Covet by J.R. Ward. First in her Fallen Angels series. High quality paranormal smut.
Covet is the first book the J.R.Ward’s new Fallen Angels series. Each novel follows Jim Heron, a man with a mysterious and troubled past who is approached by heavenly agents. They recruit him to be their agent in the final contest between heaven and hell. Seven souls are at stake, each one afflicted with one of the seven deadly sins. In Covet, Vin DiPietro is afflicted with greed. He is a rapacious land developer in the process of buying up and developing pristine tracks of wilderness. Jim must intervene in Vin’s life to save him from damnation.
Jim is opposed by a demon and assisted by two Harley-riding, leather-jacket-wearing fallen angels. He gets additional help from Marie Therese, the romantic heroine. She and Vin share a meaningful look early in the book. and it’s off to the races! Their relationship helps keep the book firmly in the romance vein. We all know how the book is going to end, Vin and Marie Therese get their Happily Ever After. As she is a prostitute, this takes a bit of doing, but what is love without trials and tribulations. The suspense in the book comes on Jim’s side of things. His story and its resolution are far from certain and I will definitely be keeping up with his further adventures.
As this is the first book in the series a fair amount of of the book is concerned with setting up the series. I like the high concept for the novels. Instead of the standard girl meets vampire, vampire gets girl, vampire loses girl, girl gets vampire back and they live sexily ever after plots of her first series the Black Dagger Brotherhood Ward is branching out. I like that she is trying to change up her game and try a different tack. At the same time, the novel is still set in fictional Caldwell, NY, the setting of the the Brotherhood novels. There is significant fan service in the book, with several Brotherhood characters making cameos. As an artist, she is seeking creativity through constraint. I am interested to see how she resolves the series as the purported resolution of the contest that Jim is acting in is the end of humanity’s tenure on the Earth.
P.S. In a lovely and realistic touch, Jim and Marie Therese only ever have safe sex. They are both cognizant of the fact that unprotected sex with someone you’ve known for two days is a bad idea, especially when one of you is a sex worker.