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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review–The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld #2) 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....

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My Review:

The Darkest Kiss, Book 2 of the Lords of the Underworld series, is by far the best book I have read this year! It’s filled with lots of humor, hott and sexy scenes between Lucien and Anya, and non-stop action that will have you on the edge of your seat. 

At the end of Book 1, The Darkest Night, we find out the institute (where Ashlyn used to work) was actually headed by an organization of humans the Lords call Hunters. The Hunters have one goal in mind – find Pandora’s box and suck the demons back into it, thinking this will obliterate evil from the world. If they are successful, the Lords of the Underworld would not survive being separated from the demons they’ve housed within them so long.

In order to stop them, the warriors must find Pandora’s box before the Hunters do. But the Hunters are not the only ones after Pandora’s box. Cronus, the new King of the gods, is also after the box. In order to fight this new threat, the Lords enlist the help of the goddess of Anarchy.

Enter Anya – who was first introduced as the heavenly ‘voice’ who helped Maddox and Ashlyn break the curse Maddox was under in Book 1. Here, in Book 2, Anya’s corporeal form is revealed as she materializes in a club the Lords are visiting. But this is not the first time she’s ‘dropped in’ to visit the warriors. For two weeks now, she’s been stalking looking after Lucien – the Lord housing the demon of Death within him.

Lucien, the most stoic and serious of all the Lords, senses a presence following him, yet he can never see anyone/anything, though he does pick up the scent of strawberries in the air. He dismisses his senses and goes about his daily job of escorting the souls of the departed to either heaven or hell – a 24/7 job. Following a bad experience in his past, Lucien is disfigured, a myriad of scars adorning his face and his eyes are mismatched – one being blue and the other brown.



Anya is smitten with the brooding immortal and sets to make Lucien hers at the club, first by dancing suggestively and then by throwing everything she’s got at the overwhelmed Lord. Lucien, thinking that Anya – a beautiful woman – is playing with him, or was paid by his friends to show him a good time, refuses every one of Anya’s advances, even though he’s instantly attracted to her.

An emotional and sexual tug of war begins between Lucien and Anya – with one moment Lucien giving into his desires, while the other he’s insulting Anya and trying to run away from her. Instead of giving up and leaving Lucien alone. Anya revels in the challenge to make Lucien hers and pulls out all the stops to taunt, tease, and drive Lucien insane.

Lucien can only take so much, and just when he’s about to give into Anya, Cronus summons him and demands he kill the goddess of Anarchy and retrieve a very special ‘key’ from her. Lucien tries to get out of the assignment, but Cronus tells him if he doesn’t go thru with his command, his friends will suffer.

The Lords have already been dealt a bad hand as Aeron – mad with bloodlust – has been imprisoned to stop him from killing Danika and her family, so Lucien knows Cronus’ threat is no joke. Apprehensively, Lucien agrees to kill Anya, but the more time he spends around the mischievous goddess, the more he falls deeper for her.

The same can be said for Anya – who can’t help herself around Lucien, either. She’s even contemplating binding the immortal to her for all time as she is cursed with having to eternally love the first man she takes to her bed – even if he does not want to be with her. 

In order to save Anya from her fate, Lucien must defeat the new king of the gods, and this is no small feat. First order of business is to find Pandora’s box – which can only be found by first uncovering other ancient artifacts that will lead to it. First item to be found is The Cage of Compulsion – an artifact hidden away by Hydra. Lucien quickly sets out to find the artifact.

The hunt begins, and everyone gets in on the action – except for Maddox and Ashlyn (whom we find out are expecting a baby!) who stay behind to care for Aeron. Along the way, we meet William – Anya’s hilarious friend who stole the show every time he came on LOL. Loved the way he and Lucien interacted – hysterically funny! :)

Things take a dramatic turn for the worst when Aeron escapes, and makes his way to kill Danika and her family. This makes everyone pull together as they race against the clock to find the hidden artifacts.

Put down whatever you are doing and pick up this book – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. The end will surprise you and make your heart melt all at once. Love…love…love Anya and Lucien. The Darkest Kiss is a definite MUST READ!

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Finally, he looked at her—and immediately regretted it. She wore a white gossamer gown with gold threaded throughout, and was even lovelier than he remembered. With the golden glow of moonlight crowning her and emerald plants framing her, she was an ancient queen straight out of a storybook. The top layers of her pale hair were piled on her head, the rest tumbling down and begging for his touch.

Hard fists of desire beat through him. “Who are they?” he forced himself to ask.

“Not a word about my appearance?”

“No.” Looking at you is like finally entering those gates to heaven. His chest tightened, nearly squeezing his heart to an agonizing stop.

“Seriously, why do I bother?” she grumped. “I could weigh nine hundred pounds, smell like a sewer and wear garbage bags and I’d get the same response from you.”

“The prisoners,” he prompted grimly.

She shrugged one delicate shoulder and the wispy material of her robe fell to her elbow, revealing inch after inch of creamy skin. Was that…gods in heaven, it was. He could see the plump underside of her breast. He wanted to taste it so badly his teeth actually hurt.

“What about them?” she asked. “They’re humans.”

He was tempted to offer his own soul to Cronus if the god would spare her and allow Lucien to lick her. A single flick of his tongue. That’s all he needed.Please.  “And?”

Her full lips curled into a slow smile. “They are people who might possess the very knowledge you seek. Don’t ask me anything else, though, because I’m not telling. You didn’t even comment about my dress and I went to a lot of trouble to steal it.”

“Stealing is wrong. But it is…pretty.” An understatement. A lie. It was exquisite on her. Would look even more exquisite on his bedroom floor. Foolish thought. “Do they know about Pandora’s box?”

“I told you, I’m not telling,” she huffed. “You weren’t supposed to tell me it’s pretty. You were supposed to tell me to take it off because I’d look better without it. Lucien, I swear to the gods I’m this close—” she pinched two fingers together “—to giving up on you. This close!”

Do not consider her words . The prisoners knew something about the box, he would bet. Yes, much safer topic. Why else would Hunters have them locked up? His eyes narrowed on the tunnels. He couldn’t risk hurting the captives. Not only did he want to protect innocent lives, but whatever knowledge they possessed,he  wanted to possess.

“You are so frustrating! I’d rather have you try to kill me again than have you ignore me.”

With a sigh, he peered at the surrounding foliage. The warriors were still waiting for his signal, most likely wondering about the delay. Without a word to Anya, he flashed to Paris and Strider, told them to be careful of the human prisoners and that he needed a few minutes more. Then he followed suit with Amun and Gideon. Except for the predictably silent Amun, the warriors grumbled.

Then he flashed back to Anya. On top of her, to be exact, trying not to delight in the feel of her warm body pressed to his or the curve of her breasts against his chest when he flipped her over. You could have landed beside her. Yes, he could have; he just hadn’t wanted to. This ensured she would not run. At least, that was the reason he gave himself.

“Why you little…mmm.” Her voice trailed off and she moaned in delight. Her eyes closed to half-mast, the lashes casting spiky shadows over her cheeks. “You want to make out?”

Yes. “No. Wait here.” He flashed to his bedroom in Budapest, her exasperated sputtering in his ears.

During the seemingly endless span of Maddox’s death-curse, they’d had to chain him to his bed every night to keep him from erupting into a fit of unrestrained violence, his control gone, his friends in danger. Maddox had wanted the metal destroyed once his curse had been lifted, but nothing they tried had melted or broken the godly links. Unable to get rid of them, refusing to use them on Aeron and afraid Hunters would find and use them against a Lord, Lucien had stored them in his bedchamber.

Right now, he swiped them from the closet, pocketed the key and snapped two ends to his bedposts, leaving two ends open and ready. Determined, he flashed back to Anya. She hadn’t moved, and he once again settled on top of her.

When she realized he had returned, she wound her legs around his waist and laved her hot tongue up the length of his throat. “Whatever brought about this naughty streak of yours, I heartily approve.”

His cock surged, filling and swelling, catching him on fire. Suddenly he was desperate, needier than he’d ever been. The woman he craved and now constantly daydreamed about was writhing against him in truth, running her hands all over him, as eager for more as he was.

One kiss. That’s all.

Whether he thought it or the demon spoke it, Lucien didn’t know. He only knew that if he kissed Anya, he would not be able to stop. Kissing this woman had proved to be more arousing than making love to another. And even if the time and place were appropriate, he knew better than to indulge with a woman he would soon be forced to kill. Do not let history repeat itself. End this.

“Lucien,” she gasped. “Kiss me.”

“Soon,” he vowed, and it was the truth. Depraved as it was, much as he knew better and had just tried to convince himself not to, he would not be able to render that final blow until he’d taken her mouth again.

Remaining on top of her, he flashed them both to his bedroom and onto the bed. When the cool mattress met Anya’s back, he swiped up her hands and locked them inside the chains. Clink.

She didn’t protest as he’d expected. She glanced around, muttered, “Mmm, your bedroom. I’ve wanted an invitation real bad.” Grinning, she arched her lower body into his—dear gods—and purred straight into his ear. The delicious sound blended with the demon’s approving hum. “Is this a kinky new game?” She even bit his earlobe. “What happens in Buda, stays in Buda. Promise.”

His erection throbbed as pleasure, so much pleasure, drove into his skin, his muscles. A shiver stole through him, hot and hungry. Again his blood heated; more than burning now, more than blistering. It was lava in his veins, singeing every part of him with desire. His mouth was opening, preparing to ravage her with the kiss he’d promised her, promised them both, but once again he managed to stop himself.

No contact. No kissing. Not yet. There were Hunters to kill. No falling for her, either. No craving more. Sooner rather than later, she would die. To be her lover, as well as her executioner, would make him as despicable as the demon inside him.

“Aren’t you going to play with me?” she asked in that husky voice of hers. “Aren’t you going to kiss me? Soon is now.”

“Anya.” He didn’t know what else to say.

* * * * *





  1. hmmmm I may have to move this series up my TBR list.

  2. Yes! You definitely should. I'm loving this series, and book 2 was awesome! I loved the sexy, flirty banter between Lucien and Anya and how she gets him back for tying her up and leaving her there. LOL Revenge is soooo sweet! Loved it! <3


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