Where Demons Fear to Tread (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong
The Company of Angels #1

Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares enter Devil's Paradise nightclub on a mission—to retrieve the wayward Hollywood "It Boy" she's assigned to protect. But she's ambushed by the club's owner, arch demon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure–seeking humans. He won't release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager…

After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again. Yet this sexy–sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries–old feelings. Now, their high–stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell.or a deliciously hot heaven.

Serena, a newly minted Angel assigned to her first mission, is determined to save her charge. She foolishly follows him into a club owned by a very powerful archdemon, Julian. He quickly catches her in his snare, tricking her into promising a full week of her time. Of course to Julian she is to just be yet another conquest, but what he doesn't realize is that she may just be his very undoing. With angels falling a demons treading in unknown territory, one never knows where things will lead.

Now I enjoy an angels vs demons book as much as anyone else, but when the entire book can really be summed up into that conflict alone, it can get a little monotonous. On one hand you have Serena denying she feels anything for Julian, yet she obviously does. Her inner dialog is a constant "I can't love him because he is evil" and "Maybe I do love him because there is goodness there", as well as "Wait, I am foolish, he is demon so he can't love." Meanwhile Julian's inner dialog is along the lines of "She is innocent therefore I must corrupt her" and "I care for her... No wait I cannot care because I am a Demon" etcetera, etcetera. I was quite frustrated at the constant rehashment of the same issues over and over. They were so far stuck in their roles that neither of them could really see what was right in front of them.

Serena's character was just a little too naive and innocent, making her seem very one dimensional. She had absolutely no backbone, which made it really hard to care about her at all. Julian on the other hand had a lot more substance to him. From the very start you can see that there is a lot more to him then meets the eye. Some of the things he does seem to have no other purpose then to do evil as he believes this is the only way to progress. He also has regret for things, something you wouldn't expect from a heartless demon.  I think this fact shows just how much of a tortured soul he is rather than just an evil demon. In the end, their roles of strength do seem to reverse just a little, but it still wasn't enough to make me feel for Serena the way I did for Julian.

Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book a little more if the focus had been a little more on the outside danger rather than their own doubts and constant inner conflict. Also, the way things were resolved seemed a bit too easy and well, cheesy. While Demons Fear to Tread may have fallen a little flat for me, I still think Stephenie Chong is a very talented author with a lot of potential. The writing flowed well, and the overall concept was really appealing, which helped to overcome some of the shortfalls. So while I cannot say I regret reading this book, I really wish it had of been a little bit more fulfilling in the end.

(Received a copy from Netgalley)


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