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Part of the group of immortal warriors responsible for unwittingly releasing the evil contained in dimOuniak (Pandora's box) into the mortal realm, Reyes's punishment was to be eternally bound to the demon of Pain; left able to only find pleasure or even relief from the demon inside him by training himself to inflict injuries solely upon himself rather than hurt others. Nothing brings him greater joy than the draw of a knife upon his skin or a plummet to a rocky ground which breaks numerous bones and splatters various organs.

Reyes has met (and saved) Danika Ford several times in the two previous books of this series; hopelessly drawn to this human woman marked for death by Cronus, the King of the Titans. Yet he finds he is willing to put Danika's welfare before that of the other Lords of the Underworld, specifically Aeron (Wrath) the Lord ordered to kill Danika and her family or sink fully into an all consuming bloodlust.

Danika has been separated from her family and on the run since Reyes saved her from Aeron; learning self defence and killer instincts in the hopes these skills will protect her. Yet not only do the Lords hunt her, but also their enemies. Members of the Hunter organisation hope to sway Danika into acting as Bait to infiltrate the Lords of the Underworld and locate Pandora's box; enabling them to kill the Lords and recapture their demons. But Danika finds she is equally drawn to Reyes, torn between her growing feelings for a man deemed a monster or seeing him and his brethren destroyed to ensure the safety of her family.

In this book GS reveals why Cronus wants the Ford women killed, who the leader of the Hunters is and the location of the second legendary artefact required to locate Pandora's Box; the "All Seeing Eye". She also introduces a demon character who befriends Aeron, a creature of Hell able to appease his bloodlust somewhat, Paris (Promiscuity) has to make a heartbreaking choice and Danika learns she is far more special than she realised.

Although "The Darkest Pleasure" certainly lacks the humorous undertones found in its predecessor "The Darkest Kiss" it is an absolutely cracking read as GS fully explores the budding relationship between a man able to respond only to pain, yet determined to contain his demon rather than risk tainting the woman he loves with his unusual sexual tastes. This book absolutely rocks; as always the adventure pretty much explodes from the pages whilst the love scenes positively scorch them. Lastly some good news for fans; the fourth book initially scheduled for release November 09 (what!!) has been brought forward; "The Darkest Whisper" (Sabin's story the Keeper of Doubt) will now be released in May next year. Although this is still a long wait at least a further release in this author's "Atlantis" series prior to this will (hopefully) keep me going.
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on 2 July 2008
The series continues and this The Darkest Pleasure is genuinely my favourite book so far in The Lords of the Underworld series, it's more interesting, intense, moving and it proves that the series isn't losing steam. There's potential for real longevity here, the author has mentioned she wants to write a book for each of the Lords...

Reyes is the Keeper of Pain, thousands of years ago when the Lords couldn't control their demons and there was mayhem and death he inflicted pain to hundreds of people until he chose self confinement in an attempt to temper the compulsions of his whining demon. He learnt that by cutting himself he didn't need to hurt others...and so he went through existence not really living, any relationship he tried to form ended with the women becoming addicted to his demon and craving pain. It's a time of turmoil for the Lords, the gods don't know what to do with them, Hunters seek to destroy them and both want the artefacts they need to find Pandora's Box and finally be free of the threat it processes. But for Reyes his very hope of finding peace is threatened, his friend Aeron is processed by bloodlust and must by order of the gods destroy the women who he feels is his. His thoughts are consumed with Danika but knows to have her would place her in more danger, betray his friends and possibly corrupt her but when she is kidnapped by Hunters he has to make sure the women that has plagued him for so long is safe...

Danika is merely a struggling artist but a few months ago when on holiday with her family mourning her grandfathers death everything changed, she, her sister, her mother and her grandmother were kidnapped by towering and fearsome warriors...they escaped captivity and split, Danika has been on the run ever since, learning to fight and trying to keep one Lord named Reyes from her dreams as surely as she tries to keep Aeron from her nightmares. She has no idea why they're after her but other mysteries also plague her...she's always dreamed of heaven and hell but they're getting more confusing and why does she always feel so cold? When she is kidnapped by Hunters she will be faced with a choice...help these men who seem to want to make the world good and pure or the warrior processed by a demon who she feels an unwanted connection with...

Reyes and Danika's plight has been present from the very fist book but as Reyes says he has only been near her a couple of times talked to her even less, all the emotional developments are therefore left for this book. Their story is rife with complications - death threats, power hungry gods, demon hordes, vindictive Hunters, unsympathetic friends, corruptible demon compulsions - and misunderstandings - kidnappings, betrayals, false alliances, desire - some of which has been there from the first others planted in the volume.

Reyes has been presented as a very hard, quite mean character in the past books so getting into his mind was interesting and he's become my favourite Lord so far, as for Danika considering that for the majority of the book she is incredibly indecisive I really liked her whereas I would have been irritated with a more poorly constructed character.

Although this is very much about two people who have felt connected from the first moment and are on a journey to find out what they really mean to each other, the messages that have been present from the beginning of this series are still there about atonement, finding peace from love and bringing two halves of a soul together.

The leader of the Hunters is finally revealed as well as Danika's importance but here is a warning don't look at the index in the back or both revelations are painfully - ha ha - obvious. We also learn a bit more of the gods and their plans, Cronus is a bit baffling but entertaining. As for the other Lords a couple more seeds are sown for Torin and Cameo and Aeron and Legion (this one is going to be very interesting) and we get more of Paris's story, it feels as if he's already had a book from the tantalising bits we've had of him. I find myself gushing, this is because 'The Darkest Pleasure' is obsessively good and that goes for the series as a whole, there's a wait for Sabin's story, 'The Darkest Whisper' which comes out September 2009 and I believe the next is ebtitled 'The Darkest Passion' and is Aeron's book. Although Showalter has shown a predilection for introducing the heroines well in advance, we're left in the dark as to Doubt's story, it would have been nice to get a few titbits but then again I proberly would have been more obsessed.

Although there are a few holes in the mythological aspects that had me distracted with stupid questions, in particular the heavenly scenes and I also thought that Reyes story was an opportunity for Showalter do write something a bit more risky, I mean this is a man who needs pain for pleasure but we only really have one scene that confronts the issue in a way that isn't Danika saying "um...should I...you know...". But these are trivial things all in all I loved it and you don't want to miss it if you like complicated emotional stories, bloody action, thrilling adventure and decent twists.
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on 14 July 2008
Long ago a band of immortal warriors stole and unleashed the evil within Pandora's box. In the melee, the box was lost. As their punishment for the deed, the gods forced each warrior to 'contain' one of the demons within themselves. So the Lords of the Underworld were born.

At present, some of these possessed immortals live a sheltered life high on a hill in Budapest. They struggle daily with their demons eventually succumbing to the demons desires. As well as warding off attacks by the radical humans called Hunters who want to see them and their demons dead.

The immortal warrior Reyes possesses the demon of Pain. He can only feel pleasure in one of two ways 1)unleashing his demon during fights or 2)self inflicting pain -cutting himself. That is until he meets his *angel*.

Danika Ford is the unfortunate woman whom the gods have targeted for death (along with her family). Aeron (Wrath) has been assigned the task of murdering them. The more he resists, the more the bloodlust grows within him.

Meanwhile the other warriors continue to look for the pieces of the puzzle to find Pandora's box. Only Reyes cannot concentrate on anything other than keeping Danika safe and away from his warrior friend. Soon he must choose between his two loves -his woman or his friend.

A good book but I liked the second one in the series The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld, Book 2) much more. I think I expected something else here -perhaps some mild BDSM? (he is Pain after all). And the adventure was somewhat lacking unlike the previous installment. There is a lot of foreshadowing (more like teasing for the next book! ;)) too . In particular, Showalter showcases Paris and Aeron. Those parts were my favorites (made it a 4 star rather than a 3 star book) and make me anticipate the sequels.

On the other hand as far as the romance goes -Reyes and Danika are a engaging couple but nothing that is earth shattering. Good sexual tension but somewhat mundane love scenes. Perhaps my expectations were too high *shrugs* I don't know.

I mostly liked it and recommend it to those who have liked the previous books. And I will be definitely looking forward to the next in the series. Showalter has an interesting take on the mythological in the paranormal genre.
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on 15 July 2013
In this book we have the story of Reyes and Danika of whom we were introduced in the first novel. Danika also had a cameo appearance in book two.

Reyes really is a tortured soul as his demon is pain and he is constantly cutting himself or throwing himself off buildings in order to feel as much pain as he can, as pain is his pleasure. He also cannot make love without pain.

Danika is a strong woman who has had dreams since her grandmother tried to kill herself. She paints what she sees in order that she can then forget, but she sees both heaven and hell, and later we find out the gods themselves.

On the run from the demons her family have split and struggling to cope. Her wages from any jobs she gets go towards the few meagre items she needs and self-defense lessons. Confronted by to guys at work she breaks one of their noses and is promptly fired. After running she is tackled by the other where she promptly kills him with her pencil.

Waking up she has been kidnaped by hunters who ask her to help them, then is found by Reyes and the other demons and rescued.

Reyes and Danika have a somewhat turbulent relationship until they learn that they can't cope without each other and Danika can calm his demon for pain, which the other members also notice.

Of course Cronus pops up here and there trying to manipulate the situation with the other demons and we also see Paris's pain of not having Sienna. the girl from Athen, the hunter he cannot forget.

Lots of twists and surprises in this book that follows our two main characters and some of the others in the most brilliant way. This series just gets better and better.
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on 19 November 2014
While I enjoy the series as a whole, this is one of the weaker books. I felt the end was rushed and not fully explained. Indeed, having read the rest of the books in the series, Danika's powers and what exactly she is capable of never seem to be explored/explained fully. Perhaps I'll re-read it, but the final events with Cronus just didn't seem quite right to me. Definitely read it if you're planning on continuing with the series. Warning: some may not like Reyes and his need for pain.
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on 6 January 2013
Series definitely improving, enjoyed this one more than the previous two. More action, more thrilling and enjoyed the concept. I wish the books were easier to identify as to where they are in the series! Is it just me that gets confused with the running order of them?
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on 13 February 2013
I have read the previous books in the series and really liked this one. Love Reyes (think he might be my fav!) if you like Kresley Cole, JR Ward then give this series a go. Getting the next book asap.
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on 14 December 2010
I'm loving this series; I seriously can't get enough of it!

I never thought that each of these stories would be completely unique and original. Every Lord of the Underworld has a different story, different attitude to life and their circumstances and a completely different personality yet they seem to mesh so well.

I don't even know what to say anymore; I just think this story is so flawless and is one I could read over and over.

It was full of action, steamy romance and fabulous Greek mythology.

Definitely well worth the read.
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I absolutely love the Lords of the Underworld books and I am hooked. Gena has managed to write a fantastic book and I was totally glued to the pages. For anyone who has maybe not read any of the Lords of the Underworld series then I would one hundred percent recommend them. Whilst obviously having the romance side to them they also have lots of action, humour and a brilliant concept idea for the back storyline from the author Gena Showalter.

The series is set around a group of twelve immortal warriors (and absolutely hunky ones at that!) who once served the Greek Gods. Zeus decided to give possession and protection of the dimOuniak to the immortal warrior Pandora (which is why the alternate name for it is Pandora's Box). The dimOuniak/Pandora's Box held all the evil of the world such as Violence, Death, Pain, Doubt, Wrath, Lies, Secrets, Defeat, Promiscuity, Disease, Misery and Disaster and all of their Demons were kept safely locked in the Box. Twelve of the other immortal warriors were upset that Zeus had entrusted the box to Pandora and not to them and therefore stole the box from her and subsequently released the demons into the world. Zeus was extremely angry over this betrayal and therefore cursed each of the warriors to hold one of the demons within each of them for all time.

This is the Third book in the series and tells the story of Reyes the keeper of the Demon Pain. An absolutely brilliant read.
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on 13 September 2014
In this book Reyes has been bound to the spirit "PAIN" and is forbidden to know pleasure. Reyes is at the mercy of a demon who demands suffering - a creature who once forced him to lay waste to the world. He has learned to satisfy it by inflictling pain on himself and now joy in his life has become impossible. His curse is made worse when he meets Danika Ford. Danika is on the run trying to elude other Lords of the Underworld who will not rest until the she and the rest of her family have been destroyed. Danika`s dreams have been haunted by Reyes but her only choice is to kill him before he kills her. ??????? Read on to find out what happens.
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