Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong is a great paranormal romance that shows the conflicts between angels and demons, leaving the reader unsure as to whether good or evil will prevail.
Our story begins with a typical night at the Devil’s Paradise nightclub, which is run by demon Julian Ascher. The club is awash with debauchery, full of drugs, prostitutes and a multitude of other sins. It is the last place you’d find an angel, but Serena St. Clair has entered the environment of sin in order to try and save Nick, a Hollywood actor struggling with the pressure.
She has been sent to guard Nick, and to try and reform him from his ways of drink, drugs and sex, which she seems to be making steady progress with at the start of the novel. However, at the nightclub she runs into Julian who is immediately captivated by her innocent blonde beauty. He follows her through the club but she rejects his advances, knowing at once who he is.
However, Julian isn’t one to take no for an answer, and uses Nick to his advantage, threatening to corrupt him even more if Serena doesn’t do as he wishes. As a result she ends up agreeing to spend a week with him in Vegas, as long as the safety of Nick is secured.
Julian covets Serena, trying to seduce her at every opportunity at the beginning of their acquaintance. Despite this, it’s obvious that he is not wholly corrupt, as he never truly forces himself upon Serena, instead waiting for her to want him as much as he wants her. He soon starts to fall in love with her, and it leaves the reader wondering if this demon can really be saved.
Problems come in the form of Corbin, one of Julian’s business associates and second-in-command to the Devil himself, and Luciana, an old love of Julian’s who caused him to fall into the demon world in the first place. Corbin wants to corrupt Serena, whilst Luciana is out for revenge on Julian and is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve it. They soon latch onto Nick as Serena’s weakness, exploiting him for their own benefits and placing Serena in a compromising situation.
I loved Serena and Julian’s chemistry throughout the book, as they are so well matched despite being angel and demon. It is clear that there is some good still left in Julian, despite his two hundred years as a corrupt demon, and I really enjoyed seeing him slowly change because of Serena.
Serena was a likable female character, as despite being an angel she isn’t overly self-righteous, which can sometimes happen with angelic characters. She knows her own mind and isn’t afraid to stand up to the men that try to overpower her. I liked how she responded to the threats from the demons and could also relate to her moral dilemmas about Julian and the other demons.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, and I found it to be a real page-turner as I could hardly put it down. The romance plot was lovely to read, and I was really rooting for Julian and Serena as a couple. Luciana and Corbin were steeped in sin, and as such made great villains. The only character I didn’t like too much was Nick, as he seemed a bit whiney at times, and overly desperate for attention. I really look forward to reading the next book in the series, as I loved Stephanie Chong’s writing style.
I really enjoyed this book as the characters were intriguing and the plot kept me guessing. The writing was fast-paced and I loved the antagonism between the angels and demons. Some of the demons were pure evil, which made it easier to associate with the goodness in Serena. I also appreciated the fact that the book isn’t overflowing with sex scenes like a lot of paranormal romance novels.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Where Demons Fear to Tread
- The Demoness of Waking Dreams
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