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Review: The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter

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The Darkest Touch
Author:
Gena Showalter
Reviewer:
Jen Twimom
Rating: B-

What I’m Talking About:

Torin, possessed by the demon Disease, has spent his immortal life separate and apart from those he calls friends. Knowing his touch would either kill or create disease carriers who would spread pestilence, Torin enforced his own isolation. When he recently broke this vow of separation, he ended up in Cronus’s prison where he meets Keeleycael, the Red Queen, a very longtime prisoner. Together they escape and begin the journey towards home, but whether it is as friends or foe, neither can tell.

I’ve been waiting for The Darkest Touch for a long time, curious how Ms. Showalter could make a lover out of a man who cannot touch another. While I wasn’t wow’d by Torin’s book, I did enjoy the way the author brings together Torin and Keeley. She creates a situation that allows the pair intense sparks and passionate scenes, satisfying my inner romantic. Although I felt Keeley was a bit too over-the-top and pushy at first, she really grew on me. I love her strong will and sense of humor. She makes important decisions on a whim and justifications for reasons like “because I’m a girl.” However, Keeley is very selfish. It’s all about what she is owed or what she must do for/to another to make her ledger clean. Torin’s motives confuse her because she’s been so misused. I enjoyed her journey to happiness.

I also liked Torin, although I was annoyed that he had a backpack that seemed to contain every possible thing he could need while in the wilderness. How did he end up with it in prison? Unlike in each of the previous books, Torin’s demon, Disease, doesn’t talk to him or suggest he do things. The demon doesn’t seem to have a strong opinion of Keeley either. I actually liked this change because it allows Torin the man to form his own opinions rather than his demon direct the decisions.

As much as I enjoyed the couple, I felt that the book needed at least a hundred fewer pages. There was a lot of back and forth and bickering, which I enjoyed, but it became repetitive. In addition, there are old enemies and new characters involved in a few subplots that don’t add a lot of value to this book or the overall picture. However, the biggest issue I had with the story is the introduction of an item called “Morning Star,” which not only appears to be too much like a panacea, but also leaves me wondering why the Lords are only just now hearing about it.

Overall, I liked The Darkest Touch, especially the pairing of Torin and Keeley. However, it wasn’t something that kept me glued to the pages. I think I’m at that point where I am not sure if I want to keep up with the series, but it’s not so frustrating that I want to stop. I did like that there was some positive, forward movement with respect to the mystical items and the search/rescue of Cameo/Viola. I felt like this book was more in tune with the overall story of the Lords; however, things are seem to be deviating from the original mythology – or rather it’s growing and branching off with some modification. I feel like the overall mission of finding the box and saving the warriors got lost for a while, but I’m hoping that is back on track now.

This is a solid story and enjoyable read for fans of the series, but if I start to look too deeply, I know I’ll get frustrated by some of what was left open. So I’ll put those items in my “Time Out Box” (à la Keeley) and see where the series takes me next.

My Rating:  B- Liked It, but I had a few issues

JENsignature

About the Book:

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeley Cael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win.

Release Date: November 25, 2014
Publisher:
Harlequin
Series:
Lords of the Underworld #11
ISBN: #978-0373778911
Genre:
Paranormal Romance
Format(s):
paperback (496 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher

Purchase Info:
The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld #11)

Reviews in the Series:
After Dark Anthology by Gena Showalter & Kait Ballenger (Lords of the Underworld #4.5)
The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #5)
The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #6)
The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #7)
The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #8)
The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #9)
The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #10)

  • Melanie Simmons

    I’ve been waiting for Torin’s book for a while. I was wondering how Showalter was going to give him the ability to touch someone without contamination. I’m going to listen to the audio, but I will have a few others on the list before this one. Great review.

    • Thanks Melanie. I think she found the perfect “solution” that is fitting with the sexiness that is the Lords. LOL!

      • UnaReads

        I was also interested from the beginning wondering how she was going to give Torin the HEA. I’m so behind in this series. Trying to catch up but some of the books in the middle have lost what I loved at the beginning.

      • I’m finding the books are hit-and-miss for me. But still worth reading.

  • Melissa (Books and Things)

    I usually have fun with these books. I usually can ignore the issues to a degree. 🙂 I so need to try this series but I want to catch up with her other books first. Brilly review!

    • Thanks. I’m the same way with some series like BDB and The Breeds. It’s funny how something that bothers me in one series, I can overlook in another! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Yes! The issues did become repetitive. Good catch on how little interaction Torin had with his demon. I didn’t even think about that until you mentioned it.

    • I think I noticed it more because in the previous book Kane’s demon was uber mean and always interfering, so I was more aware of the demon part.

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