Reviewed by JenI have to admit, I was a little apprehensive in starting this book. I had problems with my only only other Juliana Stone novel, His Darkest Salvation. I got lost in the world-building --and the hero was a huge asshole to the heroine in that book. But I am so happy to say that not only were my fears unfounded, but I found myself really enjoying this one.
A few years back, the sorcerer Declan was sucked through a portal to hell. He was a prisoner there for six months, tortured and brutalized at the hands of the demon Lillith. Then he was rescued, making him beholden to an angelic being named Bill, and bound to fight for the forces of good. Shortly after his rescue, his great love, a vampire named Ana, was killed right in front of him. That was two years ago.
So imagine Declan's surprise when he discovers that Bill secretly brought back Ana as well. She's been working her own mission for Bill, protecting a teenager named Kaden. The boy is one of seven young people "Marked" for great power. If all of them were to come together, they would tip the scales entirely in favor of good or evil. So of course, everyone wants them. Everyone except the League of Guardians. They are a mishmash all types of beings who work to maintain a balance between the forces of light and dark. So if either side can assemble the marked seven, their objective will be toast.
Declan agrees to help Ana protect the boy. But things get infinitely more complicated when he finds out Lillith has gained possession of two more of the Marked. He knows that to save them, he'll have to return to the same horrors he barely survived before Bill saved him.
In the midst of all the action, there is a love story. Declan and Ana have been crazy about each other for years, but for one reason or another, they never gave it a go. Ana always held back her feelings because the laws of her people forbid her to mate with anyone who is not a vampire. And she loves Declan so much, she knows that to be with him would lead to mating. And that would get him killed. Declan has no idea about any of this. He only knows that this is his second chance to be with the woman he loves and he is not going to waste it.
I liked both main characters. They are strong; they truly love one another and each does everything possible to protect the other. The sex is hot and the emotions, believable. As for the non-romance part of the book, there is a lot going on, but I didn't find it too difficult to keep up with. It's fast paced and interesting. And I found myself quite intrigued by some of the secondary characters like the demon Samael and the shifter Ransome. I hope they end up with stories of their own --and Nico too. I look forward to see where Stone takes the series next. 4 stars.
*ARC Provided by Avon
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Wicked Road to Hellby Juliana StoneRelease Date: April 24, 2012Publisher: Avon