The Darkest Night
Lords of the Underworld, book one
ebook, 281 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Harlequin Books
First published 2008
Long ago, twelve immortals warriors – each more dangerously seductive than the last -- stole and opened Pandora’s box, unleashing the evil from within. Now they carry that evil within themselves. Violence, Pain, Death, Disease, Disaster, Misery, Doubt, Promiscuity, Defeat, Lies, Secrets, and Wrath. When a powerful enemy returns, they will travel the world in search of a sacred relic of the gods – one that threatens to destroy them all.
His powers - Inhuman...
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.
Centuries ago, the gods entrusted Pandora with guarding dimOuinak, a sacred box that contained the worst of Hell's demons. This act, this choice, was a slap to the face of the twelve warriors that had served the Greek gods so faithfully. In retaliation for the slight, Maddox, along with Torin, Lucien, Reyes, Aeron, Paris, and six of their sword-brethren stole the box and foolishly released the spirits. Having lost the box amidst the chaos, the warriors were left with no way of recapturing the demons. And thus, the king of the gods cursed the warriors for their actions, dooming them to house, and eventually bond with, one of those very demons.
Maddox was bestowed with Violence. One of his first actions, compelled by it, was the killing of Pandora in which he stabbed the woman six times with his blade to her belly. It is a death he is further cursed to endure himself every night at midnight by the hands of Reyes and Lucien.
Torin was given Disease. He can touch no living thing, skin to skin, without spreading a plague among the people. A plague that ultimately ends in death. It's been four hundred years since he last touched a woman. Needless to say, it did not end well.
Reyes endures Pain. He is driven to constantly inflict pain upon himself. Mostly by cutting.
Lucien is Death. He smells, ironically, of roses.
Aeron is Wrath. He is drawn by the guilty and carries out justice by taking their lives. It thrills him, to say the least.
Paris is both blessed and cursed with Promiscuity. He has a hyperactive sex drive and yet, can never be with the same woman more than once.
Ashlyn is a human with her own curse to deal with. She hears voices left from conversations of the past. Residual whispers that still hover on the wind. And some of those whispers have given her the knowledge that there are men living in a Budapest tower that never age and possess great powers. Following the whim, Ashlyn seeks them out, hoping such power could free her of her torment.
Lost and freezing, Ashlyn approaches the warrior's sanctuary where Maddox suspects her presence to be a harbinger of a threat. She finds, astonishingly, that close proximity quiets the voices to the point of nonexistence. And so, finding silence for the first time in twenty-four years, she clings to him and defies him to leave her.
Unbeknownst to herself, Ashlyn is the bait that the Lords suspect her to be, as she leads the Hunters directly to them. And with the Titans taking over, it isn't the Greek gods the Lords are left to fear anymore.
At about sixty percent of the book, the remaining Lords finally make their appearance: Sabin, Cameo, Amun, Gideon, Strider, and Kane. This half of the group split from the pack after Baden's trickery and subsequent death. While Maddox and the others just wanted peace, calling it even between the destruction suffered on both sides between the Lords and the Hunters, Sabin and his men sought vengeance on all Hunters as a whole and proceeded into a quest to eradicate the world of their existence. As the Hunters seek out Pandora's box with the goal of capturing the demons, thus killing the Lords, the two groups reunite with the sole aim to survive their common enemy.
Sabin is Doubt. He can speak no lie and has telepathic powers to inflict doubt upon a person's mind.
Cameo, the sole female of the clan, is Misery. Constantly depressed, the others balance waiting for her to kill herself with saving her the trouble and doing the deed on their own.
Amun is keeper, and seeker, of Secrets. Being in close contact with someone enables him to divine their deepest held secrets.
Gideon holds Lies. Opposite of Sabin, Gideon cannot speak the truth without suffering severe agony. Conversations with him are nothing less than interesting.
Strider suffers Defeat. He must win, at all costs, and is compelled to keep going until successful.
And Kane is Disaster. The most entertaining of the men, anything bad that can happen will happen to Kane. Mostly this involves things falling apart and landing on him.
My favorites of the men would be: Reyes and Torin... Gideon... and Kane. And meeting Anya near the end, as she helped put everything to rights with Ashlyn, Maddox, Reyes, and Lucien, left me oh so tempted to dive into book two. I had to fight it, but I was so close to giving in.
Lords of the Underworld
2: Lucien & Anya (goddess of Anarchy)
3: Reyes & Danika (human with questionable bloodline)
4: Sabin & Gwen (immortal)
5: Aeron & Olivia (angel turned demon)
6: Gideon & Scarlet (demon possessed immortal)
7: Amun & Haidee (demon assassin)
8: Strider & Kaia (harpy)
9: Paris & Sienna (possessed by Wrath)
10: Kane & Josephina (half-Fae)
11: Torin & Keeley (the Red Queen)
12: Cameo & ?
4 out of 5 stars.