The Darkest Pleasure (Lords of the Underworld #3)

I have a feeling I will always come for you.

The Darkest Pleasure
Gena Showalter
Lords of the Underworld, book three
ebook, 308 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Harlequin Books
ISBN 9781426818806

Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her--even defy the gods.

Danika is on the run. For months she's eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won't rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can't forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear.

For a reader who just looooooves a tortured hero, it doesn't get much better than Reyes, a warrior possessed by the demon of Pain.

Reyes and Danika first became acquainted when the gods called upon Aeron to take the lives of four human females: A grandmother, her daughter, and her daughter's daughters. Danika was the youngest of the two daughters. The Lords captured the woman and held them hostage for their own safety. Of course, that little piece of information was neither shared or explained to the woman and, once freed, they ran and hid. From the lords, and each other. Reyes found a connection to Danika from the beginning. He wanted her, needed her, but was forced to turn away lest his demon's needs taint her and the sickness of the pleasure found in pain corrupt her.

Despite getting no pleasure from the act, Reyes challenges her to a kiss when she refuses to attack him. Hoping it would be different with Dani, disappointment rises when the gentle but passionate touch of her leaves him flaccid. When she punches him thereafter, the strike instantly arousing him, Reyes is forced to confess his secret shame. And when she asks if he wants her to hurt him, he refuses that as well. For the before-mentioned reasons. The entire scene was one of the hottest first kiss moments I've read in quite a while. Having your heart go from pounding to breaking in the span of seconds is quite the ordeal.

Finally, in this book, the reason for Danika and her family's death sentence comes to light as Danika confesses, much to her own doubts, that she can see into heaven and, very likely, hell. She is the Eye.

It was the ending that soured this one and dropped it from a perfect five stars. Spoiler alert: If all it took to save Danika from Cronus was her pulling Reyes into heaven, then that's something that should have happened the moment she was torn from his arms. Absolutely nothing changed in those five days they were apart that made her any more capable of doing so then than in the beginning. Sorry, I don't buy into it being any more than word filler.

4 out of 5 stars.

Lords of the Underworld still to come...
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 & ?

Previously in this series:

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