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4.4 out of 5 stars
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"Dark Beginnings" is a veritable feast for fans of GS's Lords of the Underworld and a must have for those that love this breed of tough, bad, immortal heroes. Glut yourself on short stories, real interviews, fictitious interviews, a FAQ section and some titillating titbits on what could have happened and what will happen in this series.

The Darkest Fire
Previously released in e-book format, this is a short, sad tale which ultimately reveals the history of Pandora's Box. Prior to the creation of the box, it is Kadence; the Goddess of Oppression who guards the walls of Hell which keeps demons such a Violence, Death and Lies trapped away from the mortal world. Yet the wall has begun to crumble, and as Kadence unites with Geryon; the animalistic Guardian of Hell to battle their enemies, they find themselves falling in love.

The Darkest Prison
Nike, the Greek Goddess of Strength and Victory has been imprisoned in Tartarus following the rise of the Titans under the command of Cronus, yet a Titan holds a personal grudge against her and wants to exact his own punishment. Atlas, God of Strength wears the name of his enemy Nike vengefully branded across his chest when she discovered he had seduced her to escape his own imprisonment centuries before and he plans retribution. Of course, this pair fail to realise they love each other, yet both will defy the will of the Gods to ensure the safety of the other.

The Darkest Angel
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.

This is a great short story but a note to all fans, "The Darkest Angel" was only recently released several months ago in the anthology "Heart of Darkness". This story reveals Aeron's (Wrath) intended love match and sets the scene nicely for his own book "The Darkest Passion" due for pub. in June. Eager fans can read the second chapter in this book, which includes the scene in which Aeron and Olivia meet physically for the first time.

A Bonus Guide
This is well worth the read for several reasons. Although this guide does include a rather gushy interview between GS and her friend and fellow romance author Kresley Cole (which becomes somewhat annoying as they continually praise each other's works), a few interesting LOTU titbits are revealed, such as Gideon's intended match. Do not read any further if you wish to remain in ignorance, but I for one am looking forward to Gideon battling a woman who not only takes everything he says at face value (and she knows he can ONLY LIE lol) but a woman who also happens to be the keeper of the demon of Nightmares. Luckily this book "The Darkest Lie" is due for publication fairly soon in July.

Another "bonus" is a set of interviews carried out by William (Anya's immortal friend who is now an honorary Lord) as he asks the LOTU a variety of questions. These are fun fun fun all the way followed by brief moments of violence as the Lords react to odd but certainly intimate questions posed by the witty William. Then again, I was certainly interested in the answers and now think William should have pushed for more details ;)

There is also the first few chapters of the original version of Violence's story included; however I very much prefer the different road GS decided to take with this series. Phew, all done I think. As I first mentioned, there is plenty to interest in this book (despite the duplication of "The Darkest Angel") and certainly enough to pique your interest in forthcoming books in this series.
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I'm a huge fan of Gena Showalter, particularly her Lords of the Underworld series. However when I first heard about the book I wasn't overly keen which has more to do with the fact I don't normally like or read these series information things. However it was really fun, interesting and well written.

I particularly liked the teaser of Aeron story and I'm now looking forward to so much more than before. Not only that but the information about the lords and Cronus's scrolls was fascinating. My favourite of the short stories was Bianka's, Gwen's sister it made me both laugh and cry.

I would definitely recommend this book to any Lords of the Underworlds fans as it is a definite must read!
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on 13 September 2014
Three Dark & Sensual Tales of the Lords of the Underworld - The Darkest Fire:- Geryon is the guardian of Hell. Kadence is a goddess, more angel than woman, together they will enter the flames to battle a horde of demon lords - and discover a passion unlike any other....... this book and its contents are not suitable for children, can be very explicit at times.
The Darkest Prison:- Once Atlas was a Greek Goddess Nike`s slave. Now he is her master, but these sworn rivals are destined to destroy each other and will be forced to risk everything for a chance at love ......... will they succeed, read it to find out what happens
The Darkest Angel:- The anger Lysander has never known love - until he meets Bianka a beautiful but deadly Harpy who is determined to lead iron-willed Lysander into temptation....... excellent story line and a book you cannot put down although short in length.
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on 5 March 2011
First I should point out that I hate anthologies, i never think that they live up to the full books but this one i liked. All three stories were enjoyable but Darkest Angel by far the best:

Darkest Fire
A prequel to the lords of the underworld which tells us how the demons escaped hell and the origins of Pandora's box with a romance between the Goddess of Oppression Kadence and the guardian of hell beast like Geryon. Pretty good - 3 stars

Darkest Prison
A rocky romance for a Titan God and Greek Goddess. When the Greeks were running the show, Atlas the titan God of strength was a prisoner. In a bid to escape he seduced several of his guards including Nike, the greek goddess of strength and victory but was branded with her name in punishment when she found out about the others. Now that the Titans are back in charge the tables have turned and Nike is locked up and Atlas is the guard - and he wants revenge but gets more than he bargained for. This was probably the weakest of the tales for me - I did enjoy it though and i figure we may see more of these 2 in the future.(Also had a glimpse of Sienna's soul with Cronus). 3 stars

Darkest Angel
I loved this tale and wish it had been longer - Bianka, harpy sister of Gwen meets her match in Angel Lysander. Both strong and determined to get their way it made a really amusing read. I didn't think I would like Bianka but I thought she was great - for those who adore Anya she is your kind of heroine! Lysander was such a typical male and Bianka handled him brilliantly. (Also the scene with Paris was inspired!) Another bonus to this tale was the introduction to Olivia who falls for Aeron in the next book. 5 stars

This book also has some bonus bits including FAQs, an interview between GS and Kresley Cole which was pretty amusing and revealed some things to come and a set interviews between the warriors and William which was pretty funny.

For an anthology it was pretty good, well worth reading for Darkest Angel alone. Not an essential read but enjoyable.
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on 14 January 2013
This book was a mixed bag. The first short story *The Darkest Fire* in my opinion was terrible, the only redeeming feature was it revealed the origins of Pandora's Box. The second story *The Darkest Prison* was more enjoyable but didn't really add anything to the series. The third story *The Darkest Angel* was great, I always wanted to know how Lysander and the harpy got together, and I wasn't disappointed. It was a fab short story and added to the overall LOTU series. The final part of the book 'interviews the lords' amusing and gives information about the characters/series, don't think I learnt anything new, but I did read this after I had read the 10 LOTU books ( January 2013).
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on 15 July 2013
Doh... Should have bought this before I bought the other two novella's in ebook format.

Loved Bianka's story of how she meets her Angel. It was a brilliant story and it had me smiling, it was also nice to meet the Angel Olivia who has been spying on Aeron.

I also LOVED all the extras in the book and found Williams Q&A with the boys really funny as well as the interview of Gena by Kresley Cole.
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on 28 August 2013
A nice collection of three stories set in the Lords of the Underworld universe. The one I was most interested in was the story of Lysander and Bianka getting together (The Darkest Angel), and it did not disappoint - this is the longest story of the three, novella rather than short story. There is also a story about the Goddess of Oppression (The Darkest Fire) and how her bones came to be used to make Pandora's box, naturally its also a short romance. Finally there is a story about the gods Atlas and Nike (The Darkest Prison) - antagonists who end up as lovers. I'd say the stories can be read in isolation but will go down much better with existing Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark readers, especially The Darkest Angel.
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on 13 February 2013
I have read the previous books in this series and really loved them. But this is 3 mini books in one that I didn't feel added much to the main series. Felt like extra background reading, when all I wanted to do was find out which Lord was next. Getting the next book asap.

If you like Kresley Cole and JR Ward (BDB) then give this series a go.
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on 17 May 2013
Again another favourite author of mine and this my favourite series of hers! I fell in love with the lords and can't pick a favourite! So easy to read and all the characters are mentioned in the books so you can follow how close they all are! If you have missed her work, feel ashamed!
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on 16 September 2012
This book is basically three short stories, I didn't like the first one, although it was good to get the background story on how the gods made Pandoras box.
The second story is much better and I hope this couple appear in one of the other books.
Finally Bianka and Lysander, what's not to love, funny, romantic and sexy!
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