REVIEW SUMMARY: Covet (Fallen Angels, Book 1) combines Urban Fantasy with Paranormal Romance, is related to the author’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and takes Ward’s world of Caldwell, New York, in a new, darker direction.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The fate of the world is in the hands of tough-talking former assassin Jim Heron who teams up with Harley-riding angels against a demon temptress in seven battles for seven souls. In this first installment of the Fallen Angels series, Heron must convince Vin dePietro, a “silk-suited, M6-driving” real estate magnate who loves no one and owns just about everything to make the right choice when he faces an important crossroads. When Vin meets a woman with her own darkness who makes him yearn for more than just a moneyed life, he must first undo a deal with a demon he made years ago to purge his dark side.
PROS: Covet introduces a whole new angle on Ward’s Caldwell, New York, world of vampires — and now the home also of fallen angels, demons, and undead former assassins. After seven books about vampires that shows no signs of stopping, I’m eager to learn even more about this paranormal world. While aspects of Covet act like a Romance, the character of Jim Heron ushering readers through this new series gives it more of an Urban Fantasy feel.
CONS: Despite this series being labeled Fallen Angels, none of the point of view characters were, in fact, actual fallen angels. We meet four honorable angels and two fallen angels, but don’t learn much about the latter. I assume later books will follow a similar format with Heron as the main point of view character along with a romantic couple as secondary point of view characters, but I wonder how actual fallen angels will play into the series.
BOTTOM LINE: Covet builds on the already established Black Dagger Brotherhood world-building and was an equally-engaging read especially for existing Ward readers.
Ward continues with her over-the-top world-building and characterization with this first installment in the Fallen Angels series. This book doesn’t follow the convention of many Romances where the only two points of view are of the heroine and hero. I was initially thrown by Heron’s point of view and the time it took to establish Vin and Marie-Therese’s characters, but midway through the book found myself definitely hooked. Covet is simply labeled a novel on the spine, but I think it possesses elements from both Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy.
Since many of Ward’s characters are inordinately wealthy, I found it refreshing to read about characters like Heron who live paycheck to paycheck and Vin who learns that despite all of his wealth he’s still not fulfilled. While I’ve always enjoyed Ward’s heroes, her heroines often seem a little less developed, but this time around a bit more dimension was given to Marie-Therese. I recognized Marie-Therese as a tertiary character in a few Black Dagger Brotherhood novels, which may have helped with her characterization. Also, I hope to read more about the demon Devina’s background and her shape-shifting abilities. Ward established that Devina can appear as either gender and so I’m expecting a switch if we see this character again.
Ward’s next novel is the Black Dagger Brotherhood story Lover Mine, due to be released in April 2010.