The Darkest Warrior (Lords of the Underworld)

The Darkest Warrior
by Gena Showalter
Release Date:  June 26, 2018
Publisher: HQN Books
Book #14 in the Lords of the Underworld series
Number of Pages: 480
Kindle Edition
Source:  MCL
Paranormal Romance M/F
Rating:  NC-17
Read 3/7/21 to 3/11/21

He is ice…
Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her.

She is fire…
Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her…and become the warrior queen she was born to be.

Together they burn.
As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily-ever-after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?

Well, a few books ago in this series and you never could have convinced me that Gilly and William wouldn’t end up together. And even more, that they should be together. When Puck came into the picture in The Darkest Promise and we started seeing bits and pieces of where his storyline was leading, I wasn’t all that happy about the turn of events. Now, after having read this book, I am 100% for team Gillian and Puck.

The first third of this book is a lot of set up. It’s needed. It’s well written and enjoyable enough. But once the groundwork that is vital is taken care of, this story really takes off. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the interactions between Gillian and Puck. She doesn’t back down, and he doesn’t want her to. Seeing them together really had me realizing how wrong I was about a Gillian/William pairing. Gilly would have never become Gillian in William’s eyes, no matter what she did or how much she grew emotionally. And Gillian would never be able to be the image William has put on a pedestal when she was just a teenager.

Alrighty, here’s the tricky part. I already feel like some of what I said is bordering on being a spoiler, and I detest spoilers. So I’m going to say as much as I can without making things confusing or giving too much away. William did not make me happy in this story. We all know he is an egotistical jerk a lot of the times, but we also know there is a soft heart in there when it comes to those he considers friends and family. William gets caught up in his own head way too much in this story.

Puck is beyond amazing with Gillian. At least once you get over his initial motivations and start to see the real Puck behind his demon. He’s patient and gentle, but not in a way that makes her feel broken or fragile. He knows when to push and when to pull back and is so attuned to the nuances in Gillian’s reactions that he often realizes what she needs (or doesn’t need) before she knows how to articulate the feelings. It’s really so swoony and lovely and I was rooting for these two to really open their eyes to what they could be for one another.

As for Gillian, talk about character growth. I loved seeing her come into her own. With the help of some new friends, Gillian really found her confidence and her place in the world. It was truly a beautiful thing to witness and I’m looking forward to the reactions of any of her friends she hasn’t yet crossed paths with while on this journey. I hope to see more of Gillian and Puck in future books, although with their unique situation that may be less than I would like.

There are so many things that happened off the page in this story. I’m sure we’ll be reading about what happened with the characters that we lost track of along the way and I’m looking forward to all of their stories. But most of all, I’m still hoping for William to finally meet his real match and find his HEA…without getting killed by them!

4.5 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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