This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
by J.R. Ward
Series: Fallen Angels #3
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Dark Lover, Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, Covet, Crave, Lover Revealed, Lover Unbound, Lover Enshrined, Lover Mine, Lover Unleashed, An Irresistible Bachelor, His Comfort and Joy, Lover Reborn, Rapture, Lover at Last, Possession, The King, The Shadows, The Bourbon Kings, Blood Kiss, The Beast.
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Third in the Fallen Angels paranormal-romance series set in Caldwell, New York. The series has a slight tie-in with Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
Fallen Angels revolves around Jim Heron, a former XOps soldier, who died and is now the sole reliance of the world in a Test set by the Creator. The Test pits good against evil with Jim as the man/angel who must find and influence a person who is at a crossroads in his life. A crossroads where that person must make a choice between right and wrong.
There are seven souls and seven deadly sins in this Test. The side, which influences the most souls, will have dominion over the world. Everyone will either suffer in misery or live in joy.
Oh, man, there is a lot of churning go on under the surface of Envy! Jim’s abilities seem to be evolving. His team certainly undergoes some intense emotions! And both Jim and Adrian realize a wake-up call that provides the promise of greater strength.
Some pretty hot sex between Reilly and Veck after Reilly channels her inner sex goddess at a Victoria’s Secret sale. I do love Ward’s depiction of Reilly taking Veck to her parents’ house for dinner! Dad gives Veck the onceover—it’s a lovely family moment and you can’t help but laugh at Veck’s chagrin.
On the negative side, it hits really hard when the betrayal slides into place. Very smooth. Very effective.
It cracks me up that Devina, a demon, is seeing a therapist and how Ward uses shrinkspeak to point up the absurdity of a demon ever getting her issues straightened up. Although, Devina is certainly going to need a confidence boost after this installment!
Technically, the archangels are not allowed to provide Jim with any clues and so Jim chooses the only possibility he sees open to his learning the identity of this third soul—he makes a deal with Devina, the demon seeking to win all to her side.
Armed with this knowledge, he seeks out the subject of Envy‘s Test, Detective Thomas DelVecchio, Jr. A man already under the microscope of his own worries, Internal Affairs’ concerns that “the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree”, and Devina’s machinations.
Jim Heron is equal parts good and evil. His influence on each soul will sway that person at the crossroads of his/her life into making the decision that will send that person on the path to Heaven or Hell as well as determine the eventual winner of the Test and the fate of the world. His angelic companions [whom no one would ever guess were angels] are Eddie and Adrian. Old souls who have been brought back to aid him in this Test.
Detective Thomas “Veck” DelVecchio, Jr. is a man torn in two. Externally, Veck is a good man who attempts to atone for the sins of his father, Thomas DelVecchio, Sr., a serial killer who is required reading at the Police Academy and the FBI and scheduled for execution in a few days. Internally, he’s terrified that he’s channeling his father and that he will become just as evil.
Sophia Reilly is with Internal Affairs and when the call comes in that Veck has been found with Kroner, the dying “suspected” serial killer from Crave, 2, she heads to the woods immediately, intent upon assessing the situation — did Detective DelVecchio attempt to murder this man or was he merely a good Samaritan.
Devina is a demon capable of shapeshifting her body to resemble anyone and is truly evil. She keeps a “treasure room” of baubles and keepsakes of all the people whose souls she has taken or destroyed.
Nigel is the rather pissy, prideful sort of angel who is very concerned with his comfort and image and the archangel in charge on the side of Good while Colin, Basil, and Byron are part of his archangelic support staff.
The Cover and Title
Oh, wow! A realistically hunky guy squatting down, his right arm extended, his fist hitting the ground with his unrealistically gossamer wings extended behind him against a beautiful blue-purple haze of a background.
The title, Envy, is a mystery, to me at least!