Author: Larissa Ione
Release Date: Nov. 20, 2012
Publisher: Grand Central
Lords of Deliverance #4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (432 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley
About the book:
Jillian Cardiff came to this remote mountain town to forget the demon attack that almost killed her. Instead, she rescues – and falls for – a gorgeous stranger who has no memory of anything other than his name. Handsome, charming and protective, Reseph seems like the kind of man that Jillian can trust. But with hints of a troubling history of his own, he’s also the kind of man that can be very dangerous . . .
Reseph may not know his background, or why he mysteriously appeared in Jillian’s life, but he knows he wants to stay. Yet when Jillian’s neighbours are killed and demon hunters arrive on the scene, Reseph fears that he’s putting Jillian in danger. And once it’s revealed that Reseph is also Pestilence, the Horseman responsible for ravaging the world with death and destruction, he and Jillian must face the greatest challenge of all: can they forget the horrors of a chilling past to save the future they both desire?
What I’m talking about:
The final story in Ms. Ione’s Lords of Deliverance paranormal series about the four horsemen of the apocalypse centers around the final brother, Reseph, also known as Pestilence. Pestilence was “created” from Reseph when his “seal” was broken back before the first book in this series. As Pestilence, he brought about hell on Earth, literally, and caused the horrific death of thousands (if not millions) of innocent people. It’s been three months since the events at the end of the third book, Lethal Rider, which concluded with the death of Pestilence. His death allowed for the return of Reseph (the good half of the horseman), who was subsequently released from Sheoul (the demon realm, comparable to hell) where he’d been imprisoned. He was tossed back to Earth with his memories removed by his guardian angel (of sorts), Reaver, who did this in hopes that Reseph would have time to heal and integrate back into his life and family.
At the start of Rogue Rider, Jillian discovers a very naked and lost Reseph from the snowy hills of her reclusive property. Although Reseph has no knowledge of his past, including all of the unearthly destruction he brought upon the world, Jillian takes him in against better judgement. It’s obvious that Jillian has suffered emotion damage and has chosen a life a solitude, yet she felt a connection to Reseph that tugs on her emotionally.
The opening few chapters of Rogue Rider are sweet and romantic, telling us the story of a couple of lost souls getting the chance to heal and start over. Both Reseph and Jillian sensed in the back of their minds that something bigger was going on, but each chose to embrace the other with blind passion. I enjoyed seeing Reseph free of the horrors from his past and getting a glimpse of the brother we never saw in the previous three books. I also felt the gradual unveiling (at first) of Reseph’s memories allowed the couple to deal with pieces of him in a safe way – giving them time to become emotionally invested before the ball drops.
I adored Jillian, who pulled on my heartstrings. Even before I knew the whole hideous truth of her backstory, I had a gut feeling it would end up coming between Reseph and Jillian. But for a woman that hid from the world, I was impressed with how she opened herself up to Reseph. Although she tried to take it slow and keep her distance, she just couldn’t resist this sexy, mysterious man.
On the other hand, Reseph was a total character. He was cocky and arrogant, somehow sensing that it was just in his nature. I loved how he gave people in town descriptive names like “Deputy Dick” for the local officer who rubbed him the wrong way and “Two Packer” for a woman who had a rasp like she smoked heavily. Watching him battle internally between the urges for power and destruction versus taking a calmer, more civilized road was fantastic. Of course, things change drastically once his memories catch up to him, and he is horrified by all of the death and destruction caused at the hand of Pestilence. Seeing him as he once was, but then allowing him the chance to redeem himself from the horrors created a likely character, despite of the evil we witnessed in the first three books.
Together Reseph and Jillian made a good pair. I loved that they both took chances with their feelings – letting the other know how much they really did mean to the other. There were no games between the couple. This also happened even after Jillian learned the truth about Reseph’s history. I enjoyed how pieces of the past were exposed and examined. Both Jillian and Reseph take each event in stride – sometimes pulling them apart, and sometimes bringing them back together.
Once the truth is out of the bag, Reseph must not only earn the forgiveness of his friends and family, but he must also forgive himself, which is no easy task. This story is about both redemption and forgiveness. I feel that Ms. Ione does a good job on the redemption piece, but sometimes I felt the forgiveness was granted a little too easily. While each sibling expressed the pain and betrayal caused by Pestilence in their own individual way, I felt that their collective “about face” from wanting him dead no matter what to finding him a cure from his madness was quick.
Beyond Reseph’s story, Rogue Rider wrapped up a few loose ends from the first three books. I am happy to report that we delve deeper into Gethel, former caretaker of the horsemen. I was unsatisfied with the reasons for her betrayal listed in the last book, and was glad to find out more about this wicked angel. In addition there are a couple of BIG reveals that will have a direct impact on the next book (Reaver’s story, back in the Demonica series). One of which was something I had guessed at a while ago, the other came as a bit of a shocker. Neither had huge impacts on this story, but it was exciting to watch the progress of the overall story arc.
And there were definitely some action-filled and tense moments, especially involving the character Lance and the nefarious branch of the Aegis. I was on the edge of my seat several times wondering who would get to key people or information first: the good guys or Lance et. al. This made for some frantic and intense reading!
In the end, I enjoyed most of this story, especially the first two-thirds of the book. Reseph is definitely a favorite redeemed hero. I was even okay with the speed of forgiveness because each sibling did have their chance to “get it out of their system” and tell Reseph how he did hurt them. However, I felt that the conclusion of the book was a bit too simple and almost anti-climatic for my liking. The book spent a lot of time building up to a showdown of good and evil, and as the battle began, the dangers continued to grow. Yet I felt let down by the way in which it was won and the ultimate battle was suddenly over. Nonetheless, Rogue Rider is still a satisfying conclusion to the Lords of Deliverance series, and I look forward to continuing the tale in the next Demonica book!
Enjoyed – recommend (A-)
Reviews in the Series:
GIVEAWAY: I have one (1) set (one winner) of all four of the Lords of Deliverance books by Larissa Ione to giveaway here at That’s What I’m Talking About. The books include: Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, Lethal Rider, and Rogue Rider. Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for sponsoring the giveaway. To enter, please use the RAFFLECOPTER entry form, below. As part of your entry, please leave a comment answering the question Who is your favorite fictional demon? Winners restricted to US mailing addresses, only. The contest is open from November 20, 2012 until November 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM EST. One (1) winner will be selected from the eligible entries. Book will be sent to winner by the publisher. You do not have to be a Google Friend Connect to enter, but it is always appreciated.Also, stop over and read my interview with Larissa Ione.