Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Signet
Released on October 5, 2010
While I enjoyed the first book and was interested in the unique set up for this series, I was riveted when I realized this book was going to delve into Jim’s past doing wet work for a shadow organization and more about his steel-hearted boss. This latest story within a story left me craving more.
Crave is book two continuation of the Fallen Angels series, a spin off from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, with its own tough guy fraternal order in an age-old battle. This one doesn’t standalone easily because of the overarching series plot.
The ante is definitely higher in the eternal battle of good and evil with Jim pitted against cunning demoness Devina for seven souls. He’s already won the first soul for the side of good and Devina is determined to beat him to the punch over this second soul. Before Jim can worry about who that is, he has to help a former teammate in X-Ops who got away when no one is supposed to get out except in a body bag. Jim is determined to save Isaac even though his fiendish former boss, Matthias, wants him to kill him as his debt for the help on the first soul battle. Jim also has to worry about Adrian who is not doing well after his sexual torture at the hands of Devina, but Ad says he’s good to go and Jim needs him.
Not knowing that an eternal battle is being waged, Isaac has been living below the radar as an illegal cage fighter and trying to save up enough to really get away from his former career and those hunting him. But, a raid and his arrest ends that plan as he is hauled into custody and gets assigned a public defender. Matthias and his second in command can get to him inside prison so its best he not be a sitting duck. However, his beautiful and smart, successful lawyer from an old Bostonian family, Grier Childe is a bleeding heart crusader for second chances and has decided that Isaac is her new project. She forcefully dives into his life and ignores the warnings and stop signs he tries to put up. First he is enamored and always feels he doesn’t deserve her, but he feels the chemistry between them from the first moment he sees her.
Grier lost her beloved brother, Daniel, to drug abuse and overdose, and her alcoholic mother to cancer. It’s just her and her hard as nails dad left. She never would have considered herself a junkie like Daniel until she realizes the high she feels taking on a dangerous man thought to have done murder like Isaac and muscle him into going straight. He keeps trying to tell her that its dangerous for him to do anything other than ghost, but she won’t have it. It’s only after they are truly entangled and a couple of the scariest people she has ever encountered threaten her and are after Isaac that she starts to get a glimmer that there is a whole lot going on than she could have ever imagined. The twisted truth comes like knife jabs even as only the inexplicable and mysterious Jim is going to be able help them.
In the end, a soul must make its choice and two lovers discover they have no good choices left.
Like I said, I enjoyed this one even more than the first book now that all the introduction to the series is over. Jim is starting to come into his own as a warrior angel and I love his growing fraternity with Eddie and Adrian. Devina is so evil and sensual, but has a quirky funny side that makes her more three dimensional. I enjoyed seeing Jim pitted against her and also Jim’s actions against his former boss, Matthias. To be honest, I was more enthused about the encircling story of supernatural struggles than the human story it wrapped around.
The human romance of Isaac and Grier was a mixed bag for me. Isaac was a good tarnished hero trying to do what he could to survive and get out of the entanglements that hooked him years ago and tricked him into a life that sucked his soul dry. He knows what he’s up against and he has such a big heart still.
But then there is Grier. She’s bright, intelligent, sophisticated on one hand, but then there is her arrogant, stubborn and stupidly sanctimonious insistence that ‘Grier knows best’ and Grier is up for anything. I tolerated it when she thought Isaac was an ordinary cage fighting guy who made bad choices, but she kept it up when she realized there was nothing ordinary and Isaac even told her what he could without pulling her into his dangerous world. But, she kept pushing and bad mouthing him like a bully because there wasn’t a doubt in her mind that she knew best and he really was inferior to her. I just sat there open-mouthed when she tried to manipulate him when she called him a coward when nothing he had done EVER was cowardly though he let her convince him he was. So its now cowardly not to be an idiot by presenting himself like a fish in a barrel for his former boss? Then she was judge and jury on her dad, too, when she bullied and pecked at him into sharing the truth he knew before throwing everything in his face that wasn’t on him because she had to be mad at somebody. Pretty much she was judgy about everyone’s actions and got all offended when Isaac called her out a few times showing she could dish it out, but not take it. I could appreciate that she meant well, but she caused some of the danger and trouble for Isaac and forced her way into the middle of stuff insisting that she was owed the truth- um, no. It was only her business because she shoved her way in and made it her business. She only had her epiphany in the end about Isaac, her dad, and herself. She took in apologies, but never gave them. So, yeah, didn’t hate her, but had zero respect and just wanted her to zip it and get out of the way before she got someone hurt.
The ending was riveting, pulse-pounding and emotional for me. The author allows for victories, but at a cost which makes these have more depth than if everything turned out happily ever after. I feel like with each book, the ante will be upped on the brutal game that is being waged and I’m all in for that. This is a blend of urban fantasy and paranormal romance that I can recommend to those who love those genres.