From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes the long-awaited story of Torin, the most dangerous Lord of the Underworld yet…
Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.
She is Keeley Cael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win.
Once again, Gena Showalter throws us a story of a hero we have wanted from day one, only to leave us wanting to rip a few pages out of unnecessary dialogue and monologues. If that is taken out, then you have a much better story of a man longing for touch and battle action with a woman who hasn’t known love or even how to give it. The monologes are getting old and may force me to just give up on a series that feels like it will soon come to an end. The book is close to 500 pages. They could have removed 200 pages easily and still have gotten a good story. You may find your mind drifting as you sift through all the unneeded stuff to get to the stuff that this series is made of.
The reality is I love this series, but the last 4-5 books have left me wanting. Wanting the men to be men without so many snide remarks both inside and outside of their heads. The ongoing monologues where they get zings in without really getting to what emotions they are feeling. The characters are over the top and tend to get boring. I skim to get meater stuff. The hard stuff. The sexy stuff. I was hoping Torin’s story would get back to why I fell in love with this series, but once again I was left wanting to rip out about 200 pages of the book as a waste of my time.
Torin is the keeper of Disease, where one touch is fatal to humans and makes paranormal beings a carrier of the disease they contract. Always a manly man, with a rough personality, he never found a woman who would bed him because he always injured them. Once disease was introduced, he lost any hope of every being able to touch or love. When a God gives him the chance to touch a woman, he is hesitant, but believes he can’t kill Mari, only to have her die in his arms. Now locked up in prison, he must escape and try to stay ahead of the Red Queen, Keeley.
Keeley Cael has not had an easy life. Sold to the king, killed the king, fell in love with Hades, betrayed by Hades. imprisoned for thousands of years. Now Torin has killed the only friend Keely has ever had and she wants a life for a life. But first she has to get herself out of the prison to start the hunt and getting out is quite gruesome for her.
So the story starts off with them hating each other but unable to kill each other. So they throw insults, one upping each other. Keely is really quite powerful, but she has one weakness that Torin exploits. But having never had love, she doesn’t know what to do when she starts to bond with Torin. Risk her life, which she thinks she can never die, or kill him and walk away.
Viciousness is very common in this group. But it feels like it is viciousness for the sake of being vicious. Not that they are protecting each other. They really enjoy causing others pain. Maybe I am melodramatic, but I loved how this series was about the men being upstanding, protecting each other, their women and trying to save the world. Now we have introduced so many other factions, it just doesn’t feel like a cohesive team of brothers who would do anything for anyone. Well, maybe after they have dissed each other, had a run on monologue of one liners in their minds and then oh, heck, yes, we should do something.
Now, no jumping into this series midway…you will get lost *gasp*. It highly relies on past books and if you memory (like mine) is going, then you might be confused or not remember what happened in the last few books.
And let’s talk about the sex. It seems tame. *yawn* Sorry, but let’s call a cock a cock. About the best scene is when they are trying to have sex without touching. It was more interesting that rev your engines. Keeley always falls ill after every touch, so what does it take to get past this? *sing song voice* not going to tell you!
If you saw a cover on FB recently…well, I saw one that said this was the conclusion, but it has been removed. I can’t say it is over. What will we have to do with Willy and Gilly? So it’s not the end since they still need “stuff.” But adding Keeley to team Lords is a bonus as she has some mad super powers!
My thanks to Rock Star PR and Harlequin Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
“Temper much?” she quipped.
His relief was palpable. She hadn’t forgotten him! But the relief was quickly replaced by concern. “Are you all right? Did someone hit you?”
She blinked with confusion. “No. Why?” “Your lips are swollen.”
She rubbed them, color heating her cheeks. “Someone didn’t hit me, but someone sure did hit on me.”
Hit on her. As in kissed her.
Already on edge, Torin. Utterly. Erupted.
He forgot everything he’d planned to do and say and got in Keeley’s face, snarling, “Who was it?”
Her eyes widened. “Hades. Why?”
“You dare ask why? You belong to me! We agreed. You do not kiss other men, Keeley. Ever. Have you for- gotten my rules?”
Her jaw dropped, and she gasped out a few unintel-
ligible words as if she couldn’t quite figure out what to say to him.
He stood in place, breathing too quickly, too heavily, his throat and lungs burning. He reached for her, but as so many times before, fisted his hands and dropped them just before contact. This is crazy. I’m crazy. I have to leave.
“Are you…thinking about touching me?” she asked, her eyes widening again.
No, she had to leave. He could not be in public right now. “Go shopping. Buy yourself something pretty. My treat.” He basically tossed his credit card at her. He should be calm by the time she finished. “Come back in an hour. Maybe two. Actually, we’ll reconvene to- morrow.”
“You are,” she said. “You’re thinking… Even craving me. You don’t like the thought of another man’s hands on me, and you want to replace the memory with your hands.”
That. Yes. Hades would die, and Torin…Torin would touch this woman and never stop.
He gnashed his molars. “Last chance, Keeley. I sug- gest you take it and leave.” Soon. His control was almost completely shredded.
“No way. You’re the big bad warrior, yet I’ve had to come on to you time and time again. I’ve had to battle within myself—worth the price or not worth it. Well, it’s your turn.”
“There is no damn way you just suggested I haven’t done the same. I’ve battled.”
“When have you ever caved without prompting from me? You’ve resisted me so easily, always walking away. Sure, you’ve snarled while you’ve done the walking, but still you left me behind. So, tell me. When did you ever—”
“So easily?” he roared. Had she just said so easily? She had no clue about the intensity of his need—but he would teach her better.
Torin cupped her by the nape, yanked her close and smashed his mouth against hers. The kiss was a brutal assault meant to silence her, to dominate and possess. He held her still, making her take it, take everything. But the moment she softened against him, welcomed him inside her mouth, the darkness churning inside him switched gears. From the need to punish and master to the need to seduce and please.
This was Keeley. His princess. She deserved his best. He gentled the pressure, rolling his tongue inside her mouth, learning her all over again, tasting her. Summer berries and melted honey. So sweet. And mine. All mine. He framed her cheeks, angled her head and rolled his tongue just a little deeper. This time, she met him with
a roll of her own.
That was his undoing.