Monday, July 28, 2014

Darkest Kiss

Pandora was charged with guarding a box which housed the darkest of demons.  That is until a group of warriors attacked her and opened the box, releasing the bad of the bad.  As a punishment the gods cursed each warrior with a demon.  Now man is bound to his demon.  Lucien has been charged to house the demon of Death, and with it the responsibility to take souls to Heaven and Hell.  His demon has become his life, the only thing he allows himself.  His appearance is scarred so no woman could ever love him only to die and he would have to escort her soul to the afterlife.  His attempts at keeping women at bay has worked until now; until Anya entered his life.  For weeks, she had been following him even into the afterlife.  But for what reason.

Cronus; the god king; has commissioned Lucien to kill Anya for reason he does not reveal.  The more Lucien tries to kill the woman, the harder it is for him to follow through.  As he struggles to find a solution he also reveals clues to artifacts that could lead to Pandora's box and possibly end his suffering with Death.  Anya, as the goddess of Anarchy tries her best to defy all law and make Lucien fall in love with her.  Yet she is bound by a curse of her own and a strong will to protect what is hers.  She also holds a mysterious key that could be the answer to Lucien's dilemma.  If only she would give it over to him.

As the Lords of the Underworld search for the artifacts Paris, keeper of Promiscuity, is weakened and Aeron, keeper of Wrath, escapes his prison intend on killing innocent women.  In his weakened state Paris disappears and the warriors are uncertain of his whereabouts.  Aeron filled with bloodlust flies away to find the women he was ordered to kill as Reye, the keeper of Pain, struggles to stop him.

So many different things occur in this novel, but it all sets the stage for future novels and the storyline to go with them. The Lords of the Underworld are fighting for their lives to find a way to stop the Hunters and find Pandora's box before they do.  But they are trapped at every turn as if someone is giving the Hunters information that the Lords know.  In this novel, the Lords find a break through in learning about the artifacts and how they can find them.  Showalter knocks it out of the park once again with this novel.  She shows love is a powerful thing.

The character she creates in Lucien is such a tortured soul; craving to be love, yet afraid of the very thing. He is a character that commands respect for his undying loyalty to his friends, and at the same time evokes compassion when he is pulled to escort souls, something that tears at his heart.  In this novel he was forced to choose, the friends he was so loyal to or a woman he was beginning to love.

Anya is the strong woman we all desire to be.  She fights to protect herself and vows to never allow anyone to make her feel inferior and not worth her value.  She struggled to keep her independence even though she knew once she fell in love, she would be bound to that man.  While Anya is a strong character, she is also jovial and energetic.  She is intent on hiding her true feelings to protect not only herself, but the man she loves.

Showalter weaves a story of love and betrayal around every corner.  She sets the stage for future novels to pick up where this one leaves off.  Will the Lords find the artifacts?  Will Aeron kill the women he was order to kill?  Why did Paris desire the same woman twice?  Only the future will tell.

Pros: Interesting story with Lucien and how his "demon" works
Cons: A lot of jumping around between stories, hard to keep track in this one
Bottom Line:  Showalter does an excellent job taking a story we know and making it her own with this series.

Rating 4 out of 5 stars

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