C2’s review of The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld, Book Eight) by Gena Showalter
Paranormal Romance published by HQN Books 27 Sept 11
What do you get when you cross a Harpy nicknamed Kaia the Disappointment, who happens to be headed for her equivalent of the Olympics (though totally unlike any Olympics imaginable), with a warrior who is host to the demon of Defeat? A wild and crazy ride!
Kaia hasn’t really been on good terms with other Harpies since a youthful mistake wreaked havoc at the Harpy Games. Her sisters (including familiar faces Gwen and Bianka) are really the only Harpies that will speak to her. Imagine Kaia’s surprise when she is invited to participate in the next upcoming Harpy Games.
Kaia has been in an ongoing flirtation with Strider, keeper of the demon of Defeat. Defeat forces Strider to accept all challenges issued and rewards him with pleasure if he wins but punishes him with pain if he loses. As you might imagine, faithful reader, Strider does not like to lose.
After convincing Strider to accompany her to the Games (and pretending to be her consort), Kaia finds out all the other Harpy teams are out to get her. After all the years of ignoring her existence, they have decided to punish her for what she did as a teenager. Everyone – including her mother – is going to gang up on her during every portion of the Games until she is dead…or wishes she were. Wow, there is a lot of violence! Harpies do not pull their punches, faithful reader. But they balance out their violence with much love of all things girly and sheer joy in living.
There is so much banter between Kaia and Strider. Even when he isn’t completely onboard with the whole consort thing, he doesn’t want anything to happen to her and he and Defeat are determined to keep her safe and help her win. The Harpies have sharp tongues and love to joke (they remind me a little of the Valkyries in Kresley Cole’s IAD series, actually) and Strider keeps up with Kaia completely.
Strider isn’t the only Lord of the Underworld attending the Harpy Games. Lysander and Sabin are on-hand to support their ladies too. It was nice to see the guys all hanging out together, cheering on their Harpies and having a little bit of downtime (but just a little). They did help a bit behind the scenes. It was nice to see them doing something besides fight the Hunters. I’ll admit I get a little tired of the back-and-forth between them and the Lords. I prefer the stories like this one where they only play a small role.
The flow of this book is better than the previous one. We spend most of our time with the main couple, but some supporting storylines moved forward, as well. Paris’ story progresses a good bit, since he was left in a cliffhanger – his book is up next! We finally got a bit of William’s backstory. I’ve always been intrigued by William…for such a noticeable presence through the last several books, he has remained quite the enigma. And Kane steps into the spotlight finally. Since he is keeper of Disaster, you know his story will be entertaining.
All in all, this is a solid entry into the Lords of the Underworld series. Kaia and Strider are a fun couple and their relationship develops quite nicely. Kaia’s issues with her mom and the Harpies are resolved and she even gets a new awesome nickname.
The Lords of the Underworld return in this enthralling tale of an immortal warrior determined to win and the beautiful seductress he can’t resist. Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor’s edge of surrender. Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can’t afford because he as an agenda of his own – steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter – the love neither had thought possible…
Read an excerpt.