J.R. Ward doesn’t just write some of the hottest vampires in paranormal fiction, she’s also created a class of fallen angels that may have you swearing to stay away from the pearly gates in order to steal some time with these exiled celestial beings. Ward plunged us into this dark and sexy series with 2009’s Covet and each fall has treated us to another installment with a snappy one-word title — Crave and Envy respectively — and some of the best dark heroes in romance today. (But don’t take my word for it on the heavenly hottie front, you’ve got time to pick up the first three books in the series before the upcoming book four, Rapture, is in stores this fall.)
But if J.R. Ward’s name and the promise of sinfully sexy men aren’t enough to get you pre-ordering your own copy of Rapture, here is what we know we can expect:
Journalist Mels Carmichael accidentally hits a man with her car at the start of the story. And because she’s a) the heroine and b) not a terrible person, she goes to visit him in the hospital where she discovers that the man has no idea who he is … or what secrets may lie his past. And the things he does remember? Well, they sound more than a little absurd. He knows that he saw the name Jim Heron written on a headstone. (Not so weird.) And he knows that Heron is a fallen angel who is supposed to be saving people with at-risk souls. (Super weird. Well, super weird if you don’t know you’re smack dab in the middle of a series about fallen angels.) But because Mels is a reporter, this dark hero rouses her curiosity. What does Mels not do? Go running in the other direction like this girl would if the cute guy who she maybe hit with a car started talking about fallen angels. (Clearly, I would not be a good paranormal romance heroine.) So Mels and her sexy-but-maybe-vagrant hero go poking into his past, it’s not long before it becomes clear that there is something of cosmic proportions coming soon ...
The word on the Goodreads street is that this amnesiac fallen angel is Matthais, the villain from book two, who has since been gifted with a new soul. Now, that’s something that I can neither confirm nor deny. But what I can tell you is with just a quick look at this cover, Ward’s Fallen Angel fans know that they can expect something a little bit different from the next series installment. (And no, I’m not just talking about the fact that this book moves the series into hardcover releases.)
All three previous covers have featured, dare I say, fantastically shirtless heroes. The beefcake bods proudly proclaiming that these men are “mad, bad and dangerous to know.” But for Rapture, it’s evident that this hero doesn’t have that kind connection to his physical body. And frankly, isn’t sure quite who he is. There’s no hunky chest or “well, hellllooo heavenly warrior” back, instead we just get a tease of the hero he might be … There’s a shard of feathered wing (pointing the opposite direction of the wings that have been on the past two FA covers — significant? Maybe so, maybe no ...) And then there’s one mysterious, piercing blue eye. (A shade of blue which those romantic souls among us might even be tempted to call stormy sky blue, celestial blue or even cosmic battle blue.)
Of course, the final element of the cover is that gate. Whether it is locking someone out, keeping someone in or simply signifying that there will be a barrier between Mels and the mystery angel’s heart, well, I can’t tell you that. But what I can tell you is that I can’t wait for Rapture’s September 25, 2012 release date!
So I want to know, what do you think of the latest Fallen Angels cover? Tell me in the comments below. And for more genre coverage be sure to check out RT's Everything Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Page!