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The Darkest Night [Paperback]

Gena Showalter
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 18 2009 Lords of the Underworld
His powers—inhuman

His passion—beyond immortal…

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member—a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger that calms their torments…and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction—and a soul-shattering test of love….

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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""A fascinating premise, a sexy hero and non-stop action, The Darkest Night is Showalter at her finest."

-New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning

"The Darkest Surrender is another sure-to-please hit...Gena Showalter knows how to keep readers glued to the pages and smiling the whole time."

-New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian

"The Showalter name on a book means guaranteed entertainment."

-RT Book Reviews on Twice as Hot

"A world of myth, mayhem and love under the sea!"

-#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward on The Nymph King --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld series and more than thirty other books. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Visit her at --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YUMMY, LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD Sept. 27 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a fan of paranormal romance and in particular JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood my searches for what to read next kept taking me to this series. That's not to say the two are comparable, because they aren't. But if you like continuing story arcs with multiple character POV's, sexy, sexy love scenes, the occasional bloody fight and tortured yet strong alpha males who become kittens once they meet their prospective mates then you might like this too.

The premise for Gena Showalter's world is quite elaborate. Centuries ago a group of immortal warriors released the demons from Pandora's Box. (Yes the Pandora's Box) As punishment the Greek gods cursed the warriors, forcing each to act as host to one of the demons, sort of like a duo personality. Maddox, this books hero is the keeper of violence and because he was unable to control his demon in the beginning and killed Pandora. (Yes the Pandora) Maddox was additionally cursed to die each night at the hands of his fellow warriors, burning in the pits of hell until morning (which can`t be fun) The Lords of the underworld now live in a secluded castle in Budapest, each struggling to coexist with their own personal demon. The other warriors possess things like disease, wrath, death, pain, doubt, promiscuity, lies, and disaster, all of whom getting their own book as the series progresses.

Our heroine here is Ashlyn Darrow. She works for the World institute of Parapsychology and has come to Budapest with her team to investigate the warriors. Poor Ashlyn has a curse of her, born with the ability to hear any conversation that has ever taken place in the location where she is standing. These voices in her head have ruined her life and she'd do anything for a moment's silence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good! Aug. 3 2008
By GinRobi
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What can I say? I'm a sucker for a happy ending. I believe this one could have used a little more work, though.

I thought it just a little weird how Maddox became so attached and protective of Ashlyn when they just met. It was weird how the connection kind of just slammed together, and I thought that the only reason Ashlyn was attached to Maddox, at the beginning, was because he `quieted' the voices that continuously ran through her mind. But they grew closer a lot faster than I've read in a novel before, and it left me slightly uncomfortable.

Despite her gift/curse, I thought Ashlyn a very strong and self-reliant person. She did what she though was necessary, for Maddox. She didn't get it at first, and I could understand the horror of it all if I'd be in her shoes, but I'm glad it was finally explained to her. I can't imagine what someone would go through, knowing how she grew up, to watch them 'attack' at Maddox every night.

And Maddox ... wow! Even for a warrior, cursed with housing the demon of Violence, to him, everyday blended together until is just is what it is. Ashlyn broke him out of that shell right at the beginning, and it was a little weird watching how it all came together.

What I liked... how the book was more of an internal war - Maddox battling his demon, Violence, and not wanting it to affect Ashlyn. But the demon grew attached to Ashlyn just as fast as Maddox did, and now both would do anything to protect Ashlyn. Ashlyn soothes his demon just as much as Maddox being around calms the voices she constantly hears.

Earlier, when I became interested in the books, I looked up some of the reviews, and wondered why some where comparing this series to Ward's `Brotherhood' series or Kenyon's `Dark Hunter' series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Read May 16 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you have started this series and love it as much as I do, then also read The Darhunter Series by Sherilynn Kenyon! I first read her books and was looking for something along the same line and found it with Gena Showalter's series...this is an amazing series and I will continue to buy the newest books available in this series :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Hypnotising! April 5 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Showalter tells a story that is utterly hypnotising. Maddox is such a tortured soul. Despite being a violent man due to his curse, he struggles with everything that he is and isn't to regain control and protect Ashlyn from those wanting to harm her. He struggles like none other to be gentle -- like a giant cradling a little fragile angel without knowing why he is doing so. There is so much conflict as Maddox fights against the other cursed men, against himself, and to prove to Ashlyn that he can be her man. After so many years of existing and barely living, he finally finds his everything with Ashlyn. I feel so much pity for him as he tries so hard to love -- a foreign emotion to him until he meets her. He has been waiting for what seems like an eternity for her.

With Ashlyn's ability, she keeps hearing voices wherever she goes, but she is in awe when she finds peace and quiet whenever she is with Maddox. There's just something about him that draws her to him, even though she had witnessed the kind of destruction he can cause. She is giving towards him and tries to protect him from the other immortals and the human Hunters who want to put an end to him, despite her own fragility and mortality. I like Ashlyn because she is strong, brave, and thinks for herself. She is also willing to do anything to save her cursed lover. He would do the same for her.

The cast of characters are very well written and the story is pumped with action. The romance is sensual, hot, and darkly beautiful. Maddox and Ashlyn's passion for each other can't be denied. I'd bite my own lip while reading. I also have to admit that the way Maddox speaks in English is entertaining -- only because I'm imagining his speech to be accented. Despite their own hells, love does conquer all in this story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  308 reviews
194 of 200 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good paranormal -just don't compare it to anything else May 21 2008
By Misuzmama - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Lords of the Underworld are a band of immortal warriors who have, for thousands of years, fought for the king of gods (Greeks). Insulted that they have not been chosen for the monumental task of guarding a sacred box (Pandora's box), the warriors decide to teach the gods a lesson. They steal the box and set the hordes of demons free. In the fray the box is lost. Thus, the evil can not be returned inside. As punishment for the deed, the individual warriors themselves become the *homes* for the each of the demons. So the demons of Violence, Disease, Death, Pain, Wrath, Promiscuity, Doubt, Lies, Disaster etc. are now inside the warriors forever. Like having a split personality, the demon urges the warrior to do its bidding. They all struggle against the demon inside.

Fast forward to present-
The warriors now live with their curses in Castle high upon a hill in Budapest. They keep to themselves for fear of reeking havoc upon the humans. Their enemies are the *Hunters*, a band of human warriors out to kill all the perceived evil in the world -the lords being their main target.

This book is about the warrior Maddox, who has Violence demon inside. His heroine is Ashyln a human who posses the uncanny ability to hear all the conversations ever made in a particular place. Voices constantly battle inside her head. She seeks the warriors in an effort to silence the voices inside her head. But she gets more than she bargained for......

I admit when I started reading this book I got flashes of Ward's series. But really who wouldn't? - the six warriors living all together, the gods controlling them (scribe virgin), the hunters (lessers), the description of the warriors (ones tattooed, beautiful, scarred etc). Then I realized that I'm doing a complete injustice to this book by thinking this way.

To me this book is more Greek mythological than paranormal. And I'm hoping Showalter will expand on the myths with the sequels. Unlike most paranormals the war these warriors are fighting is mostly within themselves. An internal rather than external conflict. They are not out to protect anyone else, merely to survive their own curses and possibly get free of their demons. And frankly I think thats a fascinating and fresh idea. I mean who wouldn't like to read more about a warrior with a compulsion to Lie, one who causes Disasters wherever he goes, one who has to inflict Pain on himself, or one who cannot be touched (anywhere) for fear of causing Disease? And lets not forget Promiscuity. ;)

I found the characters intriguing, the action well paced and the plot believable (well, as any paranormal could be). And I wasn't bothered by how quickly the H/H fell in love (its not like they had sex on page 10). True , there are many unanswered questions but I guess thats what sequels are for.

So, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking out for the sequels. And for those die-hard Black Dagger fans? I say go and read the three chapter excerpt (above is link) on Showalter's website and decide for yourself.
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Darkest Night- A Joyfully Recommended Title June 2 2008
By MNix - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
High in the mountains of Budapest there is a hidden fortress that houses immortal men who also happen to be demons - demons who strive to make a life for themselves while remaining inconspicuous and unknown to mortals and enemies alike. Maddox is such a man but so much more - he is a Lord of the Underworld and his curse is Violence. Thousands of years ago, Maddox was a prized warrior for the gods and because of this, he became angry at the female warrior Pandora because she was given the task of guarding the dimOuniak instead of him. Jealousy ate at Maddox until he was unable to stop himself from destroying Pandora and opening her box of mayhem. In this one act of violence, Maddox was doomed to eternally suffer the same fate that he awarded Pandora - death.

Institutionalized since she was five, Ashlyn Darrow has spent her entire life hearing voices in her head. If someone talked in the same spot as which Ashlyn stood, she is able to hear their conversations in her head and it is making her crazy. She is never allowed a minutes peace and has been treated as if she is a freak of nature her entire life. Hearing about a hidden fortress in the mountains of Budapest is like a dream come true because if what the locals are saying is true, then Ashlyn might be able to get help with her curse. With this in mind, she sets out in the dead of winter to climb the mountain where the sanctuary is said to be hidden.

The Darkest Knight is paranormal romance at its best. It is dark, gritty, and it is emotional. Maddox is the epitome of a tortured soul - and he was remorseful for his past deeds. Unable to fathom why he wanted Ashlyn, this immortal was very much aware of how precious she was and I found his treatment and protection of her extremely romantic. The character of Ashlyn surprised me. With my first impression I found a very strong heroine. Just how strong I would find out as I further read The Darkest Night. Ashlyn was willing to stay by Maddox's side every night just for the chance to love him. And love him she did.

The Darkest Night had me instantly hooked on this brand new series. I found myself on the edge of my seat and could not put The Darkest Night down. I had to know what was going to happen and more than once I had to gasp for breath when nuances of the plot started to unfold. If The Darkest Night is any indication of Gena Showalter's writing ability then I need to go back and buy everything she has ever written. I am just that impressed and can't recommend The Darkest Night enough. In fact, raise your right hand and repeat after me, "Joyfully Recommended!"

reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
53 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beach Reading - Yes, Page Turner - No! Aug. 25 2008
By Lisa Angelettie - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read quite a few paranormal romance series and needed a new author. This series kept popping up as a recommended series based on my previous purchases at Amazon. The covers were cool and so I went to the author's home page to check her out - and liked what she had to say about writing the books. So I ordered all three books.

If you like to read paranormal romance that borders on a little "unrealistic" or say a little less urban fantasy and more pure paranormal fantasy -- then this series may be for you. I myself waited several months before finally buying this series because I knew that I probably wasn't going to go for the whole premise of a group of warriors having to live with demons inside of themselves because they opened pandora's box. And I didn't.

I never really felt invested in the romance between the two characters in The Darkest Night because I just had a hard time swallowing how the whole plot played out. Or maybe there just wasn't enough development of the characters and their romance -- because of the tons of other characters in the book. I'm not sure.

Now while I did finish this book and found some parts enjoyable - the reason why I wouldn't recommend the overall purchase of it as part of a series is because I simply could not get past chapter one in the second book in the series - The Darkest Kiss.

Bottom line is that if you are a JR Ward fan or of other author's with a similar urban fantasy/romance style. Then you may not go for this series.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entralling dark read!! June 29 2013
By abbott123 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I received this book in exchange for a honest unbiased review~~~
The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter

This author knows how to deliver a book let alone the start of a series that I plan on devouring in the course of the next few months. I LOVED IT!!! This is a hot sexy intriguing read. I wanted to steal Maddox for myself after reading this. The characters are to die for and the scenrey the author delivers makes you feel as though you were there. I even cried toward the end since I was so emotionally wrapped up in this book. I was hook, line, and sunk after the first chapter that I couldn't and wouldn't put the book down for the life of me. This is a great dark dirty thriving emotional book full of mystery excitement and intrigue. I love the story and I love the Greek references in the book with Pandora's box, Gods, and Titans. Can't wait to find out what happens next!!!! GO GENA GO ENTHRALL ME IN THE NEXT BOOK!!!
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great New Paranormal Romance Series! April 25 2008
By Patricia Rouse - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Get ready for the next really great paranormal romance series, Lords Of The Underworld by mega talented, Gena Showalter which debuts May 2008 with THE DARKEST NIGHT.
By day, immortal warrior Maddox lives among his fellow Lords Of The Underworld in their Budapest castle as they try to stay away from the human world, for their demon companions urge them to do all manner of evil. However by night, Maddox is doomed to die a painful, terrible death and spend his time in hell's inferno. Centuries ago Maddox and his immortal brothers released the horde of demons from Pandora's box and as punishment, the gods cursed the warriors to each host a demon inside themselves. Maddox is the Keeper of Violence! When strangers are detected trying to invade their compound, the Lords believe they are Hunters, who want to destroy them, so Maddox is sent to kill them, for there is no greater warrior. Ashlyn Darrow is with a team from the World Institute of Parapsychology, who is in Budapest to investigate paranormal beings. Ashlyn was born with an ability to stand in one location and hear every conversation that has ever taken place there, which has been a nightmare for her. She'd do anything to stop the voices! When Maddox finds Ashlyn in the woods, even though he thinks she's Bait sent by the Hunters to entrap him, he is instantly drawn to her. For Ashlyn, being around Maddox is a miracle since the voices she constantly hears have suddenly ceased, as if they are as afraid of him as she should be! Maddox cannot help himself and takes her home with him, where the two will find themselves edging closer to a soul-searing test of love. Will this cursed couple be able to overcome great odds to be together? And what about the other cursed Lords: Lucien, Keeper of Death; Reyes, Keeper of Pain and all the others? Readers can look forward to their immediate sequels, THE DARKEST KISS (6/08) and THE DARKEST PLEASURE (7/08). The truly remarkable Gena Showalter has given paranormal romance fans everything they could want in her amazing new Lords Of The Underworld series: an angsty, complex, highly imaginative plot; dark, immortal warriors they will instantly fall in love with along with their destined mates; and all-consuming passion that will have readers begging for more!" - Patricia Rouse, Rouse's Readers' Groups
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