Author: Gena Showalter
Series: The Lords of the Underworld, #1
Published date: 1 May 2008
Source of my copy: I purchased it.
About the book (from Goodreads)
All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member -- a man trapped in a hell of his own.
Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments . . . and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction -- and a soul-shattering test of love . . .
Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive -- and unimaginably powerful . . . Don’t miss this incredible new paranormal series from Gena Showalter!
Ashlyn Darrow is tormented by the voices she hears, wherever she goes she hears every conversation which has ever taken place there. She travels the world helping the Institute to find out about paranormal creatures, but she knows little beyond her own work. Having being given to the Institute by her parents at only five years old, she has never really know any different until she ascends the hill towards to strange and mysterious fortress where the locals says angels or demons live. Ashlyn hopes they may have “gifts” like hers and be able to help her. Her first encounter with the Lords happens when she sees Maddox kill four Hunters and come towards her. Terrified as she is still she realises the silence around him.
Ashlyn is a sweet and innocent character despite being tormented as she is by the voices. As soon as she meets Maddox she is attracted to him and even more to the silence she has when around him. So relaxing yet she is desperate to leave at first, not for long of course being and romance!
Maddox is the keeper of violence, twice cursed since he killed Pandora after being possessed by the demon of violence, he is condemned to die at midnight everyday and spend the next few hours reportedly burning in hell. His curse also curses Lucien (death) and Reyes (pain) to kill him each day. Cursed by the Greek gods they see no way out, that is until Ashlyn and the take over by the titan gods. A huge sacrifice would be needed, can it be done? Should it be done? I can’t tell you with out a huge spoiler!
Ashlyn and Maddox seem a very odd couple at first but end up loving each other and needing each other. A romance with a few steamy encounters and lots of problems.
The fortress in Budapest is a prison for the Lords of the Underworld. The Lords are each cursed to have a demon inside them after opening the box containing them and angering the Gods, they objected to Pandora being given the job of guarding the box. Maddox as the keeper of violence errupts and kills Pandors, condemning him to his curse. The Lords hold the demons of violence, pain, death, disease, promiscuity etc, each bringing with it different issues and problems.
Maddox and the other Lords assume Ashlyn is bait at first, she does not tell them her story for quite a long time, even Maddox after he has started to possessively defend her in a way the rest of the Lords simply can not comprehend. He sees her as beautiful and at first just wants her body, but ends up feeling something much deeper despite still being suspicious of her for quite a long time.
The rest of the Lords are introduced to us and their various demons explored to varying degrees as required for Maddox’s story. Enough so we know which demon they carry and a little about them to help us understand their actions, as well as have plenty of anticipation for future books featuring them.
As the Darkest Kiss is the first book in the Lords of the Underworld series there is inevitably quite a lot of world building and background detail, but I enjoyed that and made me interested to know what the stories of the rest of the Lords are. I enjoyed the book a lot and will definitely reading the rest of the series.
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