Thursday, June 28, 2018

Review The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter

Gena's Lords of the Underworld series was my first foray into paranormal romance and fantasy and she's still keeping me reading way past my bedtime :) I thought The Darkest Warrior Rocked! 

Please see personal note at the bottom of post

ISBN-13: 9781488029325
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: 6-26-2018
Length: 384pp
The Lords of the Underworld #14
Source: Publisher/Netgalley for review
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/IndieBound/Audible


A searing Lords of the Underworld tale by New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter, featuring a beastly prince and the wife he will wage war to keep

He is ice…
Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her
She is fire
Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her…and become the warrior queen she was born to be.
Together they burn.
As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily-ever-after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?

excerpt provided by Harlequin:

Puck entered the first hotel he encountered.
In his room, he found a king size bed with a white comforter, a desk, dresser, television and coffee table. He moved everything to a single corner and waited.
He didn’t have to wait long.
The hinges on the front door shattered, wood splintering. In the center of the chaos stood William of the Dark. Puck did a quick visual survey. William held a small gold band, but had no discernable weapons. Of course, if he was anything like Puck, he didn’t need them. His body was weapon enough.
Silence stretched between them as they took each other’s measure. The red had faded from William’s irises, and the blue returned, like a morning sky set aflame.
Did eye color matter to Gillian? Did she prefer—
Stop. Her preferences had no bearing on the situation.
“Tell me where Gillian is or I’ll turn your testicles into tiny disco balls.” William spoke at a normal volume, but menace laced every word.
Still cares for her, as I knew he would. The ice around his heart threatened to crack as resentment flared, and Indifference dug sharp claws in his mind. “She is safe. That is all you need to know right now.”
One step, two, closing in… With a low, menacing war cry, William launched at Puck.
As they plummeted to the floor, William grabbed hold of Puck’s wrist and anchored the gold band around it. Not a piece of jewelry, but not a shackle, either. Whatever it was, magic pulsed from it.
Impact. Air gusted from Puck’s lungs as he absorbed the collision with the floor and the warrior.
Fast as lightning, William rose to his knees and whaled. Punch, punch, punch. Puck’s brain rattled against skull, sharp pains shooting through his temples. As rage began to burn through him, Indifference clawing his mind harder, faster, he blocked the next blow.
Steady. Exercise strict control. Though the demon no longer had the power to weaken him physically, emotion could prove a deadly distraction.
“Think this through,” Puck said, catching his fist. “You can’t hurt me without hurting Gillian.”
“Wrong.” William smiled for the first time, a cold, calculating smile without any hint of amusement. “Did you think I’d do nothing but twiddle my thumbs after you bonded to her? Oh, no. I learned everything I could about you, as well as bonds. You were betrayed by your brother, your kingdom stolen. Ringing any bells? Oh, and I made you a gift.” He motioned to the gold wrist cuff with a tilt of his chin.
Symbols had been carved into the metal. “Magic?” Puck asked.
“What you call magic, I call power. As the son of Hades, I have power—in spades. Now, your pain will remain your own. And I know what you’re thinking. Wow, that Willy sure is the total package. Well, you’re right, but you’re still going to die. I cannot be beaten.”
Puck offered a cold smile of his own. “Despite your power, you cannot sever my bond to Gillian. It’s alive and well, deep inside me, still tying my life to hers, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Fury exploded inside those ocean water blues as William wrenched free of Puck’s hold. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to kill you, Pucker. Oh, no. You’re going to suffer for centuries.”
Puck withstood the newest round of hammering fists in order to work his legs between their bodies, grab the male by the waist and toss him overhead. Man met plaster. The entire wall cracked from ceiling to floor, bits and pieces raining down. Dust plumed the air.
Puck jumped to his feet, warm blood dripping from his mouth. “Here’s what is going to happen. You’re going to raise an army and help me dethrone my brother and reclaim my kingdom. Afterward, I will use the shears of Ananke to sever my bond to Gillian. She will be free of me, once and for all.” And I will not miss her every day of my life.
“I don’t need an army. I am an army.” Teeth bared, William stood and popped the bones in his neck. “Where is she? Did you bed her?”
“I have not.” He told himself to shut up, and say no more. But his lips parted and a single word escaped, “Yet.”
William took another menacing step forward. “How about this? I’ll steal the shears and sever the bond myself. Then I’ll sever your twig and berries, and stuff the little trio down your throat. As an appetizer. Then, after all those centuries of suffering I mentioned, where I feed you different parts of yourself, I might grow sick and tired of hearing you scream and beg for mercy, so finally I’ll consider killing you. ThenI’ll conquer your kingdom, just for grins and giggles.”
Yawn. “Trust me when I say you won’t find the shears without me.” He’d taken extreme precautions in order to hide them. “So how about this? You agree to help me right now, or I’ll return and bed her for the first time. And second… third.”
He expected another explosion from William.
Instead, the male arched a dark brow and raked his gaze over Puck from head to toe. “Are you sure she’ll welcome you? Nice legs. Shave much?”
A growl rumbled low in his chest. “Why would I shave, when my wife loves to rub against me, and use me for warmth?”
Nostrils flared, William circled him. “Do you have a pedigree? Nah. You’re a mutt, guaranteed. Do you keep your hooves off the bed or do you not care about dirtying the sheets?”
Head high. Shoulders back.
“Very well. I’ll mark this plan as unsuccessful and move on,” Puck said. He would return to Amaranthia and proceed without William. He moved toward the door, steps harried.
“What? No goodbye?” William asked, stepping in his path. “Perhaps I’ll raise an army, after all, and help your brother defeat you.”
“Perhaps I’ll kill you.” Gillian would cry, but tears could be dried.
William laughed, the sound half wild. “You want her, don’t you, and think she wants you back? Well, too bad. You’ll never have her. Bonds make couples think they desire each other, but you will always know her desire is forced. After all, what woman in her right mind would ever desire someone like you? Those horns…” He shuddered.
“Your mother loved my horns last night. Polished them up real nice.”
Another wild laugh from William before he sobered and glared. “You think I wouldn’t find out I’m the key to your success? I don’t know why, I don’t know how, I only know you can’t dethrone your brother without me. So, if you want Sin out of the way, you will swear an unbreakable blood oath to cut your tie to Gillian as soon as I present you with the Connacht crown.”
This was it. The moment Puck had been waiting for. The moment he’d schemed and fought for. He had only to agree.
He opened his mouth and, with a surprising amount of bite, said, “I’ll agree to your terms, if you’ll agree to mine. While we are in my home-realm, you will not touch Gillian.” The statement registered in his mind, and he jolted. What he didn’t do? Negate his demand.
“I’ll touch her when and where I please,” William snapped.
Puck unveiled another cold smile—a promise of pain. “Then we do not have a deal.”
“Please. You won’t walk away from vengeance against Sin. You won’t abandon your people to a life of fear and torment.”
“I can. I will. You forget who I am.” He turned on his heel with every intention of walking away. Sometimes he despised Indifference; other times, he reveled in his ability to simply stop caring.
Today, he reveled. Ice, baby, ice.
“Fine,” William snapped. “I’ve waited this long, and I can wait a little longer. I won’t attempt to seduce her. If she attempts to seduce me, however…”
Teeth, grinding. Hands, fisting.
Feel nothing, want nothing.
Puck raised his chin. “I accept your terms.”
“When this is done,” William continued, “you will use those shears.” He reached out his hand to seal the deal.
Puck clasped it. “The day we defeat Sin… the day you give the Connacht crown to me and leave Amaranthia, never to return, never to strike out at me or my realm or my people in retaliation for deeds I committed… that is the day I use the shears of Ananke to sever my bond with Gillian Connacht—Shaw. This I vow.”
There. It was done. His course had been set, his future decided.
Any other man would have experienced triumph. Puck was confused by the hollow sensation in his chest.
William stared at him, silent, before nodding. “Now let’s go dethrone Sin and win back your kingdom.”
Copyright © 2018 by Gena Showalter

My Review:

The Darkest Warrior
Gena Showalter
The Darkest Warrior #14 in Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series is a bit of a shocker, but refreshing. The love story of Puck the Satyr-like keeper of the demon Indifference and Gillian Shaw the girl William the Dark, adopted son of Hades rescued and who most fans thought would end up with, so readers get a love triangle too. The author’s putting Puck and Gillian together is understandably upsetting for some fans but give them a chance because they ROCK as a couple and watching Gillian mature from a frightened former abused tragic figure to a fierce, take-no-prisoners warrior woman is fantastic and there is no Lord more honorable than Puck plus their story is amazing so give them a chance to grow on you. The storyline closely follows the previous installment in the series but long time fans can skip around a bit without losing too much information, but newbies need to start from book one. It’s unexpected and un-put-downable and if readers will give them a chance they’ll see they really are the perfect match. Besides author bashing is not cool

Puck the keeper of the demon Indifference needs a wife, to fulfill a prophecy to regain the throne of Amaranthia and overthrow his brother who centuries ago betrayed him and forced him to a hellish eternity. Not any bride will do, he must have the woman/girl belonging to William the Dark but she must come to him willingly. He’ll need to learn to taper his surprisingly intense desire for her or she’ll bolt before the prophecy is fulfilled. Gillian Shaw was ready to celebrate her eighteenth birthday by seducing the immortal man who saved her from her abusive stepfather and stepbrothers, the man she loves with all her heart but still finds intimacy torturous. Instead she finds herself tossed down the rabbit hole with a half man half beast immortal demon-keeper who claims her for his wife. Strangely enough she’s not afraid of him, but there’s definitely others out there that she should fear.

For a full list of the Lords go HERE

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Meeg Gena:Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.
Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”. 

I have noticed a disturbing amount of author bashing with this novel and that is so not cool. Authors put their heart and soul into their work and keeping fans on their toes with a bit of unpredictability is actually a good thing and if you truly didn't like the novel there are ways to say that without being hateful.

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