Envy  - J.R. Ward 4.5 Stars
Originally posted at WickedLilPixie Reviews
This is a no-spoiler review, but assumes a familiarity with the first two books in the series.

Envy is the third book in JR Ward’s Fallen Angel’s series and arguably the best in the series. In the main arc of the series, Jim Heron is battling on the side of Heaven with the demon Devina over seven souls. After the first two books, they are now tied 1-1 and have 5 more souls to go head-to-head over. Jim is tasked with influencing a person at a crossroads in his or her life, helping the person take the “good” road while Devina influences the person to take the “evil” road. He’d focused on the wrong man in Crave, and had blown it. Now he is back in Caldwell, New York with his two fallen angel soldiers Adrian Vogel and Eddie Blackhawk. He has made it his mission to save Sissy AKA Cecilia Barten who was slaughtered by Devina in Covet, and whom he discovered was trapped and suffering in Devina’s wall of souls in Crave.

We meet up with Detective Thomas DelVecchio, or “Veck”, where we originally met him in Lover Unleashed from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. He comes to in front of the suspect he has been stalking who has been murdering young women. He’s only been on the Caldwell homicide team for two weeks and here he is, the suspect of a murder. Enter Sophia Reilly with CPD’s Internal Affairs to investigate the situation, and what to do you know! It appears Veck is the next soul that is in contention!

Guys, I have to say that this might be one of my favorite more recent JR Ward books. I certainly enjoyed it better than her last Black Dagger Brotherhood book Lover Unleashed. Veck is very believable and likeable, he is haunted by the evil that is his father, the ultimate psychopath, one that you would read about in the Dexter series. He shares his father’s looks, his name, and has spent his entire life trying to run from the fear that he not only he will become his father, but that maybe he already is his father.

And Sophia Reilly truly is Veck’s ticket to redemption. She reminds him of who he wants to be, and what he is not. She provides him that path, should he take it, to do right and live his life on the light side instead of condemning himself to the dark. The tension, the chemistry that is created between the two of them is so hot. The buildup is so so good. And they are so believably good for one another that you are really championing them to be with each other. Here is just a taste of the tension:
Veck was standing right behind her, his lids at half-mast, his body so much larger that it appeared when he was five feet away from her.

She didn’t move. Neither did he.

“Do you believe confession is good for the soul?” he said darkly.

“Yes . . .”

“Then I have something I’d better tell you.”

Oh, God, this was why they told you not to mix business and pleasure.
And I love love love what Ward is doing with the demon Devina. She is truly evil, an ugly mess of a monster wearing the appearance of something that would rival Sophia Vergara. And yet she has all of these insecurities. She hoards, needs constant validation, particularly the attention of Jim. And she even sees a therapist. She is AN AWESOME villain and I cannot wait to see what Ward does with her!
“How do I look?”

She did a little twirl in front of the young man who was hanging upside down over her tub. Except he didn’t have anything to say, even though his eyes were open.

“Oh, what the hell do you know.”
and then again, she goes compliment-seeking while she Hell and is put out at the reaction she receives:

The tortured damned writhed against the confines of their viscous prison, faces and hips and knees and elbows straining for a freedom that they would never attain, their woeful voices multi-layered and muffled.

“How do I look?” she shouted upward.

The chorus of moans rose in reply, but told her absolutely nothing.

For fuck’s sake, couldn’t she get a witness somewhere? Anywhere?
Jim is really coming in to his own in this battle of good versus evil. This is his third go-around to learn the rules and assist indirectly Veck as Devina battles him to take his soul. Without giving away too much, as we learn along with him how the rules go and how they can be adjusted, he is really becoming something more powerful than either side had anticipated. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book, and how he progresses in this battle. And I want to know more about dog!

The book is very suspenseful and I was really rooting for the good guys! My only complaint in this entire book is the archangel side-story with Colin and Nigel. There are just too many moving parts in this series that their side story was just too much. I kept waiting for it to tie in with the overall storyline of Jim, Eddie, Adrian or Veck and Reilly but it never did and I grew bored with it. Unless she wants to show us what all smexy times is going on down by that river, or in their tents? Leave it out.

If you are a fan of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and didn’t really feel this series with the first book, Covet: Please give it another try. The second book, Crave was way better than I thought it was going to be. And this book? AWESOME.