The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter
Published by: Harlequin
Publication Date: June 1, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel-demon-assassin has been sent to kill him. Or has she? Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn’t bear to harm him. But trusting – and falling for – Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this mortal with the huge blue eyes already unleashed Aeron’s darkest passion?
With an enemy hot on his trail and his faithful demon companion determined to remove Olivia from his life, Aeron is trapped between duty and consuming desire. Worse still, a new executioner has been sent to do the job Olivia wouldn’t.
“Because you aren’t who you think you are. You aren’t what everyone else believes. You might have delivered countless deaths but you love more fiercely than anyone I’ve ever known.”
Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for Aeron to redeem himself?! Okay, clearly not as long as other diehard Gena fans who have been with her from the beginning, but bloody long enough. He has been through enough, dammit. He deserves his happiness. And obviously, Gena blesses this glorious man with just that. About time!
Weeks have passed since Aeron, keeper of Wrath, has finally gained some semblance of control over his demon, after Cronus revoked the order to kill Danika and her family. Tormented, guilt-ridden, and angry, he senses another presence though. Olivia, a fallen angel sent to assassinate him, willingly offers her immortality to be with him. Duty or love may win out, but their union may be disastrous for all involved.
Gena skillfully weaves together betrayal, redemption, temptation, and sacrifice into her fifth instalment. This sequel is heartbreaking as it is sensual. Since the first book, I’ve been wondering how Gena will play out this storyline. Aeron battles with his demon, who demands he punishes any mortal or immortal who has done harm. Sometimes he doesn’t win. And with failure, he adds another tattoo to remind himself of his defeat. Until now, I haven’t liked this character as much as I have the other ones.
Gena now incorporates Christian mythology into her series. At first, I wasn’t sure if the blend between Christian and Greek lore might work, but surprisingly, they mesh together seamlessly. With the change in lore, Aeron questions mortality. He simply doesn’t understand how people face death yet still want to live. He also buries himself in his guilt. He feels the need to protect Paris, who gave up his chance to get Sienna back so Aeron could gain control over his demon.
What balances out this angst and guilt is forbidden allure between Olivia and Aeron. He fights her advances. And he refuses to touch her because he doesn’t deem himself worthy. I’m all for a demon falling for an angel. But you can’t have a Lords of the Underworld novel without the ultimate conflict that divides the main characters. Since Olivia failed to kill him because of his connection with Legion, Lysander, angel and mentor to Olivia, demands Olivia to choose: stay with Aeron and become mortal, kill him and become an angel once again, or watch another assassin kill him. What is a woman to choose? Clearly the Lord covered with tattoos.
In this book, Aeron finally grows as a character. I haven’t seen a lot of his normal side nor seen who he is as a Lord. And I enjoyed how he fends off Olivia. She gives off a timid confidence that draws you in. Since Reyes’ book, Legion, a green-scaled demon from hell, has stayed by Aeron’s side. Aeron sees her as a daughter. This demon wants nothing more than to boink this Lord. The little hellion with her affinity for tiaras almost claims my heart, until she messes up. I know why she makes this bargain, but understanding her reasons behind it doesn’t diminish my need to punt her across the room.
With the war between the Hunters and the Lords intensifying, I’m eagerly waiting to see what’s next. Gena’s writing demands your time and your attention. So be ready to stay up all night!