Title: The Darkest Surrender
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
*If you have not read the Lord of the Underworld series this may contain spoilers*
Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor’s edge of surrender.Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can’t afford because he has an agenda of his own-steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter-the love neither had thought possible…
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I don’t know how Gena does it, but these books just keep getting better and better as we go. I was not sure I would like Stider’s story, but I was happily surprised. Plus we get sneak peeks at what is going on with Paris and he is the Lord whose story I am dying to read! But, Strider’s story did need to come first and I loved both him and his heroine, Kaia.
The idea of Strider and Kaia hooking up has been alluded to in previous books, but the fact that Paris has slept with Kaia was something Strider was having a hard time getting over. Kaia was not willing to go down without a fight though, and was always trying to wiggle her way into his heart.
At this point in the books, many of the Lords are out on other missions, including the honorary Lord, William, who is out for revenge on Gilly’s parents and Kane, keeper of disaster, who had an extremely interesting run in with the fates. I cannot believe what they revealed to him and am dying to know how his story will be affecting everyone’s lives from now on! As for Strider, he has agreed to help Paris track down Sienna. He is all set to go with Paris when he is persuaded to accompany Kaia to the harpy games as her consort. He has not fully agreed to the position, but does not want to see her hurt, so he agrees to go to help her however he can.
My absolute favorite part of any of the Lords of the Underworld books is the relationships that are formed and the humor that is a result of that. I can’t even count how many times I was laughing out loud at the sarcastic comments that were flying back and forth between the Lords, their significant others and basically anyone they encountered. I always love reading these books knowing that the story will be amazing, but they will always make me laugh along with the characters constantly.
As for the romance, poor Strider is having a really hard time dealing with the whole Paris/Kaia thing and tries to keep her at a distance because of this. Kaia on the other hand, knows that Strider is her consort and is pulling out all the stops trying to get him to fall for her. One of my favorite little ploys of hers happens when they are getting ready to go out for a night; here is a little peek at it from the book:
“Strider’s pupils did that expanding thing, almost always a prelude to touching. “You need to put on a pair of pants.” His voice was a croak. And he did not move toward her.
This was one of those times when “almost” sucked the big one. “Duh. As if I’d go out like this. I’ve got a pair…right…” She looked around. “There.” She stalked to the nightstand and lifted the “pants” in question. A scrap of red lace spandex that wouldn’t fall below her dress.
With a quick step, step, tug, she shimmied into the material and once again faced off with her consort.
His mouth hung open. “We were just sitting on the bed, together, and you were just drinking from me, your mouth on my skin, and you didn’t have any panties on?”
“You mean you didn’t look?” she said with a pout. No wonder he’d left her so easily.
“No. I wouldn’t let myself.”
“Damn it, Kaia,” he said, ignoring her. “You can’t just go around pantiless.”
“Which is why I just pulled on a pair. Were you not watching?”
His eyes narrowed to tiny slits. “You said pants. That you were putting on a pair of pants.”
Seriously? Harpies are just awesome! I don’t know how Strider holds out so long, because Kaia is hilarious and knows how to fight dirty. When he does finally give into his feelings though, he does not let doubt creep in there or turn away from Kaia. He is an all or nothing kind of guy and I appreciated that once the two of them realized how important they were to each other there was no petty fighting or one leaving the other for no reason.
I also enjoyed learning more about the harpy games. I knew they were vicious, but geez, when they fight they are dirty, ruthless and there is a whole lot of blood and body parts flying around. It was a no holds barred match every time they challenged each other, but even in those situations the boys could find something to laugh about. Another favorite scene was Strider, Lysander and Sabin up in the bleachers watching their girls fight it out. I am not going to put that scene in here, but when you read the book, keep your eyes peeled for it because it is hysterical!
There were serious moments laced throughout the plot and understanding Kaia’s past was a big part of this. She may play the overconfident role well, but inside she is always second guessing herself and feels the need to prove herself constantly. She has good reason too; her mother was not exactly supportive of her throughout her life. Kaia has always felt she was doomed to live in her mother’s shadow and never live up to her expectations. I was happy Gena gave us a chance to see this side of Kaia and it only endeared her to me more.
Overall this is just another amazing addition to this series. The Lords of the Underworld will always have a soft spot in my heart. They don’t always fight fair, they find humor in everything and they love with all their hearts. They are fantastic and complex characters that Gena has done a brilliant job of bringing to life. If you have not found this series, then now is the time! Especially since Paris’s story is next, YAY!