The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter Release Date: March 29, 2011 Publisher: HQN Books Book #7 in the Lords of the Underworld series Number of Pages: 417 Kindle Edition Source: MCL Paranormal Romance M/F Rating: XXX Read 2/6/19 to 2/8/19
Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when the immortal warrior is chained and isolated to protect those he loves, death is his only hope of release—until he meets Haidee, a fellow prisoner whose beauty and hidden vulnerability draw him into a reckless test of his loyalty….
Haidee is a demon-assassin, raised to despise Amun’s kind. Yet how can she hate the man whose touch sets her aflame? But to save him, she must give herself body and soul…and face the wrath of a powerful adversary sworn to destroy her.
Oh, how I’ve fallen in love with Amun over the previous couple of books. This story didn’t change my mind. The man (immortal warrior) is incredible. Although all of the Lords so far have thought of Baden as the most empathetic of them all, we haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know him yet. In my mind, so far, Amun has them all beat on thinking of others before himself. He protects his friends no matter what, even to his own detriment. The things he has to hold inside in order to remain in control of himself and his demon would drive most insane. Yet he soldiers on.
I really couldn’t wait to get Haidee’s story after meeting her in The Darkest Lie. It seemed she was going to be the romantic interest to one of the Lords, but how? After what she had done, she had a lot of explaining to do! Of course, seeing things from her perspective and learning some of her secrets (that she didn’t even know herself) along the way, I was all the way team Haidee/Amun by the end. Even well before the end, really. The way she cared for and about Amun, even after discovering he wasn’t who she initially thought, touched my heart.
Haidee and Amun don’t get a lot of opportunity to interact with the other Lords much in this story, but the author still gives us glimpses of what is going on with them. (There’s a bit with Paris that will gut you!) We also see enough of the warrior angel Zacharel for me to wonder if he’ll play a larger role in the lives of the Lords. His interactions with Strider, in particular, had me intrigued. Although it seems Striders story will continue of the arc I had originally thought, there seemed to be something there.
Back to Amun and Haidee. I love the affection they have for one another. The tenderness they show in their day-to-day interactions. Being that they are thrust into some very extreme circumstances, the way they support each other and protect each other without snapping at each other reminds me of a couple that has been together for a long time. And, with this couple, I think that’s the point. They were surely destined to be.
I don’t think it gives too much away for me to say there is eventually a confrontation between Amun and Strider. Being quite the non-competitive person myself, Strider often confuses me. On one hand, having competitive people in my life, I understand where he’s coming from. On the other hand, I don’t like it and he can annoy me. I was so angry with Strider during his confrontation with Amun, but it also pained me to see the two brothers so at odds. It hurt to see Strider disregard Amun’s thoughts, feelings, and beliefs after everything Amun had done for all of the Lords through the years. While there is a conclusion to this conflict, I still haven’t quite forgiven Strider. It’ll be interesting to get more of his perspective in the next story so I can start to see him in a positive light again.
A quick note on the covers of this series:
While I love the covers of the books in this series, they also bother me. Ms. Showalter writes very diverse characters yet all the covers seem to be white men. I wonder at the reasoning on this. Is it less controversial to use a white model that doesn’t fit the description of the character than to use a POC on the cover that will fit the description? So, I set out to find a picture to fit my image of Amun. Turns out, this is an issue all around. Stock images of dark-skinned male models are hard to find. If this is frustrating for me, a white woman just trying to find a picture to prove my point, imagine the frustration of the POC out there trying to be seen and heard. Ugh!
I will now step off my soap box.