Seduction,Vengeance and Redemption
Lethal Rider, book 3 of Larissa Ione’s Lords of Deliverance series has it all, a rip roaring plot, a tortured alpha hero to die for, a strong heroine and fantastic secondary characters. It also has some smoking hot sex scenes! This author makes me laugh out loud at the dialogue and antics of the characters in one paragraph and in the next has me on the verge of tears as I fear for their lives.
This series centres on the Four Horsemen, Ares, (War) Reseph. (Pestilence), Limos (Famine) and Thanatos (Death), cursed to usher in the Apocalypse. The Daemonica, the demon bible, contains prophecies, which if fulfilled, will ensure that they fight for on the side of evil. The first two books in the series, Eternal Rider and Immortal Rider, dealt in turn with the trials of Ares and his sister Limos and their attempts to prevent their ‘Seals’ from breaking and propelling them into this evil path. Reseph (Pestilence) has had his ‘Seal’ broken already and has inflicted plagues on the world and has also released demons from Sheoul, the demon realm.
Lethal Rider continues the storyline at the end of the previous novel Immortal Rider, where demon-slayer Regan Matthews seduced a drugged Thanatos, stealing his virginity and becoming pregnant as planned. Thanatos had erroneously believed that his ‘Seal’ was his virginity, guarding it throughout his immortality. Fearing his vengeance Regan is holed up at the HQ of the Aegis (the society of human warriors set up to protect the world against evil), to await the birth of the child who, according to a prophecy, is fated to save the world. Thanatos wakes from his eight and a half months medical induced paralysis, which his siblings have put him under to contain his rage. Furious, he seeks Regan out intent on killing her for her betrayal. It is then that he discovers that she is pregnant with his child and he kidnaps her and takes her back to his castle, intent on retribution.
Regan is terrified, believing that her life will be forfeit once the baby is born. She also harbours a great deal of guilt about how the child was conceived. Over time Thanatos and Regan develop an uneasy truce and they begin to bond. However, other forces are at play and his brother Pestilence plots against him, with aid from an unlikely source. Moreover, the cohesion of the Aegis is threatened by fundamentalists who are against the recent rapprochement with some members of the supernatural world. All of this impacts on Regan, Thanatos and their allies and threatens their lives and that of their unborn child. I am in awe of how the author weaves together these complex plot lines towards a satisfying conclusion that also sets the scene for the subsequent book in the series Rogue Rider.
Thanatos is an alpha hero with a big heart. Furious at Regan’s deception, he is also very much ‘in lust’ with her. He desires a family, but has never dared hope for one due to his curse and the anger that he seeks to control. Stunned he is going to be a father, he wants to keep the child. Regan did what she had to do to save the world, but does not see herself as the maternal type and does not feel worthy of love. She has her own special powers and supernatural background that makes her less than human in her eyes. It is very sweet how Thanatos and Regan come to understand each others’ vulnerabilities and how out of distrust comes, understanding, respect, trust and eventually love. The sex scenes are liberally peppered throughout the plot, but do not overpower it. I have read few books where the author effectively portrays sex involving a heavily pregnant heroine, but Larissa Ione does so in effortless style in some scorching lovemaking scenes.
The main secondary characters include Thanatos’ siblings, Ares, Limos and of course Pestilence, who is now an evil adversary. Other characters include those from Larissa Ione’s Demonica series, notably the Seminus Demon brothers Eidolon, Shade and Wraith (who are each an incubus/sex demon with special abilities) and Kynan, the human who works for the Aegis. The Watchers, Reaver and Harvester, the angel and fallen angel, also play a pivotal role. The remaining cast of include a whole host of demons, vampires and other supernatural beings and scenes take place on earth, in the demon underworld and even in heaven.
As usual I loved the author’s writing style, which is very distinctive, being full of snarky humour. The story, violent at times, moved swiftly, from one location to another, although did not detract from the growing relationship between the two main characters. Readers of authors such as Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter are advised to check out this author if they have not done so already. I will be reading the next book in the series, Rogue Rider, as soon as it comes out as I need to know what happens next! I would recommend this book to adult readers of paranormal romance (due to the hot sex scenes).