Review: The Darkest Pleasure

Reviewed by Jen

There really is someone out there for everyone. Even an immortal warrior, who can only find pleasure in bone-wrenching pain.  Reyes is one of the Lords of the Underworld. Each immortal carries within him a demon which escaped from hell. Reyes carries Pain, and longs to hurt himself and others. He cuts himself, breaks his own bones, whatever it takes to cause pain and soothe the beast inside of him.

We knew Danika was the woman for him back in The Darkest Night.  But he resisted his feelings for her because he was afraid his demon would taint her.  Well, that and the fact that his best bud Aeron is fighting a Titan-induced compulsion to kill her.  But three books later, Reyes is finally giving in to his desires.  Danika’s life has been turned upside down since she came under the Lords’ radar.  She’s been on the run, hiding from Lords and Hunters alike. She’s been forced to harden herself, to live in poverty. And in the end, it’s not enough. Hunters catch up with her and that leads Reyes back into her life, because he must save her.

The couple is thrown together, as Reyes vows to protect Danika and she works to find the rest of her missing family.  And even though they’re both fighting it, their attraction is undeniable. Now, I know there are a lot of people out there who find pleasure in some degree of pain. And skirting that line can be a turn-on. It just isn’t for me, which put a big damper on the book, because, obviously, Reyes IS Pain.  There is one particularly disturbing scene in the bathroom with Reyes and a knife… Suffice it to say, it icked me out.

And yet, despite this, it was a good book. Even with the pain thing, the book was rich in sexual tension, which Showalter plays like a violin.  The great world building continues. I felt so much anguish for Paris… sympathy for all the lonely Lords, each with such burdens to bear. These books are sexy romances, but they’re also more. In short order, Showalter has helped us grow emotionally invested in this immortal family.  And the ongoing story arc is entertaining, exciting, and always surprising.

4 stars.

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