Where Demons Fear to Tread

( 41 )


Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares to 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 ...

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Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares to 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Chong delivers a wicked tale of a sexy guardian angel battling for a not-so-lost demon's soul." -New York Times bestselling author Caridad Piñeiro

"Stephanie Chong knows the soul of romance, paranormal or otherwise. She's captured the elusive and powerful energy of the genre in a way few authors ever manage to do. Angel verses demon; redemption of the damned by the pure power of love—the heart of that story IS the heart of romance. In WHERE DEMONS FEAR TO TREAD, Ms. Chong taps into a delicious fantasy older than time, spinning it masterfully into a sexy, moving tale that feels fresh and new. I am sincerely her newest fan."
~NY Times Bestselling Author Maggie Shayne

"A delicious debut to a sizzling new series!" — New York Times bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778312475
  • Publisher: Mira
  • Publication date: 8/23/2011
  • Series: Company of Angels Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 4.08 (w) x 6.68 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie worked as a lawyer at a top-tier Canadian firm and completed five university degrees before landing her dream job: romance novelist. Her degrees include a J.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s in Creative Writing from Oxford University. When she’s not writing, Stephanie enjoys yoga, traveling and outdoor adventures. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and their pug, Dexter.
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Read an Excerpt

West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Devil's Paradise was the hottest place to party on a Saturday night in the City of Angels. The perfect venue for temptation. The ideal setting for sin. And it was all his.

Julian Ascher surveyed his nightclub from a glassed–in observation tower two stories above the dance floor. Below, a sea of nubile bodies writhed to the booming bass of the music. Sweat and pheromones mingled in the air. A legion of bartenders worked behind the bars of polished white terrazzo marble, pouring rivers of cocktails, beer and shots.

Most nights, Julian was content to stand up here, watching. But tonight, he was restless. Deep in his gut, a tension was building. He needed something to relieve that tension.

Preferably something soft and feminine.

He swung open the tower door. A blast of music and the heat from hundreds of bodies hit him, blaring into his pores as he descended the metal staircase to the main floor. The crowd parted, sensing his power as he strode through the club, past upturned, admiring faces.

Regulars reached out to shake his hand—a drunken football hero here, an underage starlet there.

A few women tried to engage him in conversation; he disengaged them easily and continued on his path. It was a hobby of his to destroy beautiful women. He found a great deal of gratification in ruining the sublime. But he had very particular tastes, and none of the females here tonight suited him. Disappointed, he wandered onward.

"Julian, over here!" the club's general manager shouted, trying to flag him down.

"Not now," he called back without stopping. He roamed through the mass of beautiful people who flocked here like butterflies drawn to a pool of nectar. As an Archdemon, Julian had been responsible for the corruption of thousands of souls. His chain of nightclubs stretched across the country. It had come to fruition after two hundred years of studying humans in their greatest moments of weakness and desperation, of fantasy and desire. And Julian, the owner of this empire of iniquity, had become a connoisseur of pleasure.

At the beginning, it wasn't so simple. As a fledgling demon, he'd had his share of battles over souls that he frequently lost. But now, after these two centuries, it was all becoming a little bit too easy. These days, when Julian fought for a soul, he always won.

His latest venture, Devil's Ecstasy, would open in Vegas at the end of the month. Housed in fellow Arch–demon Corbin Ranulfson's spectacular Hotel Lussuria, the newest nightclub would be Julian's piece de resistance. A guaranteed success.

So why wasn't he satisfied?

He swept his way through the crowd and into the VIP lounge. On the white leather furniture, couples necked and threesomes groped in plain sight. In one corner, a popular young Hollywood actor was snorting lines of coke off a call girl's exposed ass. Around him, clubgo–ers stared.

"Keep him happy," Julian said to one of his staff members. "Make sure he's well supplied tonight."

Julian's jaded gaze surveyed the scene, utterly indifferent to the lascivious behavior he saw around him. The same lecherous acts he saw every night that the club was open for business. Nothing here remotely excited him.

Sunk in utter apathy, Julian turned, ready to head back toward his observation post. Then he saw her.

In the periphery of his vision, she shimmered like gold in a muddy riverbank. He blinked, unsure if what he'd seen was a trick of the light. When he turned his head to look again, there she stood.

She was dressed for a day at the beach, not for a night at the temple of sin. Her simple yellow sundress showcased toned arms and lithe curves. Blond hair curled in waves down her back. The structure of her face was classical perfection, her beauty so striking that it caught his eye even from a distance. Other men saw her, too. They circled like sharks scenting blood in the water. Was she searching for a lost friend? A lover?

As he stared, salivating, she looked up, as though she could read his thoughts across the noise and the crush of the VIP lounge. She gazed straight into his eyes.

From thirty feet away, it was a direct challenge. Then she turned and disappeared.

Somewhere deep inside him, the hunter's instinct engaged.

He tracked her through the crowd, glimpsing her blond hair, the exposed flesh of her shoulder as she wove deeper into the throng. The beat of the music pounded through his veins like an amphetamine high, spurring him on. He pushed his way toward her, oblivious to manners.

When she was within reaching distance, he closed his fingers around her arm. It was like stroking a new–born's cheek, her skin was so soft. The silk–covered steel of her biceps flexed beneath his tightening grip. Desire surged through his fingertips and landed straight in his groin. She stopped dead at his touch, swung to face him. From a distance, she was beautiful. Up close, she was divine.

His gaze drifted over her high cheekbones, her lush lips, her wide and trusting eyes. The innocence he saw in those eyes had nothing to do with guilelessness, and everything to do with faith. Faith in the untainted goodness of humankind. He wanted to devour her. To sink into her, to make himself a part of her and never let her go.

As he gripped her arm, time hung suspended. All noise stopped. Into that silence broke the rustling of feathers, the flare of a wingspan unfolding. The realization sent a jolt of energy reeling through his body—she was an angel. A Guardian, the lowest rank of celestial beings, responsible for the earthly care of humanity.

Why he was so surprised, he didn't know. He'd encountered angels many times before, had battled with them often. But never were they foolish enough to set foot in his nightclubs. What was she doing here, in his domain?

He blinked. Around them, the club whirled back into action, the pounding bass of the dance music flooded back into his bones. She twisted, trying to disengage herself. He tightened his grip, unwilling to let go.

Whatever her reasons, she, in her innocent little sundress, with her laughable belief in the goodness of the human race, had entered Devil's Paradise.

And she was on his territory now.

What stopped Serena St. Clair was a mere brush of fingertips against her bare upper arm. The touch of a lover. A caress so gentle, so reverent and yet so sensual that it sent pleasure skimming over the surface of her skin. It washed over her entirely and set the most secret places of her body singing. Even in the hot crush of the nightclub, the sensation was so intense it stopped her cold.

When she turned, she found herself looking into the face of a god. Angular planes chiseled to a perfect symmetry that only a divine hand could have wrought. But his eyes were pure sin. There was no goodness in that gaze, only naked desire. He towered over her, his athlete's build draped in a perfectly cut suit, a dress shirt open at the throat. Armani, if she had to guess. His dark hair was artfully tousled, a casualness that contradicted the intensity of his gaze.

"Welcome to Devil's Paradise. I'm Julian Ascher."

His voice, low and deep, seemed to vibrate in her bones.

For a moment, she stood stunned. Then she reminded herself to breathe. Squeezing her eyes shut, she directed a burst of energy into his mind, a bright light that would override his willpower and wipe his memory clean of her. She waited for him to stumble away and release her, leaving her free to complete her assignment.

To find the human she was assigned to guard. And get the hell out of here.

Except Julian Ascher didn't move. A flicker of annoyance rippled across the surface of his casual facade. Then his perfect composure smoothed back into place. A single word reverberated in her mind and swirled in her gut.


Somewhere deep inside her, a voice whispered: Run.

Arielle, her supervisor, had hammered an elementary principle into every trainee at the Company of Angels. If you encounter a demon more powerful than you, get out immediately.

Serena had completed her Company training with flying colors. But now she stood rooted to the spot, unable to move. Julian's fingers still curled around her upper arm. Yet, it wasn't the physical contact that held her immobilized. Panic flooded into her bloodstream, its chemical flush paralyzing her.

"Don't try that little trick again," he said mildly. "It may work on humans, but it won't work on me. Come, I'd like to speak with you in private."

"Sorry. I'm meeting a friend here," she said.

Nick Ramirez. Her Assignee, not exactly a friend. Nick was in here somewhere, so close she could sense him. She had to find him, to stop his path of self–destruction.

The Company was counting on her. The task was simple enough. An assignment fit for a fledgling angel like herself. Or it should have been. But this demon was in her way. This dangerously handsome demon, with the promise of pleasure glinting in his eyes.

"It wasn't a question," Julian said.

"I said I didn't want to."

Angels aren't supposed to lie, she knew. In truth, she wanted him. Like she'd never wanted a man before. With a desire that came up from the depths of her, rising through her body to set her skin on fire. She wanted to feel the drag of those fingertips over every heated curve of her. Wanted his molten voice to flow over her and melt her.

Incarnated in a physical body, she still felt all the sensations and emotions that came along with being a part of the material world. And right now, she felt those feelings so strongly that they threatened to sweep her away. In his grasp, she trembled. She knew instinctively that if she let him, this man would destroy her.

She squirmed; his fingers tightened.

"Any further attempts at resistance will only serve to annoy me and put you in danger," he told her. "When you crossed over the threshold of that front door, you came into my nightclub. Here, you'll abide by my rules."

His tone was so banal he might have been inviting her to tea. But as his fingers flexed on her arm, she did not doubt the power behind his words.

Julian led her through the crowd, keeping his grip on her. She resisted yet again, hauling her weight backward and grabbing on to a carved railing as an anchor. But her flimsy sandals had no traction on the hardwood floor, and he overpowered her with a single tug.

Through a set of doors, the noise receded as they passed into the bowels of the club. He guided her down a hallway and into his office. It was a slick, modern space, the clean lines of the dark red leather and polished wood furnishings she would have expected in an upscale advertising agency rather than a demon's lair. He shut the door and clicked the lock shut before he released her arm.

"Champagne?" He motioned to a bottle chilling in an elaborate silver bucket. Then he gestured toward a collection of wine bottles that lined half a wall. "Or perhaps you'd prefer a glass of something else?"

"I'm not exactly here to socialize."

In this light, she could see the color of his eyes. Deep blue, shot through with green and gold. Lucid and beautiful, but their intensity sent a shiver through her. She forced herself to breathe slowly, trying to calm her wild heartbeat.

"Spoilsport. How about an apple, then?" he said, picking one out of a bowl that sat on his desk. He held the shiny red orb an inch away from her lips. "Have a bite."

She turned her head away slightly. The beating of her heart was so intense she wondered if he could hear it. If he could see its tremor shaking her body. "No, thanks."

"Suit yourself, if you want to be superstitious. You don't believe that old wives' tale, do you? Eve and that business about the tree…it's all just a product of an overactive imagination. What could be more innocent than a piece of fruit? "

He bit into the apple, his teeth sinking into its flesh with a crisp sound of tearing. His eyes closed, and a look of pure bliss settled over his perfect features as he swallowed. He set the fruit down on his desk.

"Now, why don't you tell me what a girl like you is doing in a place like this? "

"I told you," she said stubbornly, "I'm meeting a friend."

"Fine, if you want to play that game. He must be a good friend, this man you're looking for. What did you say his name was?"

"I didn't."

"Too bad. If I knew who he was, perhaps I could help you. Otherwise, I guess we'll just have to wait here all night. Your friend will wonder what happened to you."

He picked up the apple, took another bite out of it. She watched as he licked its juice from his lips. "And you and I will have to find some way to amuse ourselves," he said, leaning toward her.

She took a little step backward. Hesitated.

I could keep you here forever, his eyes told her. Just give me an excuse.

She swallowed, glanced toward the door. After a long pause, she said, "It's Nick Ramirez."

Recognition sparked in those beautiful eyes of his. "Ah, yes, Nick. Hollywood's flavor of the week. I just saw him a moment ago, but I don't think he needs your help. He seems to have made other friends here. Female friends, if you catch my drift."

One corner of Julian's beautiful mouth quirked upward.

Serena's lips pressed into a flat line.

She knew exactly what he meant. Nick's fondness for female companionship—paid female companionship—was no secret. Under Serena's guidance as his yoga teacher and Guardian, he'd begun to show some improvement. It had only been three weeks, but he had already started to curtail the illegal substances, had tamed the wild partying. She hadn't anticipated a setback like this.

"Jealous, are we? Is he your lover?" Julian asked.

Heat rushed into her face. "That's none of your business."

He leaned back against his desk, crossed his arms. "So he's not. I'd wager you don't have a lover. An assignment then, I'd guess. How badly do you want to get him out of here? "

"What do you mean?"

"Perhaps we could arrange a trade. What do you think you could offer me? " His eyes scanned her body.

With trembling fingers, she fished her wallet out of her purse, began to leaf through its contents. "I have fifty dollars. I know it's not much, but…"

He chuckled. "Refreshing. I'm genuinely amused." He drew closer. "Sweetheart, it's not money I was thinking of."

"I don't have anything else to offer. I'm just a yoga teacher." She remained still as he circled around her.

"You may be trying to pass yourself off as such. I think we both know better. Let's discuss that in a moment. But since you insist that you're just a yoga teacher." She could feel his hot gaze running the length of her. He completed his turn in front of her. "Would you say your body is your temple?"

She nodded once, almost imperceptibly, afraid to move.

"Then let me come in and worship."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Predictable, But Hot

    Where do I start with this book? Ah yes, the predictable, boring Venn Diagram of romance novels - the dichotomy of good and evil with overlapping qualities, providing ample room for sexual tension. Nailed it! Unfortunately, Where Demons Fear to Tread wasn't at all what I expected. I knew there would be some sort of romance between Serena and Julian, but I didn't think the entire book would revolve solely around that. Adding to the tedium is the fact that their relationship and its future are completely foreseeable from page 1, yet you're stuck reading the incessant push and pull between the two characters. Julian believes he can corrupt sweet, innocent Serena and blackmails her along the way to get what he wants. Serena repeatedly resists, but with hardly any fortitude whatsoever (Really? Right away you want to jump the demon's bones?). I spent some time mulling over Serena's misplaced lust for Julian and there seems to be only one logical explanation for an angel without a shred of willpower .Axe body wash.

    After revising my longstanding postulation to 'all angels are pure whores', I hoped that Serena would follow suit and finally succumb to this debonair demon for my sake, `cause Julian's sexy bod was the only thing worth reading about. Despite thoroughly enjoying his pectoral muscles, I felt that the author should have focused more on Nick, since, ya know, his life is hanging in the balance and whatnot. But alas, Where Demons Fear to Tread reads like most romance novels I've had the misfortune of picking up - total disregard for any sort of external plot, cheesy lines, and sex.lots of sex. I wouldn't recommend this book to any of my friends. However, I'm sure fans of this genre and my widowed grandmother would love it.
    2/5 for getting me all hot and bothered, though.

    Reviewed by Brittany for Book Sake.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    You will be tempted...

    This was the debut book for Stephanie Chong and her Company of Angels series. The main character of this story is Serena St. Clair, who, when killed trying to save others in a car accident, was offered a position as a guardian angel. Her first assignment as a guardian angel is Nick Ramirez, a young rising Hollywood star, who is having trouble resisting temptation. Serena finds Nick hanging out at the nightclub Devil's Paradise where temptation is everywhere, especially in the form of the club's owner, Archdemon Julian Ascher. Julian wants to count Nick's soul in his tally and once he sets his sights on Serena, he'll stop at nothing to see her in his bed.

    This story starts out hot right from the first confrontation between Julian and Serena at the nightclub. Things sizzle between the Serena and Julian, and being a demon with no conscience, Julian really will stop at nothing to get Serena to bend to his will. This was a great story with well-written characters and with each subcharacter left with an open-ended story at the end of the book, I can't wait to see where this series goes next.

    You should definitely give this book a try.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read

    Such a great read! I highly recommend Stephanie Chong's Where Demons Fear to Tread. You won't regret it. I cannot wait for her next book to come out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A New Spin on Angels and Demons

    Stephanie Chong has created a fabulous new world where Angels and Demons rarely mix, but both have their purposes on Earth. When Serena St. Clair gets into a car accident she soon finds herself turned angel and sent on assignment to save a rockstar. What she does not expect is to be sent into the den of one of the most powerful Demons, while at the same time finding herself soon falling in love and about to fall herself if she is not careful.
    Julian Ascher is exactly the demon to find himself one the opposite end of that Angel, finding himself falling for Serena while at the same time trying to keep her from his entire race.
    The question soon leads to what can become of Angels and Demons, and who truly needs to be saved.
    I loved the characters and their snarky and yet shy attitudes. Ascher was a great character and as he developed in the story I loved him more. Serena starts off the book young and innocent full of ideals, but soon finds out that the path to salvation is trickier and more muddied than clear, while she soon also finds her own strengths and uses them to front her own agenda.

    Where Demons Fear to Tread is a great beginning to an upcoming series not to be missed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A high energy, unique world that will make the term Angels and Demons something new to you

    Her tragic and sudden death a year ago sends Serena St. Clair into a world she could not have imagined. Recruited by "The Company" a clestial organization headed by God himself is an immense grouping of angels sent to earth to perform duties to watch over and protect humans. Serena as a novice angel is given the job of Guardian and her assignment is a gifted and troubled actor and doing her job has landed her right in the sights of one of the most infamous archdemons of all.
    Julian Ascher didn't rise at his death, he instead went to the depths of hell and two centuries later is a force to be reckoned with, his chain of successful nightclubs gives humans all the decadent and immoral delights they can imagine. With his first sighting of Serena he wants her and vows to go to any length to have her. What this unlikely pair don't know is that their meeting is not mere circumstance but destiny.

    Stephanie Chong brings us a debut worth watching. She first off gives us a story line that will make the term Angels and Demons take on a whole new meaning and as she draws us into her unique world she will grab her readers with an engaging and adventurous tale. She does this with a narrative that lets us feel the evil of the demons and the goodness of the angels with a dialogue that will keep you turning pages to find out what happens next. Her characters deserve high marks for the in depth and detailed information we get, her evil doers violence and satanic acts will grip her audience and her angels will wow you by their not only angelic qualities but also by how human they remain. Her hero Julian is an enigma, evil and yet not and we will root for him all the way to the end. Her heroine Serena is sweet and innocent and yet a strong woman with great moral fiber. The romance is what you'd expect between an angel and a demon, impossible, but somehow the author pulls it all together. Will they get that HEA that we all want them to, well that you'll have to see for yourself. The love scenes are very visual and very descriptive and yet the underlying gentleness and love come out for the reader.

    All in all this is a must read new series starting off with a big bang that will bring the readers back for round two of this imaginative author's next adventure. I know I'll be there waiting to find out the questions she left us with and to find out where the story goes from here.
    Thank you Ms. Chong for a most enjoyable journey to unimaginable and sometimes terrifying places, I can't wait to return.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Deliciously tempting and achingly sweet...

    Julian, Archdemon residing in Los Angeles runs the hottest clubs in the country his way of sending souls to hell through bribe, lust and death, and the mix of all three. Devilishly handsome, tall and dark he's the opposite of Serena - and you know what they say of opposites, they attract.
    Serena, innocent angel in her first year in earning her wings is sent to guard Nick, a Hollywood bad boy, this is how she ends up in one of Julian's nightclubs and is soon battling off Julian's advances, threats and bribery. See Julian wants her, badly, and a demon doesn't take no for an answer.
    After series of events of wooing the angel in vain, finally some blackmailing works and Julian sets up a contract that she will spend a week with him in Vegas where his new club is to open the coming week. He has a week to get Serena into bed, but week is a long time and there is fear that Julian might begin to feel more than lust for Serena - and Serena might fall from grace being so close to Julian, who seems to be just a little more than a demon...
    Ah! This book, gorgeous debut! Chong writes beautifully, you can hear old classics like Earth Angel and Can't help falling in love, while you read the scenes where Julian takes her hand and takes her to the dance floor of the empty club. The story is achingly sweet with delicious scenes where Serena keeps dodging Julian's advances while they move around in Las Vegas.
    This book has freshness of a new story but the golden shimmer of ol' Sin City glamour.
    Julian is so bad for her, but so right for her, it's wonderful, heartbreaking to read. Serena is so innocent it's almost sacrilege that he wants her, but then again you so want her to give in a little just to feel his light touch on her skin even once.
    The music below sets the mood of this book to the t, especially Earth Angel and Unchained Melody... which I cannot stop listening to now, I just keep recycling these songs below on an endless loop to hold on to the feeling of the book.
    Music : Goes well with Chuck Berry's Earth Angel / Elvis' Can't help falling in love / Righteous Brothers' Unchained Melody / Nat King Cole's Smile and Love - Especially after they arrive in Las Vegas...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an entertaining romantic urban fantasy

    In West Hollywood, yoga instructor Serena St. Clair, the tyro angel, enters Devil's Paradise nightclub. Her celestial mission to protect the soul of notorious Nick "It Boy" Ramirez starts with getting him out of the local hot spot. However, the club's owner Julian Ascher intercepts Serena before she can retrieve her wayward celeb.

    Julian is the most powerful demon in Southern California; his mission is to eradicate Nick's soul. He bets the angelic rookie into coming with him for a week in Las Vegas with the stakes being Nick's soul that he currently possesses. In Sin City, Serena struggles with the temptation of the enemy that would cost her soul while Julian struggles with the same enticement that would redeem his soul.

    This is an entertaining romantic urban fantasy starring beloved enemies who distrust one another partly because of the taboo attraction. The story line is fast-paced but rather thin with no twists as the plot follows what the audience anticipates will occur during the initial encounter in Devil's Paradise. Still fans will enjoy the trek Where Demons (and angels) Fear to Tread.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    What a wonderful find

    This a new author for me... will deffiantly tead more of her work. Great read!!

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  • Posted August 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I had gotten a copy of book two in this series from Wunderkind P

    I had gotten a copy of book two in this series from Wunderkind PR which I thank them for the review copy. Well I'm a big lover of series but I have this issues where I will not read them out of order. So I went to the used bookstore and found a copy of this one. Book 1! yay!!

    So as you all know I'm not so much on the romance books as I lean more toward the ya area. But this book was great. I have read a ton of the Kenyon's Dark Hunter books and well this one has way less sex in it than those do. Which was great. I could focus more on the story and plot which were great. This book was great. It really took me on an adventure where love can fix anything. It then tossed in some nice sexy parts but not to much. It didn't pull away from the book at all but made it even better! Once I started reading this it really pulled me in and I just couldn't stop reading it. I loved how our Guardian Angel and our Arch Demon played with each other (get your mind out of the gutter). Their fight over the souls of those that the angel loves and was sent there to protect was awesome!

    "*I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own."

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Decent beginning to angel/demon PNR series. Where Demons Fear t

    Decent beginning to angel/demon PNR series.

    Where Demons Fear to Tread is the first book in Stephanie Chong's series The Company of Angels. I am a huge fan of the PNR genre and angels seem to be everywhere right now. Some authors do the angel/demon thing very well and then there are others that are mediocre. I really liked Julian but Serena irritated me. I find it hard to get into a book when you find the characters somewhat unlikable but I liked the concept so I stuck with it. There was quite a bit of action and a couple of smexy scene but Where Demons Fear to Tread was just mediocre for me. I liked it but I'm not sure I enjoyed the world enough to read another book in the series.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    Great Debut!

    Serena St. Clair is a fledging guardian angel from the Company of Angels. She died a year ago at the age of 23 saving a family during a car crash which cost her life. For her sacrifice, she was given another chance at life and has become an angel to try and guide people on the wrong path to the right one. Nick, a Hollywood star is her first assignment. Serena is trying to save Nick with her yoga instructions and her own innate goodness, but since Nick is in love with her, it makes it more challenging because she cares for him as a friend and he resents that. Nick has been losing his way to drugs, alcohol and women, and hangs out in a nightclub owned by Julian Asher, the most powerful arch-demon in Los Angeles. Serena decides that she's willing to take the chance and enter Julian's nightclub to try and save Nick.
    Serena becomes entangled in Julian's web of schemes when he threatens Nick's life, the life of her brother (her brother has no idea that Serena is an angel and cannot know that she's back from the dead, which makes it worse because she can't warn him), and the life of Serena's roommate and fellow guardian. Julian decides that there is something about Serena that he's attracted to and he does not like it. He decides the only way to get rid of Serena is to corrupt her too so he blackmails her into spending a week with him.

    This is the ultimate battle between good and evil; a demon and an angel. Both of them are incredibly attracted to the other and as they spend the week together and start to learn more about each other. Their feelings are at-odds with both of their jobs and they are both torn and confused as what they should do.

    I really enjoyed the story, as well as, Julian and Serena. Serena is truly good person, which is why she was chosen to become an angel. Her life ended way to soon, before she ever had a chance to really live. She is a very responsible person and is trying to do the right thing when it comes to Julian. She is scared and excited about the way Julian makes her feel and her superior is being deliberately vague in how Serena should carry out her assignment and handle Julian. Serena know something more is going on, but no one will give her any more information.

    Julian is a total bad boy. He is extremely bitter from being betrayed by a woman he loved that resulted in his human death, and led to his becoming a demon. But as Julian spends the week with Serena, it is not Julian corrupting her, but Serena corrupting Julian. Serena makes him want to be a better person. I loved the interaction between the two of them during their week together at the hotel. Although Julian keeps telling himself he's wooing her to corrupt her, you can see he has some very intense feelings for Serena.

    This was a great book. I could not put it down because I was dying to know what Julian was going to do next to woo her, and if Serena was finally going to give into her feelings. There is more to the storyline of Julian and Serena's relationship but I don't want to spoil anything so you'll have to read the book to find out. ¿

    I definitely recommend this book and I am looking forward to the second book in the series. "The Demoness of Waking Dreams" which is expected to release in February 2012.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Love is the place where demons fear to tread.

    Serena is a new guardian angel to an out of control actor, Nick who enjoys his booze, drugs and paid companions. One evening Serena tracks Nick to a night club called Devil's Paradise where she gains the interest in an archdemon named Julian, who just so happens to be the owner of the club. He takes her to his office where he tries to seduce her, saying that he will swap out the actors soul for her soul. He lets her go after she begs him to release her. However, he is more interested in the chase itself. After bating Serena with Nick, Julian decides to go a little further and invited her human brother out to his estate to take photo's for his party. Serena goes to the party to run interference and save her brother from the evil clutches of Julian. However, he is not willing to give us so easily. He strikes a deal with her, if she will accompany him to Vegas for a week he will leave her brother alone. With no other choice Serena agrees and heads off to Vegas with Julian. Once in Vegas, they meet up with other demons who have not only an interest in Serena but in Julian as well.
    "Only a demon could kill and angel."

    There were a couple of things I had issues with in this story. One of which was Serena. In the middle of the night Julian pushes through their protective wards and materializes in Serena's bedroom while she is sleeping, gets into bed with her and starts to touch her. I get that he is a demon and demons aren't about rainbows and gumdrops but what I couldn't grasp is that she wakes up and tells him "no" and then when he disappears, she just rolls over and goes back to sleep. Personally, for me, I would have been in full freak out mode. I would have been running though that house screaming "the wards are down!!"
    The other issue I had was the sticky sweet ending. It just didn't do it for me. The whole "love conquers all" talks that were being thrown around in the book was just too much for my sweet tooth to handle.

    What I did enjoy about the book was reading as Julian changed and started developing feelings for Serena. What first started out as a conquest turned out to be more. He starts actually caring about what she thinks and tries to make her happy. Now that doesn't mean that I forgive him for his creepiness but he is a demon after all. I liked getting a glimpse into his mind and how he thinks and schemes.

    The book as a whole was a fun read. Stephanie Chong did a good job sucking you into their world and taking you along for the ride.

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excited to see where this series leads to!

    Review by Jen: I've been seeing this book all around the blogosphere, so when I was asked to review Where Demons Fear to Tread, I gladly accepted. I was not disappointed which this debut novel and the start of what can be a very interesting series.

    Ms Chong has created a unique world of guardian angels and the demons they battle as they protect their "wards". The concept isn't new, but I think it's more how it is presented, the theology, that really grabbed me. Don't get me wrong, there's no preaching, but it's a classic good versus evil tale and explored the shades of gray in between.

    I enjoyed both characters, the angel Serena and the demon Julian. The interaction between the young angel and the seasoned demon, as they struggled against their nature as well as the attraction drew me and kept me turning those pages. The characters weren't perfect and I found myself frustrated with them from time to time, but as no one is perfect, and so that frustration was welcome in the end,.

    And now that Ms Chong has established her world, I'm excited to see where she takes this "Company of Angles" when her next book is released.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Worthy of a read

    ***E-Edition provided by NetGalley***

    A Romance novel worth your time... Serena St. Clair was only twenty-three when she died, and because of the heroic's that lead to her death, she is offered the chance to be sent back to earth as an immortal to be a Guardian Angel. Her first case is a hot young hollywood actor who does not make things easy for her, and while trying to keep her charge out of harms way she meets head on with a demon named Julian Ascher. Julian's not just any demon. He's wealthy, owns a successful chain of nightclubs, good-looking, and just happens to be third in line to Lucifer's throne. Julian knows what Serena is and wants her, if just for a little while, so he threatens those that the angel cared about before her death and after. The threat results in Serena agreeing to spend a week with Julian in the city of Sin, Las Vegas. While Julian may be trying to make Serena into a fallen Angel, he discovers it may be easier to rise up than fall down.

    Author Stephanie Chong has written a beautifully descriptive and suspenseful first novel that tackles one of my favorite paranormal genres, Angels and Demons. The plot is ultra-steamy and the scenes are....REALLY good, that's all I can say, haha. Having not picked up a romance novel in almost a year, I was hesitant about reading this one. The genre is normally 'cheesy' and I try my best to avoid books that would make me roll my eyes. I didn't find any of that necessary while reading this one. I actually found myself blushing during some of the scenes!

    Pick this one up!

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Awesome book

    Stayed up all night reading this. Highly recommend

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good vs. Evil = Romance

    My Review:
    I knew that this book was getting lots of good reviews, so I assumed that I would like it too. I was not disappointed. I really, really enjoyed this book!!

    Serena is a guardian angel from the Company of Angels that has been sent to help guide Hollywood star, Nick. Serena is a new angel. She just died a year ago at the age of 23 saving a family during a crash which ultimately cost her life. For her sacrifice, she has become an angel. Nick is her first assignment, but Julian, a powerful arch-demon, is also trying to capture his soul and is succeeding by luring Nick with drugs, alcohol, and sex. On the flip side, Serena is trying to save Nick with yoga and her own innate goodness. As a reader, this just didn't seem like a fair battle. Serena definitely doesn't have the tools to save Nick especially since what he really wants most from her is her love.

    Along the way, she becomes entangled in the evil mechanisms of the demon, Julian. He is threatening Nick's life, the life of Serena's brother, and the life of Serena's roommate and fellow guardian, so she makes a deal with him. She will give him a week of her life to keep them safe. What Serena doesn't realize is that Nick is not her only assignment...and that the may still be some good left in Julian.

    This is the ultimate battle between good and evil. Julian is a demon. Serena is an angel. Both of them are incredibly attracted to the other and as they start to see each other as humans, their feelings start to develop which are at-odds with both of their jobs. They are BOTH torn as to what to do.

    I really enjoyed both of these characters. Serena is truly good...she was so as a human and that obviously carries over as her life as an angel too. She didn't have much of a chance to live before she died, and since she has become an angel, she has kept herself in check and repressed. There were so many times that I felt badly for her...she needs a life, but she is trying so hard to do what she needs to do. She has a HUGE sense of responsibility and is trying to live up to that, but she is floundering without the guidance of her superior who is being deliberately vague in how Serena should carry out her assignment and handle the demons that are surrounding her.

    Julian, on the other hand, is carrying around the bitterness from when he was deceived, which led to his becoming a demon. He has been a powerful demon because of that bitterness, but there are true feelings underneath it all. You can't help, but to feel sorry for him.

    These two need each other and you can't help but to cheer for them as you read their story.

    I am really enjoying the turn into religion that fiction has taken lately and the redefining of absolute good and absolute evil. There are shades within both that defy logic and definition. I like these books that make you think along those lines and question the accepted norms for these. I look forward to see where this series goes from here...

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  • Posted October 22, 2011


    Serena St. Clair dies while trying to rescue a mother and her young daughters from a horrible car crash in which the only survivors are the two children. Serena finds herself "recycled" as a newly minted guardian angel selected to follow Hollywood's latest star, Nick. Trailing him one night, Serena finds herself in a nightclub known for illegal activities and meets the owner, Julian, who is immediately taken with her. She also has feelings for him, even though she recognizes his incarnate evil as a demon. The story mostly takes place over a week in Las Vegas as Serena tries to save Nick from himself and his demons--both literal and figurative. Serena doesn't realize her superiors have other plans for her. And that is all I am going to tell you about the plot since you MUST read this one!

    This latest trend of angels and demons is really an age old story about good versus evil. Chong delivers on that story, but like a musician, she twists the words so that while the melody may be the same, it is a completely different song. The characters of Serena and Julian mesh so perfectly together that is like music when they interact. I love how she shows that they each have elements of good and evil existing within themselves and nothing is black or white when it comes to redemption. So this could have been just another angel story and luckily it doesn't. I read this in one night and can't wait for the next book in this series since there are many other characters that can be developed.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A really good book

    Contemporary California and Las Vegas

    Serena St. Clair is a guardian angel whose latest assignment is the latest hot Hollywood actor. Serena now has to enter into a club by the name of Devil's Paradise to rescue her assignee and keep him from harm. What she doesn't count on is getting caught by the owner Julian Asher. Now she has to find a way to rescue her assignee, Nick and herself from the situation she suddenly finds herself in.

    Julian Ascher is an arch demon that seems to have caught an angel for himself. Julian's sole purpose is to tempt those that are seeking pleasure and corrupt the human that are determined to have that pleasure. Julian isn't about to lose the latest soul he has a chance to corrupt without getting something out of it for himself. The only way he will let Nick go is if Serena accepts his dangerous proposition.

    What Julian and Serena didn't count on is the passion that flares between them. Julian is determined not to let any woman be his downfall, again but that was before he met Serena. Now as they play out a game of seduction the stakes are a lot higher than either of them counted on, Their passion with either lead them both to everlasting damnation or to a love the will last an eternity.

    This story will be pulling on the heart strings of the reader. The reader will be pulled into this emotional story that will have them hating to put it down until the very last page. The characters are written so well that they will have the reader cheering them on and feeling what they are going through throughout the story. This one takes the classic story of good against evil, angel against demon and turns it on its ear. This is story that will have the reader eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    A must read!!

    This was a great beginning to a series and I can't wait for the next one... I have a feeling this author is going to quickly become a bestseller and will be competing for shelf space next to Sherrilyn Kenyon and J.R. Ward...

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    I Also Recommend:


    Not a bad start for a new author/series. However, I felt the main characters were not developed fully. We get it... Julian is bad, Serena is good. Just didn't feel that they were given enough depth beyond the surface. Curious to see how the characters and stories develop from here.

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