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ARC Review: Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione

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Lethal Rider
Author: Larissa Ione 
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: Grand Central
Lords of Deliverance #3
ISBN: #978-0446574501
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (464 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

      Thanatos, the most deadly Horseman of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, Regan Cooper, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a truth more terrifying than an apocalypse-he’s about to become a father.
      Demon-slayer Regan Matthews never imagined herself the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he’s ever wanted-a family.

What Im talking about:

      Lethal Rider opens roughly 8 months after the exciting conclusion of the second Lords of Deliverance book, Immortal Rider. We are quickly brought up to speed on the state of Regan Matthews, long-time Aegis demon hunter who is 8 months pregnant with the child of the fourth Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Thanatos aka Death. In the previous book we followed Regan as she was tricked into believing that a child by Than would stay the impending Demon Apocalypse. At the end of the book, Than’s brother and sister put him into a coma-like state and did not tell him about the child. Now Than has escaped his catatonic state and tracked down Regan. He is hell-bent on revenge until he finds out she is carrying his child, after which Than experiences an array of emotions and isn’t certain which direction he should take.
      First of all… I LOVED this book. I tell you, each subsequent book of Ms. Ione’s series gets better. The opening chapters of Lethal Rider are superb. The story seamlessly moves into the next phase of the story while bringing the reader up to speed on pertinent events from the previous book.  The details from the past are woven into this story in a manner that doesn’t seem intrusive.
      Regan and Than have a lot to overcome, and it’s not a smooth ride. She was brought up to hate demons and although she knows they aren’t all bad, it’s still tough for her to trust in and believe them. Yet she also has a major guilt complex over what happened to Than (she tricked him into having sex with her), even though she was mislead and drugged. Finally, she has low self-confidence, believing that once the baby is born, she will be unwanted by her Aegis family. Than… well, he’s an immortal half angel-half demon, and harbinger of death. He lead a celibate life for roughly 5,000 years, believing if he had sex, his seal would break and he would become the demon, Death. He is alternately lusting after and admiring Regan, then hating her for her part in his “deflowering.”
      I will say that I felt sorry for both characters – my heart ached because I felt that they were both victims, and they were both hurt by the situation. I felt that there slow journey to love was well-played and extremely sensual. Although even I had a rough time in the beginning when Than was determined to use Regan as a sex slave to “make up” for the 8 months he was placed in a coma. The section of the book when this issue comes to a confrontation made me very nervous. There is a very fine line — although, Than may have said to himself he’s not going to force Regan to have sex, his words are very much to the contrary. It made me squirm, even with Regan refusing to beg and taking charge of her situation.
      Although this is Regan and Than’s story, the supporting characters all play significant rolls. Pestilence, the first Horseman and only sibling to turn evil, is gaining power and control over the Earth. Several times while reading the book, I wondered what an average human was experiencing during these dark days. We see what the demon population is going through, but what about someone like me? I would love to read about that! Pestilence is still utterly wicked and the perfect villain.
      There are also a wide array of characters that will continue to be significant in the next book. Some of the Aegis brethren are of particular interest. They make some (in my opinion) really bad decisions and draw a line in the sand. I cannot wait to see what happens next! Plus we have the heavenly watchers Reaver and Harvester… knowing that Reaver’s book is coming out after the final Lords of Deliverance, I am already putting pieces of the puzzle together trying to figure out what will happen. Finally there is an unknown “baddie,” someone helping Pestilence, and WOW – will there be some fall out in the next book. Although I like the twists that lead to some of the actions in Lethal Rider, I was not entirely on board with the reasons behind the biggest one. Unfortunately, I can’t discuss much of that without major spoilers, so you get cryptic here.
      Finally, I have to say that the humor in these stories is incredible… Dry, witty and fantabulous!! Sarcasm is infused into almost every character’s persona… Here is a little sample from Regan:

Hanging out with her colleagues in her spare time would be about as fun as unclogging a toilet with a spoon.

      In conclusion, Lethal Rider truly is the best book yet from the series. The story had me on the edge of my proverbial seat almost the whole book. The plot was fantastic, the twists and turns suspenseful, and there is still so much to be resolved. I can only imagine where Ms. Ione will take us from here!

My Rating:

Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)
 
 

Purchase Info:

Lethal Rider (Lords of Deliverance #3)
Reviews in the series:
Eternal Rider (Lords of Deliverance #1)

Immortal Rider (Lords of Deliverance #2)

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