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Latest in series not the strongest, but interesting

Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

I'm a huge fan of the paranormal romance genre. That being said, I've read a lot of really terrible paranormal romances. Thankfully, one of the best writers of the genre is J. R. Ward. Her gritty realism makes her characters jump off of the page and really dig their way into your heart. I always know when I pick up Ward's newest novel I will not be doing anything else till the book is finished. Ward currently writes two series: "The Fallen Angels" and "The Black Dagger Brotherhood." Both series feature tough, muscular and fallible heroes who use course, if not downright dirty, language. Much to the chagrin of her fan-base, each series receives one new novel a year.

The latest novel in "The Fallen Angels" series is "Possession." All through the series we follow the struggles of Jim Heron, an ex-military assassin turned unwilling Angel, who must fight to save mankind once and for all. Premised on the fact that Devinia (the Devil) and Nigel (the Head Archangel) finally convinced God to either save or damn all souls, Jim is chosen as the pivot point in the war. A mixture of good and bad qualities, both sides agreed he would be their champion and his ability (or inability) to sway souls would decide the fate of mankind.

Jim is naturally confounded and angered by all that has befallen him and as the series progresses we watch him struggle with himself and the souls he encounters. "Possession" is book five in the series and in it we see a critical turning point to the war. Previously Jim has fought and primarily won souls for the Archangels. In this novel, we see Jim's inner struggle turn outward and his lack of concentration truly affects the outcome. His partner, Adrian, is trying to pick up the slack but his own demons from hundreds of years of fighting are weighing him down.

The main plot line of the novel centers on Cait Douglass and her growing romance between two men. Cait is not sure who she wants to pursue or why, but she feels attraction to both Duke and G.B. Unwilling to trust her own emotions, Cait becomes embroiled in an elaborate plot and deep romance. She is unwittingly the nexus that will ultimately save or damn a man's soul.

Duke is by far the most arousing character of the book. His dark good looks, gravelly voice and tough alpha-male personality will appeal to many romance readers. He also has the advantage of the "bad boy" bravado and persona.

Will Cait pick G.B. or Duke? How will this affect the war of souls? What can Jim and Adrian do to win? Read "Possession" to find out. And don't worry, book six should arrive in October (no title released yet) so you won't have to wait too long to find out what happens next.

Be warned, J. R. Ward leaves little to the imagination in her romantic encounters. Graphic is probably a mild way of describing them. On the steamy meter, they will definitely set off the fire alarms. She also does not skimp on the cursing or swearing.

Overall, this was not the best novel of the series, but it was definitely interesting and took a darker turn than the previous books. I give it an R rating for the sex and language, but an A on my paranormal romance meter.

You can borrow a copy of "Possession," or other J.R. Ward novels at Boyd County Public Library. Just visit any branch, or place a hold on a copy through the catalog on our website, www.thebookplace.org.

Jamie Bayne is Information Services Supervisor at Boyd County Public Library.

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