May 18 2012 4:00pm

First Look: Larissa Ione’s Lethal Rider (May 22, 2012)

Lethal Rider by Larissa IoneLarissa Ione
Lethal Rider
Grand Central / $7.99 print/digital / May 22, 2012

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, ReganCooper, 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 Cooper 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.

Lethal Rider is the explosive third installment of Larissa Ione’s dark, dangerous, and sinfully sexy Lords of Deliverance series, a true paranormal romance that delivers well-crafted characters, devious plots lines, and engaging dialogue. I love the balance between the sexy romance and the heart-pounding action—though you know your happy ending is coming, the path there is fraught with peril and pain. The world-building is both incredible and convoluted.

Lethal Rider starts with Than being awakened, eight months after Regan “stole” his virginity, causing him to go on a rampage, and forcing his family to immobilize him. His only  thoughts upon awakening are for revenge and Regan. Now that Than knows exactly what happened that fateful night, he wants a piece of everyone who plotted against him—starting with Regan.

“So, what are you going to do now you’re not frozen solid?”

“First, I’m going to kill those demons and that fallen angel behind you.”

The scorpion tattoo on his throat began to sting his neck, its tail moving like a pulse, reminding Than that death was what he was meant for. Never one to argue with fate, he swung the scythe in a powerful arc, lobbing off one of the demon’s two heads. He glanced back at Hades, who was looking like he may want some popcorn to go with the action.

“Then I’m going to do the same to the woman who betrayed me.”

Than spirits Regan away from the Aegis stronghold she was hiding in and prepares to exact his revenge. But Regan is pregnant with his child and that is the key to softening Than’s heart. His one wish has always been to have a family. Than is torn between his need for revenge and his growing desire for Regan and their unborn child.

In the first two books of the series (Eternal Rider and Immortal Rider), we were given sexy and funny, but in this one Ione has given us a serious storyline involving two extremely damaged protagonists, Thanatos and Regan. Betrayed and feared by those they trust most, your heart breaks as you learn of the trials and tribulations that have made them what they are today.

Than has spent his life alone because of his curse. Being Death only serves to isolate him from those he loves and he uses his reputation for violence to ensure no one gets too close to him. Regan has her own troubles; she is half demon and her birthright resulted in her isolation as a child and being treated as the enemy by the Aegis. She struggles daily to prove herself to the only family she has ever known, a family that views her as less than them. Both of them are scared individuals who have spent their lives waiting for the blows to come as they continuously  strive to prove their worth. Trust does not come easy to either,  and these two have all the reasons in the world not to trust one another.

“Look, I know you’re angry...”

“Angry?” he spat. “You drugged me, restrained me, took my virginity, and then left me so pissed off that my siblings had to imprison me for over eight months. Angry doesn’t even begin to cover it.“

“I admit, she murmured, “that I could have handled it better, and if I could change things, I would, but I can’t.”

I appreciated the fact that Ione takes her time in allowing Than and Regan get to really know one another while coming to terms with everything that has happened. Their intertwined future was imposed upon them by deceptive means, and it’s gratifying to see that the situation is given the seriousness that it deserves. It’s hard on Than because every direction he turns in, he is met with evidence of betrayal. It’s especially hard on Regan because not only must she face that fact that she too has been used; she also has to accept her own dishonorable actions.

“Oh God, I’m so sorry. If I could take it all back, I would. If I could do it all over again, I would. I swear to you.”

As Than and Regan move from enemies to lovers, their dialogue is filled with sexual tension and longing. We see the private hidden parts of them that they struggle to hide from the world. Parts they now share with only each other.

“All I could think of was you. When I was gone, all I wanted was to be back here with you. Only you.”

“Take away the fury and the death, Regan. Only you can do that. Only you.”

A series of highly explosive events lead us to a climatic conclusion. The next in the series is Pestilence’s book, Rogue Rider, which will be released in November.

A male virgin, betrayal, trust issues, steamy action—Lethal Rider is satisfyingly lethal.


Tori Benson, Smexybooks and at Twitter.

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