The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Advance Book Review: Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione

Written by: Beth Woodward, CC2K Books Editor

Over the summer, I started to read the paranormal romances of Larissa Ione.  She combines a well-realized paranormal world and developed characters with…well, to be frank, really hot sex scenes.

Rogue Rider, the fourth book in Ione’s Lords of Deliverance series, tells the story of Reseph, aka Pestilence, the fourth horseman of the apocalypse.

The book description, courtesy of the Hachette Book Group website:

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 whom Jillian can trust. But with hints of a troubling history of his own, he’s also the kind of man who can be very dangerous . . .

Reseph may not know why he mysteriously appeared in Jillian’s life, but he knows he wants to stay. Yet when Jillian’s neighbors 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, 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?

The Lords of Deliverance series is set in the same world as her Daemonica series and follows the four horsemen of the apocalypse, siblings with half-angel, half-demon heritage who are destined to fight on either the side of good or evil, depending on which prophesy comes to pass, when the apocalypse happens.  Ione’s mythology derives very heavily from Biblical lore, and it’s definitely unusual in the vampire/werewolf-dominated world of paranormal romance.

In the beginning of the series, Reseph’s seal was broken, and it turned him into Pestilence, his evil demon half intent on spreading plague throughout the world.  At the end of the last book, Pestilence was stabbed and presumed dead by his siblings.  As it turns out, he wasn’t dead.  He returns to Earth with no memory of who he is or the horrible things he has done.

I loved watching Reseph and Jillian together at her cabin as their bond grows, as well as Reseph’s growing realization that he might just be something altogether more terrible than the demons that attacked Jillian.  I also enjoyed seeing Reseph’s siblings and their residual distrust of Reseph.  As Pestilence, Reseph did some pretty messed up things to his family and to the world, and this book doesn’t allow Reseph—or the reader—to forget that.  In that way, this is the most emotionally affecting of Ione’s books.  Reseph isn’t responsible for what his demon half did, and everyone knows that.  Still, he’s ostracized from his friends and family, and he spends much of the book feeling very, very alone.

I’d highly recommend Ione for fans of J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Kresley Cole.  The books do build upon one another, so I’d recommend starting with Eternal Rider, the first book in the Lords of Deliverance series.

Note: I received this book as an e-ARC through NetGalley.  Rogue Rider will be released in both e-book and paper format on November 20.