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Heart of Darkness [Mass Market Paperback]

Gena Showalter , Maggie Shayne , Susan Krinard
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 2010
From the masters of paranormal romance, three brand-new tales of seduction…

The Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter

A Lords of the Underworld tale

An iron-willed demon assassin, the angel Lysander has never known lust—until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of Lucifer, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the pure-hearted Lysander into temptation….

Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne

Twenty-two years ago four teenage boys were convicted of a young girl's murder. Now, in the form of a beautiful woman, the "victim" is seeking vengeance. And only one man dares to dig into the past to uncover its secrets… and set her free.

Lady of the Nile by Susan Krinard

Lady Tameri believes herself to be the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian princess, and Leo Erskine has set out to prove her wrong…never dreaming that the two of them are about to discover a prophecy that will bind them together forever.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Books; 1 edition (Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373774311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373774319
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 10.2 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 496,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Gena Showalter sold her first book at the age of 27 and now, four years later, is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirteen books, with eleven more on the way in a thrilling blend of genres: breathtaking paranormal and contemporary romances, cutting edge young adult novels, and stunning urban fantasy. 

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, MTV, Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated in French, Italian and Korean.  The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”. ^Maggie Shayne is the bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the groundbreaking vampire series Wings in the Night, the most recent of which is called Prince of Twilight. Her numerous awards include two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards, the National Readers Choice Award, and the coveted Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Maggie lives in a small town in southern central New York. Find her at www.maggieshayne.com.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Book Addict TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This collection of three paranormal romances is worth reading for the Gena Showalter story alone (especially if you are a fan of her fabulous "Lords of the Underworld" series). Unfortunately the other two short stories just don't compare; however I may be somewhat biased as I have never enjoyed the writings of Maggie Shayne, whilst Susan Krinard's story line is not a favourite theme of mine.

The Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter
One of the Elite Seven, Lysander; a golden winged warrior angel has found the one thing that could ever tempt him, the one thing that could bring about his potential downfall. Enter Harpy Bianka Skyhawk; a demonic creature who has captured the heart of one of Heaven's most powerful angels. Lysander may love Bianka however he is determined to hide her from his friends until he has moulded her into the kind of woman more acceptable to his kind. The fireworks flare as the two battle each other for dominance whilst denying their growing feelings for each other.

GS has created another great leading lady, although Bianka did remind me heavily of the Valkyries found in Kresley Cole's "Immortal After Dark" series. This author's "Lords of the Underworld" series is a firm favourite of mine and this short story certainly compliments the full length novels found. I particularly enjoyed the fact Aeron's (Wrath) love interest is introduced and a nice bit of background history is provided before the release of his full length novel "The Darkest Passion" in June this year. This will be followed by Gideon's (the Keeper of Lies) story "The Darkest Lie" in July. Roll on 2010.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment! 29 Jan 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Only Gina Showalters story is worth reading and that is not up to her best standard. Yes it is set in her Lord's Underworld but it adds little to that storyline.

The other two are fillers to make this a full length book. Maggie Shayne writes a too predictable tale of teenage thoughtlessness and ghost possesesion.
The offering from Susan Krinard just is boring with poorly developed characters and unbeliveable storyline. A good writer can make the unbeliveable believable Susan Krinard can not.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor 20 Jan 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read many books of this type (and a fair few by Ms Showalter), I really was very disappointed. This was a poor effort - dull, lifeless and soporific
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read. 12 May 2014
By pandi
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Three good reads by different authors, I like Gena Showalter so enjoyed that one it was a first read of the other authors but would now look for more of their books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading with Tequila 28 Dec 2009
By Jennifer Sicurella - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved Gena Showalter's The Darkest Angel. Lysander and Bianka fight so hard against their mutual attraction that their inevitable climax is mind-blowing. Harpies and angels are two creatures I never knew I would enjoy so thoroughly. I really have to start reading the Lords of the Underworld series.

Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne was also very good and an extremely powerful story. Part murder mystery, part love story that overcomes impossible obstacles, and completely enthralling.

Susan Krinard's Lady of the Nile didn't really work for me. From what I could understand, a man occasionally possessed by a man possessed by an Egyptian god (yeah, that's not a typo) must have sex with a woman occasionally possessed by an Egyptian goddess to defeat evil. I think that was the main gist, but I can't be sure. It was confusing and by far my least favorite of the three stories that make up this collection.

The first two stories are so amazing, they more than make up for the shortcomings of the third and I would definitely recommend this book to others.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 1 Jan 2010
By Fiction Vixen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter:

Lysander, is a very serious, down to business demon slaying angel. He has never experienced desire or lust and that's just fine with him. Things like that are messy, and distracting according to the warrior angel. Until the day he discovered Bianka, his true temptation.

Bianka is a spunky little Harpy who is unknowingly driving Lysander crazy. Naughty by nature she's lusty, likes to get drunk, and has a mischievous personality.

Lysander decides he cannot allow this gorgeous little Harpy to continue to tempt him. The solution? Kill her. Ok, so that's a little harsh, so he decides that abducting her and teaching her to be a good girl is far more reasonable. Too bad Bianka doesn't see it that way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novella from beginning to end. Who knew angles could be such passionate sexy lovers? I loved the constant power play between Lysander and Bianka never knowing who would be "on top" next. Gena Showalter's blends a witty sense of humor with steamy sensuality like only she can.

If you've never read the Lords Of The Underworld series, don't worry, this novella works well as a stand alone read. It's a perfect chance to sample a bit of the Lords Of The Underworld appeal. For you die hard LOTU fans, our Lord of Promiscuity, Paris makes a nice little cameo in this one. Nothing too risqué, but I will say there's oil and loin cloths involved. *grin*

Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne:

Twenty-two years ago, in a small town in Maine, 5 teenage boys shared a drunken evening commiserating over the sad state of their love lives. David, was especially distraught because Sierra, the girl he had finally worked up enough nerve to ask out had recently gone missing. Being a small town there were no shortage of rumors of where she was, but no one really knew for sure.

A mix of alcohol, and teenage heartbreak leads the boys to inevitable trouble and they decide to burn down an old abandoned house outside of town. What they didn't know was someone was in the house. They are eventually caught, and tried and convicted for murder.

Sixteen years later, Sara, an art teacher from New Hampshire, who bears a striking resemblance to the girl who was killed in the house fire, begins to have nightmares of being trapped in a burning house. The nightmares haunt her and she begins to depict images from her dreams in her paintings. Her concerned roommate who happens to be from a small town in Maine recognizes the house in Sara's paintings as the house where a young girl died after being trapped in a fire. Thinking this is more than coincidence Sara travels to Maine to investigate and hopefully put an end to her nightmares.

Meanwhile, the original friends who were convicted of murder are all back in the small town in Maine to see their friend who has been in a terrible accident. The friend warns them that the ghost of the girl they killed is back and wants revenge. Thinking this can't be possible they dismiss it until they start seeing Sierra around town. All are consumed with fear and guilt as they start to come undone.

David and Sara eventually meet and realize that they have been sharing the same dreams. They also realize there may be more that binds them than just circumstances of what brought Sara to Maine in the first place.

While the romantic connection between Sara and David seemed a bit rushed and not totally convincing, I did enjoy their story a great deal. I was left wishing that this was a full length novel so that they author would have had more time to develop these characters, and others more fully.

Love Me To Death is a fantastic romantic suspense with a great paranormal twist that kept me guessing right up until the end. Maggie Shayne is a "new to me" author and I will be looking for more from her in the very near future.

Lady of the Nile by Susan Krinard:

Lady Tameri, a widowed Duchess in 1890 England, has memories and flashbacks to ancient Egypt and believes she is the reincarnation of an Egyptian princess.

Leo Erskine finds himself drawn to Lady Tameri, fascinated by her claim of reincarnation. However he is skeptical of her claim and intends to prove her wrong.

When Leo witnesses Lady Tameri during one of her flashbacks he begins to wonder if there may be some truth to her claim. When he eventually experiences a flashback himself and realizes that both he and Lady Tameri experienced it at the same time, he is shaken and thinks her claim deserves investigating.

Through a sequence of events the two discover they are connected in ancient history and must fulfill a prophecy, so that the realm of mortals would be safe for all time.

I struggled a bit with this story in that I found the dream sequences and flash backs confusing and the story a bit difficult to follow. I had to reread passages and page back at times to keep up with whose dream or flash back I was reading. The subject matter was quite interesting for me but the story just did not flow and that kept me from enjoying this novella as much as I'd hoped I would.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heart of Darkness 29 Dec 2009
By Heather Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first story is Gena Showalter's and I'm pretty biased here bc I pretty much love anything of Gena's but it was hott! Lysander is an angel and Bianka is a harpy. Apart from the ending(which I thought was a little dull) it was funny, sexy, and most def. a page turner. ***Spoiler*** if you've ever fantasized about two men oil wrestling over you, this is your story!!!

As for what I said about the ending (and this goes for all the stories in this book) they're novellas so the writers have such a short amount of words to write in. Of course some things might get left out or brought to light only for a second. Don't expect an entire 100,000 word book in the space of only 20,000 words.

The second, Love Me to Death, by Maggie Shayne wasn't bad either. It's sort of a mystery,thriller, paranormal all rolled in to one. It touches base on reincarnation and unfinished business? I guess is the right way to say that without giving too much away. IMO, the sex could have been hotter, more emphasized on perhaps? Also the heroine is 22 and the hero is 38. While I don't see anything wrong with a 16 year age difference, I might have made the heroine just a tid bit older so she could relate better to her man. All in all it gets a thumbs up! If you like thriller and suspense, then this is your book!

Lady of the Nile by Susan Krinard is a diff. sort of book. It's a historical (sort of) but also a paranormal because the hero and heroine are both (at times) possessed by Egyptian gods who need a sacrifice so they can finally be together. They are pulled apart by an evil god who has possessed someone in their ranks as well. Ok, here's my opinion. The writing was fantastic! however the story was tedious in some places. When there was passion, it was hot! but IMO there wasn't as much passion as there could have been. The whole situation where the hero is knocked unconcious and then goes on a however long train ride across Europe to get to Egypt to reclaim his woman, I would have prefered a shorter version. But with that said, in reality he wouldn't have known where to look so of course it would have been a tiresome journey looking for clues..etc..So I'm torn. I've never been much of a historical kind of reader so it just wasn't my usual cup o'tea but if you do like historicals, and you do like Egyptian mythology then this is your book!

Happy reading!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There was Good, Bad, and just plain Weird 12 July 2012
By Reena Jacobs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Darkest Angel
I have to say, I absolutely loved this little book. I only wished it didn't wrapped up so quickly in the end. Gena Showalter portrays Lysander as a naive angel with a very simple perspective of right and wrong. He seems absolutely clueless about the magnitude of the consequences associated with his actions. As such, watching him stumble through shades of gray amused me to no end. Experienced, worldly--Bianka only heightened my amusement. She found as much pleasure tormenting the innocent Lysander as I found watching her do it. It was quite refreshing to have the woman in charge and teaching the man for a change.

I love cameo appearances, and Gena Showalter had plenty packed in this novella. Two particular characters caught my attention. First Aeron had a small, but significant role in this novel hinting at his romance to come. It makes me wonder if his book is next. Then there was Paris. One of those things that make me go hmmm... My gloomy Gus friend was not the same bummed out guy I'd come to expect. One special mention given was a reminder of Ashyln's pregnancy. I hope Ashyln has her baby in the next novel.

All in all, this read was awesome! I am so looking forward to the next installment of Lords of the Underworld series.

Love Me to Dead
I'm going to start by saying I first thought I was unfamiliar with Maggie Shayne's writing. However, I found an old anthology An Enchanted Season featuring "Melting Frosty." If I remember it correctly, it involved a series of coincidences which bring two people together. I get the impression I liked it, but it was so long ago...

As for "Love Me to Death," the premise behind the story was interesting with a lot of potential. However, I think this novella deserved a little more. I was a bit reluctant to give this review because I found quite a few glitches in this piece which didn't sit well with me. Still, others may feel differently.

It gave me the impression of an incomplete work. The story never really addressed who the beautiful woman was in terms of her past. So I was left wondering what the connection really was.

Ms. Shayne wrote the beginning of the book non-sequential. I'm not quite sure what the purpose of it was since it didn't give me the impression of two world colliding. I would have liked it to be a little more linear, but that's likely more of a style thing.

Side characters who appeared within the story promised to show up later, but never returned. No explanation given.

The ending also seemed a little rushed. As with all romances, this had a happily ever after (HEA). However, it left me wondering how in the world did they get out of the crisis. I'm not even sure how everyone ended up in the crisis to begin with. People just appeared out of no where. Just a few too many unexplained happenings combined with too many unlikely coincidences.

In the end, I was a bit disappointed with this novella.

Lady of the Nile
The novella started wonderfully--a Duchess (Lady Tameri) who believes she's a reincarnated princess and a skeptic (Leo Eskine) willing to find out the truth. The waters became muddied soon after. I found Leo mettlesome to the point he seemed to take on a busybody caricature. Other times he seemed flaky, running from place to place not knowing what the heck was going on.

Tameri-I loved her; I hated her. I just couldn't make up my mind. She had great convictions in her beliefs, a quality I admired. However, her personality seemed inconsistent. Sometimes she was quite bold, other times she acted like a willow in the wind. I could never be sure if her moments of boldness were attributed to the goddess or not. Was she really weak? I don't know.

As I mentioned, historical are not my forte. However, I would have liked to see a bit more background here. I was unclear of who exactly any of the main characters were. Sure, we have a Duchess dowager, but that's the extent of her background. Then we have Leo, who's the son of an earl...but what else? With so little, I had a hard time connecting with them. I suppose that's the way of shorter stories sometimes. So little space, so many words...what to cut?

I laughed through the last ten pages or so, though I'm sure it was not meant to be comical. WARNING: YOU'RE ABOUT TO ENTER SPOILER ZONE]

So we have this fight scene, which isn't so much as a fight scene since the villain is placed in time out while the main characters discuss strategy. This isn't like the fighting and talking at the same time you see in movies. No, this is actually setting the villain aside (screaming and yelling at the MCs) while the main characters plot his demise. Then there's this thing with sex and taking a break to read before getting to the orgasm. I'm still scratching my head on that one. OMG, I just read it again. Now I'm cracking up laughing. I've got to share it. So they're in the middle of sex (and remember, the bad guy is screaming in the corner) and then...

"Maahes reached beneath the couch and shook the scroll from his kilt. He got to his feet and unrolled it, beginning to speak the words of the final segment even before he could read them [a bit of action here and then....]

Maahes set down the scroll and returned to the couch. Tameri opened herself again, and Maahes thrust with greater and greater urgency..."

Come on people, you know that's funny. I laugh every time I read it. I have to admit, the absurdity of it all makes that part my favorite piece in the whole novella.

Anyway, the ending was okay. It reminded me a bit of a love story and less of a romance. Oh well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Company Keeper 27 May 2012
By Connie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book had three very good stories in it that I felt would have made really good full, lengthier, stories. I loved all the stories and wished it could have been a little more to them. Love me to death and Lady of the nile would also make really good movies.
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