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Review: The Darkest Surrender

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The Darkest Surrender
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Lords of the Underworld #8
ISBN: #978-0373775811
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (432 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

     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…

What Im talking about:

     Ms. Showalter kicks off her eight full-length Lords of the Underworld (LotU) book with a little history of harpy, Kaia. We’ve seen Kaia around – twin sister to Bianca (Lysander’s mate) and big sister of Gwen (Sabin’s mate). (For my LORDS primer post, click HERE). When she was only 14 years old and full of untested confidence, Kaia unknowingly released a prisoner who decimated a large percent of the Harpy population. He also happened to be the consort of a fellow harpy who to this date, waits to seek her revenge on Kaia.  Kaia was named “The Disappointment,” and while she never let it show, she was deeply hurt. Now Kaia and her sisters have the opportunity to prove their worth at the Harpy Games, a deadly “warrior Olympics” of sorts.

The first thing I want to say about The Darkest Surrender is WOO-HOO!! I am a huge fan of LotU, and felt the last two books have been mediocre. So it is with great pleasure for me to say GENA IS BACK! Surrender gets back to the basics, and showcases all that I adore about this great series. HUMOR, check. SEXY HERO, check. KICK-ASS HEROINE, check. FUN PLOT, check. LOTS OF ACTION & SMEX, check, check! Fans of this series will not be disappointed!

Kaia and Strider are perfect for each other! Both are egotistical and funny, each thinks that they are at the top of the food chain, and both have the skills to prove it. Right from the start, I was chuckling out loud at Kaia’s wit and humor. She knows fun. She can dish out the sarcasm and put-downs, but take it as well. Ms. Showalter does a wonderful job with Kaia’s character. One example of this is that Kaia’s mind would constantly wander – even while making out with her hottie, Strider. Instead of jumping straight from her inner monologue back to present without an acknowledgement of passing time, Strider calls out Kaia on her lost train-of-thought.

Strider is equally entertaining. He refers to his demon, Defeat, as “dude,” calls himself Stridey-Monster, and makes quips like “Don’t forget Mission One. The Rod — and not the one in your pants.”  Together the two have amazing chemistry, and they are just plain fun.

The primary story of Kaia and the harpy games provides for moments of intense (and bloody) action. However, it also creates a platform for the reader to witness Kaia’s true courage. She has been scarred by her past and abandoned by all of her kind. Although she has doubts, she manages to dust herself off when knocked down. She is feisty, but knows when to lie low – even if she chooses not to!

Tangled into the main plot line are hints and clues about the Hunters, the Gods and Goddesses and the never-ending battle that has consumed the Lords’ lives. Ms. Showalter does a superb job of hiding little cookies to peak the reader’s interest and come back for more. One side story involves the keeper of Promiscuity, Paris, and his continual quest to find the woman he believes is his one true match. We see a darker side of Paris and I so look forward to the next book – The Darkest Seduction, which is Paris’ story. It is LONG overdue. We also find out some interesting tidbits about Kane, the keeper of Disaster, and extremely entertaining side-kick, William. I just hope Ms. Showalter doesn’t make us wait long to find out what happens to these two.

     Darkest Surrender is a fantastic addition to one of my favorite series. Ms. Showalter does a great job of weaving a tale without telling you the facts. Although a newcomer could enjoy this as a stand alone, I highly recommend you start at the beginning!

My Rating:

 

Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)

  • Fabulous review Jen! I loved this addition to the series and both of the personalities of Kaia and Strider just worked. I loved Kaia’s spacing out, like you said, it reminded me a lot of myself…my mind is constantly wondering. I loved Strider’s inner talking with his demon, it always cracked me up. I loved the action, the love, the sub plots! It was just a wonderful book and I’m sad that we have to wait 5 more months for the next installment…but I do believe it will be worth the wait!

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