Review: ‘The Darkest Night’ by Gena Showalter
The Darkest Nightby Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld #1
Published by Harlequin on May 3, 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Format: AudioBook, Paperback
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His passion—Beyond immortal...
All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member—a man trapped in a hell of his own.
Neither can resist the instant hunger that calms their torments... and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction—and a soul-shattering test of love...
Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive—and unimaginably powerful...
Don’t miss this incredible new paranormal series from Gena Showalter!
I have been a big fan of Gena Showalter since 2009. I came across her books thanks to another friend who suggested them, and I’m thankful to that reader friend every day. Gena Showalter became one of my auto-buy authors and is still today. I read The Darkest Night in 2009 but never reviewed it, so I’m rectifying that by re-reading this series and reviewing the ones I never reviewed. I’m glad I’m starting from the beginning because this is one of my favorite PNR series.
Storyline/My Thoughts: A little bit about the LOTU series before diving into what I thought about The Darkest Night, the first book in the series. The Gods cursed the Lords of the Underworld (elite immortal warriors), each with a curse from Pandora’s Box. They are bound by a curse and will be forced to live with it for the rest of their lives. Each LOTU suffers from a different curse.
In the case of Maddox, he is bound with the curse of Violence. I would be violent, too, for an immortal that has to suffer his death every night at the hands of two of his friends. Maddox is forced to die every night at midnight by two other Lords. He dies the same death that he inflicted on Pandora. What do you think happens when you have Violence in you? You want to commit Violence at every turn, especially when the voice of Violence constantly craves it. When a female trespasses on the Lord’s property, Violence is loud in Maddox, especially when it believes the female is bait from the Lords of the Underworld’s enemy. The Lord’s enemy is always tempting them with females as bait.
Ashlyn Darrow is not bait. She is trying to find the men that supposedly have supernatural abilities. She’s hoping they can help her quiet the voices she has been dealing with since she was young. She hears past voices in rooms/areas, and the second she comes across Maddox, the voices become silent for the first time, and she is instantly relieved for the first time. I would be relieved if I were her to hear no voices, so I could understand why she didn’t want to leave Maddox. When she meets the other Lords, they believe she is the bait and will do anything to get rid of it. They will even attempt to unalive her. This is when Maddox’s Violence comes out because, for some reason is intrigued by the beautiful Ashlyn Darrow. He instantly wants to protect her; even Violence wants to protect her, which he finds weird. He won’t harm her even if he finds out she is bait.
I won’t go into much more of the story because I do not want to give anything away. Here is why I enjoyed the first full-length book of the LOTU series even more the second time.
Maddox is a tortured MMC. I always fall hard for the tortured/damaged MMCs. The first time I read his book, I didn’t like him much, but then I read it a second time and realized why he is the way he is with Ashlyn. He doesn’t want to lose her even if she could be his enemy because he feels an instant attraction to her that baffles him at first, especially when he finds out how protective she is of him. He is a big-time alpha male and will take on his friends to protect her. I felt for the other Lords because dealing with Violence who is in love has to be tricky. They were all confused about how he was with Ashlyn.
I loved Ashlyn’s character in the book. She is trying everything to get help with what she has been dealing with her whole life. She should be scared of the Lords, but she isn’t, and I respect her for it. She even puts the other Lords in their place. I loved what she did at the end of the book for Maddox. That is true love.
I love multiple POVs in books, and Gena does a fabulous job of having different characters tell their side of the story from their POV. You won’t just get Maddox and Ashlynn’s POVs, so be prepared for several others. Gena is setting up the world to be a big one, and this is why one of many reasons why I loved this series. There’s a big story arc happening, and I’m here for it. I’m so glad I’m re-reading this series from the beginning.
Initially, I gave it only four stars when I read The Darkest Night. This time around, I’m giving it 4.5-stars because I enjoyed it a little more the second time around. Maddox won me over more, and I loved him and Ashlyn together.
Standalone or Part of Series: It’s part of the LOTU series, and each book follows a new couple, but the storyline continues from each book. I would recommend reading in order.
Steam/Spice: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Trope(s)/Element(s): Fated Mates; Instant Love/Attraction; Touch Her and I’ll Unalive You
Would I recommend this book? Yes. This was one of my first PNR romances, and I will always recommend it to other PNR readers. It became one of my favorite PNR series that I’ve ever read, next to Kresley Cole’s IAD series.