The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. Lucien was absolutely sigh-worthy to me. So sad and lonely. And, he got his very own heroine who wouldn't give up on him. I think it took some major confidence to go after her man full throttle the way Anya did. From the beginning, I knew I would like Anya. She was the kind of heroine who knows what she wants, and is willing to work for it. Yes, she's a prankster, rather silly, in her own words, not much for telling the truth, and she can be a pain in the butt, at times. But I loved her, warts and all. I think she was just the kind of woman, the very woman, that sad, too-serious Lucien needed.
I loved how she would get him out of his funks with her flitatious dialogue, and naughty clothing. She drove him crazy with her strawberries and cream scent. It was only fair, since Lucien managed to snare a girl who was unsnareable.
I felt bad for Anya. Being the daughter of the most promiscuous goddess on Olympus, Dysnomia, couldn't have been easy. Everyone was just waiting for her to follow in her mother's footsteps. And, as the (Minor) Goddess of Anarchy, her nature did dictate that she cause chaos, although she learned to express that in lesser ways. To top off the unfortunates for Anya, she was cursed by the wife of her father, because of the fact that she is a very obvious sign of that affair with her mother, being the spitting image of him. She got a lot of bad breaks in life. But she didn't sit and mope, she kept on trucking. So, I have to say, that Anya turned out to be a favorite for me in this series (after reading the first three books). She was funny, and turned out to be quite a good asset and companion to them, despite her wise-cracks. And she's one heck of a warrior. Lucien could do worse than have a woman who completely adored him, even to the point of being willing to give up her freedom in more than one crucial way.
Now, Lucien. He's my favorite Lord so far. I doubt that will change. He's the strong, silent type, and wonderfully broody. He's actually pretty honorable, considering the murky past that the Lords have. To think he scarred himself horribly to keep women away from him after his love died when he couldn't save her. But his scars ending up being a draw to Anya, among other things. Many times, he was insecure, thinking she was just making fun of him, or using him, because of his lack of looks. His insecurity endeared him to me. I like that a hero can be the insecure one in a book. I get so tired of the men having all the power in romance novels. It was nice to see that he was the vulnerable one in some ways. Although I was glad that Anya didn't take advantage of it.
The Darkest Night was a little bit flawed as a start to the series, (definitely not as strong as this book), so I was very pleasantly surprised (although I think Gena Showalter is a very good author) how much I enjoyed this book. I had heard bad things about Anya, and I was wary, because I don't care for hardened, obnoxious heroines. However, she didn't come off to me that way. Despite her wise-cracks and her seeming self-absorption, I saw the little girl who was treated so poorly by the others on Olympus, and her yearning to feel special, and to never be under another person's thumb. I think that made her very identifiable to me. And the fact that she was so crazy about Lucien definitely endeared her to me.
This book was chock-full of sexy romance that tugged at my heart, crazy action, great world-building, and interesting characters. It totally invested me in this series. I can see myself rereading this book sooner rather than later, because I really loved Lucien and Anya as a couple. Also the secondary story with Paris really had me sympathizing with him, when I was rather turned off by him in the first book. I have to say that Ms. Showalter is really coming through with this interesting concept. This was definitely a five star read for me. And to those who have been put off by the bad impression that some readers have of Anya, I'd say give her a chance. She's actually a fun, likeable heroine, in my opinion.
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