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Rapture
Cover of Rapture
Rapture
Fallen Angels Series, Book 4
by J.R. Ward

Out of the wickedly inventive imagination of #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward comes a world where sin and salvation collide in a battle for the future of mankind—where a cynical fallen angel struggles against the seven deadly sins and a demon's lure over seven chosen souls...

Mels Carmichael, reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery. After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they're in over their heads with his past. Over their heads with passion, too...

As shadows walk the line between reality and another realm, and her lover's memory begins to come back, the two of them learn that nothing is truly dead and buried. Especially when you're trapped in a no holds barred war between angels and demons. With a soul on the line, and Mels's heart at risk, what in Heaven—or in Hell—will it tak...

Out of the wickedly inventive imagination of #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward comes a world where sin and salvation collide in a battle for the future of mankind—where a cynical fallen angel struggles against the seven deadly sins and a demon's lure over seven chosen souls...

Mels Carmichael, reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery. After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they're in over their heads with his past. Over their heads with passion, too...

As shadows walk the line between reality and another realm, and her lover's memory begins to come back, the two of them learn that nothing is truly dead and buried. Especially when you're trapped in a no holds barred war between angels and demons. With a soul on the line, and Mels's heart at risk, what in Heaven—or in Hell—will it tak...

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    This was not his house.

    As the taxi pulled over in front of a ranch in a modest neighborhood, Matthias knew he didn't live under its roof. Hadn't. Wouldn't.

    "You gettin' out or not?"

    Matthias met the driver's eyes in the rearview. "Gimme a minute."

    "Meter's running."

    Nodding, he got out and relied on his cane as he went up the front walk, swinging his bad leg in a wide circle so he didn't have to bend his knee. Things were hardly Home Sweet Home: There was a branch down in the scrubby hedge that ran under the bay window. The lawn was scruffy. Weeds had sprouted in the gutters, reaching for the sun so high above.

    The front door was locked, so he cupped his hands and looked into the windows on either side. Dust bunnies. Mismatched furniture. Sagging drapes.

    There was a cheapo tin mailbox screwed into the bricks, and he opened the top. Circulars. A coupon book addressed to "Occupant." No bills, credit card applications, letters. The only other piece of mail was an AARP magazine that had the same name as that of the driver's license he'd been given.

    Matthias rolled the mag up, shoved it into his wind-breaker, and headed back to the cab. Not only was this not his residence, nobody lived here. Best guess was that the person had died within, say, four to six weeks—long enough so that the family had cleaned up the accounts payable issues, but before they emptied the place out to put it on the market.

    Getting into the cab, he stared straight ahead.

    "Where to now?"

    With a groan, Matthias shifted over and got out his wallet. Sliding Mels Carmichael's business card free, he was struck by an overriding conviction that he shouldn't involve the woman.

    Too dangerous.

    "What'll it be, pal?"

    But shit, he had to start somewhere. And his brain was like an Internet connection gone bad.

    "Trade Street," he gritted.

    As they headed for the downtown area and got caught in a net of traffic, he stared into the other cars and saw people drinking coffee, talking to passengers, stopping at red lights, going on green. Totally foreign to him, he thought. The kind of life where you nine-to-five'd your way into a grave at the age of seventy-two was not how he'd lived.

    So what was, he asked his dumb-ass gray matter. What the fuck was?

    All he got back was a headache while he strained for an answer.

    As the Caldwell Courier Journal facility came into view, he took out one of the ten twenties in the wallet. "Keep the change."

    The cabdriver seemed more than happy to get rid of him.

    Taking up res on the periphery of the front doors, Matthias loitered in the sunshine, being careful not to meet any stares—and there were a lot of them: For some reason, he tended to attract attention, usually from women—then again, the Florence Nightingale stuff was something the fairer sex was known for, and he did have scars on his face.

    Ooooooh, romantic.

    Eventually, he took cover across the street at the bus stop, parking it on the hard plastic bench and breathing in the secondhand smoke from people impatient for their public trans to arrive. The waiting didn't bother him. It was as if he were used to lurking, and to pass the time he played a game, memorizing the faces of the people who came and went out of the CCJ offices.

    He was extremely good at it. One look was all it took, and he had the person in his database.

    At least his short-term memory was working—

    The double doors pushed wide, and there she was.

    Matthias sat up straighter as the sunlight hit her hair and all kinds of copper showed. Mels Carmichael, associate reporter, was with a...

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