The Darkest Touch
(Lords of the Underworld, #11)
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
My rating: 5 of 5
(Book read on November 16th-30th, 2014, from the review copy received from the publisher for the blog tour, in exchange of an honest review.)
From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes the long-awaited story of Torin, the most dangerous Lord of the Underworld yet…
Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death — and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.
She is Keeleycael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought — and the only battle he fears he can’t win.
My Thoughts on the Book:
I know I've said this before, but Gena Showalter is my most favorite author of paranormal romance. And once again, she's done it again. She managed to surprise me, and excite me, and entertain me, and make me fall in love with all of these characters & their world all over again! I mean - I wouldn't want to live in it - but I absolutely love reading about it & its characters!She gave Torin (one of my most favorite of the Lords of the Underworld - and the one my heart was breaking the most for) the perfect story & the perfect heroine, and I absolutely adored every second of it! Probably the best Lords of the Underworld novel. It's up there at the top with Paris & Sienna's story, can't decide which one is more awesome - The Darkest Touch or The Darkest Seduction. Anyway, both books were worth waiting for.The Darkest Touch picks up Torin's story right where it stopped in the previous book (though you don't have to have read it, I think you'll figure out what's happening quite easily), Torin trying to save Mari's life. From the beginning till the very end, I found the story to be quite heartbreaking, yet exhilarating, entertaining, charming, amusing, laugh-out-loud funny, sweet, lovable, action-packed & oh, so sexy!I loved Torin as a character before, but now, I love him even more. Everything he had to do to protect those he loved from himself, and all the guilt he feels when he slipps, so heartbreaking. So, yes, I was happy when he met his match.And then there's his match - probably the most bad-ass heroine in any fictional world - Keeleycael. The Red Queen. (And no, she has nothing to do with Wonderland). I loved her as a character. She can be terrifying, and so funny, and amusing, and bad-ass, and after everything she has been through - I can understand the way she acts. And she's full of awesomeness.And when you put these two together - you get quite an explosive match! I loved their interactions - from their conversations, to the oh, so sexy times - everything was perfect. I mean, they were perfect for each other. They were funny, but also jealous & protective, and so sweet & charming, and I had quite the fun ride reading about the progression of their relationship. There wasn't anything over-the-top, it was all just perfect.I also enjoyed the new expansion of the world & the possible out for all the Lords, so I wonder if Gena will give it to them, or not. And I enjoyed learning more about Keeley's species, as well as meeting Hades & Lucifer. I kinda like Hades as a character, he's an interesting one, and I'd love to see Lucifer get what he deserves, though I wonder if that will happen in the spin-off Angels of the Dark, especially after the tidbit that was mentioned in this book. Also, poor Cameo, I can't wait for her to get her happily every after, because she definitely deserves it.Another thing I must mention, I loved seeing all the Lords & Co again, as well as the kids. It was hilarious, and so awesome, and I loved every second of it. And the Anya & Keeley interactions - just precious, and so, so funny! I loved it so much!If you look for a paranormal romance that's extremely hot, it's set in a fascinating world, with bad-ass hero & heroine with sizzling chemistry, that you won't be able to stop yourself from falling in love with them, then The Darkest Touch is the book for you, and I can't recommend it enough! Also, I highly recommend the Lords of the Underworld series itself, and Gena Showalter's books! She's one amazing author, and I'll never get enough of her books, no matter of they're adult or YA, they're awesome!
Gena Showalter's Bio:
Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen
magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.
They would be a couple, she decided. Touch— pleasure—had been denied her for far too long. A fact his presence had never allowed her to forget. He’d had other girlfriends so he knew how to handle a romantic relationship. They could do this, could make this work. And they would be vigilant, cautious, never courting danger.All she had to do was get him to agree.There was no better time to try. “I’m dirty,” she an- nounced. “Absolutely filthy, and I’m going to take a bath.”“Good for you.” So mocking.So unaware of his coming fall.“Be a dear and help me remove my dress,” she said. A strangled sound left him. “It has no ties, no zipper.You tug it on and off.”“Well, good news, then. As strong as you are, you shouldn’t have any problems.”His gaze swept over her and heated. He licked his lips, as if he could already taste her. “What game are you playing, princess?”“Does it matter?”“Yes. And why the hell are you looking at me like that?”“Like what?”“Like I’m a hero. I’m not a hero. I’m a villain.”Did he not realize that only made her want him more? “Well, be a good little villain and help me out of my dress.”“No.” His tone dovetailed into guttural as he added, “I’m not going near you.”He’s definitely tempted. How thin was his control? “Very well. I’ll near you.” Hips swaying, she closedthe distance between them. She reached out.He jerked away only to return—closer.She wrapped her fingers around his wrists and guided his hands to her hips.He resisted. At first.“Relax, warrior. We’re protected by our clothes.”His fingers clenched around her and held on tight. Did he think she would float away like a forgotten balloon?“What’s…next?” he gritted.Not exactly surrender, but close enough.She leaned forward, careful as her breath fanned over his ear. “All you need to do is feel good.”“I can do that.” He tugged her against him. Suddenly they were f lush, the softest parts of her cradling the hard- est parts of him. A growl rose from low in his chest as if, in this stolen moment, he’d regressed into little more than an animal. “I’m doing it right now.”The pleasure…thoughts of being careful evaporated like mist. “Would you like to do more?”“More. Yes.” His lips parted as he fought for breath. Eyes glazing with a wildness she’d never seen from any- one other than condemned prisoners, he squeezed her hard enough to bruise. “I’m going to take more, and you’re going to like it.”
She appeared in front of him, displaying more tanned skin than she concealed, her hair falling around her face in lush, golden waves. Her eyes glittered with remnants of her anger. Her lips were slightly swollen and pinker than usual.“Temper much?” she quipped.His relief was palpable. She hadn’t forgotten him! But the relief was quickly replaced by concern. “Are you all right? Did someone hit you?”She blinked with confusion. “No. Why?” “Your lips are swollen.”She rubbed them, color heating her cheeks. “Someone didn’t hit me, but someone sure did hit on me.”Hit on her. As in kissed her.Already on edge, Torin. Utterly. Erupted.He forgot everything he’d planned to do and say and got in Keeley’s face, snarling, “Who was it?”Her eyes widened. “Hades. Why?”“You dare ask why? You belong to me! We agreed. You do not kiss other men, Keeley. Ever. Have you for- gotten my rules?”Her jaw dropped, and she gasped out a few unintelligible words as if she couldn’t quite figure out what to say to him.He stood in place, breathing too quickly, too heavily, his throat and lungs burning. He reached for her, but as so many times before, fisted his hands and dropped them just before contact. This is crazy. I’m crazy. I have to leave.“Are you…thinking about touching me?” she asked, her eyes widening again.No, she had to leave. He could not be in public right now. “Go shopping. Buy yourself something pretty. My treat.” He basically tossed his credit card at her. He should be calm by the time she finished. “Come back in an hour. Maybe two. Actually, we’ll reconvene to- morrow.”“You are,” she said. “You’re thinking… Even craving me. You don’t like the thought of another man’s hands on me, and you want to replace the memory with your hands.”That. Yes. Hades would die, and Torin…Torin would touch this woman and never stop.He gnashed his molars. “Last chance, Keeley. I sug- gest you take it and leave.” Soon. His control was almost completely shredded.“No way. You’re the big bad warrior, yet I’ve had to come on to you time and time again. I’ve had to battle within myself—worth the price or not worth it. Well, it’s your turn.”“There is no damn way you just suggested I haven’t done the same. I’ve battled.”“When have you ever caved without prompting from me? You’ve resisted me so easily, always walking away. Sure, you’ve snarled while you’ve done the walking,but still you left me behind. So, tell me. When did you ever—”“So easily?” he roared. Had she just said so easily? She had no clue about the intensity of his need—but he would teach her better.Torin cupped her by the nape, yanked her close and smashed his mouth against hers. The kiss was a brutal assault meant to silence her, to dominate and possess. He held her still, making her take it, take everything. But the moment she softened against him, welcomed him inside her mouth, the darkness churning inside him switched gears. From the need to punish and master to the need to seduce and please.This was Keeley. His princess. She deserved his best. He gentled the pressure, rolling his tongue inside her mouth, learning her all over again, tasting her. Summer berries and melted honey. So sweet. And mine. All mine. He framed her cheeks, angled her head and rolled his tongue just a little deeper. This time, she met him witha roll of her own.That was his undoing.