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Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld #1) by Gena Showalter


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 that 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....

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My Review:

Before I start, I’m assuming you’ve already read my Intro to the Lords of the Underworld – if not, please read it before you continue. :)

I found The Darkest Night to be a very hottt and captivating read. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down as it features non-stop action and steamy scenes between Ashlyn and Maddox. I also enjoyed all the Greek Mythology references in the book and found the rest of the Immortal Warriors irresistible.

First, there is Ashlyn Darrow who has always had a special ability of being able to ‘hear’ spoken conversations wherever she stands– no matter how long ago they occurred, Employed by the World Institute of Parapsychology, she helps the institute search for other people, who like her, have special abilities, and together find a way to make those powers benefit mankind.  

Her newest assignment (in Budapest) is finding a group of strange men the townspeople say have strange abilities no one can explain – some even go so far as to call them angels. Unable to live a normal life since she is hounded by the voices she hears, wherever she might go, Ashlyn can’t wait to meet up with these men and see if maybe they can help her control her ‘gift’.

While climbing up a mountain, en route to the strange men’s residence, Ashlyn’s team is killed and she is captured by one of the strangers. Very quickly, she learns that her life will forever be changed.

Then there’s Maddox – one of the Lords of the Underworld – an immortal who was cursed by the gods for killing Pandora. As punishment, he must die in the same manner Pandora was killed at midnight each night.  When he meets Ashlyn, Maddox immediately senses there is something different about her. The demon inside him – Violence – senses this as well and against his better judgment, Maddox takes Ashlyn to the home he shares with the rest of his friends and immortal warriors.

Viewing Ashlyn’s presence as a threat, his fellow housemates all try to convince him to get rid of her, but Maddox can’t hear them over the overwhelming need he feels for Ashlyn when she’s near him. Ashlyn is likewise attracted to Maddox – whom she finds blissful silence in as the voices she always hears are finally silenced when she’s with him. 

Aside from Maddox and Ashlyn, there are bigger things going on. Zeus is no longer ruler of the heavens. The Titans have escaped and Cronus now heads the new management. His first decree for the warriors is to kill a group of American women who happen to be vacationing in Budapest.

The warriors, not wanting to spill innocent blood, take the women (Danika, her mother, grandmother, and sister) as prisoners to their home, hoping to find a way around Cronus’ decree before the warrior Aeron (who was ordered to kill them) is driven mad with bloodlust. One warrior in particular, Reyes, hopes to find a solution soon as he finds Danika extremely alluring.

Soon everything is turned upside down as Ashlyn discovers the true goals of the organization she works for. To save Maddox and his friends, she must now escape the institution she believed to be her family. Can she bring herself to let go of the only world she’s ever known for the sexy warrior she can’t seem to live without?

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“How do you feel, Ashlyn?” he repeated.

Every nerve ending in her body reached for him, pleading for attention. “Fine,” she finally admitted. “I feel fine. I didn’t lie.”

“Then why are you standing there? Strip.”

“Do not order me.” If she allowed him to walk on her now, he would always walk on her. Always? How long are you staying?

He was silent for a moment. “Please.”

Are you really going to do this? Yes. She was. He didn’t love her, and she wasn’t sure how he’d treat her afterward, but she was going to do it. She wanted him and had from the first.  Her hand trembled as she reached for the zipper of her pink jacket. But she found that she wasn’t wearing the jacket anymore. Or her sweater. He must have removed them while she slept. Cheeks heating, she curled her fingers around the hem of her plain T-shirt. She lifted the material over her head and tossed it aside, leaving her in a white tank, bra and jeans.

Maddox nodded his approval. “So many layers. Remove more. Please.”

She rested her hands on the bottom of the tank. Paused. “I’m nervous,” she confessed.

One of his black eyebrows arched as his head tilted to the side. “Why?”

“What if—what if you don’t like what you see?”

“I’ll like,” he said huskily.

That primitive tone…She shivered. It had scared her in the forest. Now it fanned the flames of her desire. “How can you be sure?

His gaze raked over her in a heated perusal. “I like what I see right now. What’s underneath will be even better.”

Ashlyn wasn’t so sure about that. She didn’t work out; she didn’t diet. There had never really been a need. When she wasn’t traveling with the Institute, she was content to stay home, watching TV, reading magazines and playing on the Internet. Not the things that gave a woman the type of body men talked about wanting.  Her thighs were a little wider than most said they liked, her stomach a little rounder. What kind of woman was Maddox used to? He was immortal, after all, and had probably been with thousands of beautiful females. Her hands fisted. Irrational though it was, the thought of him with someone else really pissed her off.

“Ashlyn,” Maddox said, snapping her from her musings.


“Mind on the task at hand,” he said dryly.

Her lips inched into a smile. “Sorry. I got distracted.” She’d have to learn to control her own thoughts, now that silence was a part of her life.

“Let me help you. Please.”

Every time he uttered the word please she melted, wanting to give him all that he desired and more. She nodded.

His hands closed over hers, and there was that thrilling shock that always followed his touch. She’d expected it this time, but was still unprepared for its ripple effect. Pearled nipples, a warm rush between her legs.

He didn’t wait for permission but gripped the tank and lifted.

“Wait,” she said.

Instantly, he ceased moving.

“I need to prepare you.” He was about to see her underwear—another embarrassing topic. They were plain white cotton. Granny gear,  she’d once heard a man say. She never wore sexy clothing, even underclothing, while on the job. It just wasn’t practical. “I do own sexy underwear, I promise, but I’m not wearing it right now.”

“That is supposed to disgust me?” Maddox asked, sounding genuinely confused. “That you aren’t wearing sexy underwear?”

“I don’t know.” She chewed on her lower lip. “Maybe. Does it?”

”Ashlyn, whatever you’re wearing will not matter to me. You will not be wearing it for long. Ready now?” he asked.

Swallowing, she nodded.

He tugged the tank over her head and tossed it on the floor beside her T-shirt. She shivered. “W-well?”


“Ugly?” she asked.

“Lovely,” Maddox replied. He sucked in a—reverent?—breath and her blood caught fire. He reached out with a shaky hand and traced the plain cotton that shielded her nipples. Though already hard, they strained toward him.

Ashlyn moaned at the decadence.





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