Title: The Darkest Pleasure
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld, #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: HQN (Imprint of Harlequin)
Date Published: July 1st, 2008
Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her—even defy the gods.
Danika is on the run. For months she’s eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won’t rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can’t forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear…
This was a book I was really looking forward to. Reyes and Danika’s romance has been in the making since the first book in this series, so I was really interested to see how it would play out between them. I was not disappointed in the least.
Reyes is the Keeper of Pain, so he often needs to hurt himself or be hurt by others in order to sate the demon that possesses him. However, when he’s brought his need for pain to the bedroom in the past, bad things have happened that he’s come to regret and feel extremely guilty for. For this reason, he fears love and tries to keep his feelings at bay at all times. When he first meets Danika though, she starts breaking down these walls he’s built up and he doesn’t quite know how to repair them and stay away from her.
When Danika was introduced in the first book, her and her family (sister, mother, and grandmother) were kidnapped by the Lords and held prisoner for reasons she didn’t understand at the time. Since then, she and her family have escaped, but she has been constantly on the run, trying to stay off the Lords’ radar for good. But this life has become empty and torturous for her. She wants to be with her family again and hates all of the Lords, including Reyes, for being responsible for what her life has become.
I loved this story. I have to say that Reyes is my favorite Lord so far. He has the tortured, yet sexy-as-hell, thing going on. He’s super sexy, sweet to Danika, and very protective of her. Of course, in real life I don’t approve of one cutting themselves, but this is a fictional, and I found him and his demon quite irresistible.
Just in the last few books, this series has improved immensely. The first book was kind of “meh”, but the past two books have a larger picture going on — which I love — and there is a lot of action, character/relationship development, and delicious love scenes going on. There’s a lot to stay entertained and I’m really enjoying the series.
Also, I’m loving that she’s slowly introducing us to the other characters so that we can grow to love them more as the series progresses. We get to hear from Paris, Aeron, and Sabin’s point of view a good deal in this one, and I enjoyed that. I feel just terrible for Paris though, because we’re already getting a glimpse into his world, but to this day he doesn’t have a book out! It looks like he won’t be finding love until 2012! Poor Paris. Although, I can understand the difficulties being that he’s the Keeper of Promiscuity. His character and Torin’s (Keeper of Disease), I’m sure will be the hardest to write. Also Gideon (Keeper of Lies), will I’m sure be hard to write a story for — given he can’t ever tell the truth!
Overall, I loved the story. It has everything you could want in a paranormal romance: a sexy man, an un-annoying woman, action, a bigger picture, and let’s not forget smokin’ hot sex. I’m really looking forward to the next book about Sabin as well. Getting his POV a lot in this book made me want to know what kind of woman he’ll end up with!
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