In a J.R. Ward book we’ve come to expect the pinnacle in world building, character development, emotion, compassion, excitement, and romance. In Crave, the second book of her Fallen Angels series, Ms. Ward continues to do what she does best—build a complex world with an overarching long-range plot and characters that are not only multi-dimensional but also struggle with moral ambiguities and questions that have no easy answers. The Fallen Angel series is "a story as old as time." It’s the story of good vs. evil, where one man, Jim Heron, is charged with saving the souls of seven people. His failure to complete this mission would mean the world would go to hell—literally.  


In Crave, Jim Heron comes face to face with his past as he tries to save the soul of Issac Rothe, a man who was part of his former XOps team, a secret government agency that killed "for the good of the country." The only way to opt out of the team is in a body bag. Issac did opt out, only he’s not in a body bag, he’s on the run hoping that his old team, and particularly his boss, Mathais, won’t find him. But that’s a bit of a problem since Issac’s in jail, and he’s got a demon who wants his soul. Grier Childe, a lawyer from the Beacon Hill side of Boston has never met the likes of Issac, and they couldn’t be more opposite. But something about him pulls her in his direction and she finds herself wanting to help him, to understand him, to save him. Romantic complications he doesn’t need. What he needs, what he wants, is a clean break from the XOps team and a chance to live his life on his own terms. It’s good to want things. Too bad we don’t always get what we want.

Crave is the type of book that I love, the kind of book that is becoming a major part of the vocabulary and landscape of romance novels. More and more, we’re reading books that are part of a larger series. Series where each book not only tells the story about the hero and heroine, but where each book contributes to the series by answering questions about the major theme and moral issues of the larger story arc—the reason the series exists, if you will. With this kind of book it becomes imperative that readers pay attention. These kinds of books are not for lazy readers. And that’s a good thing, because most romance readers are not only voracious in their appetites for well-written romance, they’re also intelligent and diligent and demand much from the authors they read. I think that’s why these long-standing, multifaceted, and intricate series are so popular. We’re part of the generation that spent six years watching the TV show Lost, and we want more to hang our hat on—more to wonder about, more to ponder. We’re intrigued by the mysterious, by the unknown and excited about finding answers that don’t necessarily come easy. Don’t get me wrong, we still love our single titles and category romances, but with a long-standing series you get the added bonus of considering  each new disclosure and deciphering little clues that begin to paint the picture of the larger world. Along with the anticipation of finding out what happens next, there’s a certain satisfaction in getting to know particular characters over several books and watching them grow. You also have the ability to spend hours online or around the water cooler debating, discussing, and analyzing what the heck happened with other readers who share your love for a specific series.



Until next Monday, remember there’s a book waiting to be read.

I’m curious, what long-standing series has you waiting in line for the next book?



Marisa O'Neill is an avid reader and television producer.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-11-2010 11:45 AM

Oh MY GOD Marisa, my TBR pile is screaming at me, but what am I doing, I'm pulling out my wallet a day from payday and going to dole out my last $10, or $20 or heck even $50 for a JR Ward novel. Here are my favs.


JR Ward

Deborah Crombie

Jayne Krentz or any of her alter egos

Deborah Cooke or her alter Claire Delacroix

Sandra Brown

Kristin Hannah

Susan Wiggs

Rachel Gibson

Gena Showalter

Jessica Anderson

Jennifer Estep

Karen Marie Moning

Emilie Richards

Suzanne Brockmann

Lisa Gardner

Lisa Jackson

Ridley Pearson

John Sandford

Nelson DeMille

Andrew Greeley

Michael Connelly

Linda Fairstein

Elizabeth Lowell

Christina Dodd

LInda Howard

Kay Hooper

Mary Anna Evans

Tami Hoag

and a new addition

JT Elliott


Ok so not just a few, sue me :-)


great article




by 1lovealways on ‎10-12-2010 01:01 AM

Hi Marisa!


I agree with Deb.  My TBR pile is totally annoyed at me for adding more books, but I can't help it! They just keep coming!  LOL!  Great article.  Here are some of the long standing series I'm following.


Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley Mac Gregor ~ Dark Hunters, Lords of Avalon

J.R. Ward ~ Black Dagger Brotherhood, Fallen Angels

Lara Adrian ~ Midnight Breeds

Larissa Ione ~ Demonica Series

Kresley Cole ~ Immortals after Dark

Lora Leigh ~ Feline Breeds, Elite Ops, Navy Seals 

Nalini Singh ~ Psy Changeling

Christine Warren ~ The Others

Gena Showalter ~ Lords of the Underworld

Lynsay Sands ~ The Argeneau Series

Christine Feehan ~ The Dark Series

Susan Sizemore ~ The Primal Series

Joey W. Hill ~ Vampire Queen Series

Jacquelyn Frank ~ The Nightwalkers

Lynn Viehl ~ The Darkyn Series

Brenda Joyce ~ The Masters of Time

Jeaniene Frost ~ The Night Huntress

Karen Marie Moning ~ The Highlander Series



by Beguile_Thy_Sorrow on ‎10-12-2010 02:15 AM

I love so many series but the only ones I can think of that are fairly looong& ongoing (aka more than 4 or 5 books) are Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series and Nalini Singh's Psy-Changling series.

Haven't read any of JR Ward's books but I always see people saying great things about them so I'm gonna have to get myself caught up asap :smileyhappy:

by Blogger Marisa-ONeill on ‎10-12-2010 06:25 AM

Hi Deb, 1lovealways and Tally-wa! Wow, you make me feel so much better about my obsession with the series that I love. I'm right there with you on so many of these authors - their series are auto-buys for me.  There are several authors that you've mentioned that I've yet to read and I'm not sure if I should thank you or run screaming - the last thing I need is one more series to get addicted to.  But... I'm now off to check out the authors you've mentioned that I'm not (YET) reading.

by Laura0807 on ‎10-14-2010 10:51 AM

Hi Marisa,

Crave is absolutley the kind of book that takes a serious reader.  I picked it up on Tuesday, and find myself turning off the radio in the car while waiting for my girls at dance and reading.  Music is to much of a distraction.  I like it so far.  I think the back of the book is like candy.  Meaning, we get a glimpse of Ward's next brotherhood book.  I knew Manny would be back, and I am hoping his story is better than John's.  I was a bit disappointed with his story.  Back to books that I can't wait to read.  Of course ward is at the very top.  With both of her series.  And then, I wait for C. Dodd's Choses series.  I'm pretty choosey about who I read.  My list of authors is very limited.  I very much have to like the style right off the bat, or I put them down.

by KLBooksAZ on ‎10-14-2010 01:00 PM

I'm anxious to start JR Ward's books, soon hopefully. Brotherhood & Fallen ♥


My favorite paranormal book series are:

Kresley Cole: Immortals after Dark

Gena Showalter: Lord of Underworld & Atlantis

Sherrilyn Kenyon: Dark Hunters

Larissa Ione: Demonica

Alyssa Day: Warriors of Atlantis

Rachelle Mead: Vampire Academy



Margaret Mallory: All the Kings Men [english/irish]

Susan Wiggs: Tutor Rose [english]

Karen Hawkins: MacLeans [scottish]


Western / Cowboy:

Linda Lael Miller: MeKettricks of Texas [all 3 generations] & Montana Creeds [hot!]

Sarah McCarty: Promises & Hell's Eight & Shadow Wranglers [cowboy vamps]

Jenny Penn: Cattleman's Club [EROTIC / Manage'] Found that out of curiosity - good writting!

Lorelei James: Rough Riders


Cop / Nascar:

Karin Tabke: Good Girl Gone Bad & The Blood Sword

Shayla Black: Wicked Lovers

Erin McCarthy: Flat out Sexy [nascar drivers! yum!]



by 1lovealways on ‎10-19-2010 01:07 AM



I've been meaning to check out Alyssa Day's books too!  Also, you guys, you can add Toni Blake's Destiny Series to the list. :smileyhappy:

by Lynnie_M on ‎11-03-2010 08:44 PM

I agree with the review on Crave.  I enjoyed it more than Covet and LOVED the preview to the next Brotherhood series.  I too was disappointed with the last Brotherhood book and am anxiously awaiting the Manny story.  I also agree with many of the 'must read' lists.  Although I have not gotten into Showalter or Kenyon so much.  I wish K. Moning would expand on her Highlander series because I do not really care for her next series - I just can't get into stuff in the first person!  I have also been enjoying Rachel Gibson - she doesn't do paranormal romance, but has a respectable 'hockey boys' series and 'authors' series that are great reads.  I have also discovered the RITA past award winners list that is a great resource for new authors.  I do not have the same problem with my TBR list - I don't have anything on that!  I read all of Wards books and Kresley's books and Karen Moning's books and am always looking!  I will check out some of the other postings and see if something grabs me!


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