Sophia Rose and Shari Review: The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter

Sophia Rose and Shari Review: The Darkest Craving by Gena ShowalterThe Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter

Series: Lords of the Underworld,
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Harlequin on July 30, 2013
Pages: 480
Format: eBook
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
four-half-stars

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First Review

Lords of the Underworld has been a series dear to my heart since it helped get me into the paranormal romance world. The last few books left me disappointed as I was looking forward to Paris’s story and just felt blah about it. So as the original Lords all fall victim to love, the pool of originals grows smaller and smaller. Kane, the keeper of Disaster, wasn’t a favorite of mine, mostly because you don’t see much of him in past books. He is often left behind for fear Disaster would cause them problems…with good cause. While most of the Lords have come to some type of agreement with their demons, Kane has not. He absolutely hates Disaster and will do almost anything to rid himself of it. Disaster also hates Kane and takes great delight in hurting him. This is totally a match made in Hell.

From the last book, Kane is in Hell being violated by the minions who adore Disaster. It’s not looking so good for him when he is rescued by a little bit of a woman. Josephina Aisling is half human, half Fae who’s only desire is to end her existence. She makes what she thinks is a deal with Kane. Save him, and he will stab her in the heart. As she nurses him, the Lords of course are searching for him. Kane doesn’t get a chance to honor the bargain that he has no intention of honoring, but he feels an obligation to eliminate the problems in Josephina’s life so she might live. Disaster hates her, and Kane can’t leave her.

Josephian (or Tink as Kane calls her) was a contradiction at first for me. At first she seems flighty, air head, compliments herself, but wants her own death. But as you learn more about her you feel such anger at her family. Tink is a blood slave to her sister. Everything her sister does wrong, Tink gets the punishment. Life has never been easy for her and at times, just plain horrible. It reminded me of Zarek from the Dark-Hunters series. Luckily we don’t get to see all the nitty-gritty details of the punishment for Tink or I might have just burned this book.

I did have a lot of confusion around Kane and Disaster. How sometimes Disaster was so deviant and then at times seemed to not show up. At one point Kane tries to “starve” disaster, but even that seemed a little weird. Disaster sometimes went after Tink, but then other times not at all. You just never knew what would set Disaster off.

Cameo and Torin both play a big role in this story as Cameo goes on a mission to save Kane from what she thinks is causing him issues. When she disappears, this sets off Torin, who is now just really close friends with Cameo. Torin meets someone based on a promise he made with the former Titan king. This leads me to think his story is coming as well.  I don’t think this series will be over once the original Lords find their love interests, but it is kind of sad to see them all one by one fall in love. Well, bittersweet because you want them to all find love, but you don’t want the originals to be all taken even if there are more characters. Like William…he so needs his own story with Gilly.

Kane and Tink make a very cute couple. Yep, cute. While the story gets gut-wrenching at one point, I wasn’t drawn to tears or a thick throat. The story seemed to end kind of abruptly, but I am hoping we see more of this couple in the next books as there is something for them to live long for.

While you could read this story as a stand-alone, there are some elements that just won’t make sense without reading the series. So I recommend you read the series first if you want an awesome story arc. For a fan of the series, this was better than I expected, but still not the wow of previous books. A good solid, steamy, sexy, kick-as story I have come to expect from Gena Showalter.

Favorite Quote:

William paced in front of the eager combatants, saying, “First rule of Teach Kane a Lesson: you don’t talk about Teach Kane a Lesson. Second rule of Teach Kane a Lesson: you don’t talk about Teach Kane a Lesson. Third rule of Teach Kane a Lesson: if someone taps out, you just keep fighting. Fourth rule of Teach Kane a Lesson: there are no rules. Got it?”

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewed by Shari

Second Review

Poor Kane has been languishing under torture in the depths of hell for some time and I was thrilled to see that this latest book was to be his story. I couldn’t imagine who would be the perfect match for the Keeper of Disaster and found it amusing that Kane was equally unsure. His heart led him in one direction, but the fates predicted something else entirely. The path of this book was one wild, rocky ride that at times I wanted to get off, but I was so glad that I held on for that stunning ending.  Gena’s the queen of getting her characters out of a rock and a hard place.

Kane has escaped hell because of the help of one intrepid half-fae half-human female who has made the most outlandish absurd request of him as payback for her help in his escape. His escape did not leave him unscathed however. He has huge gouging wounds in his psyche and has formed a new plan for his life. He is done with his demon. First, he will hunt down his rescuer and do what he can to settle her issues for her, but then he will find a way to kill his demon knowing full well that this move would take his own life too.
With the help of the irascible William, Kane finds his little rescuer. She is cute and spunky, but she still only wants him for his help fulfilling her request. Oddly, he finds her unique brand of charm a source of light and goodness. He feels a strong attraction for the female he dubs ‘Tink’ and this confuses his plans. He is cautious to make his moves because apparently the wrong move can bring on a world apocalypse.

Josephina has always admired the Lords of the Underworld and Kane most especially. Between the troubles she has at home and now the phoenix who is out to kill her, complication she does not need and Kane is a big complication. For the first time, she really wants to live so she can be with Kane. Unfortunately, the big oaf can’t seem to figure out what he wants so in the process he confuses them both. He blows hot and cold in his need of her and his odd request to marry her half-sister that pierces her heart. The two of them battle and love their way around the fae court, but Kane still keeps her guessing. And then there is the very real enmity the demon Disaster feels toward her and he has ever intention of keeping Tink and Kane apart.

On other plot lines, Torin gets a surprise visitor and Cameo takes a pro-active stance in locating Pandora’s box that sends her on an unexpected adventure.

It is almost par for the course that I find the Lords of the Underworld books a delight to read and look forward to each new one as it releases. Kane’s story was no exception. There was a nostalgic feeling for me about this book in some ways because it reminded me of some of the earlier stories when the lords were convincing that they were demon possessed warriors with dark sides. Kane is very convincing as a ruthless warrior and keeper of a demon. He’s a conflicted hero who is alpha to the core, but also feels the strong need to prove himself because he got left on the sidelines in so many fights. He is dark and it is only when he is with his Tink that he exhibits any signs of light and gentleness, but even that is not always present with her. Josephina is an interesting blend of sass, insecurity, passion, temper, uncertainty and yet, very certain. Her life as it unfolds has been as miserable as Kane’s. Though she won’t be my favorite heroine in the series since Anya and the harpies hold that honor, she was the one to help Kane heal even as he helped her making them both feel useful and needed for once.

While the back and forth stuff as Kane got things settled in his head frustrated me, I could also see exactly what was causing his indecision so I chose to be patient to see what came of it. He made some huge mistakes, but he eventually grew through it. And hey, his time spent in hell did a number on him that he had to work through too.

I loved the part of sidekick that William played in this one. He’s a character of parts that like every other fan I’m dying to know who and what he really is.

It was great to see all the Lords and their gals get some page time in this one and I’m eager to see where those other story threads with Cameo and Torin lead.

While I’m mentioning other characters, there was crossover storyline from the Angels After Dark series and a new angel kept popping up in this one toward the end.

So, if you want a good strong paranormal romance series (which must be read in order by the way) with ridiculously hot warriors, feisty women and their exciting storylines, give this one a try.

Rating: 4.5

Reviewed by Sophia Rose

About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!