Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Showcase - The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter

The Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter is another of my favorite paranormal romance series and one that I need to catch up on. I'm excited to showcase #13 in the series, The Darkest Promise.
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: 06-13-2017
Length: 432pp
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/IndiieBound/Audible

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Lords of the Underworld story about an iron-willed sovereign and the somber beauty who melts him with a glance...
Possessed by the demon of Misery, Cameo isn’t allowed to experience joy. If she dares, her memory is wiped clean. With no other recourse, she sneaks into a land more fantastical than any fairytale, determined to find the one man with the key to her redemption. 
Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual rules his kingdom with unwavering focus: to build his army and annihilate his enemies. Nothing distracts him—until Cameo. He is relentless in his quest to make her smile...and seduce her into his bed.
As dark forces conspire against them, threatening to destroy the fragile bond they've forged, the once-calm Lazarus grows crazed. Every heart-stopping kiss and wicked touch causes Cameo to teeter on the brink of happiness. But if she falls, she risks forgetting him forever… 

Excerpt courtesy of Harlequin––

Cameo’s heart thundered against her ribs as Lazarus led her into the bedroom. She stopped short, dumb­founded.
Damn him. He’d planned ahead.
Servants were lighting candles here, there, everywhere. A small, round table had been brought into the room and covered with dishes. The scent of sweet meats and candied treats teased her, and her mouth watered.
Misery had curtailed her appetite for years, and yet her stom­ach rumbled, a sign of hunger she wasn’t used to feeling. Usu­ally, when she spent time away from her friends, she had to set an alert on her phone to let her know mealtime arrived.
Never breach my resolve? I’m an idiot.
“You are not an—” Lazarus began.
Erecting a mental shield, she pressed a finger against his lips.
“If you respond to my thoughts one more time, I’ll insist on eating alone.”
He nipped at her fingertip, his straight white teeth sinking into her tender flesh. She barely noticed the sting…but gasped as he licked the same spot, her cells buzzing. Languid heat con­sumed her.
“Out,” he barked, never looking away from her.
The servants dashed from the room. The males wore T-shirts and jeans while the females wore cashmere sweaters and light­weight pants. I call foul! Lazarus only dressed his pretties scantily while everyone else got to wear whatever the hell they wanted?
“You are no longer in charge of my wardrobe,” Cameo in­formed him. “Sexable women aren’t your personal Barbie dolls. Some of us prefer to wear something other than sequined ban­dages.”
“A simple thank you would suffice. And I like the word sex­able. You offering?”
“What! No!” Right?
With a smirk, Lazarus snaked an arm around her waist and led her to the table. He pulled out her chair, ever the gentle­man. “Please, have a seat on the quitter bench.”
Muscles contracted at both corners of her mouth as if…as if… Nope. The sensation eased, and disappointment flared. Sigh­ing, she sat down.
He eased into the chair across from hers, light and shadows flickering over his rugged features. Taking turns caressing him? Lucky lights. Lucky shadows.
He smiled as he filled her plate with flaky crab meat in a but­ter cream sauce, mixed vegetables steamed to perfection, and a casserole that smelled suspiciously like…
“Doritos?” she asked.
“At the Harpy Games, you ate a bag of the cheese-flavored chips while cheering for your friend, so I had a special dish prepared.” He hiked a shoulder in a casual shrug. “One of the newly deceased members of my staff had a recipe.” His dark eyes twinkled at her. “Are you impressed?”
She sooo did not want to admit the truth, but unlike Gideon, the keeper of Lies, deceit wasn’t her thing and it would only fuel Misery’s power over her. “Yes,” she grumbled, and toasted him with her glass of wine. “I am.”
He’d noticed her before she’d even met him. How sweet was that?
She toasted him with a glass of red wine and added, “Here’s hoping you disappoint me the rest of the evening.”
“Alas. Your hopes are for naught. Disappointment is a feat I’ve never managed.”
“I’m sure,” she grumbled.
“You sound jealous. Are you jealous?”
“You sound hopeful. Are you hopeful?”
His husky chuckle proved headier than the cabernet. “For dessert, we’re having chocolate cake. I’m told mortals think this one is better than sex.”
Hmm, chocolate. Despite her lack of appetite, she sometimes craved chocolate as if it were the only path to happiness. “Well. Meet your competition. I’m tempted to spend the night with the cake.”
“In that case…” He lifted a round lid, revealing the choco­late cake in question. With his free hand, he stabbed his knife into the center. “Unfortunately, this cake has been murdered.”
She snickered—no, Misery swallowed the sound before it had a chance to escape, leaving her deflated.
“When first I arrived in your realm,” she said, jumping from pleasure to business for the sake of her sanity, “a man noticed I’m living rather than dead. How?”
He rolled with the punches, not missing a beat. “When a liv­ing being passes through the Paring Rod, their body becomes a type of suit. It’s there, the dead can see it, but the spirit shim­mers through it.”
Interesting. “How many living—”
“Nope. My turn to ask a question.” He leaned back in his seat and regarded her intently. “You’ve mentioned your desire to find Pandora’s box. What are your plans for it?”
“I’m…undecided,” she admitted. No option struck her as “the one.”
She could destroy the box and sentence herself to an eternity with Misery and without hope. She could open the box and re­move Misery, but she would kill herself and all of her friends.
Rumors stated anyone demon possessed would die when the box was opened, the demons sucked out of their bodies. Because evil had become an organ over the centuries. A cancerous but necessary organ. Without it, a gaping wound remained. She and the others would hemorrhage.
Kane, the former keeper of Disaster, had proved the demon possessed could survive the wound…if love replaced the evil. A transplant, of sorts.
Love conquered all.
But who could love a woman like Cameo?
“I’m surprised you haven’t worked up a disposal plan.” Laza­rus glared at her. “The box can be used as a weapon against you and everyone you love.”
How to explain her selfish desire to be rid of Misery with­out coming across as, well, selfish? “Keeley, the girlfriend of Torin—”
“The keeper of Disease, whom you used to date. Yes.” He gave a clipped nod. “I know of them both.”
Was he jealous? No, no. He couldn’t be. No man had ever envied another’s affiliation with her. Especially a man who only wanted one night in her bed, planning to bail in the morning.
Only because he can’t tolerate another minute in your presence…
Only. Stupid demon!
“Continue,” Lazarus said through gritted teeth.
“Yes,” she said. “I dated him. We didn’t last long, and he’s now with the love of his life. Anyway. She’s the most powerful immortal I’ve ever known. More powerful than you, I’d bet.”
“I wouldn’t put money on that. You haven’t seen me in ac­tion.”
Shivers as delicious as his touch, heat burning through her veins. In battle, he would be a magnificent sight, his sword in hand, the blood of his enemies splattered over his skin.
“Anyway,” she said with a sigh. “Keeley told me there’s an­other being inside the box.”
Lazarus drained his wine and nodded. “Yes. The Morning Star.”
Eyes widening, she dropped her fork. “What do you know?” Keeley claimed the Morning Star could provide a lifeline for every Lord. A type of Hail Mary.
Lazarus buffed his nails, doing a poor job of hiding his smug grin. “Would you like to buy the information from me?”
With her body? “You think I’ll be okay with whoring for you?”
“Of course,” he said, unrepentant. “Role-playing is fun.”
Dirty-minded bastard. Why was he sexier right now? “No? I mean, no.” If he knew about the Morning Star, others knew. Cameo could ask around. “Now it’s my turn. Why do you plan to marry a woman you may not love?”
He pretended to stab himself in the heart. “Way to kill the mood.”
“I plan to marry a woman I do not love because her army will merge with mine, and together we will mete out vengeance when my enemies enter the realm of the dead.”
“Vengeance matters more than pleasure?”
He could have insisted on taking his turn but, over the can­dlelight, he reflected her somberness back at her. “For me, vengeance is the ultimate pleasure.” The hardness of his tone transformed the words into a vow.
One she had best heed.

Series List in order
The Darkest Facts
The Darkest Fire
The Darkest Night
The Darkest Kiss
The Darkest Pleasure
The Darkest Prison
The Darkest Whisper
Heart of Darkness
The Darkest Angel
After Dark
The Darkest Passion
The Darkest Lie
The Darkest Secret
The Darkest Surrender
The Darkest Seduction
The Darkest Craving
The Darkest Touch
The Darkest Torment
Plus enjoy her spin off Series Angels of the Dark

Connect with Gena - Website - Facebook - Twitter
Meet Gena:
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

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  1. Great excerpt. Thank's for sharing.

  2. Fun excerpt...imagine someone reading your thoughts.

    1. this is another one of my favorite series that got put on the back burner, time to get them front and center

  3. I love this author's books so much. I put this one in my wish list the other day.

  4. I think I'm behind two books on this series. I love the humor she puts in and the exciting situations. I've always liked Cameo so maybe I'll skip so I can get her story.

    1. I think I'm a little farther behind than you are Sophia Rose ;-)

  5. This looks interesting! Thanks for sharing.

    #getsocial17. (late...)

  6. Gah. I'm SO behind on her books it's not even funny!