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Book CoverLiviania’s review of The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld, Book 5) by Gena Showalter
Paranormal romance released by HQN 25 May 2010

Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, I’ve decided, are the literary equivalent of a summer blockbuster.  They contain exotic locales, gorgeous people, hunts for MacGuffins, and plenty of action.  They may not be as intelligent or as artistic as other things you’re currently reading, but you enjoy yourself too much to care.  Showalter is out to entertain.

Aeron contains the demon of Wrath, which causes him to strike out at wrongdoers.  When he denies his demon for too long, he becomes bloodthirsty and can’t differentiate between someone lying to their mother and someone killing their mother.  He’s tattooed himself with images of the people he’s wrongly killed in order to remind himself of his own guilt.  He’s never been my favorite of the Lords, but I have been fond of his demon companion Legion.

In The Darkest Passion, their relationship becomes a major problem.  Legion’s in love with Aeron, but he loves her like a daughter.  When Olivia, an angel, decides to fall (literally and figuratively) for Aeron, Legion gets pissed.  Caught by her own passions, she makes some foolish decisions.

Guilty Aeron doesn’t feel like he deserves Olivia’s sacrifice.  She has a short amount of time to return to heaven and he’s determined to drive her away.  I felt that Olivia adjusted to being a human rather quickly, but I admired her determination and how she found ways to be an asset despite her lack of powers.  Aeron didn’t really win me over, but I like that he let himself be caught in spite of himself.  Olivia might’ve done most of the pursuing, but he didn’t run so hard that I felt the relationship was doomed to be forever lopsided.

As usual, Showalter wove storylines about the other Lords in between scenes with Aeron and Olivia.  There a few further developments in Paris’s (Lust’s) storyline, which has been part of the series from the first book.  Showalter sets up the The Darkest Lie by introducing Gideon (Lies) to his heroine.  I am excited about that one, considering Gideon has been one of my favorite Lords.  She sets up a romance for Legion that I did not expect at all and I am very curious to see how that will turn out.  (I am happy that Legion doesn’t get completely shafted.)  (This will be a massive series if all the Lords get their own book.)

In addition, the Lords interact with the Hunters more than usual.  The way the storyline ends, it seems like there won’t be long term consequences.  There are also some new TPTB getting in on the conflict between the Titans, Greek gods, Lords, and Hunters.  It looks like Cronus just might be offed sooner rather than later.  I can’t speak about the ending without spoiling anything, but it carries interesting implications for the rest of the series.

Before reading The Darkest Passion, one might want to read The Darkest Angel, available for free on Showalter’s site or in the anthology Heart of Darkness.  Showalter’s other novellas have been side stories, but The Darkest Angel’s couple plays a part in The Darkest Passion.  Aeron and Olivia didn’t knock my favorite couple from the series off their pedestal, but still made for a fun book.  I will admit that I do have higher expectations for The Darkest Lie than I did for The Darkest Passion.

Livianias iconGrade: B

Read other reviews on this series by following its tag here.

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with another sizzling installment of the Lords of the Underworld series, as Aeron, keeper of the Demon of Wrath, dares to taste the forbidden . . .

For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel–a 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?

Now, 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…
Read an excerpt here.