Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong

Title:  Where Demons Fear To Tread
Author: Stephanie Chong
My Rating: A

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Company of Angels #1
Main Characters: Julian & Serena
Release Date: August 2011


Publisher: Mira
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares to enter Devil's Paradise nightclub on a mission—to retrieve the wayward Hollywood "It Boy" she's assigned to protect. But she's ambushed by the club's owner, arch demon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure-seeking humans. He won't release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager…
After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again. Yet this sexy-sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries-old feelings. Now, their high-stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell…or a deliciously hot heaven.

My Review:
I knew that this book was getting lots of good reviews, so I assumed that I would like it too. I was not disappointed. I really, really enjoyed this book!!

Serena is a guardian angel from the Company of Angels that has been sent to help guide Hollywood star, Nick. Serena is a new angel. She just died a year ago at the age of 23 saving a family during a crash which ultimately cost her life. For her sacrifice, she has become an angel. Nick is her first assignment, but Julian, a powerful arch-demon, is also trying to capture his soul and is succeeding by luring Nick with drugs, alcohol, and sex. On the flip side, Serena is trying to save Nick with yoga and her own innate goodness. As a reader, this just didn't seem like a fair battle. Serena definitely doesn't have the tools to save Nick especially since what he really wants most from her is her love. 

Along the way, she becomes entangled in the evil mechanisms of the demon, Julian. He is threatening Nick's life, the life of Serena's brother, and the life of Serena's roommate and fellow guardian, so she makes a deal with him. She will give him a week of her life to keep them safe. What Serena doesn't realize is that Nick is not her only assignment...and that the may still be some good left in Julian.

This is the ultimate battle between good and evil. Julian is a demon. Serena is an angel. Both of them are incredibly attracted to the other and as they start to see each other as humans, their feelings start to develop which are at-odds with both of their jobs. They are BOTH torn as to what to do.

I really enjoyed both of these characters. Serena is truly good...she was so as a human and that obviously carries over as her life as an angel too. She didn't have much of a chance to live before she died, and since she has become an angel, she has kept herself in check and repressed. There were so many times that I felt badly for her...she needs a life, but she is trying so hard to do what she needs to do. She has a HUGE sense of responsibility and is trying to live up to that, but she is floundering without the guidance of her superior who is being deliberately vague in how Serena should carry out her assignment and handle the demons that are surrounding her.

Julian, on the other hand, is carrying around the bitterness from when he was deceived, which led to his becoming a demon. He has been a powerful demon because of that bitterness, but there are true feelings underneath it all. You can't help, but to feel sorry for him.

These two need each other and you can't help but to cheer for them as you read their story.

I am really enjoying the turn into religion that fiction has taken lately and the redefining of absolute good and absolute evil. There are shades within both that defy logic and definition. I like these books that make you think along those lines and question the accepted norms for these. I look forward to see where this series goes from here...


Amanda @ On a Book Bender said...

This one is on my TBR list for Bout of Books. I'm hoping that I won't be disappointed, either! :)

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see a great review for this book. So many of the reviews I've seen lately are negative and people didn't really enjoy it...although I think it sounds so interesting. I also ditto on your statement about the religion being put into fiction like it's been so much's a nice change. :-D