|Title: Wicked Road to Hell
Author: Juliana Stone
Series: League of Guardians #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by: Julia
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
With the legions of the underworld gathering and chaos close at hand, Sorcerer Declan O’Hara’s deadly skills will be tested. But nothing will sway him from his duty, not even her…
Rescued from eternal darkness, vampire Ana DeLacrux owes her life to a mysterious stranger who asks for only one thing—her absolute allegiance. She serves this master without question until Declan, the one man who can make her forget her vow, returns. His magic is stronger, darker…more compelling than ever. His blood awakens a hunger she must resist, or risk deadly consequences.
As Ana and Declan join forces, the streets of New Orleans become a dangerous place for both humans and the otherworld. And the most dangerous place of all is a road Declan’s traveled before…the wicked road to hell.
One part gangsta, two parts noir, WICKED ROAD TO HELL certainly delivers the bite and danger promised in the title. Declan O’Hara is neither charming nor smooth, but rather a sharp brand of alpha that treads the line between aggressively hot and just plain aggressive. It did not take long for him to win me over, however, along with his delicious friends.
To be fair, it was not just Declan that starts out a little rough. The politics in WICKED ROAD TO HELL are murky, and I think some of that mystery can be attributed to ambiguous writing as much as deliberate plot choices. Also, despite the fact that this is book one in the series, I discovered that it does reference events from Stone’s Jaguar Warriors series. Prior knowledge and ambiguous politics aside, however, Stone’s rough and tumble characters were compelling enough to carry me through a few instances of odd writing. Though Ana gets strong armed by both Declan and destiny, she sticks to her guns and doesn’t give up (though she does tread perilously close to “fool hardy” in many places, for the sake of keeping the stakes high for her and Declan). I particularly enjoyed the sweet justice of her turning Declan’s favorite trick back on him at book’s end.
WICKED ROAD TO HELL is definitely a darker brand of Paranormal Romance. As much as the language turned me off in places (outside of Ana and a future heroine, the women in this book get called some pretty derogatory names), these characters ultimately won me back to their side. Stone has found a balance of enticing roughness and romance that already has me on the hook for Cale or Ransome’s Happily Ever After, but unfortunately, that will have to wait until after book two. Two new comers are on deck for KING OF THE DAMNED this November, based on the sneak peak chapter included with WICKED ROAD TO HELL.