This book is set in the same universe as the Black Dagger Brotherhood. If you have read the Black Dagger books, you will recognize some people and some places. It is not necessary to have read the Black Dagger books to understand this one.
All right first let me say I really enjoyed this book. It is a bit more complicated than the BDB books in terms of plot in my opinion. The first forty or so pages were hard for me just because I was trying to work out who was good who was bad and I found it difficult. Once I got past that and found the rhythm of the story it was a really good one. The premise itself seems a little strange. Heaven and Hell agree to call off the war and place the fate of everything onto one guy and seven souls. However, JR Ward really does a great job of selling it. I didn't anticipate every aspect of the book in advance, I was genuinely surprised a few times. I love it when that happens in books!
In shorter words, go get this book. Because you cannot have mine! :)
I'm a huge fan of the Black Dagger Brother books, so I really looked forward to this series. While I enjoyed this book, however, it has a very different tone than Ward's other work.
As is typical of Ward, the point of view jump around a lot. We meet Jim, a 40-year-old ex-assassin construction worker who, following a near death experience, is charged with saving seven souls from sin and damnation. The first of these souls is the leading man of the book, Vin. Vin is a very wealthy man who is basically always unsatisfied with what he has and greedily seeking more. Vin's world is turned upside down when he meets Marie-Terese, a prostitute who is desperate for a normal life. They pretty much immediately and inexplicably fall in love (another typical theme for Ward). However, they are both in danger as Vin's greedy past and Marie-Terese's less than pleasant current circumstances catch up to them. Jim must help them find there way out of danger and to each other.
The romantic moments in this book are surprisingly touching. If you can suspend disbelief and assume love at first sight, that is. There's no build-up, just instant knock out attraction followed quickly by "the L word". I actually enjoyed this aspect of the book, because it made their love seem urgent and fated. I had some trouble liking both characters at first, because they just aren't that easy to relate to. But Ward quickly explains why they are what and who they are, so I was able to start to sympathize with them. Similarly Jim takes some time to warm up to, but you like him by the end. Most importantly, I can't say I was ever bored by this book.
Having said that, there were a few not so good things about this book. I felt like it changed points of view a little too often, even cutting into romantic moments to tell us what Jim is up to. While he's vital to the plot, he's not the romantic lead and in my opinion he got just a little more air time than was necessary. Also, there is a stalker subplot that made almost no sense and could probably have been left out entirely. Meanwhile, we are given a lot of background on how Marie-Terese ended up where she was, and in the end those background circumstances pretty much remain the same--i.e. the abusive scary ex-husband is still out there to pose the same threat as before. Loose threads like that, as well as Vin's special ability, are left to hang so the reader must guess and assume (or perhaps they will be tied up in future books). Overall there was a little to much "Buy The Next Book To Find Out" going on at the end of the story--it doesn't function as a stand alone at all.
This is decent paranormal romance. It's nothing like the Black Dagger Brotherhood, so it's best to read it without expectations.
If you are looking for a Black Dagger Brotherhood kind of story, think again. This book was slow and tedious, and it's about 150 pages to long. I really wanted to like this book because i love J.R. Ward, but it was a struggle from the start. Fallen angels? The main character was not an angel, he was recruited because both sides of the "battle for humanity" decided he was a middle of the road player to play the part. The whole story was confusing and the ending didn't leave me impatiently waiting for the sequel. The love story has its own sub plot with a stalker thrown in that has nothing to do with the story. I even tried to explain the plot to a friend, and i couldn't make enough sense of it to describe it. I own all of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, but this series is not a keeper for me. Sorry Ward, better luck next time.
It has nothing to do with or even references the BDB series. With that said I have to say I love the BDB series more than this first work in the new series.
It took me about a third of the book to get past the "come on....come on already" syndrome I was having cuz the book seemed slow. However I see now that maybe it was just laying out the series and the characters for both this book and future books. My favorite genre is paranormal romance and this book is not written in the standard fare that I'm use to with those books but you know what......I ended up enjoying the book. Around the last quarter of the book I was actually looking forward to reading the rest.
I liked the characters but it was (and kind of still is) hard to get with Jim in his role as the main character. My favorite character - Dog. I can't wait to see what's up with him - there's a secret there I'm sure!
Yes I will read the next one. I have to say that I'm worried that if a battle is lost in one of the seven then maybe I won't enjoy the books because I'm a HEA kinda gal.
I have to agree with Stacy's review.. This is NOT a BDB book by any means..or Fallen Angels, that is misleading... I must have missed that part... but, it is nice to see some of the minor characters getting a crack at the lime light. Caldwell is one freaky town... I agree the start up was SOOOO LONG...I was almost finished by the time the real action got going, but this is book one... The love story was nice...I figured the two main characters would be partners for future books...who knows?... Again, not sure where Ward was going with this...It has potential to be a good series.... I would like to read number two since this looks like a 7 book deal...