Reckoning by S. J. Harper

Fallen Siren, Book 2

Synopsis: Join Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.
She’s sacrificed. He’s suffered. They’ve both been betrayed.
Now it’s time for a reckoning.

Special Agent Emma Monroe has a secret. She’s a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. As an FBI agent she saves the lives of others believing redemption could be one rescue away.

Her partner Zack is a werewolf and former Black Ops sniper who once carried out a string of questionable assignments. Now he’s determined to atone for his past. Ironically, there’s a portion of his past Zack doesn’t remember—an affair with Emma. Giving into their attraction for one another almost led to their undoing. Now it’s back to business as usual.

While trying to unravel the mystery behind a series of kidnappings in Southern California, Emma and Zack become entangled with political tensions in the vampire and Were worlds. Not to mention the struggles they face in their relationship with one another. With so much uncertainty, they come to realize the only thing they can really count on is one another…or can they?

Review: I loved the first volume and I confess that I could not wait to get into this one when it came out. The previous volume did not end necessarily well as (it’s said in the synopsis) Zack forgot over his relationship with Emma.

It was a pretty heartbreaking ending, especially when we know the feelings of the young woman and the reasons behind all that.

Monroe Emma is cursed, and this fact is reflected in her everyday life. Having accepted (or is this the case?) to leave Zack behind, she begins a relationship with the vampire king that we had met before: Kallistos. I can honestly say that I was quite surprised at first, because I thought that the authors would drag the story between the two men. Yet in the end I think it’s not so bad like that and it was interesting to see how the young woman was with him. It’s quite interesting to see her connection with this vampire, she is sure that nothing is happening between them and yet despite what they’re saying, I think there is currently something. Of course it’s different from the story that Emma has with the wolf but a link is forming between them and they also care to each other. I think there may be more on the side of the King (although it’s really quite difficult to confirm that) but I admit that I’m curious to see what will happen afterwards. As for Zack, I admit that I was really sad for them. Although the young woman tries to come off, she does not succeed and finally flirts a lot with this prohibited man. I admit that I wanted to shake her sometimes because it hurts others too. The man knows that he has forgotten something important and knows that there is something with Emma but he does not reject her and stay with her. But it’s true that in the end, the relationships are very sad to follow and the conclusion does not help at all. I was expecting it to be like this, but I find it a shame. I need volume 3 !!!! Yes, I want to know what will happen now in this complicated trio.

In terms of plot I admit that the whole thing was pretty interesting. Girls from private school are disappearing and our two heroes must manage to discover what happened. The story develops slowly and becomes much more complicated than expected, mixing vampires intrigues and conspiracies in everything. But that’s not all because the Zack’s enemies and Kallistos’ are also present in the book and I’m sure it’s not over.

It was again a very good story I enjoyed it even though I am sad by the events. There are some very good ideas and we can read the whole quite quickly (I must say that I was eager to get to the bottom of the story!). I’m really looking forward to have more and discover the further adventures of our beloved Siren.



Rapture by J.R. Ward

Fallen Angels, Book 4

Synopsis: Out of the wickedly inventive imagination of #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward comes a world where sin and salvation collide in a battle for the future of mankind—where a cynical fallen angel struggles against the seven deadly sins and a demon’s lure over seven chosen souls…

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 in 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?

Review: It is always a pleasure to read a novel by J.R. Ward. Moreover, I’m becoming more and more addicted to this series that improves over the books. So we still follow our savior, Jim Heron in his fight against evil. Matthias is the former leader of the XOps (and Jim’s ex-boss). He was in Hell after Jim’s defeat we saw in Book 2 but he returned to Earth. Now he has a new chance of redemption. Why this second chance? Does he deserve it? It’s actually a punishment against Jim’s enemy. Indeed, the opposing camp didn’t comply with the rules in the last round so the Creator decided to punish Jim’s opponent by putting Matthias’s soul into play again. So the battle starts all over again but it’s also a new opportunity for Jim to try to save his former boss as he failed the first time.

Thus we find Matthias back on Earth. He wakes up naked and wounded at the Caldwell Cemetery, on Jim’s grave. While he was trying to leave this place, he was hit by the car of a young journalist at the Caldwell Courier Journal, Mels Carmichael. Now he is suffering from amnesia. Immediately there is alchemy between these two characters but of course there are many obstacles between them, especially Matthias’s heavy past. Then there is the threat hanging over his head and Matthias, though, is well aware he is running out of time.

The Good team -Jim’s team- has taken a serious beating despite their last victory against evil. Indeed, after the loss of one of their own, the team tries to recover. But it’s really hard for Adrian to accept this loss and Jim spends a lot of time thinking about Sissy. He wants to deliver her from Hell at all costs, to the point of forgetting his true mission.

Matthias until this book 4 was the perfect villain. A nasty character, a true sadist, a cold-blooded murderer… in short, a character that we used to hate in the previous books and yet here he will show another side of himself. Does such a character deserve to be saved? Amnesia must surely have something to do with that but I must say that it was a pleasure to follow Matthias as the hero of this book while at first I didn’t like him at all. I was even scared at the idea of starting reading this book. But I was wrong because Rapture is probably the best book in the series so far. Matthias is such a proud man… who can’t stand being dependent on others despite his vulnerability. He is a wounded man, one-eyed and covered of scars, obvious stigmas of his heavy criminal past. He is also a determined man who seeks to redeem himself and throughout this volume, J.R. Ward manages to make him more likeable to the reader. Of course we also discover Matthias’s past when he was a teenager and the trigger that turned him in this man feared by all. It was quite interesting to see how he got there.

I liked Mels also. The young woman lives with her mother and is looking for the big scoop that could boost her career as a journalist and thus change her life. She is an endearing young woman who cares for others. She is intelligent, very effective in her work and always willing to help others. Her relationship with her mother is very touching and I enjoyed finding out a bit of her past too, including her memories about her father who she has always admired.

This book 4 marks a turning point for Jim and his evolution, especially after what he did in the last pages… I was also very surprised by Adrian’s action and concerning the Creator, I confess I didn’t expect this kind of revelation. Of course I suspected there was something strange behind this but I had no idea of such a big revelation!

To conclude, this book is full of surprises and I am now very curious to read the sequel!

4mon pseudo

Envy By J.R. Ward

Fallen Angels, Book 3

Synopsis: A man and a woman tread the lines of danger, desire, and deliverance in the new novel of the Fallen Angels from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

As the son of a serial killer, homicide detective Thomas “Veck” DelVecchio, Jr., grew up in the shadow of evil. Now, on the knife-edge between civic duty and blind retribution, he atones for the sins of his father- while fighting his inner demons. Assigned to monitor Veck is Internal Affairs officer Sophia Reilly, whose interest in him is both professional and arousingly personal. And Veck and Sophia have another link: Jim Heron, a mysterious stranger with too many answers… to questions that are deadly. When Veck and Sophia are drawn into the ultimate battle between good and evil, their fallen angel savior is the only thing that stands between them and eternal damnation.

Review: Fallen Angels is a series that I love but as I was a little bit disappointed by Book 2 and I was afraid to have the same feeling with this one. So I was apprehensive but this feeling immediately flew as soon as I read the first pages of this third installment of Jim Heron’s adventures. In fact, I found this book better than the previous one and I really enjoyed it.

The battle between good and evil is still raging. Back to Caldwell, Jim’s new mission is this time to save the soul of the Inspector Thomas DelVecchio Jr. ( Veck ), the son of a serial killer and the least we can say is that our hero will have a lot to do, especially when his enemy seems to already have a good head start. Indeed, Veck is in big trouble. Suspected of murder, he is kept under surveillance by Sophia Reilly, an Internal Affairs officer. She has to investigate about him and determine whether he can stay within the police or not. Immediately, these two characters are attracted to each other but Veck is a tortured man, with a complex personality and his family relationship with a notorious serial killer across the country complicates the situation.

Unlike the couple of the previous book, I liked Veck and Sophia here. Veck is a complicated man, he is aware that something is wrong with him, something very dark that could permanently turn him to the evil side, something that could turn him into a monster like his father. Evil is all around him but he tries to resist and not to give in to his impulses to violence, although this call is very tempting. Sophia meanwhile is a charming young woman, she feels good about herself, she is thoughtful and she is fully engaged in her work. She is a person who has succeeded in life despite what she had to endure during her unhappy childhood period.

This book is darker than the previous ones, and Jim will not be spared. His relationship with Adrian and Eddie, his allies in this war, will not cease to deteriorate to the point to jeopardize his mission because his enemy will take the opportunity to strike a blow. He will also face a terrible event that I did not expect at all. I was also surprised by Adrian’s change in this book and now I’m curious to see how he will evolve in the next book. In this volume we finally find out some details about Sissy and we even discover her family. Jim Heron’s sworn enemy also surprises me more and more. I really did not see her able to show an ounce of compassion at all… That said she is still a formidable enemy and use all imaginable means to destabilize her opponent. The scenes from Nigel and Colin’s POV were also quite interesting. Like all J.R. Ward’s novels, the reader sees what is happening on all fronts and it’s still captivating.

The world created by J.R. Ward is really fascinating. The action takes place in Caldwell and like the first book, there are a few references to The Black Dagger Brotherhood, the other Ward’s series and it’s always a pleasure to see these two worlds the author has created overlap each other, although they are completely different. Moreover, Veck appears in Book 9 of The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Lover Unleashed and I think it’s better to read Lover Unleashed before this one.

So it was a very good book and the revelations at the end suggest that Book 4 will be as captivating as this one.

4mon pseudo

Crave by J.R. Ward

Fallen Angels, Book 2

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I was eager to read this book. As I loved the first book, I was very happy to find Jim and his two sidekicks for a new mission. And I was not disappointed.

The story begins two days after the events of book 1. Jim, Adrian and Eddie leave Caldwell to go to Boston. It is there that Jim must complete his second mission: save Isaac Rothe’s soul. Isaac earns his living as an underground cage fighter. But during a police raid, he is arrested. To get through this, he must rely on Grier Childe, his court-appointed lawyer.

I must say that overall I loved it. Here, we don’t have any allusions to the BDB series. If Covet was a foretaste of this new world, with Crave we can say that we enter in the heart of the matter and this time, the battle between good and evil is really engaged. Here the mission takes a turn much more personal than in the previous book because Jim and Isaac know each other. They are both former members of the XOps, a top secret commando unit led by Matthias. Isaac had deserted the XOps, when the only way to leave this organization is in a coffin. Jim will not only have to fight for the soul of his friend, but he will also have to confront his former boss, Matthias who is determined to get rid of Isaac.

As for Covet, Crave is a little bit long to start but once you get past the first few chapters, the book is very hard to put down. The plot here is still well done. Jim is now a fallen angel. He has wings and can dematerialize himself every time he wants to. It was fun to see him learning all that. In book 1 we learn that there are seven souls at stake, seven chances for good or evil to prevail and he is the only one who can determine the fate of these seven souls. It was pretty impressive to see him doing his new job with his new powers but there are so many things he still doesn’t know about this fight … And his partners as well as his new boss, seem unwilling to reveal things to him.

Among the many points of views, we have Adrian’s POV, who is much more present in this book, as well as Nigel of course. I enjoyed these passages and I hope we will see them more in the next books. But the most fascinating thing in this book is the fact that we also have Devina’s POV! I loved these passages. It was interesting to discover her as she really is and learn all these things about her. I loved the way that the author tries to dedemonize her, and she does the same with Matthias.

I confess that I would have liked to see Jim experiencing his duality. Indeed, he has equally a part of good and a part of evil in him so I was expecting that he would be confronted with this inner conflict sooner or later but it is not the case. Instead, Jim seems determined to remain on the side of the good guys. His confrontations with his enemy are explosive, trying but also very intense. The demoness is determined to win this game at all costs, she doesn’t hesitate to cheat. We can’t help but wonder how all this situation will evolve. I loved the twist at the end, although I was expecting it.

In the end, I found this second book as good as the first one, except for the romance because I found it lacked a bit of spark. Indeed, I didn’t connect with Grier and Isaac. I was not as thrilled by their love story as I was by Vin and Marie-Terese. On the contrary I found they were rather insipid but however it was a great read and now I’m looking forward to read book 3.

Covet by J.R. Ward

Fallen Angels, Book 1

Synopsis: Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about—his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charge with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he’s good with that — until fate intervenes in the form of a tough- talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart—and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

Review: I really enjoyed The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, that’s why I was so curious to discover this J.R. Ward’s other series: Fallen Angels. The Black Dagger Brotherhood was for me so good that I was a little afraid to read this one and to dislike it, not to mention some mixed reviews I read before starting the book. Finally I must say that personally, it was a great discovery and I would like to thank Aurian for having recommended it to me: Thank you so much! The action takes place in Caldwell, so in the same city as BDB but this time it is not about vampire warriors but angels and demons. I really liked this world which is parallel to the vampire and Human’s world. It’s another facet of Caldwell as this city is full of surprises.

In the prologue the tone is given, it explains the “rules of the game” because it is indeed a game that Heaven and Hell are delivering for ages. A game whose outcome will determine the fate of humanity. One man can tip the balance to one side or the other: Jim Heron. He is a former soldier with a dark past, a man capable of the best as the worst. To ensure that Good prevails over Evil, Jim must save the soul of seven people including his employer, Vin DiPietro, a building contractor. So this first installment of the series is his first mission. Jim will have to choose which side he is on especially as the demon he will face will do anything to push him to fail his mission.

I had some difficulties to get into the book at the beginning. I found that the first few chapters were a bit long but they are essential as they present all the characters and we can understand the issue that Jim faces and the heavy burden on his shoulders. But once you read the first five chapters, the story becomes very exciting and the book is very hard to put down until you have read the last page.

We recognize here the style of the author: a dark atmosphere and a multitude of characters well described and complex on a psychological point of view. I immediately liked Jim, Vin and Marie-Terese. We learn so much about each of them. Moreover, we find that they have all three in common a heavy past and they have experienced terrible things during their lives. As for Adrian and Eddie, I just loved them and I can’t wait to see them again in book 2 and learn more about them.

I also enjoyed the fact that the romance between Marie-Terese and Vin does not occupy a central place in the story – as it is often the case in paranormal romances – because the plot is really interesting. I have to say that so much happens in this book and all that in just three days! In summary, we have an ex-soldier who is assigned to the role of a redeemer, a prostitute who wants to retire, an unscrupulous businessman, a psychopath, angels, demons, mediums, black magic and full of other things … An explosive cocktail! We do not really have time to get bored!

J.R. Ward also often refers to the characters of BDB. Indeed Revhenge is mentioned several times and we even see the warrior Phury and Trez, the owner of the Iron Mask! It was really great to see them through Marie-Terese’s eyes.

To conclude I loved the first book of the Fallen Angels series despite the beginning was a little bit slow. I can’t wait to read book 2 to see how this series will evolve. BDB fans can only enjoy it.