk the line between reality and another realm, and her lover's memory begins to come back, the two of them learn that nothing is truly dead and buried. Especially when you're trapped in a no-holds-barred war between angels and demons. With a soul on the line, and Mels's heart at risk, what in heaven - or in hell - will it take to save them both?
After reporter Mels Carmichael hits a disheveled man with her car outside the local cemetery, she pays a visit to the stranger in the hospital. The only thing he remembers of his past is seeing a name written on a headstone: that of Jim Heron—a fallen angel charged with rescuing souls from the seven deadly sins. Now, as Mels struggles to help this mysterious stranger rediscover himself, Heron himself returns to prepare for a battle between good and evil.
I love J.R. Ward and though The Fallen Angels series is nothing like The Black Dagger Brotherhood, I still lap it up like a good trained reader because these Angels might not be as intense as the Brothers but the men in Ward's world are MEN. How can one pass up on some highly charged testosterone stories plus Ward is on her best element when she's narrating as a he. The things that comes out of her characters' mouths are just incomparable!
I fell in love with you. I am a monster-it's true. But I opened my eyes in that hospital and the second I saw you... everything changed. I went after you... because I am in love. [Matthias]
RAPTURE is the fourth installment of Ward's Angel series and inasmuch as I adore the Warden, this isn't my favorite but there were several key events that happened here setting up the direction of the story moving forward. I usually breeze through her books, finding it close to impossible to put it down regardless of whether or not I'm in the mood to read, Ward makes sure that I'll be in THE MOOD when I start her books. That wasn't the case with RAPTURE, for the first time I found it a big challenge to stay glued to Matthias and Mels' story and to be honest, I really didn't care much for them and their HEA. To sum it up, their insta-love, yes, you read it right, INSTA-LOVE, turned me off! I never thought I'd see this in any of Ward's books but I did! Gah! But to be fair, Ward sure does know her men and when the going gets sexy, they don't hold back. So Matthias won't disappoint us in that aspect, he was quite the romantic actually plus he's the tortured hero we all so love and Ward IS the authority when it comes to wounded heroes, nobody does it quite like her.
Aside from this staple wounded-hero literary device that Ward employs oh so beautifully, she is also the master of homoerotic romance between her men, the relationships very sincere and powerful without emasculating any of them. And this time around, lightning struck Adrian. Poor Adrian, still grieving over Eddie's death. I feel really bad for the guy, Ad is so lost and empty without Eddie, groping for dreams where he can see Eddie again and bask in the warmth of his light. I read one reviewer ask/say Why bring Matthias back? Ward should've just resurrected Eddie! And I couldn't agree more. Ad and Eddie's relationship is way more interesting to follow than Matthias & Mel's.
He didn't feel like an angel. Never had, really - and Eddie's death had taken away any small sense of responsibility to live up to against. The one who was good and true. The compass...
The most entertaining part for me in this entire series is Devina, the demonness Jim is in battle with, she's a wonderful and very cunning villainess. Devina's story line is very interesting added to the fact that she really fancies herself in love with the Angel and has hired a therapist to help her manage her OCD. She really light's up this serious rivalry she has with Jim, very ironic considering she's one of Hell's best agents. Nigel, the foppish arcangel, is quite the character too though I miss the rest of his croquet playing crew, his cameo appearances are still welcome and I hope we'll get more facetime with him in the coming books.
The dandy was kitted out in a fitted linen suit with a matching waistcoat in a white so bright it made Ad want to Ray-Ban it up like Matthias. Cravat was candy-striped pink and white. So was the pocked square.
SOB looked like an ad for Orbit gum.
As for Jim Heron, well the guy is still hung up on Cecilia "Sissy" Barten and making a deal with Devina is hinting at something big is about to happen in book 5. Personally I think that Jim is stupid for trying to strike a deal with Devina because nothing good will come out of it. On the flip side, Ward is truly a genius for throwing a monkey wrench on an otherwise concluded contest with Jim being the obvious winner. It means more books for us!
RAPTURE might not be the best book for me in this series but it's still a must-read. The main story between Angels and Demons is still gripping and with all the side stories happening with Adrian, Jim, Devina and even Nigel, it's far from stale. Now I hope that Sissy's story is next, that girl has suffered enough.