King Of The Damned by Juliana Stone (League Of Guardians #2)

Available: November 27, 2012 Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Nikki

For millennia the struggle between light and dark, between the upper and lower realms, has been policed by a secret group of warriors culled from every fabric of existence. They are both otherworld and human, male and female. They are light and dark themselves and known to each other as the League of Guardians. Their pledge, to protect the line between dominions and make sure neither side grows too powerful. If they fall, so shall the earth, the heavens and hell. And there will be no more.

With darkness all around him, The League of Guardians is his only means of redemption…

Azaiel, the fallen, has been given a second chance to atone for the sins of his past. With demons gathering and threatening the league, he must find out if their circle has been breached. What he doesn’t foresee is a woman—a fierce warrior—who will turn his world upside down and awaken his tortured soul.

Rowan James is a powerful witch out to avenge the death of her beloved grandmother, but she needs an ally. Will she be able to trust a man with secrets as dark as the sorrow in his eyes? Loving Rowan means risking salvation and yet Azaiel cannot ignore the hunger burning hot between them—his one last chance at happiness. With danger all around them, will these two desperate souls finally find love in each other? Or be forever damned…

.

Rowan has been running for years. Running from her past and her family legacy. Excelling at her job and finally in a “safe” relationship she heads home to Salem for a much needed visit with her grandmother only to be confronted with her death. Salem is slowly being infiltrated by demons intent on making her family suffer in their search for her. Long ago she was given to a high level demon. She’s thwarted his attempts to find her by shutting down her mark burned into her skin in the past. Now faced with the only solution of taking him down, Rowan must tap back into her power along with her new found friends and family in a fight to the death.

Centuries ago Azaiel let lust be his downfall and he vows to never fall victim to a woman again. It cost him his position with his brothers and banished him from his home making his less then them but still more then human. He knows he can never allow Rowan to be taken by the demons because the power she harnesses could be the destruction of them all but he soon realizes that killing her isn’t an option. The witch is slowly breaking the mile high walls of steel he has built around himself.

King Of The Damned by Juliana Stone simply put is freaking awesome! I loved this book and the series is really starting to heat up! What I loved most was how capable Rowan was. She’s a heroine who has unimaginable power (think witch on steroids) on her own and she really doesn’t need help. She doesn’t shy away from confrontation and she lets the men tag along with her. I love a woman who doesn’t NEED help. A woman who can take care of herself. What made it even better was how Azaiel knew this and let her grow into her powers on her own while he stayed vigilant in the background watching her back for her. Azaiel….oh man, that was one hot hero! I fell just a little bit in love with the self loathing man. He was so hard on himself because of his past and his fall from his brothers. I enjoyed watching him wriggle with all the new emotions that Rowan evoked in him and his inner turmoil of letting her in. I do love to see the characters suffer before they get together and Juliana Stone wrung every drop of emotion from their stubborn bodies.

I have no idea how book one and book two are going to tie together but I think I’m going to like it. This is an ambitious story arc that includes a lot of different players…ok, mostly otherworld players. From shifters, angels and fae to witches and gargoyles  this one has got something for just about everyone. Though Stone doesn’t go into it to much in this book it’s obvious there is a breach in security with the guardians that will eventually catch up to them. Packed with action scenes to get your blood pressure up and smoking sex scenes to get your heart pounding. There’s this one public sex scene that seriously sent me over the edge. Probably one of the hottest scenes I’ve read this year. I may have read it twice….ok three times. *wink wink*

Rowans resentment of her mother fuels her need to break the curse that marked her as a demon lords property. Her weak willed mother holds the key to finding the spell capable of taking him down but she sold it to fulfill her addictions. Rowan holds such animosity towards her mother for her inability to overcome her own destructive personality. In addition to a strained relationship with her own twin brother and half her extended family, just about everyone is both standing in her way and trying to help her out. Stone goes out of her way to set future story lines for Rowans brother who hasn’t come into any powers yet. Their lineage is revealed and his own legacy is mentioned shrouded in mystery. Though he currently holds no power, I have a feeling he’ll be quite fearsome when he finally starts to change.

King Of The Damned is a book about redemption, sacrifice,  faith and forgiveness. In order to survive both Rowan and Azaiel will have to move on from the past to have any future. Full of surprising secondary characters who all need their stories told including a mischievousness charmed donkey (ok, maybe not his story but he is flipping hilarious). I have it on good authority that Priest and Nico will both get books in the future.

I really enjoyed this one and look forward to continuing this series in the future. I recommend you read these in order for the best understanding but it can also be read on it’s own fairly easily . Juliana Stone makes her world jump right off the page and putting this book down just isn’t an option!

I give King Of The Damned by Juliana Stone 5 stars!

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