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?
There is a lot going on in Gena Showalter’s (GS) ninth installment of the Lords of the Underworld (LOTU) series, The Darkest Seduction.
To save some time, here is what I didn’t like about this book.
Paris and Sienna. Though I was really looking forward to seeing Paris’ – the keeper of the demon, Promiscuity – story, I couldn’t get into his storyline. It got a bit tedious reading how plain and ordinary-looking Sienna was, how she had small breasts, and was nothing ‘special’ to look at, yet Paris couldn’t get enough of her. Then, after awhile, everyone (after looking deep . . . deep . . . DEEP . . . inside Sienna) would ‘see’ her buried beauty, too. It was just too much.
I was also very confused by Paris’ demon. I thought when Paris and Sienna finally got together, it would ‘cure’ him of his promiscuity, but on the contrary. Paris starts desiring ALL women whether he’s been with them or not.
But I didn’t ponder this issue for long as there were just so many things happening in the book, and I found myself skipping *gasp* Paris’ & Sienna’s parts to get to the rest of the storylines.
Overdoing Things. Aside from avoiding the Serial Comma like the plague, GS has a habit of overdoing things. Once she decides she wants to make a point of something, we get beat over the head incessantly with it. WE. GET. IT. There’s no reason to keep going on and on. As I read, I kept wondering if GS has ‘yes’ people/editors surrounding her, or if they actually sent her a memo telling her to ‘tone down’ her repetitiveness and she just ignored them.
I guess we’ll never know, but the major overdone subjects in this book were the humor and describing how ‘plain’ Sienna was.
- Though I enjoy humor in a book, sometimes things bordered on the silly side and read more like there was a silly quota that needed to be filled instead of following the storyline. This was a 50/50 catch for me though, because sometimes the humor was brilliant, and other times it wasn’t.
- Poor Sienna read like the anti-Harpy on how she just wouldn’t cut it in the looks department, but Paris (and his Mr. Happy) saw something no one else in their right mind would look at twice. It got tedious fast, the first twenty times this was mentioned. Wish there would have been only one scene where this came up and then it was never discussed again. *if only*
Moving Homes. After living for 9 books in their Budapest fortress, the LOTU pack up and relocate to Sienna’s house located in the Realm of Blood and Shadows. It’s never really discussed why, only that it was too dangerous to stay there. Aww! Poor Torin – all the work he put into surveillance, only to have to redo it all. When is he going to have time for his HEA?
Okay, now we’ve passed the bad and can get on to the good! Here’s what I did like about The Darkest Seduction:
The birth of Ashlyn’s babies! Yes! The twins are finally here! I can’t believe it took so long for this FINALLY happen, but I’m so glad Maddox is a proud Papa!
The physical appearance of the babies and their names (Urban and Ever) were a bit of a let down, but it was so adorable how all the LOTU turned to mush and couldn’t wait their turn to hold the twins. Just Awww!
William. So glad there was a lot of William in this book; however, it’s evident there’s still a lot we don’t know about him. He had me rolling in laughter with his constant addiction to his hair conditioner and I can’t wait until he gets his own book. (*sigh* After this book, maybe I shouldn’t say this anymore . . . )
The Intervention. No one can ‘see’ Sienna because she is dead – with the exception of a few characters. Because the majority of the LOTU and their women only see Paris sucking face with air, they stage an intervention for him to stop. I was laughing at Anya and her letter of concern. Just priceless.
Legion and Galen. Just wow! Their storyline was everything I was hoping for – just wish there was more of it. It was too short! I was heartbroken at seeing Legion so traumatized over her time spent in hell and it took Galen kidnapping Ashlyn and asking for Legion in trade to finally snap her out of her silence. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen when Legion willingly went with Galen and he saw how changed she was.
Galen had made Legion swear she would do anything/everything he told her and I was in a tizzy wondering just what Galen had in mind for her.
Luckily, Galen looked past his revenge and noticed how broken Legion was now. He wanted the spitfire of a girl he’d had dirty bathroom sex with (refresh your memory with this excerpt from book 5) and who had poisoned him, not the fearful girl she had become. It seemed he might have grown feelings for her, but we never really got to see what ‘happened’ as their time was cut short to make more time for Paris and Sienna. *sobs*
Cronus and Rhea. These two have made a mess of the LOTU’s lives and there was never any question – they have to die! The only challenge is they are connected – if one dies, so does the other, making it difficult for their respective minions to ensure victory one way or the other, thus prolonging the fight between them.
In The Darkest Seduction, we see what became of Rhea – who was missing in the last book. Cronus has her prisoner, but with a surprising double cross you’ll never see coming, Rhea frees herself, but not before Cronus puts the wrong person to death. I was utterly shocked at this development.
Torin. To ensure he can imprison his wife at a future date, Cronus gives Torin the All-Key for safekeeping, telling him it has the power to break any curse as long as it remains in your possession. At first, I didn’t get why this was so relevant until Cronus explains that if Torin possesses it, he can finally be with a woman and NOT start a plague on the general populace! *flails* Yes, finally Torin can have his HEA with Cameo!
But before we can get our happy dance on, Cronus tells Torin it has to be with the female of Cronus’ choice.
Poor Torin! He can’t catch a break! Now I’m all in a tizzy wondering who Cronus picked for Torin and how will Cameo handle this? Ugh! Can’t wait to see how Torin’s story develops!
The Plot Advances. Are we coming to the end? In The Darkest Seduction, the fight between The Hunters (lead by Rhea) and the LOTU (led by Cronus) seemingly comes to an end. In the battle to end all the battles, both sides face off against each other. You’ll never guess what the outcome is! I loved how everyone came together, though now I’m wondering what’s left in the series. The only unresolved issue left in this book was Hades – who makes a bargain with Sienna. She has to give him anything he wishes for, and you know that is not going to end well.
Kane. From the last book, we learned about the prophesy stating Kane would start the end of the world. William gives him a clue and says the end of the world can only come about if someone releases The Four Horsemen (TFH) from hell. In this book, Kane is still trapped in hell and guess who comes to rescue? You guessed it – one of TFH, who immediately asks him to play a game of poker (we all know what happened to Amun when he took them up on their offer).
The rescuing TFH is wearing some weird gloves and it takes Kane awhile to figure out they are actually Amun’s hands. But that’s not all, they also retained Amun’s power to read people’s minds, which TFH take turns possessing. We can only guess what will happen next that will bring about the end of the world. Poor Kane – I hope an artifact or something is found to help him get rid of curse for awhile. He needs an HEA, too.
Viola. While Paris is searching for Sienna, he comes across Viola, the minor goddess of the afterlife and keeper of the demon, Narcissism. What I really liked about her is how she and Anya go at it as they battle for who gets to have the final decorating say in their new home. It’s hilarious how Anya gets the other LOTU women to side with her, and yet this doesn’t stop Viola at all. I also liked how Viola puts aside her self-love and tries to help Legion.
It was a bit silly that Viola ‘Screeches’ (GS’s version of Twitter), but I did like how Viola has a lot of power, even throwing Paris half across the room. Can’t wait to see how she comes to play into the story and who will be her LOTU love/lover.
Paris and Strider. Their connection in the past came as a real surprise.
Artifact Hunting. *cheers* At the end of The Darkest Seduction, the LOTU have now gathered all the artifacts to search for Pandora’s box and I can’t wait to see what their next move will be.
Yay! I’m all caught up in the series!
As you can see, the good definitely outweighs the bad in The Darkest Seduction, and I give it 3.5 kisses. If only the Paris and Sienna parts had been lessened, I would have rated it higher.
Paris appeared in front of her [Sienna], gathering her in his arms, rubbing his cheek against hers. He smelled of desire she recognized, such heady desire. “I’m so happy to see you.”
“What’s wrong, baby? What happened?”
Glaring up at him, she tugged from his hold. “I’m gone a few hours—” and in that time had decided to be with Galen to save Paris’s life, she thought but didn’t add “—and already you’ve moved on.” She gave a bitter laugh. Even knowing this would happen couldn’t have prepared her for the flood of pain actually seeing it wrought. “You tried to warn me, didn’t you, and I told you I understood.” Well, I don’t!
“Moved on? With Viola?” He grimaced. “Hell, no. We were just talking.”
“Yeah, I know. Your body language said plenty.” Before, she’d only seen his hard-on—and it had been pointed at the blonde. Now she felt it, hard and long and thick, and sweet heaven, she still wanted it. Still wanted him.
“Are you jealous?”
“Of course not!”
“You are. You’re jealous.” He laughed, awe and delight bubbling in the undertones. “Can I just tell you how much that turns me on?”
“Everything turns you on,” she snarled, struggling to dampen her anger. He was just so damned pleased with himself. And her! “And I’m not jealous.”
“You are, and I love it. Anyway, something’s going on with my demon, that’s all. I swear to you, I haven’t been with the goddess and I won’t be. Ever.”
“She’s a goddess?”
“Who holds no appeal for me.”
He could be lying. He could be telling the truth. Actually, he was telling the truth, she decided in an instant, not needing Wrath’s help. Paris wasn’t the type to lie. Consequences weren’t something he feared.
“It doesn’t matter.” Her shoulders sagged with defeat. “I shouldn’t have come back.”
“Doesn’t matter? Are you giving up on me? On us?” He gripped her forearms and shook her. “I know we said we’d part when you could leave the realm, but I want to revisit that decision. It’s no longer an option for me. And I know you’re going to have a difficult time believing this, but no matter how my body reacts to others, no matter what my demon wants, you are it for me. Do you understand?” Another shake, harder than before.
“Uh, Paris,” Strider called. “Who you talking to, buddy?”
He twisted, and she peeked around him. The warriors had stopped fighting each other, and everyone but the scarred one and the blonde goddess were eyeing Paris as if he’d just flipped his ever-loving lid.
“They can’t see me,” she said.
He was saved from having to reply to her or his friends when the door in the center of the hall swung open and the dark-haired William stepped into the hall. He was pale, clearly shaken to his soul and bathed in blood.
She gasped. “What happened to him?”
William clapped to gain everyone’s attention. “All right, listen up. I’ve got good news and bad news. Because I’m such a positive person, we’ll start with the good. Ashlyn survived the birthing, and so did her personal horde.”
The hallway echoed with breathy sighs of relief…none louder than Maddox’s own.
“So what’s the bad?” someone demanded.
After a dramatic pause, the warrior said, “I’m out of conditioner. I need someone to flash out of here and get me some. Hint, I’m looking at you, Lucien. And, yeah, you’re welcome for my amazing contrib to your happy family. Little terrors clawed me up but good.”
“William!” someone else snapped. “Stay on track, and keep the unnecessary details to a minimum. We’re dying here.”
“That’s gratitude for you. So anyway, come on, come in, and meet your nephew and niece, Murder and Mayhem. Or, if you want to call them by their nicknames, and I’m sure you will the moment they get their mitts on you, Pistol and Shank.”