Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Darkest Kiss-Gena Showalter

The Darkest Kiss
Gena Showalter
Harlequin HQN, Jun 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780373772322

In the Budapest stronghold where the Lords of the Underworld warriors reside Lucien regrets he opened Pandora’s Box allowing the demons to escape. The Gods punished him millennia ago by placing the demon Death inside him. The warriors search for the box to keep it safe; praying they will be able to return the demons inside it.

He and his friends host a party when Anya Goddess of Anarchy crashes it. Anya has been invisibly stalking Lucien while eluding Cronus the Lord Titan who demands she hand over her treasure; heeding her father’s advice, she refuses. Now she obsesses over Lucien. He recognizes her odor as that of the person stalking him. He wants her, but knows his facial scars makes him too ugly for a pretty woman like Anya is. Anya kisses Lucien and tells him she wants his penis. Lucien rejects her again, which hurts her.

Cronus arrives as Anya flees. He orders Lucien to kill Anya or his pals will suffer. Warrior Reyes tells Lucien that Anya is cursed by Themis, but not sure how or why. Lucien traces Anya and tells her Cronus ordered him to kill her. Lucien says he will obey. He catches her and they kiss leaving both confused and fleeing each other. Later Anya tells Lucien that Cronus wants the box to place the Greek Gods and demons inside it. Though he wants her, he tells her to leave as no woman will ever desire him; but she wants him although she knows Themis’ curse means any man who takes her owns her forever.

Although a stand alone, some threads continue from the previous Lords of the Underworlds tale (see THE DARKEST NIGHT) so it behooves the audience to read that entry first. This excellent romantic fantasy enables readers to believe the fantasy species and the hunters are genuine and the paranormal earth real. Filled with plenty of action, the pairing of the lead couple makes the tale; still the other Lords of the Underworlds warriors have distinct personalities and with a “traitor” enhance the plot.

Harriet Klausner

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