Immortal Rider is the second book in Larissa Ione's Lords of Deliverance series (read my review of book one HERE). Lords of Deliverance is a spin off of her Demonica series, but I think you are supposed to be able to read it separately. It's hard for me to say for sure, since I've read and enjoyed both.
In any case, this book is about Limos, who would be Famine if she were to turn evil and help the Apocalypse to start. She's been betrothed to Satan, the ultimate evil, since birth. The engagement contract states that he can claim her when a man who she has given affection to utters her name in agony. Thus when Arik, a human soldier fighting on the side of good, makes the mistake of kissing her, he's dragged to hell and tortured. But Arik is made of strong stuff, and refuses to say her name, even as he vows revenge against the woman who he believes has doomed him to hell. Limos sets out to rescue Arik, break her engagement, and hold on to her good side in order to stop the Apocalypse and save the world.
Every time I read a new Larissa Ione book, I'm reminded of how much I like her style. She's one of a small group of authors that can mix horror and romance effectively. I trust her to take me to some dark and creepy places, and still deliver a satisfying happy ending. I haven't figured out exactly what it is about the tone or the mood of these books that makes them work, but there's definitely some magic there.
I love twisted biblical mythology, and Ione uses it very effectively. I love that we have a female Horseman. The overarching plot of the series has me firmly invested.
I love that Ione is unafraid to write deeply flawed, even potentially evil main characters. Limos is on a rocky road to redemption and remaining good, and to me that is far more interesting than a nice character doing nice things. One of her primary flaws is that she loves to lie. Arik has a history that makes him hate lies and liars, so this alone creates a huge point of conflict for the two of them. I did think, at times, that Arik was almost too understanding and forgiving toward Limos when it came to the secrets and lies. But overall, there's a lot of rich and realistic conflict between Limos and Arik, and seeing them overcome it is very rewarding.
The romance between Arik and Limos is a bit drawn out. Especially the physical aspects. One obstacle after another gets thrown up to stop them from consummating their relationship and fully committing to each other. As a reader, I found it tiresome. Perhaps fewer conflicts would have made the romantic development a little less frustrating.
A lot of the conflicts, both between Arik and Limos and between Limos and her brothers are based on miscommunication and misunderstanding. The book would have been 100 pages shorter if everybody just talked to everybody else. Again, lies are a big weakness for Limos, so naturally it took her the entire book to fully overcome them, but what about everyone else? What's their excuse? There's a rather big, spoilery incident that I can't mention in this spoiler-free review, that could have been End-of-the-World bad--and was fully avoidable through a quick conversation. I tend to dislike miscommunication as a means of creating conflict, so that was a flaw for me.
Overall, though, I count this book as another good one. Yes it's longer than it needs to be, yes it frustrated me at times, but it also left me wanting more. I highly recommend this series and this book to all paranormal romance fans. 3.5 stars