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ARC Review: Eternal Rider

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Eternal Rider
Author: Larissa Ione 
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Lords of Deliverance Book #1
ISBN: #978-0446574495
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): paperback (432 pgs), e-book
I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review.

From the author’s website:

      They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
      His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.
      Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can’t-or won’t-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman’s safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara’s life.

What I’m talking about:

      Although new, the Lords of Deliverance series is set in Ms. Ione’s amazing DEMONICA world.  Many of the characters and locations from her previous series are present and active participants of this new book. The mythology and rules follow suit.  It’s a great continuation for fans of the Demonica series, but it’s also a wonderful place to “jump in” if you are new to Ms. Ione’s work.
      The series centers around the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but this isn’t your run-of-the-mill retelling.  Ms. Ione creates here own version of these biblical characters, two of which made an appearance in Larissa’s fifth Demonica Series book, Sin Undone. In fact, this book takes place shortly after the conclusion of Sin Undone. 
      Eternal Rider features the second horseman, Ares aka “War.” He is over 5,000 years old and has been living a fairly quite existence along side his sister and brothers after being cursed to carry the Seals of Armageddon. In Sin Undone, the Seal of the first horseman, Pestilence, broke, turing Ares’ fun-loving brother into a pure evil demon hell-bent on breaking the Seals of his siblings, therefore bringing about the end of days.  Each horseman has an “Achilles heel” that can cause his/her Seal to break. For Ares, it happens to be the life of a human woman, Cara.
      Cara’s solitary life is going nowhere, and she is a shell of her former self. When she happens to get mixed up with a hellhound and mistaken for a demon, her life is forever changed.  Soon she comes under the protection of Ares and his “good siblings,” for her death would mean the fall of the second horseman and rise of War.  As Cara learns about the paranormal world she never knew existed, she regains her inner strength and becomes more alive.
      Ms. Ione has another winner with Eternal Rider! She takes the already magnificent world from her Demonica Series and adds more layers without creating unnecessary rules or confusion. The mythology flows naturally from one series to the next. For those that haven’t read the Demonica Series (YOU SHOULD!), there may be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the terminology and characters, but it is worth the time (she even includes a handy glossary in the front).
      One thing that I love about Ms. Ione’s writing is that she doesn’t follow any “preset patterns” for paranormal romances. For example: Ares and Cara are a great couple. One thing that I adore about them is that they are not a pre-destined pair. They meet, they get to know one another, they deal with life-and-death situations and they fall in love – even though neither of them is looking for it to happen.  And I adore Ares wonderful sense of self-humor. I love his self-berating diatribes over his sometimes silly teenager-like obsessions over Cara.
      Another example of how this story goes it’s own way is found in “turned” brother Reseph aka “Pestilence.”  He. Is. Evil. In a genre filled with “happy endings,” I kept hoping, like the siblings, the Reseph would have a moment of compassion, but there are no redeeming qualities to this demon. Pestilence is to Reseph what Angelus is to Angel (from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series): a pure evil soul trying to wipeout the memories of the “good guy” he once was. A character you truly hate.
      This tale is full of fast moving action and steamy romance. A warning – there is some graphic violence, but it’s not added for shock value–it’s an intricate part to the telling of the story. And I will admit, for most of the book I felt the smex wasn’t on par with the erotic tellings in the Demonic books, but Ms. Ione comes through in the end with some steamy stuff! *blushes*  This story is a MUST for Demonica Series fans and worth the read for anyone else!

My Rating: 

Really enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)

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