First review from our newest member, Selene!!!!!
Rapture begins with a naked, amnesiac Matthias, a not-so-cuddly character from the previous installments of the series, having just woken up on Jim Heron’s grave, shocked beyond shocked that he has somehow escaped what he feels is his well-deserved perdition in Hell. Soon after, we meet Mels Carmichael, a headstrong reporter who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants and reject what she doesn’t (like her boss’s unwelcome advances). My kind of girl! The two protagonists, who shall henceforth be referred to in couple form as M&M, meet in a head-on collision, literally; Mels hits Matthias with her car and lands both of them in the hospital. There, the attraction between M&M is instantaneous. The two then combine forces and resources to help him remember his life and uncover secrets from his previous job as commander of a secret covert government agency called XOps.
Jim Heron, the main character of the series and fellow former XOps member under Matthias, is only two wins away from beating Devina, resident evil and devil incarnate in sultry seductress form. Seven souls are put to the moral test and so far, she has only captured one soul for the side of evil: Matthias. Unfortunately for her, the Maker (God) has decided to give his soul another chance as Devina gained the win by unfair means. She still keeps the win, but this time, Jim knows who the soul is and will do everything in his power to see that his former boss makes the right choice for himself, his lover, and for all mankind. With a little divine help in the form of Dog (his turkey sub-loving dog), four very British archangels, and fellow incredibly sexy, yet sad fallen angel, Adrian Vogel, they keep watch on Matthias and their enemies.
I absolutely loved this book.
Like most of J.R. Ward’s stories, Rapture does not lack in drama, the paranormal, comedy, suspense, action, and above all, hot sex. What she did here (and arguably, what she does best) is make me care so deeply for the characters that I felt everything they felt. I got frustrated when Jim let Devina use his weakness against him, I rejoiced when Mels and her darling mother finally communicated, I cried when Adrian sacrificed his health so that Matthias could once again be whole, and my heart soared each and every time M&M came together.
Again, I really have to hand it to the Warden. I didn’t think that I would be able to like Matthias after everything he’d done, including trying to kill hero Isaac Rothe in the second book. But love him, I do. What I find most interesting about him is the fact that he isn’t the run-of-the-mill spectacular specimen of a man like the author usually likes to write about. He is on the skinny side, his injuries from a previous suicide attempt having disfigured him and stopped his body from further development. He’s also completely lost, impotent, and full of self-loathing. And the beautiful thing about Mels is that she doesn’t care about any of that. She wants him despite and because of his flaws and he is eternally grateful for her, even choosing to remain with her when he could have spent eternity in Heaven. Both of their faults make their union all the more beautiful. And all the more hot. M&M are proof that when someone is grateful to be with you, they will always try to please you.
Hot quote: “You’re getting wet,” she said roughly. His burning eyes lifted to hers. “I hope that makes two of us.” As she nodded, he laughed in the back of his throat. “Say it for me.” “Say what.” “How wet you are, right here…” His hand swept to her core, his long fingers slipping into the heat, rubbing just enough to have her crying out – before easing free. “Say it.” He picked that moment to open his mouth and slid what had touched her in between his lips, his cheeks hollowing out as he sucked, a sound of approval resonating in his chest.
Apparently, this is the case where M&M melts in your mouth and in your hand.
Heat Factor: On Fire