The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter
Published by: Harelquin
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Page Count: 368
Source: Gift from Friend
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.
He was known as the Dark One. Malach ha-Maet. Yama. Azreal. Shadow Walker. Mairya. King of the Dead. He was all of those things and more, for he was a Lord of the Underworld.
Gena, yet again, delivers a heart-pounding and fast-paced story and immerses you in a deeply rich world that you don’t want to leave.
Weeks have passed, and new overlords lay claim to the Lords of the Underworld. Cronus has imprisoned the Greeks, who ruled over and cursed the Lords of the Underworld. Now he looks to test the warriors again by ordering Lucien, Keeper of Death, to kill Anya, the Goddess of Anarchy. But how can the leader of the Budapest faction kill her when he cannot fathom murdering the woman who is determined to win him and may just break this sombre warrior?
Gena amplifies the plot development tenfold while connecting it with this seductive storyline. The Lords continue to look for the DimOuniak (Pandora’s box), which the Hunters are hellbent to find and destroy. And to do so, they, with the help of Anya, travel to Rome to undercover the Temple of the Unspoken Ones, which holds ancient artifacts that will lead them to the box. While some readers may say, “Here we go again with another love story,” Gena isn’t afraid to add new layers to this series. The plot itself kept me hooked, and I couldn’t put the book down.
Call me addicted. I cannot get enough of these characters. And I thoroughly blame my friend for this problem. But I love her for buying this book, the third, and the forth, so we’re good. I enjoyed reading The Darkest Night. But I admit this sequel outshines it, and I feel that Lucien cements himself as one of my favourite characters in the series. Since the first book, he has captured my attention. Come on, he’s Keeper of Death. The morbid nerd in me perked up when I heard of this tortured warrior. He once loved a mortal woman, and when her life cruelly ended, he scarred himself so he would no longer attract another. How tortured can a man be?
“Apparently, dancing for him and throwing herself at him weren’t enough. Apparently, she had to nearly commit murder to arouse him enough to attack her.”
Once again, Anya, daughter of Dysnomia and Tartarus, weaves her way into the Lord’s lives. You first see her at the end of The Darkest Night, where she offers Ashlyn a deal to break Maddox’s death curse. She exudes confidence, beauty, and sly intelligence, yet she creates a facade to hide who she is and what her past holds. I thought she’d bother me, since she can be somewhat ditsy, yet I love how she balances out ever-calm Lucien. Her backstory struck me much harder than I thought it would. And I can’t help but laugh at her determination to attract him. If this woman wants something, she gets it. And she’ll call him out on everything he does and says.
The sexual tension in Darkest Kiss may kill not only the readers but also Lucien and Anya. Gena has a knack for effortlessly incorporating that into her work. And the banter between them kept me laughing. He purposely avoids her since he doesn’t see why he should fall for any woman who will eventually die and how she can find him attractive, but Anya sees past his scars. Their arguing plays heavily into the plot. Nothing says love like killing and maiming. Lucien either must kill her or take the All Key, a key that allows her to escape any prison and an item Cronus dreams of owning. Cronus, the King of the Titans, plays a secondary character throughout the story and adds more to this mythology-rich plot. And I wonder how he’ll play a stronger role in the future sequels.
So take some advice from this PNR newbie and pick up this series. You may get obsessed as much I have gotten.