Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Review: The Darkest Seduction (Lord’s of the Underworld #9) by Gena Showalter
At long last, New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter unveils the story of Paris, the darkest and most tormented Lord of the Underworld .Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive—but his potent allure comes at a terrible price. Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die. And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he'd thought was forever beyond his reach until now. Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet in Paris's arms, the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up. Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally—or tear them apart? ~ Goodreads
Note: No spoilers for The Darkest Seduction but there may be a few for previous books in this series. This is not a stand alone book. You really do need to read the previous books to understand Paris’s story.
Paris and Sienna's story has been years in the making. Way too long, IMO, so I wasn't sure if it could live up to my expectations when it was finally told.
The verdict? It was a mixed bag for me.
Paris is on a mission to rescue Sienna at any costs from his enemy, Cronus, now that he knows she is alive even if that leaves his best friends vulnerable to attack.
These two have built up their brief encounter (from several books ago) to epic proportions in their minds and pine for each other. The problem is I couldn't really see how or why it ran that deep, particularly for Sienna. Paris is the keeper of the demon, Promiscuity, and can only be with a woman one time and never get aroused for her again but he will die without having sex almost daily. So that leads to many random hook-ups and no permanent relationships which Paris craves. Sienna is the first woman he has ever been able to be with more than once so yeah I get why he would be intrigued and want to get her back. For Sienna's part she saw a vulnerability and strength in him but I still didn't get the MINE at all costs thing between them after barely knowing each other.
Luckily Showalter addressed a lot of that once Sienna and Paris were reunited and let an actual relationship build slowly so that I could come to accept them as a couple but by this time I was kind of indifferent to both of them. Paris is so far from the vibrant, sexy lord that we met so many years ago and Sienna's personality is typical PNR. She's brave, smart and puts Paris in his place. Not bad but not a stand out either.
What I did like is their sexual encounters. They were actually pretty standard and maybe even a little boring considering this is Paris's area of expertise. Paris may have had sex with thousands of women and even men but he's never made love. The experience has never been about sharing love between two people. It has always been about satisfying his partner enough so their pleasure feeds his demon. So, in a way, Paris is almost a virgin when it comes to having sex with Sienna. I loved the give and take and fumbling that they initially went through.
As with all of the Lord's mates, Sienna is met with resistance as the Lord's try to convince Paris to give her up. Why do they always do that??? Because as we have seen in the past, every mate that the men have brought to their inner circle brings a gift that ends up helping them in their battle with the Hunters/Titans and Sienna is no different. In fact, she may end up being their biggest asset to date. I'm quibbling though. I get why the friend’s are leery - it just gets repetitive.
Of course, we have several plot threads to set up future books and Showalter's spinoff angel series but they mostly tied in with the main story of Paris and Sienna so I wasn't too miffed. One potential future couple threw me for a loop. Legion and Galen?? O_O
So in the end I was mostly satisfied with Paris's story but, no, it didn't live up to my expectations for what I wanted. I think with a lot of these ongoing PNR/UF series that have multiple plot lines running for years, I tend to lose interest and forget why I was even rooting for a certain couple in the first place. I guess for me there's a fine line between teasing/anticipation and the point where I'm like…yeah whatever.
Rating: 3 out of 4 I was happy about how much time Showalter spent on Paris & Sienna’s story and how it weaved in to future plotlines but it didn’t quite live up to the build up I had in my mind from the past several books. Paris just isn’t Paris anymore and Sienna is a good heroine but not a stand out.
Buy the book: The Darkest Seduction (Hqn)