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The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld Series #5)
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The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld Series #5)

4.4 822
by Gena Showalter

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For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel—demon-assassin—has been sent to kill him. Or has she? Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn't bear to harm him. But trusting—and falling for—Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this "mortal" with


For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel—demon-assassin—has been sent to kill him. Or has she? Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn't bear to harm him. But trusting—and falling for—Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this "mortal" with the huge blue eyes already unleashed Aeron's darkest passion?

Now, with an enemy hot on his trail and his faithful demon companion determined to remove Olivia from his life, Aeron is trapped between duty and consuming desire. Worse still, a new executioner has been sent to do the job Olivia wouldn't….

Product Details

Publication date:
Lords of the Underworld Series , #5
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

"They don't seem to care that they're dying."

Aeron, an immortal warrior possessed by the demon of Wrath, was perched atop the roof of the Bübájos Apartments in central Budapest, peering down at the humans so blithely going about their evening. Some were shopping, some talking and laughing, and some snacking while they walked. But none of them were dropping to their knees and begging the gods for more time in those feeble bodies. Nor were they sobbing because they wouldn't get it.

He shifted his focus from the people to their surroundings. Muted moonlight spilled from the sky, blending with the amber glow of the street lamps and casting shadows on the paved pathways. Buildings stretched on every side, some of the higher points wrapped in light green awnings, the perfect contrast to the emerald trees rising from their bases.

Pretty, as far as coffins went.

Humans knew they were fading. Hell, they grew up knowing they'd have to abandon everything and everyone they loved, and yet, as he'd already observed, they didn't demand or even request more time. And that… fascinated him. Were Aeron to learn he'd soon be separated from his friends, the other demon-possessed warriors he'd spent the last few thousand years protecting, he would have done anything—yes, even beg—to change his fate.

So why didn't the mortals? What did they know that he did not?

"They aren't dying," his friend Paris said from beside him. "They're living while they have the chance."

Aeron snorted. That wasn't the answer he sought. For how could they live while they had the chance when their "chance" was a mere blink of time? "They're frail. Easily destroyed. As you well know." Cruel of him to say because Paris's…girlfriend? Lover? Chosen female? Whatever she was, she'd recently been shot to death in front of Paris. Still, Aeron couldn't regret his words.

Paris was the keeper of Promiscuity, forced to bed a different human every day or he would weaken and die himself. He couldn't afford to mourn the loss of one specific lover. Especially an enemy lover, which was what his little Sienna had been.

Aeron hated to admit it, but on some level, he was glad the woman was dead. She would have used Paris's needs against him and ultimately ruined him.

I, however, will ensure his safety always. It was a vow. The king of the gods had given Paris a choice: the return of his female's soul or Aeron's freedom from a horrific blood-craze that constantly danced thoughts of maiming and killing through his mind. Thoughts, he was ashamed to admit, he had acted upon. Over and over again.

Because of that curse, Reyes, the keeper of the demon of Pain, had almost lost his beloved Danika. In fact, Aeron had been poised to strike that final blow, blade sharpened, raised… falling toward her pretty neck. But just before contact, Paris had chosen Aeron and the craze had instantly left him, sparing Danika's life.

Part of Aeron still felt guilty about what had almost happened—and about the consequences of Paris's choice. A guilt that was like acid in his bones, eating away at him. Paris now suffered while he reveled in his freedom. That didn't mean he would show Paris mercy in this matter, however. He loved his friend too much for that. More than that, Aeron owed him. And Aeron always repaid his debts.

Hence the reason they were on this roof.

Taking care of Paris, though, was not an easy task. For the past six nights Aeron had carted his friend here amid ceaseless protests. Paris had only to pick a woman, then Aeron would procure her and ensure the two were safe while they had sex. But each night the choice was made later. And later.

Aeron had a feeling he and Paris would sit here and talk until sunrise this time.

Had the now-depressed warrior eschewed these weak mortals as Aeron did, he would not currently be wishing for something he couldn't have. He would not be desperate for it—and denied it for all eternity.

Aeron sighed. "Paris," he began. Then stopped. How should he proceed? "Your mourning must end." Good. To the point, just as he preferred. "It's weakening you."

Paris ran his tongue over his teeth. "As if you're one to talk about weakness. How many times have you been Wrath's bitch? Countless. And inhow many of those countless instances can you blame the gods? Only once. When that demon overtakes you, you lose all control of your actions. So don't add hypocrisy to your list of sins, okay?"

He didn't take offense. Sadly, Paris's claim was irrefutable. Sometimes Wrath would seize control of Aeron's body and fly him through town, striking at everyone within reach, hurting them and gorging on their terror. During those instances, Aeron was aware of what was happening, but unable to halt the carnage.

Not that he always wanted the carnage to halt. Some people deserved what they got.

But he did loathe losing control of his body, as if he were merely a puppet with strings. Or a monkey who danced on command. When he was reduced to such a state, he despised his demon—but not as much as he despised himself. Because with the hatred, he also experienced pride. In Wrath. Wresting the reins of control from him required power, and power of any kind was to be prized.

Still. The love-hate tug-of-war disturbed him.

"You might not have meant to, but you've just proven my point," he said, jumping back into conversation. "Weakness births destruction. No exceptions." In Paris's case, mourning was simply another word for distracted. And such distraction could prove fatal.

"What does that have to do with me? What does that have to do with the humans down there?" Paris pointed.

Big picture time. "Those people. They age and deteriorate in a heartbeat of time."


"And let me finish. If you fall in love with one of them, you might have her for the better part of a century. Maybe, if disease or an accident do not befall her. But it will be a century spent watching her wither and die. And during it all, you'll know an eternity without her awaits you."

"Such pessimism." Paris tsked—hardly the reaction Aeron had expected. "You see it as a century spent losing that which you are unable to protect. I see it as a century spent enjoying a great blessing. A blessing that will aid you the rest of eternity."

Aid? Absurd. When you lost something precious, the memories of it became a tormenting reminder of what you could never have again. Those memories added to your troubles, distracting you—unlike Paris, he wouldn't wrap the word in a pretty bow—rather than strengthening you.

Proof: that's how he felt about Baden, keeper of Distrust and once his best friend. Long ago, he'd lost the man he'd loved more than he would have loved even a blood brother, and now, every time he was alone, he pictured Baden and wondered about what could have been.

He didn't want that for Paris.

Forget big picture. Time for a little more merciless-ness. "If you're so capable of accepting loss, why do you still mourn Sienna?"

A beam of moonlight hit Paris's face, and Aeron saw that his eyes were slightly glazed. Obviously, he'd been drinking. Again. "I didn't have my century with her. I had but a few days." Flat tone.

Don't stop now. "And if you had been given a hundred years with her before she died, you would now be at peace with her death?"

There was a pause.

He hadn't thought so.

"Enough!" Paris slammed a fist into the roof and the entire building shook. "I don't want to talk about this anymore."

Too bad. "Loss is loss. Weakness is weakness. If we don't allow ourselves to grow attached to the humans, we won't care when they leave us. If we harden our hearts, we won't desire that which we cannot have. Our demons taught us that very well."

Each of their demons had once lived in hell and desired freedom, and so together they fought their way out. Only, they ended up exchanging one prison for another, and the second had been far worse than the first.

Rather than enduring sulfur and flames as they had before, they spent a thousand years trapped inside Pandora's box. A thousand years of darkness and desolation and pain. They'd had no independence, no hope for something better.

Had those demons been stronger, had they not craved that which was forbidden to them, they would not have been captured.

Had Aeron been stronger of will, he would not later have helped open that box. Would not then have been cursed to house the very evil he had released inside his own body. Would not have been kicked from the heavens, the only home he'd ever known, to spend the rest of eternity in this chaotic land where nothing stayed the same.

He would not have lost Baden while warring with Hunters—despicable mortals who abhorred the Lords, blaming them for the world's evil. A friend just died of cancer? Of course the Lords were responsible. A teenage girl just discovered she was pregnant? The Lords had clearly struck again.

Had he been stronger, he would not be caught up in that war once again, fighting, killing. Always killing.

"Have you ever yearned for a mortal?" Paris asked, drawing him from his dark thoughts. "Sexually?"

A quiet laugh escaped him. "Welcome a female into my life one day, only to lose her the next? No." He was smarter than that.

"Who says you have to lose her?" Paris withdrew a flask from the inside of his leather jacket and took a long swig.

More alcohol already? Clearly his little pep talk hadn't done his friend a bit of good.

After swallowing, Paris added, "Maddox has Ashlyn, Lucien has Anya, Reyes has Danika and now Sabin has Gwen. Even Gwen's sister, Bianka the Terrible, has a lover. An angel I had to oil-wrestle, but whatever. We won't talk about that part."

Oil-wrestling? Yes. Best to avoid. "Those couples have each other, but each of those women has an ability that sets her apart from the others of her kind. They're more than human." That didn't mean they would live forever, though. Even immortals could be slain. He'd been the one to pick up Baden's head—without the warrior's body. He'd been the one to first glimpse that eternally frozen expression of shock.

"Well, hello, solution. Find a female with an ability that sets her apart," Paris said dryly.

As if it were that easy. Besides… "I have Legion, and she's all I can handle at the moment." He pictured the little demon so like a daughter to him and grinned. When standing, she only reached his waist. She had green scales, two tiny horns that had just sprouted atop her head and sharp teeth that produced poisonous saliva. Tiaras were her favorite accessory and living flesh her favorite meal.

The first he enjoyed indulging, the second they were working on.

Aeron had met her in hell. Well, as close to the blistering pit as a man could get without actually melting inside its flames. He'd been chained next door, so to speak, drunk with that cursed bloodlust, determined to slay even his friends, when Legion had dug her way to him, her presence somehow clearing his mind, giving him the strength he so prized. She'd helped him escape, and they'd been together ever since.

Except for now. His precious baby girl had returned to hell, a place she despised, all because an honest-to-the-gods angel had been watching Aeron, skulking in the shadows, invisible, waiting for…something. What, he didn't know. He only knew that intense gaze wasn't on him right now, but it would return. It always did. And Legion couldn't stand it.

He leaned back and peered up at the night sky. The stars were vivid tonight, like diamonds scattered across black satin. Sometimes, when he craved even the illusion of solitude, he would soar as high as his wings would take him and then fall, fast and sure, only slowing seconds before impact.

As Paris downed another mouthful of his liquor, the scent of ambrosia wafted on the breeze, as gentle and sweet as baby's breath. Aeron shook his head. Ambrosia was his friend's drug of choice, the only thing capable of numbing mind and body for men such as them, but its use was getting out of hand, making the once fierce soldier sloppy.

With Galen, leader of the Hunters and a demon-possessed warrior like them, roaming the streets, he needed his friend lucid at the very least. Factor in the angel, and well, he needed his friend in top fighting form. Angels, as he'd recently learned, were demon-assassins.

Did this angel want to kill him? He wasn't sure, and Bianka's consort, Lysander, wouldn't tell him. But then, the answer really didn't matter. He planned to gut the coward, male or female, the moment it grew some balls and appeared in front of him.

No one separated him from Legion. Not without suffering for it. Legion could even now be hurting, mentally and physically. At the thought, Aeron's hands clenched so tightly the bones nearly fractured. The little darling's brethren enjoyed taunting her for her kindness and compassion. They also enjoyed chasing her, and gods knew what they'd do to her if they actually caught her.

"Much as you love Legion," Paris began, once again dragging Aeron from the sharply tangled mire of his thoughts. He tossed a stone at the building across from them before draining the rest of the flask. "She can't meet all your needs."

Meaning sex. Could they not abandon this topic once and for all? Aeron sighed. He hadn't bedded a woman in years, perhaps centuries. They simply weren't worth the effort. Because of Wrath, his desire to hurt them soon outweighed his desire to please them. More, as tattooed and battle-hardened as Aeron was, he had to work for every scrap of affection he received. Females were scared of him—and rightly so. Softening them required time and patience he didn't have. After all, there were a thousand other, more important things he could be doing. Things like training, guarding his home, guarding his friends. Indulging Legion's every whim.

"I have no such needs." And for the most part, that was true. Disciplined as he was, he rarely indulged in pleasures of the flesh. Only time he did so was while alone. "I have everything I desire. Now, did we come here to share our feelings or find you a lover?"

With a growl, Paris tossed the empty flask as he'd tossed the stone. It slammed into the building's wall, plumes of dust and rock filling the air. "One day, someone's going to fascinate you, draw and ensnare you, and you'll crave her with every cell in your body. I hope she drives you insane. I hope, for a little while at least, she denies you, leading you on a merry chase. Perhaps then you'll understand a glimmer of my pain."

Meet the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

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Darkest Passion 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 821 reviews.
HHNJ More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworlds series. It is my favorite of all of her series and the books keep getting better. Each novel adds more pieces to the story of the Lords and characters in prior novels reappear frequently, so if you have not read the prior books in this series, I highly recommend reading them in order. Brief recap on the Lords: Once immortal warriors guarding the Greek Gods, the Lords opened Pandora 's Box and unleashed demons into the world. As punishment, each Lord is now a host to each of the demons. The Darkest Passion is the Fifth Book in the Series and tells the story of Aeron, the keeper of the demon Wrath. When we last saw Aeron in book number 4, he had sensed an invisible female presence and was informed by Legion that the presence was an angel. In the Darkest Passion, we learn that Aeron's watched is Olivia, the angel assigned to kill Aerin. Refusing to do so, she falls from Heaven and joins Aeron. The path to love is not smooth as the Hunters, Legion and even Lucifer make an appearance to wreck havoc on Aeron's and Olivia's romance. Olivi'a character is well-drawn and is joyful in her innocence of human ways and emotions. The scenes between Legion, Aeron and Olivia in the later parts of the book are heartbreaking and lead the reader on an emotional roller coaster. All hope is not lost, however, and the ending will satisfy all readers. This book also sets the stage for Gideon's story (The Darkest Lie) as we are introduced to his hea and past as a subplot in the Darkest Passion.
Merciless_Ruby More than 1 year ago
Aeron was an awesome Lord and reading that he'll be a regular immortal without Wrath drove me nuts. What got me more irritated was that Sienna was going to get the demon Wrath..... Siena + Wrath demon = ? Can't wait for Paris's book! The rest of the characters were awesome, Olivia was FUNNY as hell I loved her! Legion was very annoying! How will Aeron be Aeron without Wrath? =( I also enjoyed the whole William and Gilly scene....poor Gilly 0_0 and I'm hoping that Torin and Cameo get together. They make a great couple!
harstan More than 1 year ago
He was one of those who opened Pandora's Box freeing the demons trapped inside; his punishment, as with the others who joined him, is to carry a demon inside him. In modern day Bucharest, thanks to Paris the Keeper of Promiscuity, Lord of the Underworld Aeron has somewhat controlled the insane rages that his Wraith demon inside him caused. Olivia the Warrior Angel has been directed to kill him. She currently hunts her prey who senses her nearness in spite of her invisibility. Pursuing her target, Olivia finds he is not the evil being she expected and cannot perform her direct order. Instead, she chooses angelic suicide by falling in disgrace. Her wings ripped from her, a severely injured Olivia turns to Aeron for help. He and Wraith are attracted to her from first lustful sight. However, Olivia's mentor Lysander the Elite Warrior Angel plans to bring her back under his wings and Aeron's Demon friend Legion has seductive plans for her "pal". This is a strong Lords of the Underworld entry as the lead male has been an out of control lunatic so he distrusts his feelings because he knows how much Wraith's raging has affected his mind. Olivia is terrific as a fallen angel who gave up her lofty position out of love for a fallen warrior. Throw in Legion to the mix and that leaves readers with a super romantic fantasy as this series continues to be one of the best sub-genre recurring series. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was by far the saddest one of the series as it had some emosional parts more so than the others, but that's only because we end up feeling so close to the characters. Thanks for that, btw. I love books that keep us involved in the adventure and this one has some surprising twists. I'm going to start on the next one right now. Yea! ;)
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will admit that Aeron was never really on my radar. Yes he had Legion, and was a little crazed with wrath but I just didn't gravitate towards him in the previous books. However, this one grabbed my attention and didn't let go until the very end. Olivia who was once an angel of Joy but was recently hired to kill Aeron by her higher-ups decides to "fall" from the heavens. You see, when she was sent to kill him, she followed him around a lot and in doing so wound up developing feelings for him. So when she shows up at the fortress, bloody, emotionally beaten down and screaming out Aeron's name, he immediately thinks that she is bait sent by the hunters. But he soon finds out that she is an angel, and not just any angel but THE angel that has been randomly popping in and she has turned her back on everything just for a chance to be with him. But their chance is short lived when they are given only 9 days. Nine days for Aeron to change Olivia's mind and send her back to the heavens, nine days for Aeron to come to terms with what he has to do in order to not only save Legion's life but the lives of his brethren as well. Olivia is a very gentle character however she is strong willed and isn't a pushover. So she was easily to relate to. When she fell, she went straight to hell and had to literally dig her way up through the earth to the surface. That will leave a lasting mark on anyone. So it was no surprise when she terrified by all of the Lords except for her Aeron. Since they are demons, and demons are exactly what had just tortured her in hell. However, when she comes across a pissed off territorial Legion who is non too happy about the Angel trying to steal Aeron, Olivia asserts herself and doesn't back down. I had no idea that Aeron was so selfless. He does a lot of things for the Lords and it is brought to the forefront in this book. Not only that but both his demon and he have claimed Olivia as their mate. However, knowing that life on earth where she would be constantly put in danger, he tries to convince her to leave him and go back to heaven. He was originally introduced as this guy possessed by his blood thirsty demon but you really start to see how he does everything he can to help ease the other Lords' pain.
PhoenixLR More than 1 year ago
Am a big JR Ward fan and was looking for another series. I still prefer the Brotherhood, but this series is suspenseful, action packed and steamy.
JC_Rubio More than 1 year ago
The romance and hotness of the story was awesome as usual. The idea of an angel and a demon being atracted to each other was a really interesting twist and I have to say that the series of events towards the end of the book are realy mind bogglind to me and a bit disappointing. I'm not sure what some of these things will mean for the overall cause of the Lords, Paris in particular. How is Aeron going to be able to help them with what is coming? He somehow is now diminished in my opinion. I hope future books address these questions.
ReadingVixen67 More than 1 year ago
That should've been the name of this book. EXCELLENT work! What Aeron and Olivia have to go through to be with each other, as well as fighting the Hunters that want to destroy the Lords of the Underworld (of which Aeron is a part), is absolutely amazing. Many women would dream of having a man like Aeron. LOVED IT!!!
amesAW More than 1 year ago
Gena Showalter has outdone herself again. I was so lost in this latest installment of the Lords Series that I devoured it in one day. I think it may be my favorite thus far. With each book I fall in love with these characters and the way the series has developed. We get to see glimpses of old favorites and insight into new journey's. "The Darkest Passion" will not disappoint.
Guynnie More than 1 year ago
As expected, I absolutly loved The Darkest Passion. What I didn't know going into it, was just how much more I would fall for Aeron. Gena portrays a side of him that was never touched on with so much detail. Olivia became the perfect companion for him. She, in all that she is, was exactly what he needed. So many twists and turns and edge of your seat moments. Including one very unexpected sit up, jaw dropping, 'wha???' name-dropping moment that happened in the middle of chapter 31. Sooo didn't see that one coming! And Legion? Wow! Wanna know what I'm talking about? Go get yourself a copy. You won't regret it. For those of you new to Gena Showalter's LOTU series, these are best if read in order. Hope you enjoy them as much as I have!
werewulf-fan94 More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down! This book had me laughing out loud every time. The romance and action were great and i love that Gena Showalter mentioned the other characters. I have to admit, Legion got on my last nerve in this book but I'm glad that everything worked out at the end. I absolutely loved every character, especially Lysander. I cannot wait to read Gideon's book. I hope Paris and Cameo have their own book soon. I highly recommend this series, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful read....the end wasnt expected at all but i enjoyed it none the less.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Lords is by far one of the best paranormal romance series out there!
Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
Showalter returns to the world of her Lords of the Underworld with action and flair. She continues to develop the world in the same larger than life manner that we’ve come to know and love from her. The plot is well thought out, with enough twists and turns to keep me coming back for more. I love the mixing and melding of mythologies and religions. They added an extra thought component to the action packed and suspenseful tale. Wrath made me giggle a time or two. His well-defined ‘wants’ were an intriguing departure from the usual sense we see from the demons. I liked the peek into the other Lords’ lives as we get down and dirty with Aeron, Olivia, and of course, Legion. Gideon telling stories is absolutely hilarious. The unspoken ones were also a welcome addition to the series. I like how they were well developed in their mysteriousness. I can’t wait to see what twists they bring into the series. Chemistry and suspense rule the day in this fantastic addition to Showalter’s fast paced series. This was a novel that I could barely put down and that has me dying to read the sequel.
dreiera More than 1 year ago
Kept my attention throughout the book and left me wanting more!
A-Greene More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Passion is the fifth book within the Lords of the Underworld series and to sum it up with one word - compelling. This is far my favorite book within the series. Aeron...Oh-my-GOD!!!! Aeron is possess by the demon of Wrath. Violence is his middle name and has been marked for assassination by the angels. Olivia was sent by the leader of the angels to kill Aeron, but as she watches him she falls head over heels for him. Risking everything, she falls from Heaven just to be near him. At first, Aeron wants nothing to do with the bloodied woman who he found wondering the mountian calling his name. But Olivia never gives up. She peruses him and seduces him. I love when heroines are strong willed, determined, and know what they want. She wanted him and, damn it, she would have him. However, Olivia didn't expect to have competition for Aeron's heart or that her former boss, the leader of the angel army, would strike. The main couple were great together. Aeron fought his feelings valiantly, but he was vanquished. What kept me from giving this book a perfect score was the length. I've noticed a trend with Showalter's books, they can be very log and drag at some points. Another issue I had was with some of the side stories going. I would have rather had more focus on the main characters. But Aeron saved this book :)
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No need to read more this is neither a newbook or a keeper save your time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gena showalter books are always good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Gena's LOTU series
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