This isn’t my first time reading romance erotica (aside from the Fifty Shades Trilogy), but this is my first review on one. Bear with me as I weave through the good and the bad of this installment.
The first of book in the Lords of the Underworld Series introduces you to a slew of characters, though it centers mainly on Maddox and Ashlyn. Both (and practically all) the characters are cursed in their own unique way. Maddox and his band of comrades are cursed for their deed of opening Pandora’s box. All the warriors involved are forced by the Gods to be vessels of the demons they released into the world. Maddox is doubly curse, having been punished to die every night at midnight for having slaughtered Pandora while possessed by the demon of Violence. Ashlyn is plagued by voices, echoes of past conversations. It is when she encounters Maddox do the voices vanish. Neither can explain the instant attraction they hold for one another nor do they care to deny it.
Getting into the cons, the first thing I found bothersome is the amount of characters introduced. It was easy to remember them by the middle of the novel until Showalter threw another group of characters to learn about into the mix. I was mixing up characters left and right and confused by who was possessed by what demon. I was usually pleased when the story returned focus to Maddox and Ashlyn. Besides the original men and Ashlyn, there are Hunters, and the Titans, and four women the Titans want dead, a Goddess, and more Lords. It’s one hell of a party.
Another issue I found irksome is the dialogue, though it can be mostly forgiven. Maddox and his friends are ancient so their vocabulary is roughly the same. Granted, they’re well versed in Hungarian since they reside in Budapest. It’s a little weird and out of place when Maddox uses the word “beheld” while being intimate with Ashlyn. If I was her, I’d have stopped everything we were doing just to question his word choice. But, that’s just me.
Also a weird tidbit is how experienced Ashlyn is for being a socially ignorant virgin. It happens all the time in novels all across the bored, but it doesn’t make sense for a character with no real or any background in sex to be a total vixen in bed for her first time. It doesn’t stop there, either. She hasn’t had much interaction with other people due to the struggles she has with her ability, but she’s pretty damn assertive, brave, and bold when it comes to the Lords and her demands. I know characters are supposed to grow over the cours of the novel, but this is so immediate that it comes off as a contradictory description. All I’m looking for is some consistency.
Moving on to the pros, The Darkest Night is actually good. It’s a unique story line and retelling of Pandora and some Greek Mythology. I’m even interested in learning more about the other Lords and their struggle with the demons, comrades, experiences with love, and living in the modern world. While the novel kept hinting at an attraction between Reyes (keeper of Pain) and one of the four female characters introduced into the fold, I believe the next novel centers on Lucius (Death) and Anya, a goddess on the run from the Titans. Either way, I’ll be picking it up.
It goes without saying that Showalter‘s erotic scenes are tasteful page turners. I’d been suggested to read this work by her before and I’m far from disappointed. The build up for each scene is great and doesn’t leave too much to the imagination. If it’s your first time reading erotica, I’d suggest starting with a different series. If it isn’t, dive right on in. With three scenes of this stature throughout the story, it’s worth the wait for each one. Reading this, it’s quick to note that Maddox is a force to be reckoned with— out of andin the bedroom.
In the end, this is kind of a hit or miss with me. I gave the book four stars on goodread and I look forward to reading the next in line, but with the character and plot overload, I’m not exactly in a rush. The series is highly popular with many readers and about thirteen books long, so it’ll be a while before saying good bye to the Lords of the Underworld. To top it off, she’s got a total of six different series for adults and teens, LOTU being one of them. Showalter knows what she’s doing and definitely has a good thing going. In time, I look forward to reading all (or at least more of) her work.
If you’ve read it, share your thoughts and opinions. If you haven’t, let me know if you plan to pick it up!