Monday, November 19, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of TO HELL AND BACK, a League of Guardians novella by Juliana Stone

I wanted so much to get this League of Guardian novella as an eARC but just didn't have time to get it read and reviewed by its release date so I splurged and bought it for my e-reader. One of these days I'll get my own copy of its companion, WRONG SIDE OF HELL but for now, I'm happy. If you read the first part then you will definitely need to read TO HELL AND BACK by Juliana Stone - it's the rest of Kira Dove and Logan Winter's story ... sort of.


Logan and Kira’s epic love story, first seen in Wrong Side of Hell, continues…

All Logan Winters wants is to be left alone with the woman he loves. But fate isn’t on his side and the demon Lilith isn’t to be trifled with. She wants to know the secrets he will never give up and he’ll do anything to make sure they stay hidden. On the run, with a secret of her own to keep and protect, Kira Dove must do whatever it takes to survive. But Kira and Logan soon discover that the path to salvation is littered with treachery, and they’ll each have to journey to hell and back to make sure their love survives the oncoming storm…

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Logan Winters had rescued Kira Dove from the gray realm (Hell) for a second time and in the midst of his second unsanctioned trip below, he'd fallen in love with her. Or perhaps he'd always been in love with her, but now she loved him too. Now on the run from Lilith's demons, the pair are racing against time to get to the north and to safety.

It's Halloween and the small town they've stopped in is celebrating. Logan is uncomfortable with the idea of being there but Kira had missed so much in her life, locked away in a mental institution, that he couldn't deny her this simple pleasure. Trouble, however, had other plans. Morning comes and Kira discovers that Logan is missing. A strange man named Priest has told her that Logan might not be returning and that she must come with him if she wishes to survive. Her instincts keep her unsettled and on guard.

Logan has been dragged back to Hell and is in Lilith's evil hands. She tortures him, attempts to seduce him then tortures him some more but Logan refuses to tell her why he was in the gray realm and who he took out. Will Kira be safe? Will Logan survive Lilith or worse? The angst keeps this story going and us begging for a happily-ever-after for this brave pair.

TO HELL AND BACK by Juliana Stone is the continuation of the story first introduced to us in the WRONG SIDE OF HELL - the first entry in the League of Guardians series. We met Logan Winters, a hellhound who has been sent on a mission to bring out Kira Dove from the gray realm. At the end of the first novella, he and Kira had escaped and were heading north to a safe place where we hoped to finally get the answers to why the demons of Hell wanted Kira and the secret to what makes Logan different than other hellhounds. Juliana has created a cast of characters and two worlds that are so opposite yet similar that you can believe that the unreal is as solidly real as the one we know as reality. With each story in the League of Guardian series, we meet new characters but revisit past ones and are comfortable with their reappearance. I'm hoping that as each story is interwoven to draw you to the next, that this is NOT the end of Kira and Logan.

I am a huge fan of Juliana Stone's novels and will read anything she writes but that is not to say that every one will hit the mark. The writing in TO HELL AND BACK is exceptional. When she takes you to the gray realm, a sense of uneasiness surrounds you and you can almost smell the evil that permeates this place. But - yes, there's that word - because the writing is so creative, imaginative and vivid, we get drawn into her stories so deep that we always come away needing more. I was VERY disappointed with how TO HELL AND BACK ended. Not because it was a poorly written ending, not because I thought Kira and Logan didn't deserve to be together again - no, none of these things. I simply think the story isn't finished. I turned the page and thought - What? Am I missing some pages? The ending lacked resolution. The ending left more unanswered questions. It felt rushed and left me feeling letdown. I can only assume that because this was a novella that Juliana was forced to fit the story into a tight word count and since the scenes in Hell could not possibly be cut because of their importance, the ending suffered by being truncated to accommodate.

Aside from my complaint about the left me hanging ending - TO HELL AND BACK by Juliana Stone rocks it! Here's hoping Kira and Logan will back to really finish their tale.

I highly recommend TO HELL AND BACK, a League of Guardians novella by Juliana Stone if you have already read WRONG SIDE OF HELL and are, of course already hooked by this incredibly imaginative, action-packed, scintillating series that is some of the best paranormal romance work available. If you haven't dipped your reading toe into this world of good and evil yet, then get yourself a copy of both of these novellas and join the rest of us as witnesses to the epic battle to save our world from destruction.

Currently reading KING OF THE DAMNED, a League of Guardians novel by Juliana Stone - release date - November 27, watch for my review coming soon.

Happy Reading Everyone!

TO HELL AND BACK, a League of Guardians novella by Juliana Stone, Avon Impulse, available now in ebook and print formats. Great price for a little indulgence.


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