The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Although this series had a shaky start, I am really loving it. Heck, I'm a sucker for Greek mythology, so that helps. Throw in a tortured hero, and the battle's practically won. But, really, these are good stories, and I could tell that Gena Showalter is finding her groove. This series is much darker than her Atlantis series, and quite violent. But then, it's about Immortal, demon-possessed warriors. Comes with the territory. These books are also very steamy. Not too steamy, though.
Reyes was very tortured. I mean, what a curse! To have to hurt oneself to feel pleasure, or to maintain one's sanity. In a way, it was almost sickening for me, to see him carving himself with knives and hurting himself, relishing being horribly wounded by others. There was a bit of an ick factor there for me. Having said that, I was okay reading this story. I think that this was an iffy story, but the execution was well-done. I'm so not into that painful/pleasurable sex storyline, but I kept reading. I was glad that Ms. Showalter managed to keep most of that out of the sex scenes. Otherwise, oh, I would have been way out of comfort zones.
I loved how tender Reyes was with Danika, even when I didn't think she deserved his devotion. I tried really hard not to judge Danika, knowing that she was just being a human who was in a rough situation. But, I thought I would hate her forever when she started working with the Hunters. I was crying, "No. That's so wrong." In my mind, it was. The Lords didn't hurt her at all. They let her family go and protected her. Yes, Aeron was off his rocker, but it was clear that they were going to do their best to protect her and her family. So, I was on the edge of hating poor Danika. It was a see-saw with me. I was glad that Reyes was aware that she was considering betraying him. With his eyes open, I felt better about his willingness to show her such loving, selfless devotion. A girl can only be so lucky. In the end, I was okay with Danika, although I much prefer Anya and Ashlyn. Reyes loves her so much, I can't hate the girl, after all. And, I ended up liking the reveal when it came to what Danika truly was.
This series is building nicely. I am eager to read about the other Lords' stories. My heart goes out to poor Paris. I hope he is able to get a happy ending. It was great seeing Lucien and Anya, and Maddox and Ashlyn in their gushy lovey-dovey-ness. I loved all the smart alecky comments and sarcastic quips from the gang, as well. Anya makes me laugh, her and William. Lucien is sigh-worthy. I just love him. Gideon cracks me up with his lies! Sabin made me want to slap him in some scenes, and feel very sad for him in others. I hope she writes a story for poor Cameo. Maybe there will be a man who can love her despite the misery she inspires in those who hear her voice and see her face. The Hunters got on my ever-living nerves. Initially, I didn't like them as the main villains at all. But it turned out to be a solid source of intrigue, especially with the developments with a former Lord. I liked that Ms. Showalter took the Greek mythology and took it in a novel direction by focusing on the Titans.
Honestly, this would have been five stars, were it not for my intermittent dislike of Danika. Otherwise, it was an enthralling read that I found hard to put down. After this one, I'll take a break and read something else, so I don't run out of these books. But, I'm excited to continue this series.
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