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Envy  - J.R. Ward A little background information...this series is based on a savior, an angel called Jim Heron. The Creator and evil, Devina, set up a deal: Jim is to help seven souls decide what to do at the crossroads of their life. Do they perform some evil deed and damn their soul forever or do they choose the hard road and save their soul? Sent to Jim to help are Adrian and Eddie, also angels. Within the span a few weeks, these three books in the series take place. Now good and evil are tied up one soul a piece as the stakes get higher for both sides to win.

Book three starts with Detective Thomas DelVechio Jr., or Veck as he is called, waking up to a blood bath in the forest behind a motel. He knows he came there to wait and kill the serial killer David Kroner, but blacks out as he pulls the knife to do the deed. Waking up he has no memory of attacking Kroner, but the serial killer looks like minced meat and barely hanging onto life. Veck calls 911, bring Internal Affairs Officer Sophia Reilly to the scene. There is an instant attraction between them, but Veck is mentally torn up from his own serial killers Father's deeds, and struggles with what he feels is a dual personality. Veck is a haunted man who wants to be good, but struggles with an evil part of himself he doesn't understand. He's extremely honest with Sophia, telling her a lot about his serial killer father, the fans of his father who use him to feel closer to Sr. It is a painful reality we glimpse at in this book. He desperately wants and needs love. Dominant male that he is, Sophia is his perfect match.

Sophia was the strong woman we want to read about. Her life was not always idealistic, but she grew up being loved and that made her into a very strong,independent woman with a big heart for love. She works for Internal Affairs, so when Veck calls 911 to get help for Kroner, she is called in to investigate Veck. Later they are made partners while Veck is under "treatment." But they are really more than partners.

There are several sub-stories going on as well. Devina, evil bitch, has moved her lair, and still has Sissy's soul trapped in her well of souls. You need to read books 1 and 2 in this series to fully understand Jim and Sissy's connection. Devina uses and abuses these angels, leaving them damaged so deep that even they do not realize how bad it is.

Then there is Jim's obsession with saving Sissy's soul. This causes a lot of rifts and a doubt that he is taking the soul saving business seriously. The angels argue a lot, with Adrian leading as usual because Eddie is the silent one. My heart went out to Adrian over and over during this story. Jim fights himself and his angel buddies throughout the book. He knows what is at stake but he can't let go of Sissy. He realizes a few things about himself. Hopefully this will continue in the next book.

You grow to learn more about Nigel's life in heaven and his relationship with Colin. He struggles to remain good and not break the rules of this "contest", when all he wants to do is help Jim. Hands tied, he has a few arguments with his angel friends.

Let's not forget Dog...is he only a dog or is he something more? I guess we will have to wait to find out.

I don't want to reveal any spoilers so I am leaving my description of the book at what it is. I have read all three books in this series, and the first two books weren't great. I am not reviewing those books, but to understand the series I think you should read them. There is one huge shocking part of the book, that will reverberate throughout this series because I am sure it wasn't resolved. It is shocking, but ballsy move.

J.R. Ward has an incredible style of writing. She interweaves the characters lives together making you wonder how you got all knotted up in the story. Her unique usage of modern terms, clich├ęs, slang, etc. is on a level that is all her own. Sometimes they didn't really seem to be right for the different characters, but at least they are original and all Ward's.

I really liked this book, the best book in the series by far. Spending a lot of the book talking to myself, I often offered up advice to the characters. Obsessions were front and center. You saw the good side of obsession and the very bad side of it. The Evil in this book is pure. The Good in this book is gray. What would you do to win the battle between good and evil?

The ending reveals something of the next book. No spoiler...you have to read it to find out.

The first two books in this series aren't the best, but they are needed foundation for reading this book. I encourage you to read them, because the third one is a must read.