Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9) by Gena Showalter

At long last, New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter unveils the story of Paris, the darkest and most tormented Lord of the Underworld….Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive—but his potent allure comes at a terrible price. Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die. And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he’d thought was forever beyond his reach …until now. Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet in Paris’s arms, the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up. Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally—or tear them apart?

I may have jumped on the Lords of the Underworld (LOTU) fan train late, but I think I’ve more than made up for the delay. I started reading this series in January of this year. The fact that I am a new fan didn’t make the wait for Paris’ story any less painful. Okay, maybe those of you who have been reading this series from the beginning have been through a little more suspense than me, but still. We’ve been reading about Paris’ pain over losing Sienna for how many books now? It’s been torture! The only thing that would have made it any more painful would have been if Gena Showalter somehow didn’t make the suspense worth the wait. I’m happy to say that, at least for me, it was well worth it… so worth it… *sigh*

At first glance, Paris’ possession by the demon of promiscuity (‘lovingly’ nicknamed ‘sex’ by Paris) didn’t seem that bad. After all, compared to all the other demons that the Lords are possessed by, how bad could it be to have to bed a different woman every day? Until you looked at it from his POV, it didn’t really seem that much of a sacrifice. Once you saw how tormented he was by the fact that he could never fall in love, he felt like he was using all the women he slept with and he was constantly overwhelmed by the guilt of those actions you could you begin to understand how miserable his existence actually was. He became obsessed by Sienna because he realized he may actually have a future with her. He just had to find her first. That drive to find her almost destroyed him. My heart broke for him more than once in this book.

Then there was Sienna. She was under the control of Cronus, both tortured and trapped. She had no idea that Paris was looking for her and had forgiven her. He had no idea that she was praying that he would find her. Once possessed by Wrath, she realized that the Hunters had all been lied to. She had been brain washed and was determined to make up her past wrongs to Paris. They were two lost, tortured souls that needed to find each other. If only finally finding each other would end their torment.

True to Gena Showalter’s style, nothing could be that simple. Most of the Lords couldn’t even see Sienna and none of them trusted her. Other forces besides Cronus wanted to use her for their own gain and she she truly felt that she and Paris couldn’t stay together. Unfortunately, they weren’t the only ones who were in danger during Darkest Seduction. Kane is still missing, Ashlyn is in danger, a few new characters are introduced and the premise for a brand new series is set up. Let’s just say, a whole lot happens in this book and it is well worth the read.

So, was Paris and Sienna’s story worth the wait? Most definitely, yes! I still absolutely can’t wait until the next book though. There are still some Lords who need their HEA and I’m sure that Gena Showalter is prepared to deliver. 😉


The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter

Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor’s edge of surrender. Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can’t afford because he has an agenda of his own-steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter-the love neither had thought possible.

I knew Strider was going to get to me, I just knew it! What took me by surprise was the effect that Kaia had on me. She literally broke my heart in this one. Who knew a Harpy could make my heart crumble, especially one as ruthless as Kaia seemed to be?

Strider fought his feelings for Kaia from the start. Actually from the time that he discovered that she had slept with Paris. That was a challenge that he wasn’t willing to put himself through. Kaia was determined to win him for her own. Even though she was in a fight for her life. Watching these two battle against themselves and for each other was a great ride. There wasn’t a lot of down time in this one. The danger and action seemed to be non stop and this reader was really beginning to wonder if this couple would ever really be able to be together. *sigh*

What broke my heart about Kaia? I don’t want to give anything away, but trust me, she is broken. Literally broken to bits and the fact that she needs Strider as much as she does and he fights her every step of the way just makes it worse. He doesn’t intentionally hurt her, but he’s got his shields up and can’t risk the pain surrendering to her would cause him. Gena Showalter stayed true to her strong female characters though. Even though Kaia was broken, she never lost her strength or her will to protect those she loved, fiercely. The pain just made her stronger.

The Darkest Surrender also gave the reader some additional insight and helped you get to know the other characters a little better. The relationship between the Harpy sisters was a big part of this book, as well as the relationship between Harpies in general. One of the things that I like about this series is that the characters remain tied together, regardless of who is front and center. The side stories give you a break from the intensity and add to the page turning aspect. You just have to know what happens next, but you can’t skip past the drama that the other characters are going through. Trust me, there is a lot of side drama in this one.

Kane, William and of course, Paris go through  a lot in The Darkest Surrender and the drama with them doesn’t end when the book is finished. I’m torn between wanting to immediately pick up The Darkest Seduction and not wanting my LOTU reading to be over until the next book is released. I’ve gone through these books a lot faster than I thought I would, but I had no choice. Once I started, I just couldn’t stop.

The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter

In this sexy new installment of Showalter’s bestselling Lords of the Underworld series, the haunted Amun meets a woman who tempts him like no other…

Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when the immortal warrior is chained and isolated to protect those he loves, death is his only hope of release—until he meets Haidee, a fellow prisoner whose beauty and hidden vulnerability draw him into a reckless test of his loyalty.

Haidee is a demon-assassin, raised to despise Amun’s kind. Yet how can she hate the man whose touch sets her aflame? But to save him, she must give herself body and soul…and face the wrath of a powerful adversary sworn to destroy her.

When I was in high school, way back when they had courses that didn’t just prepare students for standardized tests, I had an abundance of English and Literature classes to choose from. Even back then I was drawn to books in an almost obsessive way. Nothing compared to what I read now, but my love of reading definitely had it’s beginning then. I literally took every English and Literature class that our small high school offered. Besides Creative Writing, one of my absolute favorites was Mythology. For that reason alone, I shouldn’t be surprised at how drawn I am to this series of books. Because Gena Showalter has made them so much more than that, I didn’t stand a chance. *sigh*

The Darkest Secret is Amun’s story. His character has been rather mysterious since the beginning, basically because he doesn’t talk. He uses sign language to communicate because he’s afraid if he speaks all of the secrets that he keeps will spill out accidentally. The integrity behind this quiet Lord really came through in this book. He carried quite a burden with his demon that wasn’t evident until Gena took the time to help you get to know him. That’s one of the things I love about this series. Not only do you get a hot and intense love story with each one but you uncover layers of the Lords’ personalities with each book.

Amun being paired with Haidee was a brilliant turn of events. It shouldn’t have worked. How could a Hunter possibly be mated to a Lord? It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t immediate. The pair of them deceived themselves and each other throughout the entire story, but the outcome was wonderful… almost. We’ll get to that a little later in the review.

Once again, the other Lords are given plenty of face time in The Darkest Secret. I’ve read reviews from readers who find this distracting… not just in the Lords of the Underworld Series, but in other series as well. I, for one, find it really adds to the reading value. In a series that encompasses so many individuals, it helps to see aspects of their lives too. After all, part of what makes these Lords so likeable is the way their existence is so interwoven. Not to mention how they not only relate to their mates but to each other as well. Their is a bond between them that you don’t usually find between men, regardless of how close they are. To me, it is a big part of the attraction to this series. Besides that, the quality time that William, Paris and Strider during their mini vacation would have been sad to miss. These guys were hilarious! Of course, there are few scenes involving William that aren’t. 😉

As for Amun and Haidee? I liked the pairing. It eventually made sense and the flow of the relationship worked. The only draw back to this entire book was the ending. It was almost too neat and tidy. It needed a little bit more explanation, but I’m still glad it ended the way that it did. Regardless, that’s the only reason that this one received 4 instead of 5 stars from me. It still kept my interest and nothing else seemed forced. I think that Haidee will be a great addition to the other strong females in the fortress.

And who is next? Well. Strider of course. I really can’t wait to read his story. it should be fun – especially since I kinda see where his story might be going. Although, Gena Showalter is a master at delivering the unexpected. Which is just another reason why I’m so glad my favorite bullies finally got me hooked on this series. 🙂 Honestly, all it really took was picking up the first book.

Want to see what some other people thought?

Isalys @ Book Soulmates Review

Smash Attack Ash’s Review

Christi Snow’s GoodReads Review

The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter

In this riveting new installment of New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, Gideon, keeper of the Demon of Lies, fights to uncover the truth….Forced to his knees in agony whenever he speaks the truth, Gideon can recognize any lie—until he captures Scarlet, a demon-possessed immortal who claims to be his long-lost wife. He doesn’t remember the beautiful female, much less wedding — or bedding — her. But he wants to . . . almost as much as he wants her.But Scarlet is keeper of Nightmares, too dangerous to roam free, and a future with her could mean ultimate ruin. Especially as Gideon’s enemies draw closer . . . and the truth threatens to destroy all he’s come to love.There is so much to love about this series… it just keeps getting better and better. It’s not that the writing has gotten better, because Gena Showalter has drawn me into every book in the series so far. It has more to do with getting to know the Lords better with each installment. It’s like another layer of them is peeled away with each book and you see who the men really are behind their demons. That could be the reason I’m plowing through this series. Every time I try to put it down I’m drawn back to the next. I’m going to go through some serious withdraw once I get to the end. *sigh*

The Darkest Lie, is of course, Gideon’s book. I’ve liked Gideon from the beginning. His ‘Gideon Speak’ was endearing. I loved how the other Lords and their women accepted it and how it actually drove Toren crazy. The fact that it made it impossible for him to get close to a woman made his situation heart breaking. At least with the other Lords they could explain their demons to their potential loves. Gideon couldn’t do that because every word he spoke was a lie. It made it impossible for anyone to get to know him at all, until Scarlet.

Scarlet’s story was heartbreaking. Even more heartbreaking as her story was revealed. She was holding on to an awful lot of anger and pain from her past.

Gideon just wanted to get to the truth. He had no intention of falling for Scarlet, none at all. In fact, his intention was to get her to trust him enough to get to the truth and then lock her back up. I love it when things don’t go according to plan. 😉

There were so many twists and turns in this one it definitely kept things interesting. You almost needed a score card! One minute you thought you knew exactly who was behind the deception and the next the players changed. That’s just some of what made this one a hard book to put down.

Once again, the other Lords were given face time. I’m really glad too because it helps to keep the story moving, adds to the suspense and gives you a glimpse into the way these men and their mates interact. I love that about these books. I liked seeing more of William and learning a little bit more about the mystery behind all the snark. Some pretty startling revelations come to light that I am sure are going to play a bigger part in the coming  books. Besides that, he provides a fair amount of comedic relief and he is so… well… he’s just William. Enough said. It’s pretty much perfect that he and Anya are so close.

The end of this one is the perfect set up for The Darkest Secret. Amun’s story is next and it looks like it is going to be just as intense as the others. I’m sure it won’t be long until the next review is gracing my page. I. Just. Can’t. Stop!

The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter

For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel-demon-assassin has been sent to kill him. Or has she? Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn’t bear to harm him. But trusting – and falling for – Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this mortal with the huge blue eyes already unleashed Aeron’s darkest passion?

Now, with an enemy hot on his trail and his faithful demon companion determined to remove Olivia from his life, Aeron is trapped between duty and consuming desire. Worse still, a new executioner has been sent to do the job Olivia wouldn’t.

Okay, I admit that I am officially hooked on the Lords of the Underworld Series. I may have mentioned that before, but just in case anyone out there missed it, I needed to say it again. The more I get to know these boys, the more I want to know them better. And may I say that Gena Showalter is doing a wonderful job at helping me out with that endeavor! 😉

The Darkest Passion is Aeron’s book and he is the keeper of the demon Wrath. Aeron spent most of the first couple of books in a literal rage. He was cursed by the Gods to kill a family of women. Because the other Lords knew that if he followed through on that killing he would never be able to live with the guilt, they did whatever they could, including imprisoning him, to keep those women and their brother safe until the curse was finally lifted. Because of that scenario and his obvious love, respect and care of his fellow Lords, I couldn’t wait to get to Aeron’s book. It was more than time for him to have a little peace and find some happiness. I should have known before I started this book that Showalter wasn’t going to make it that easy. *sigh*

I absolutely loved Olivia. She was a feisty fallen angel, even though she was timid to begin with. I loved her spunk and determination to have her way with Aeron. It was fun to read and watch her begin to interact with the rest of the Lords – eventually. Aeron fighting against the inevitable was fun to read too. Given the fact that Olivia had some extra insight into the psyche of some of the other Lords gave this book a little something extra. Readers learned some things that they may not have otherwise known.

The love story between Aeron and Olivia was front and center, but, as with the other books, we’re given a glimpse of some of the other Lords. I think what I like most about these books is the interaction between the Lords. Their love and devotion to each other is evident. I love the acceptance they have for each other and their demons. The weight of their demons gives them a unique camaraderie that brings them closer than they probably would be otherwise.

In The Darkest Passion we learn more about the Hunters and their goals, Legion causes all kinds of new trouble, interesting tidbits about the Gods are revealed and at least one of the lost demons is found. In short, a lot happens in this book.

I don’t want to give anything away, but I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you to prepare yourself. I know that I’ve warned readers before to expect heartbreak in other books, but this book needs a little extra warning. There was a point in The Darkest Passion that literally tore me up. I’ve recovered from the trauma, but it took a while.

The next book is aptly titled The Darkest Lie. Perfect since it is Gideon’s book. The Darkest Passion gives readers a taste of what Gideon is facing in his story. Just enough to make me glad that it’s waiting for me on my shelf. 😉

Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter

He is the keeper of Doubt and his entire world’s about to be rocked.

Bound by the demon of doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern…until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more.

Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she’d fall for a kind human who wouldn’t rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora’s box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love…

Sabin isn’t a character in the Lords of the Underworld Series that I had really noticed before. Reading Darkest Whisper made me wonder why!

This is another series that took me a while to start. It only took reading the first Lords of the Underworld book to convince me that I needed to add all these books to my shelf, which incidentally, I have. 😉

Sabin is the keeper of Doubt, which on the surface doesn’t seem to be as bad as most of the demons, until you stop and think about it. His demon could make the most confident person lose all self confidence in a matter of minutes. It turned out to be quite an effective tool on the battle ground, not so much when you are trying not to hurt someone you love. Gwen was an immortal with little or no self confidence to start with. Pairing her with Doubt should have destroyed her. Did I mention how amazing these books are?

Darkest Whisper took these two characters to the brink and back again, which is exactly what Showalter is best at. I’m not sure what draws me into these books more. The love that the characters have for their destined mates or the love and devotion that the Lords have for each other. Both are amazing and heart breaking.

As with the rest of the books in the series, you get a glimpse of the other Lords. Just enough that you can’t wait to pick up the next book. There are some that you know are coming soon and some loyal readers are being tortured with. That’s okay though, I’m trusting Showalter to make it worth the wait for some of these Lords to get their HEA.

Darkest Passion is the next book in the series and I have to admit that as of the time I’m writing this review, I’ve already finished it. I’m not sure I can pick a favorite Lord or a favorite book, but not one has disappointed me so far. 🙂

Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter

Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her–even defy the gods.

Danika is on the run. For months she’s eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won’t rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can’t forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear….

Readers knew from the time that the finished Darkest Knight that Reyes and Danika were destined to be together. It would have been logical for their story to follow Maddox and Ashlyn’s but that would have cut down on the suspense and tension that built up in these characters. Postponing their story gave readers something to look forward to, especially since we were given a taste of Reyes’ continued longing for Danika in Darkest Kiss. That ploy worked well in building the anticipation in Darkest Pleasure and turned it into a real page turner.

Just because we knew that Danika and Reyes were destined to be together didn’t mean that it was going to be easy. These two characters should never have been a couple. Danika considered Reyes the enemy and hated her uncontrollable attraction to him. Reyes knew that Danika was better off without him. He knew that he would inevitably hurt her both physically and mentally and he loved her too much to risk it. It was an impossible relationship. The journey, heartbreak and experience that Gena Showalter put these characters through was amazing. Once I hit a certain point in this book, I couldn’t stop reading.

This book wasn’t just about Reyes and Danika. One of the great parts about The Lords of the Underworld Series is that each book touches on the other Lords. Readers are given a glimpse into the other Lords’ lives. It helps build the anticipation for the other books in the series, but it also keeps you connected to the characters that were featured in past books. That’s a great aspect because I loved those characters and want their stories to continue.

Aeron is obviously a key character in Darkest Pleasure, along with Danika’s family. Aeron’s plight is heartbreaking. His actions are contradictory to what his ‘brothers’ know is his nature. He is pulled to follow through, but everyone knows if he does he will never forgive himself. Some of the mystery behind Danika and her family is revealed in the book, but there is still more to learn. They basically spend most of the book trying to survive. Gena Showalter’s resolution to all of these impossible situations is amazing. There are a lot of twists and turns and just when you think it’s over, there’s another obstacle that knocks these characters for a loop. Did I mention that this was a page turner?

Just a side note, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that Paris is going to totally break my heart before we get to his story. I know a lot of readers have already completed the series, but I became a fan of The Lords of the Underworld a little later. I didn’t start reading the books until a couple of months before Paris’ book (The Darkest Seduction) was released. Since I still have five books to go, it will be a little while before I get to it. That’s okay because I’m sure that Gena Showalter will spend a fair amount of time in those books getting me ready (or more than ready) to read it. *sigh*

The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter

She has tempted many men…but never found her equal. Until now.

Though she has lived for centuries, Anya, goddess of anarchy, has never known pleasure. Until Lucien, the incarnation of death–a warrior eternally doomed to take souls to the hereafter. He draws her like no other. And Anya will risk anything to have him.

But when the merciless Lord of the Underworld is ordered by the gods to claim Anya herself, their uncontrollable attraction becomes an anguished pursuit. Now they must defeat the unconquerable forces that control them, before their thirst for one another demands a sacrifice of love beyond imagining..

Have I mentioned that I love my Book Bully blogging buddies? If not for them, I would be missing out on so many great books. I’m not really sure what kept me from reading these books for so long. I finally caved and read The Darkest Night in January and then I moved on to something else before getting the next books. Thank goodness for Kelly and Isalys gently pointing out the error of my ways. Once I started reading Lucien and Anya’s story I couldn’t stop.

I didn’t pay much attention to Lucien in The Darkest Night to be honest. I’m not exactly sure why other than the fact that there were a lot of introductions in the first book and there was also an awful lot going on. For the same reason, Anya didn’t stick out in my mind either. By the end of the first book she had proven herself, but she still wasn’t a character that anyone was sure they should trust, including the reader. One chapter into The Darkest Kiss and all that changes. Once I finished this book they became one of my favorite couples. They were both so damaged and tortured they needed each other – but they fought it. Boy did they fight it. They fought it so much it was painful. *sigh*

Sacrifice is evidently a big element in this series which makes the love stories all the more tragic. Not only are the Lords cursed with the demons that possess them but it seems that they, along with those they love have to give up literally everything. Their love and devotion to each other is so strong that they willingly give up all to save the other. You know it’s coming, you know it’s going to tear them and you apart, but you keep reading. Even though you know in the back of your mind that eventually it will all work out, there is always that chance that the tables could turn. Those breath holding moments are what keep you reading and wanting more. When it comes to paranormal romance I’ve learned to assume nothing. Authors can be evil and I’m afraid that Gena Showalter will prove to be no exception to that rule.  Needless to say, I now have at least the next 4 books in my possession. 😉

Between all the torturous denial that Lucien and Anya were busy putting themselves through, we got glimpses into what was going on with the other Lords. Readers got a taste of Paris, Reyes, Maddox and Aeron in The Darkest Kiss. The story line really made me want Paris’ book, but I’ll have to wait because Reyes is up next. The end of this one left quite a few of the Lords floundering, which of course means I will not be waiting long to pick up The Darkest Pleasure. See, authors are evil!

The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter

His powers — Inhuman
His passion — Beyond immortal . . .

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she’ll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member — a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments . . . and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction — and a soul-shattering test of love . . .

Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive — and unimaginably powerful . . . Don’t miss this incredible new paranormal series from Gena Showalter!

Okay, I caved. I’m not sure why I hesitated in starting Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, but I did. A lot of my blogging buddies have been hooked on this series for a while. So, the last time I picked up books from Amazon, I threw The Darkest Night into my shopping cart. Did I like it? Let’s just say, I now have the next 2 books in the series waiting in my shopping cart on Amazon. They were put there about half way through this book. 😉

It’s no secret I’m a fan of Paranormal Romance. My favorite involve tortured souls, the more tortured the better. Both Maddox and Ashlyn fit that bill in a big way. The relationship isn’t one sided. They need each other to survive – almost literally, which makes for a perfect romance.

Each of the Lords has their own cross to bear, so to speak. The Darkest Night touches on each one of them, but Maddox is obviously front and center. I also like books that give the reader more than one POV and The Darkest Night accomplishes that seamlessly. You not only get Maddox and Ashlyn’s POV, but you hear from other Lords and supporting characters as well.

The Darkest Night contains enough action, romance, mystery and heart wrenching moments to keep you on the edge of your seat and turning pages until you come to the end. The mythology that the series is based on keeps things interesting and familiar as well. I can’t wait to read about the other Lords. I’m pretty sure I already have my favorites, but I need to read more to find out. These boys probably won’t replace my first loves, but they will be a fine diversion between books. 😉