February 14, 2021 05:26 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I kicked off my 2021 reading with four novels, a novella, and a short story in January. They ended up being kind of a mixed bag, mostly good, but a couple so-so. Only one book rose to the five-star level to become my Book of the Month. It’s a paranormal romance that’s part of a long-running series by a favorite author I’ve featured before. Her books seemingly never fail to entertain me and keep me on the edge of my seat, eager to find out what happens next. Such was the case with this book. It’s the story of Thanatos, Horseman of Death, and Regan, an Aegis Guardian. The pair experienced an inauspicious beginning to their relationship in the previous book of the series when Regan was sent to seduce Thanatos, with the intention of getting pregnant with his child, who the Aegis believes will bring an end to the Apocalypse that is already in full tilt. However, unbeknownst to her, Thanantos was still a virgin, believing that to lose his virginity would result in the breaking of his Seal. Even with this lack of knowledge, Regan was about to think better of the idea, when the whole thing went sideways. Both of them unintentionally consumed an aphrodisiac wine that rendered them senseless with lust and Regan lost control of her powers, pinning Thanatos down in a rape-like manner during the whole affair. Needless to say, though, her mission ended up being a success, and this book fast-forwards to eight months later, when the birth of their child is imminent.
Thanatos was raised as a human, and it wasn’t until adulthood that he became aware of his curse, which as Death, means that he’s drawn to sites of death and destruction. He has also dealt death to many, both human and demon, throughout his five thousand years of life. In fact, the things he’s done torment him so much that he regularly visits a demon tattoo artist who draws these emotional scenes on his skin, muting the memories and relieving him of some of the guilt. As I mentioned, until the previous book, he was still a virgin. When Regan came to his keep under false pretenses, he was very attracted to her and they messed around a bit, but he had no intention of sleeping with her until the aphrodisiac wine rendered him senseless. Needless to say, he was not OK with how things went down, and feeling betrayed, he’s been angry with Regan ever since. However, his siblings have kept him paralyzed with hellhound venom for the past eight months, so he wasn’t able to do anything about it. When he finally gets free of the paralytic agent, Thanatos immediately goes searching for Regan and is shocked to find her pregnant with his child. The one thing he’s wanted all his life but never thought he could have is a family to call his own, and now that’s very much within reach if he can only convince Regan to keep the baby. In the previous book, Than was pretty intensely alpha, and while he still is, he does tone it down some in this book. Despite being the Horseman know as Death, he has a surprisingly gentle side and a capability for forgiveness that made me really fall for him. He wants nothing more than to protect and care for Regan and their child and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe and a part of his life.
Regan is a human, but because her father was possessed by a demon when he impregnated her mother, she bears some supernatural powers. Children of such unions are generally looked down on and often killed, but Regan is a survivor. Shortly after her birth, her mother went on a suicide mission, so Regan spent her childhood being shuffled around to a series of foster homes with Aegis Guardians. But her powers often seemed to frighten them. Then finally as an adult, she became a Guardian herself. Much like Thanatos, all she’s ever wanted is a family and she believes she found that in the Aegis. However, given her background, she doesn’t think she’d make good mother material. Then everything changed when the Aegis sent her on the messed up mission to seduce Thanatos into getting her pregnant. I have to admit that I was not happy with her after that and wasn’t sure if I’d even like her as the heroine, but I came to understand that she didn’t intend for things to go the way they did. She turns out to be extremely apologetic and willing to do almost anything to earn Than’s forgiveness. Not to mention, she’s pretty traumatized by the whole thing, too, and is even reluctant to make love to Than when they finally reach that point in their relationship. Regan had also been a pretty intense alpha female in the previous book, but pregnancy seems to have softened her. Even though she’s still uncertain about motherhood and adamant about giving the baby away for his own safety, she does come around. By the end, I felt that she had more than proven her love for Than and her worthiness to be with him.
Overall, this book was a very impressive story that I thoroughly enjoyed. The author possesses masterful plotting skills that never failed to keep me engaged with all the action sequences, as well as all the twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. But at the same time, she doesn’t skimp on the romantic and steamy scenes to set the emotional tone and make a connection between her characters and the reader. The characterizations were top-notch as well, leaving me totally relating to both Thanatos and Regan in spite of my doubts when starting the book. She expertly redeemed Regan and the entire situation that led to her pregnancy. I also really enjoyed the running theme of betrayal and how she adroitly wove it throughout the narrative. I ended up completely loving this story and wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. That’s why I’m naming Larissa Iones’s Lethal Rider as my January Book of the Month. If you enjoy an enemies-to-lovers story that’s jam-packed with action and adventure, as well as a passionate, steamy romance, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
Demon-slayer Regan 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.
Read my complete review of Lethal Rider.
If you would like to win a copy of Lethal Rider to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will mail it to you via U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I may not have the capability of tracking the package.
Tags: Larissa Ione