Review: Crave by J.R. Ward

Posted February 21, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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Review: Crave by J.R. Ward

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Fallen Angels #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Signet
Released on October 5, 2010
Pages: 454
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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The Delight

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.


About J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward is the author of over thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, The Black Dagger Brotherhood. There are more than 15 million copies of Ward’s novels in print worldwide and they have been published in 25 different countries around the world.

After graduating from law school, Ward began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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1 year ago

Being a JR Ward fan, I have this on my bookcase, but I haven’t read it yet. YIKES, I know, way too long to be sitting on the TBR shelf. I’ve heard great things about it, and your review reminds me that I need to get to it. Happy Friyay! RO

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  RO P

No bookshelf shaming from me. I’ve got books on my shelf that have been unread for over a decade. LOL

Glad to remind you and get you excited to read it again. 🙂

Have a great weekend, Radiant Ro!

Mary Kirkland
1 year ago

I haven’t started reading this spin off yet and I’m behind on the Black Dagger Brotherhood books.I will read this at some point though.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

I passed up this spin off series b/c I was trying to get caught up on the BDB series. It really is its own world now that we’re into book two. It has a similar flavor to BDB, but still very different in end game and rules. Lots of fun action. You’d like it, Mary!

Carole Rae
1 year ago

I do like the sounds of these….so maybe 😉

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Maybe is good. 🙂

Jenea's Book Obsession

I really need to check out the first book in this series! This sounds right up my alley!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Epic angel and demon showdowns surrounding action-packed and spicy human romantic suspense. Yum! 🙂

sherry fundin
1 year ago

wonderful review. as soon as i saw that cover and read the blurb i felt it would be a good one
sherry @ fundinmental

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

Bad boy angel out to save the world, oh yes! 🙂

Mizan Japan
1 year ago

Usually, I never comment on blogs but your blog is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job Man, Keep it up

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mizan Japan

Thanks for the kind words and vote of confidence. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

I love that this series is just getting better. So you recommend reading TBD first, since this is a spinoff with an overarching plot? I love how the female characters sound strong, intelligent, and three dimensional; even the villain with her quirky funny side. This author has been on my TBR forever. I really need to try her out. Great Review Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, it went from so-so to good in just one book. 🙂

I say its a spin off, but its not necessary to read the Black Dagger Brotherhood books first. It’s very much its own series and plots and characters. You could start with the first one in this series with no trouble at all if the plot appeals to you more at the moment. 🙂

Lover of Romance
1 year ago

What a great review you have here Sophia! I love this author but haven’t read this series although I have most of the books on my shelf so I definitely need to grab these books up. Sounds like a wild adventure for sure

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Yes, this was a series that I just let slip by when it was coming out and only got interested last year when I finally pulled the first one down off the library shelf. I don’t think I’ll binge them, but it will be fun to work through the series now and then.