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88 of 95 people found the following review helpful
When Pandora was chosen by the Greek Gods to protect dimOuniak; a sacred box containing demons too destructive even to be trusted in Hell, other warriors, those that guarded the King of the Gods were left embarrassed. Determined to prove their skills, these Guardians stole the box and unwittingly released the most vile demons imaginable into an unsuspecting world; unable to recapture them as Pandora's box had mysteriously disappeared. In retaliation and to prevent further destruction in the world, the Gods cursed these warriors to each contain a demon within their bodies throughout eternity; creating the Lords of the Underworld.

Maddox is not only cursed to house the spirit of Violence within him, he is further cursed by the Gods for the death of Pandora; slaughtering her unknowingly whilst under the control of his demon. Every night at midnight he is killed by Reyes (who houses the demon Pain) and his soul is escorted to Hell by Lucien (who contains Death). Constantly battling for control over his demon, Maddox is left unable to form any meaningful relationship; always worried that Violence could explode during a moment of heated passion. Yet both he and his demon are destined to meet a very special woman; a woman capable of taming Violence, twisting his darkness into sensuality and his destructive nature into a deep possessiveness. For once Maddox and Violence are in complete agreement; Ashlyn Darrow has captured the heart of both man and demon.

Ashlyn Darrow is utilised by an Institute that studies the paranormal for her ability to hear any conversation ever spoken in any given location, no matter how long ago it was or the language used. Yet she longs for silence and a normal life and searches for someone who could possibly train her to control her gift. Whilst in Budapest she encounters conversations of a group of men with strange abilities so seeks them out hoping they can help her. Unfortunately the men she looks for believe her to be Bait, a beautiful woman used to lure a warrior to his death by a group of mortals known as Hunters. This organisation has one goal only; to destroy the Lords of the Underworld and the demons they contain.

I've got to say this may be GS's best book yet, and that's quite an accomplishment considering how much I have enjoyed her "Atlantis" and "Alien Huntress" series. "The Darkest Night" made me smile, laugh and during one particularly emotive chapter featuring an event Maddox is helpless to prevent; blub like a baby. Ashlyn too faces her own horrors; namely the nightly murder of the man she loves; leaving her determined to break Maddox's curse at any cost.

From the first page, GS skillfully draws the reader into an exciting new paranormal world. Her heroes certainly have their dark sides, Disease, Wrath, Promiscuity, Lies and Disaster amongst others, all with individual torments created by their unbreakable bond to their personal demon. The adventure is none stop as the splintered tribes of the Lords of the Underworld unite to battle the Hunters that stalk them and the romance between Maddox and Ashlyn absolutely perfect; ranging from tender to heartbreaking to blazingly hot in all the right places. I finished the last page of this book with a deep sigh of satisfaction and have already pre-ordered "The Darkest Kiss" (Lucien's story due for pub. June 08) and "The Darkest Pleasure" (Reyes' story due for pub. July 08), whose love interest is introduced in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2011
the first book i read out of this books series was Darkest lie. i was hooked and became addicted and spent all my pennies get the rest. they were money well spent. you fall instantly in love with all the character's. they draw you into their world from the first page to the last and has u begging for more.

in the Darkest night, the first of the lords books that introduces to the deliciously sexy lords. this book is about Maddox/demon of Violence. Maddox is cursed to die every night at midnight and to spend each night in the flames of hell. he was cursed over killing the guardian of the box Pandora. Ashlyn has a power to hear all conversations that have happened in the spot she stands. she hears about beings who are gifted with unusual powers and instantly thinks that they can help her control the voices in her head. she travel to the fortress in the mountains and last thing she thought to find is a dark, tall and the sexiest man she has ever seen in front of her demanding is she a hunter, that in the stranger's presence the voices stop and she doesn't want to leave him. Maddox is confused by the feeling he has for this human woman. he assumes she is bait and there to lead the hunter to them but cant deny her plea's to stay with him and wows to protect her even against his brother warriors. they must face the danger ahead together and learn to trust their hearts. trust me, this book is worth reading if u like romance, danger and suspense, and did i mention hot sexy dangerous warriors. hope you enjoy it, I did! :)
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 January 2010
I'm not going to explain the plot as othes have already done that. However I will explain why I bought this book and what I thought about it.

I have spent the last four months reading and re-reading the entire 'Dark Series' about the Carpathian Race, written by Christmine Feehan. Powerful men under threat of extinction living with the curse of longevity and the prospect of turning vampire if they do not find their one true mate. I tell you this so you understand my constant comparisons.

So, anyway when Amazon recommended this series I decided to give it a go. I read this book in about 4 sittings over about a 36 hour period, fitting in normally daily life around a husband and two demanding you children. It kept me up into the early hours of the morning when it was literally impossible to keep my eyes open another minute. It dragged me from housework and other mundane chores so that whenever anyone needed to find me I would be could be located sprawled across my bed with my nose in the book, or huddled up in a corner having only popped in the room to put some washing away, but enticed to pick it up again.

It bears a resemblence to the Feehan series in that these are powerful, dominant men, warriors, filled with passion, all living under a curse and hoping to find away out of it. This sort of story obviously works for me. But that's where the similarities end...sort of.

I found the book much more graphic, the subtle descriptions of sex that I am used to with CF pushed a little further, although not as much of the page is devoted to the act itself; but there'is no shying away from naming the body parts or descibing certain acts. And I have to say I have no problem with the way either writer express's this, both are equally enjoyable and realistic.

I enjoyed the violence in this book. These warriors are all about muscle and brute strength and weapons. They do not have mystical forces, except where the demon within the warrior calls for it.

The main characters Maddox and Ashlyn are both likeable and frustrating as you long to give each of them a shake at time. And my only critiscm, and it's really small - so ignore it if you want. Is that Ashlyn is a virgin when we meet her and has been raised in an institue for paranormal research, but through her use of romance book and the internet she seems to have developed a kinky side and despite her inexperience she equally matches Maddox's passion and lust in their first mating...I would have expected her to be more shy, but there you are, I said it was only small.

I guess what speaks the most about how much I enjoyed this book, was that I had already purchased the next in the series and within 10 minutes of completing this story, I had started on it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2010
Other reviewers have already compared this to the Black dagger brotherhood by J R Ward, and having read all of those up to date I was looking for something else to read that I would enjoy as much.

I don't know which series of books was written first but they follow an almost identical pattern, a group of masculine to-the-extreme warriors living within a modern world and having to keep apart from it . Each book follows one of the warriors.

Unfortunately, this is a very pale imitation, the sex scenes were very unerotic and the plot very very thin. It is a very good concept for a story but it just didn't grab me. I have bought more of the series in case the first one was the weakest, so I'll give some more a try and see if they improve.

Unfortunately this book had more promise than substance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2011
So I'm going to save you all the trouble of reading this disaster of a book and pretty much give you a one sentence summary of the entire thing:

Maddox is violence, Maddox gets mad, Maddox punches something/someone, Maddox thinks about how much he loves Ashlyn, Maddox calms down. And repeat, repeat, repeat.

As you can probably tell, I found the story linear of this novel repetitive and predictable to the extreme. It was frustrating, and I found myself skimming over some paragraphs in the book because I had read in all before about 5 pages back.

The authors vocabulary seemed as limited as the plot, using certain descriptive words so often that it became quite noticeable and in turn, irritating. If I had a penny for every time she described something as 'decadent' I could probably buy the author a thesaurus.

The writing also seemed rushed, especially towards the end, where certain scenes which could have and would have been expanded by a decent author were condescend into a paragraph or less.

There were also some silly little holes in the story writing, but this could just be me being pedantic. For example, when Ashlyn takes the aspirin pills, Maddox marvels at them and asks if they are magic tablets. How the hell has this guy never heard of aspirin but he's sitting in a castle packed full of x-boxes, plasma TVs and enhanced surveillance equipment?!

In summary, I do not feel like there is any real writing talent behind this novel. I've read better fan-fic on the web, and I kind of get the impression that this is where this style of writing belongs.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2008
The Lords of the Underworld are a band of immortal warriors who have, for thousands of years, fought for the king of gods (Greeks). Insulted that they have not been chosen for the monumental task of guarding a sacred box (Pandora's box), the warriors decide to teach the gods a lesson. They steal the box and set the hordes of demons free. In the fray the box is lost. Thus, the evil can not be returned inside. As punishment for the deed, the individual warriors themselves become the *homes* for the each of the demons. So the demons of Violence, Disease, Death, Pain, Wrath, Promiscuity, Doubt, Lies, Disaster etc. are now inside the warriors forever. Like having a split personality, the demon urges the warrior to do its bidding. They all struggle against the demon inside.

Fast forward to present-
The warriors now live with their curses in Castle high upon a hill in Budapest. They keep to themselves for fear of reeking havoc upon the humans. Their enemies are the *Hunters*, a band of human warriors out to kill all the perceived evil in the world -the lords being their main target.

This book is about the warrior Maddox, who has Violence demon inside. His heroine is Ashyln a human who posses the uncanny ability to hear all the conversations ever made in a particular place. Voices constantly battle inside her head. She seeks the warriors in an effort to silence the voices inside her head. But she gets more than she bargained for......

I admit when I started reading this book I got flashes of Ward's series. But really who wouldn't? - the six warriors living all together, the gods controlling them (scribe virgin), the hunters (lessers), the description of the warriors (ones tattooed, beautiful, scarred etc). Then I realized that I'm doing a complete injustice to this book by thinking this way.

To me this book is more Greek mythological than paranormal. The war these warriors are fighting is mostly within themselves. They are not out to protect anyone else, merely to survive their own curses and possibly get free of them. And frankly I thought that was fascinating. I mean who wouldn't like to read more about a warrior with a compulsion to Lie, one who causes Disasters wherever he goes, one who has to inflict Pain on himself, or one who cannot be touched (anywhere) for fear of causing Disease? And lets not forget Promiscuity. ;)

So, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking out for the sequels. And for those die-hard Black Dagger fans? I say go and read the three chapter excerpt on Showalter's website and decide for yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2011
I bought the first three books in the series but i have just arranged to send the other two back. The idea of the story is great and the writing is good however the characters lack depth.

The females are the most anoying in that they are portrayed as tiny feminine gentle little women, this description of them is repeated practically on every page. The women are also described as fiesty but it doesn't mesh well, they are not beleivable. The women imediatly fall head over heals for the warriors in a pathetic sensless way, desperate to give their bodies to them. They lack back bone, strength and independance, always wanting to run after their warrior.

The initial setting of the scene is great, thereafter is week pathetic drivel - sorry, it is the females that let the novel down ultimately.

If you want a great series of dark fantasy and romance with humour and passion and strong female characters and beautiful gorgous male characters that you can almost touch with your imagination i would highly recommend Katie Macalister Silver Dragon Novels or the new Light Dragon Series - these are fantastic and i'm just going to order her Aisling Gray books right now xx
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2010
My friend lent me this book promising it was better than the dark hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon - (because I don't really like that series) Unfortunately she was wrong, as frustrating as Kenyon is at least she makes me care about her characters! I found some of the characters quite flat and I don't really understand the attraction between the two leads. As to why Ashlyn stops hearing voices around Maddox is never explained - it does explain her immediate attraction to him but I don't understand why he is so violently attracted to her straight away?
The premise is fantastic and I can think of a couple of authors who would make it a great series. When I had finished it I found myself making up my own storyline from the basic story just to satisy myself - i'm not saying I could write anything better because I couldn't write a book to save my life. In that respect I praise the author for being able to write a book at all! Unfortunatly I feel it could have been so much better - that's just my opionion. I would recommend Kelley Armstrong's Woman of the Underworld series as really good supernatural reads.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2010
After loving the The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I thought I would try these.
I tried my hardest not to compare the two series, but it was impossible not to! To me this seemed like a weak copy of the the BDB books..too many similarities for them not to be...down to the way she introduces the hero & heroine of the next book in the one you are reading!
There is just no depth to the books..the characters are roughly drawn and very 2d...all the females are incredibly beautiful, incredibly petite, dainty and fragile....and these "qualities" are mentioned practially every time the female appears! (Ditto the dark brooding males)
Other than the graphic..but strangly scenes, these books are what I would describe as teen reads...if you love JR ward, you will probably be disappointed in these. I got 3/4 of the way through the second one, and just couldn't be bothered to finish...I just didn't care..mine are going on Ebay
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on 22 October 2012
I did like this novel by Gena Showalter, which is based on one of the Ancient Greek myths and legends, but brought up to contemporary times. These stories were used by the Greeks to explain the world they lived in based on their polytheistic faith. This one is linked to the Warriors who allowed Pandora to open the box that allowed all the demons and evil to be freed in this world. The punishment for the Warriors was they were condemned to carry a demon within as punishment for all eternity.
Based in modern times it brings the story to a medieval castle in Budapest. Basically, it is an unusual romance between damned warrior Maddox, and Ashlyn a young woman with paranormal abilities who is being used unwittingly to find the warriors.
I liked the conflict, then the mistrust that alters to lust then love between the main characters, and the inbuilt demon of violence as an internal antagonist within the protagonist is an unusual concept.
I found myself becoming accustomed to the names of the first set of warriors introduced at the start of the story and their demon/punishments they are responsible for, as in death, lust etc. However, Gena, introduces a second set of new warriors two thirds of the way through the story and there were suddenly so many it became confusing for a while. I can imagine this being off putting for some readers.
Yes, I will read the next and maybe more as this seems to be turning into a quest series where each of the Warriors will have a story to tell, and maybe a romance. The romantic scenes are tastefully erotic. I hope that by the end of the next story I will be accustomed to the many characters.
The novel is generally well written, though a few typos, which shouldn't really be found in a book published by such a major company. Overall I give it four stars.
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