The Darkest Surrender
by Gena Showalter
Release Date: September 16, 2011
Publisher: HQN Books
Book #8 in the Lords of the Underworld series
Number of Pages: 431
Paranormal Romance M/F
Read 2/19/19 to 2/23/19
Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor’s edge of surrender.
Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can’t afford because he has an agenda of his own—steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter—the love neither had thought possible.
I’ll be honest here and say, out of all of the Lords of the Underworld books so far, I was not really looking forward to this one. I wanted to read it, but I wasn’t waiting to get to it with any sort of anticipation. I was not a huge fan of Strider (I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a particularly competitive person) and was a bit disappointed when it seemed the story I thought I might get with him and Zacharel was not to be. I do appreciate Zacharel’s presence in this story and the author’s explanation of him and his personality…it helped me to better understand the connection I was getting between Strider and Zacharel. Anyway, I think it’s obvious from the fact that I rated this book highly that I ended up really enjoying the story.
For the reasons in the paragraph above, this story was a slow starter for me. But once it hooked me, it hooked me good. Once Strider accepted how things were going to be, I fell in love with him as much as I love the other Lords. We (the readers) finally get to see the loving and caring part of Strider. To me, it did not weaken him in any way. In fact, it made him stronger.
The chemistry is on fire (literally) between Strider and Kaia. This chemistry was present in their interactions in the other books, but it really found it’s teeth in this one. Strider doesn’t really understand love so his thoughts of “winning” when it came to sex with Kaia were pretty funny and naïve. Of course, Kaia believes in love and wants love for herself so didn’t understand Strider’s resistance to making love.
I love how funny Kaia and Strider find the other and how they learn to joke around with each other to ease stress and tension. I always say if your partner can make you laugh you’re on the way to a great relationship. I think they will have an amazing relationship. They really understand each other on a level nobody else does.
We finally get to see more of Kane in this story and I have to say, I have no idea where this one is going. And I love it! But next, finally, we get Paris’ story. I think almost all readers of this series will say Paris is the Lord they most want to see find his HEA. He’s had a rough go of it for quite a while. And poor Sienna. I just hope I’m not hyping it up in my mind too much. I’m not really worried though, Gena Showalter has proven herself to me time and time again.