In June, 2016, Gena Showalter will be releasing the newest installment of her series The Lords of the Underworld. That novel, The Darkest Torment, is not yet ready for review, so, in conjunction with TLC Book Tours, many of us are reviewing other books in the series. I chose to review The Darkest Secret. Read to the end of the page for the entire list of tour stops, and the chance to win a signed copy of the entire collection.
About the book, The Darkest Secret
- Series: Lords of the Underworld
- Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: HQN Books (March 29, 2011)
Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when new demons possess him, the immortal warrior must be 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 an infamous 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.
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This novel, The Darkest Secret, is number seven in a series, and while each of the novels can be read as standalone stories, I can’t help but wonder if it would have been a different experience reading them all in order.
But that’s beside the point.
The Darkest Secret opens with a homecoming, as we witness the changes in a place I’m calling Casa Demonica – a sort of group home/mansion/commune for angels (warriors) and demons, each of whom is the ‘keeper’ of some great evil – some of them are four horseman-level evils, others are less intense – fatigue, for example – but all of the demons represent the darker side of humanity. Or demonity. Or… both.
Author Gena Showalter does a really good job of blending world-building with paranormal romance. I enjoyed the fact that there was nuance to her darkest creatures – they regret that their appetites cause harm, and actually try to make things easier for their human partners, as a rule.
I also enjoyed learning about the interpersonal relationships between these creatures. How precarious it must be to have friendships that could so quickly turn to death and destruction, or just as easily become true kinships – or switch between both extremes in the space of days, weeks, or years?
But beyond the demons themselves are their human hosts. In this case Amun is living within Micah, and Strider – it’s his point of view we first experience – has brought a human woman – Haidee – into Casa Demonica, but Haidee isn’t just a chick of the week, she’s Micah’s girlfriend.
Yeah. That’s not awkward at all.
Because Amun/Micah is experiencing the physical manifestation of a psychic disease, he’s strapped to a bed, and in terrible shape, and Haidee, of course, answers his mental call and makes her way through the house to be at his side.
Hurt/comfort is a very big part of this novel.
And yet, with the author’s fresh spin, and clear writing voice nothing ever seems trope-y or overdone. Instead, everything that should be cheesy or over the top combines in to a deliciously dark, exquisitely erotic fable for contemporary adults.
Goes well with dark chocolate, red wine, and a seriously plush sofa.
The publisher is sponsoring a RaffleCopter contest to win a signed copy of the entire series of these books. Enter below. PLEASE NOTE: I have nothing to do with the giveaway, except as a facilitator.
Gena Showalter’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, March 28th: Read Love Blog – Series spotlight
Tuesday, March 29th: Supernatural Snark **The Darkest Craving
Tuesday, March 29th: Booked on a Feeling **The Darkest Night & The Darkest Kiss
Thursday, March 31st: Bewitched Bookworms – spotlight, The Darkest Passion
Friday, April 1st: Reading Reality **The Darkest Touch
Monday, April 4th: Reader Girls **The Darkest Lie
Tuesday, April 5th: Bibliotica **The Darkest Secret
Wednesday, April 6th: Romancing the Book **The Darkest Seduction and The Darkest Craving
Thursday, April 7th: From the TBR Pile **The Darkest Night
Monday, April 11th: Lovely Reads **The Darkest Whisper
Monday, April 11th: Books that Hook **The Darkest Touch
Tuesday, April 12th: Stranded in Chaos **The Darkest Night, The Darkest Kiss
Wednesday, April 13th: Romancing the Readers **The Darkest Seduction
Friday, April 15th: Bibliophilia, Please ** The Darkest Night
Monday, April 18th: Stuck in Books – **The Darkest Pleasure