The Darkest Seduction
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The Darkest Seduction is, I believe, the third book by Gena Showalter that I have reviewed. I’m drawn to her writing because I enjoy the paranormal aspects of her books. Romance novels are fun to begin with, but if you throw in angels and demons, dragons and vampires, well, it gets even better. While the book has several flaws, I’d recommend reading it all the same.

The Darkest Seduction is the most recent book in the Lords of the Underworld series, which reminds me a lot of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series (full disclosure: Kresley Cole is my favorite romance writer ever. I want to be like her when I grow up.). In Lords, we’re introduced to an organization called The Hunters: humans who make it their life’s work to snuff out demons and fallen angels and any other manner of paranormal beings. We meet Paris, an immortal who has the demon of Promiscuity imprisoned in his mind and body. See, long ago a fallen angel opened Pandora’s Box, and the demons contained therein were eventually imprisoned in various individuals. Paris is bound to Sienna Blackstone, a Hunter who suddenly finds herself some sort of ghost/angel hybrid, possessed by the demon of Wrath. Sienna is searching for her sister, who has been kidnapped by the Titan Cronus. Sienna needs Paris’s help to find her sister, but can Paris and Sienna make their relationship work, despite their (literal) demons?

The first problem I had with Seduction is that it’s apparently not meant to be read as a stand-alone book. Since I hadn’t read the preceding eleven books, I was often hopelessly lost and confused as to what was happening. There are just too many plots and sub-plots for a novice to follow.

Another issue is that Showalter’s immortal universe is quite literally a pantheon of characters: Titans, gods and goddesses (of varying degrees of power and importance), ghosts, angels, fallen angels, demons, and so many more. It was all just too much for me. I couldn’t keep any of the characters straight in my head, and I often wished that Showalter would’ve chosen to keep it simple, maybe creating a world that revolves around just one or two fantastical communities and not, like, forty-five (okay, I might be exaggerating just a smidge).

Another issue I had was that the book was very slow to start; I found myself quite bored in the beginning. The action doesn’t really start to pick up until about a hundred and fifty pages in, and (get this) the first love scene doesn’t happen until around a hundred pages later! The main male character is the walking embodiment of sex, and we have to wait two hundred and fifty pages to see him do the deed? It was very disappointing.

I did enjoy Showalter’s writing style, though. The characters are sarcastic, and they speak in a very modern fashion, with many lines that made me laugh out loud. I was also glad to see that Showalter has grown out of her habit of writing in fragment sentences and abusing the ellipsis.

The love scenes, meanwhile, are sultry and tense, rife with an undercurrent of “forbidden fruit.” My only complaint here is that I had to wait so long to finally get there. (I feel like there is a dirty joke in there somewhere. Maybe “that’s what she said”?)

All told, though, I’m glad that I got to read The Darkest Seduction. For all of its flaws, the book is, at the very least, an interesting take on paranormal romance. It’s a very ambitious novel—and, at over 500 pages long, it’s a big investment to make. But if you can keep track of the myriad characters and plot developments, and if you’ve got the time to read the eleven books that come before it, I’d recommend this book, warts and all.

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