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"Lords of the Underworld" series book 1
on 3 May 2008
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.