The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld Series #7)

The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld Series #7)

by Gena Showalter

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373775491
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 03/29/2011
Series: Lords of the Underworld Series , #7
Edition description: Original
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 80,709
Product dimensions: 4.04(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Strider, keeper of the demon of Defeat, burst through the towering front doors of the Budapest fortress he shared with a growing cast of friends—brothers and sisters by circumstance rather than blood, but all the closer for it—fighting a rush of undeniable pleasure.

He'd freaking done it, man. Done. It. After chasing his enemy cross-continent, bargaining away one of the four godly relics needed to find and destroy Pandora's box—and yeah, he was gonna get spanked hard for that—then, after being eaten alive by insects and at one point (cough) walking into a chick's knife (cough), he'd finally won. And damn if he wasn't ready to celebrate.

"I'm king of the world, bitches. Come in here and bask in my glory." His voice echoed through the foyer, expectant, eager.

No one returned the greeting.

Still. Grinning, he shifted the unconscious female draped over his shoulder into a more comfortable position. More comfortable for him. She was the enemy he'd been chasing, as well as the chick who'd oh, so impolitely introduced his pancreas to the freaking hilt of her blade. He could hardly wait to tell everyone that he'd done what they hadn't. He'd bagged and tagged her, baby.

He called, "Daddy's home. Somebody? Anybody?"

Again, there was no response. His grin dulled a bit.

Damn it. When he lost a single challenge, he battled crippling pain for days. When he won, though…gods, it was almost a sexual high, energy buzzing in his veins, heating him, priming him. That kind of enthusiasm called for a playmate. And, hell, twelve warriors and their menagerie of female companions lived here, yet no one had waited around to welcome him home? Even though the grounds were now gated, monitored, and someone had had to punch him in, like, five minutes ago? Didn't that just figure.

But he deserved it, he supposed. Seven days had passed since he'd last texted or phoned. Technically, though, that wasn't his fault. He'd been a wee bit preoccupied, what with subduing his bundle of anything but joy. And on his last update, he'd been told the danger here had passed and everyone could return, so he'd stopped the I-have-to-know-how-everyone's-doing flurry of calls.

So, fine. No biggie. The fact that no one wanted to play actually did him a solid. Now he could take care of a little business. "Thanks, guys. You're the best. Really." And you can all suck it!

Strider surged forward. To console himself, he imagined his prisoner's expression when she woke up and found herself trapped in a four-by-four cage. Now that's the good stuff. Then his gaze snagged on his unfamiliar surroundings, and the last vestiges of his grin fell away. He stopped abruptly.

He'd been gone only a few weeks, and he'd thought most of the others had, too, but in that time someone had managed to turn the rundown monstrosity they called home into a showpiece. Once comprised of crumbling stone and mortar, the floor was now brilliant white marble veined with amber. Equally deteriorated walls were now vividly polished rosewood.

Before, the winding staircase had been cracked; now it gleamed, not a flaw in sight, an unblemished gold railing climbing to the top. In the corner, a white velvet-lined chair was pushed against reflective paneling, and beyond that, priceless artifacts—colorful vases, bejeweled trinket boxes, and aged spearheads—were perched behind glass cases.

None of which had been there before.

All these changes, in less than a month? Seemed impossible, even with Titan gods popping in and out at will. Maybe because those gods were more concerned with murder and mayhem than interior decorating. But maybe…maybe while Strider had been congratulating himself on a job well done, he'd entered the wrong house? It had happened before.

And talk about awkward. There was no way to explain the cut, bruised and soot-covered baggage he was hauling around. Not without a little jail time. Explaining the blood splatter on his clothing would be a real treat, too.

Nah, he decided a second later. This was the right place. Had to be. Along the staircase wall hung a portrait of Sabin, keeper of Doubt. Naked. Only one person had the balls to taunt badass Sabin with something like that. Anya, goddess of Anarchy and dealer of disorder, who just happened to be engaged to Lucien, keeper of Death. Odd pair, if you asked Strider, but no one had, so he'd kept the opinion to himself. Besides, better silence than the loss of a favorite appendage. Anya didn't take kindly to anyone second-guessing her. About anything.

"Yo, Tor Tor," he shouted now.

Torin, the keeper of the demon of Disease. Dude never left the fortress. He was always here, monitoring camera feed, ensuring the home remained invasion-free, as well as playing on his computers and making their miniature, by-invitation-only army a shitload of cha-ching.

At first, there was no reply, only another echo of his voice, and Strider began to worry. Had something catastrophic happened? A total demon wipeout? If so, why was he still here? Or had Kane, keeper of All Kinds of Bad Shit, had a crappy week and—

Footsteps pounded, closer and closer, and relief flooded him. He looked up the staircase, and there was Torin, standing on a zebra-print rug Strider also didn't recall seeing before, his white hair shagging around his devil's face, his green eyes bright as emeralds. He wore black from neck to toe, his hands covered by soft leather gloves. Fashion-wise, those gloves were overkill. To save mankind, though, they were kinda necessary.

"Welcome home," Torin said, adding, "You shithead."

"Nice greeting."

"You don't call, you don't write, and you want hearts and flowers?"

"Yeah, I do."

"Figures."

A single touch of Torin's skin against another's, and hello plague. Guy's demon pumped some kind of disease in his veins, that single touch all that was needed to spread it. Even to Strider. But immortal as he was, Strider wouldn't die from a little cough/fever/vomiting of blood. Not like humans, who would be ravaged, perhaps worldwide, the infection becoming nearly unstoppable. Strider would give the illness to everyone he touched in turn, though, and as he moderately enjoyed seducing humans, he relied on skin-to-skin action.

"So, everything good here?" Strider asked. "Everyone fine?"

"Now you want to know?"

"Yeah."

"Figures. Well, for the most part, alls well. A lot of the guys are out hiding artifacts, and looking for the last one. Those who aren't are hunting Galen." Torin took the stairs two at a time and stopped at the bottom, remaining out of striking distance. As always. His gaze flicked to the female, and amusement expanded his pupils, hiding whatever emotion had been banked there before. "So you're the next of us to fall in love, huh? Sucker! I thought you'd have more sense."

"Please. I want nothing to do with this raging bitch." A lie. During their seemingly eternal trek, he'd found himself desiring her more and more. And hating himself more and more. She might be sex walking, but she was also death waiting.

Too-pretty-to-be-male lips curved in sheer delight. "That's what Maddox said about Ashlyn. What Lucien said about Anya. What Reyes said about Danika. What Sabin—"

"Okay, okay. I get it." Strider rolled his eyes. "You can shut up now." While he would admit the girl's punked-out style appealed to him, he'd never be dumb enough to try and tap that.

He liked his women compliant. And sane.

Liar. You like this one. He wished he could blame his demon for that admission, but…Even now, simply thinking about her, his body was tensing, readying.

Torin crossed his arms over his chest. "So what is she? A human with a supernatural ability? A goddess? A Harpy?"

The guys here did have a propensity for choosing females of "myth" and "legend." Females far more powerful than their demons. Ashlyn could hear voices of the past, Anya could start fires with her mind (among other things), Danika could see into heaven and hell, and Sabin's wife, Gwen…well, she had a dark side you saw just before you died. Painfully.

"My friend, what I've got here is a bonafide Hunter." Strider slapped her ass as if a fly was perched there and he couldn't live another second without smashing it. The action was a reminder that she meant nothing to him. Although why he didn't tell his friend which Hunter she was, when he'd been so excited before, he didn't know. Actually, he did know. Fatigue. Yeah, he was tired, that was all, and didn't want to have to deal with all the praise. Tomorrow, after a nice long rest, he'd spill everything.

The girl offered no reaction to his slap, but then, he hadn't expected her to. He'd repeatedly drugged her as he'd dragged her from one corner of the world to the other. From Rome to Greece to New York to LA and finally to Budapest, leading her brethren on a merry chase as they attempted to save her.

Something they would never do.

We won! his demon laughed.

Damn right we did. He shivered in delight.

"Hunter?" All amusement fled his friend's face, the light dying in his eyes, turning those emeralds into sharp, deadly blades.

"Afraid so." Hunters. Their greatest enemy. The fanatics who wanted to destroy them. The bastards who considered them evil, beyond redemption, and the scourge of the earth. The assholes who blamed them for all the world's heartache. Best yet, they were the militia Strider was going to send to the hottest depths of hell, one soldier at a time. Or, with grenades, a few hundred at a time. Depended on his mood, he supposed.

"You should have offed her already," Torin remarked. "Now Sabin will want to talk with her."

"Talk" equaled torture in Sabin's mind. "I know he will. That's why she's still alive." She knew things about the gods pulling their strings, and could do things, impossible things, like cause weapons to materialize from thin air. Something only angel warriors could do. Or so he'd thought. Problem was, she wasn't an angel. And not just because she lacked wings. Girl had a temper.

Strider wanted to know how much she knew and how she did what she did.

More than that, he hadn't been able to do his job—aka dispose of Hunter trash—when he'd been alone with her. Every time he'd tried, he'd looked at her beautiful face and hesitated. The hesitation had given way to desire, and he'd started battling urges to kiss her rather than "off" her.

Sabin wouldn't let him get away with that shit. Sabin would ride his ass until he acted. Strider would have no choice but to step up to the plate and knock the ball out of the park. Because.His hands curled into fists. Because this woman, this walking atrocity.

His teeth gritted, and his jaw clenched so tightly the ache shot through his temples and straight into his brain. He experienced the same reaction every time he considered what she'd once done. This woman had helped decapitate his friend Baden, once keeper of the demon of Distrust.

Strider could never forget or forgive that fact.

The savage beheading had taken place thousands of years ago, but the pain inside him was as fresh as if it had happened this morning. Along with his friend, a piece of his own soul had died that day, and as the girl had learned during their trek to this fortress, a good portion of his heart had withered, too.

Mercy wasn't something he possessed. Not anymore. Most especially not for her.

He thought he'd killed her in vengeance already, all those centuries ago. Recalled the slash of his blade, the crimson tide of her blood, and the metallic stench of death wafting on the air. The sound of her body slamming into rock, her last gurgle of breath. Yet here she was, alive and well and driving him flipping insane.

Maybe he had killed her. Maybe she'd been reborn. Or maybe her soul had been stuffed inside another body. Or maybe this chick was more immortal than as he was and had somehow healed after the unhealable beheading. He didn't know, didn't care.

All that mattered was that she was Hadiee of Ancient Greece. Well, she called herself Haidee now. From Had-e-ay to Hay-dee. Evidently she'd changed the spelling and pronunciation for "modernization." Not that he gave a shit. He called her Ex, short for Demon Executioner, and that was that.

The proof of her crimes rested in her eyes. Those wintry, callous gray eyes. In the pride that dripped from her voice every time she spoke of that fateful night—I just loved the way his head rolled. Didn't you?—and the stark tattoos etched into her back. Tattoos that kept score. Haidee 1. Lords 4.

She deserved everything he and Sabin would do to her.

"I'm taking her to the dungeon," he said, and he'd never heard such a combination of relish and regret in his own voice before. Once again he started forward, throwing over his shoulder, "If you'd be a sweetheart and let Doubty-Poo know."

"No can do, Stridey-man. There's, uh, something you gotta see." A blast of fear mixed with dread and grim expectation accompanied the words.

Strider halted, one foot raised mid-air. He straightened, still-sleeping baggage nearly sliding to the ground. Slowly he turned, adjusting Ex, and faced Torin, his own sense of dread sprouting as he spied his friend's now pallid skin. White dusted with tiny rivers of blue. "You said everything was fine. What's wrong?"

Torin shook his head. "No way to explain until you've seen. And I said everything was fine for the most part. Now come on."

"The girl—"

"Bring her. She'll be guarded, you'll see." A wave of Torin's hand, and he was racing up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

Dread increasing, Strider followed, Ex bouncing on his shoulder. If she'd been awake, she would have lost her breath, over and over again, grunting from the pain of having her stomach repeatedly slammed into his bone. She also would have fought him with a skill matched by few.

Too bad the drugs had been so potent. A good fight would have settled his nerves.

What was so important that Torin didn't want him taking a few minutes to lock an abominable Hunter away?

His thoughts splintered the moment he hit the landing.

All he could do was gape. Angels. So many angels. No wonder the house had been redecorated. Divine intervention and all that. Angels did like them some pretties.

They stood along the wall, the only space between them filled by the arch of their wings. White feathers laced with gold, the wings of warriors. Their scents perfumed the air, a collage of orchids, morning dew, chocolate and champagne. They ranged in height, though none were shorter than six foot three, and though they wore girly white robes, their muscle mass rivaled Strider's.

Most were male, but all were demon assassins trained to hunt, to destroy, and when warranted, to protect. Since they didn't rush at him, ripping swords of fire from the air, as he knew they were very capable of doing, he assumed they were here for the latter.

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The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld Series #7) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 714 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Amun was one of the twelve immortal warriors who opened Pandora's Box eons ago. Like his peers he was punished by absorbing one of the demons Secret as a Lord of the Underworld. Meanwhile Strider and his demon Defeat capture Haidee, a demon Hunter whose ancestors were massacred by the Lords of the Underworld in ancient Greece. He takes her to the ancient warriors' fortress. There she meets in a cell Amun locked by his peers to keep his demon from manipulating the darkest emotions of his peers while the Warrior still recuperates from travel to Hell and back. Her touch calms the demon inside of Amun, but though attracted to one another, a hunter and a lord are as star-crossed as lovers can be. This is an intriguing entry with a strong late twist as readers will wonder whether love conquers all includes demons and their hunters. The romantic urban fantasy story line continues to be extremely complex and convoluted so don't dive in here as it behooves readers to peruse the previous tales. Not for everyone as Gena Showalter does not run away from the transgressions the Warriors have committed with rape and violence.Still fans will enjoy the tale of the hunter trained to kill the demon and his host. Harriet Klausner
BekahSC More than 1 year ago
Amun has never been one of my favorite Lords so I wasn't sure I'd be that into his book. Surprisingly I liked it more than I thought, and his path towards love and redemption turned out to be one of my favorites (Lucien is still tops). Haidee also was an interesting female character. She was a fighter, smart on her feet, and I enjoyed finding out about her backstory, especially how it connected to Amun. Strider, whose book is next, turned out to be kind of entertaining, and, as a result, I'm looking forward to his book. Not sure about the Kaia thing because we've already had a Lord/Harpy love story, but their chemistry seems pretty on point. Other things I enjoyed included any and all scenes with Torin (when is his book coming?!?), Gilly and William who might just be turning into my favorite star-crossed pair (give it a few years, and they are so ON) and, always, the easy banter and affection between the Lords. Now on to the things I didn't like. Paris. I can't believe I'm saying that because he was a favorite from the beginning, but he's become pathetic. So self-pitying and "Woe is me" and so ambrosia-ed up that he even sounds stupid when he talks. I get that his Great Love has been taken from him, but, geez, grow a pair. I also thought that the overall forward motion of this series stalled in this book. Not much actually happened. And finally, what I disliked most of all, was the ending. Too easy! Something pretty final happens to the heroine, we're told it's final, Amun has a page of acting crazy and then, poof, the thing that was final suddenly is not final. And all because Zacharel the angel has a change of heart when in every other scene in the book he has absolutely no emotion or personal attachment to the characters whatsoever. It's probably the most implausible ending I've read in a long time, and as talented as Gena Showalter is, I expected her to come up with something better.
Yvette4 More than 1 year ago
Gena Showalter has done it again. Book 7 focuses on Amun who is recovering from his trip to hell. Strider is also back from capturing Haidee. For me, this was one of the most romantic books in this series. If you are a fan, you'll know this is a very big statement as all of the lords are absolutely lovable, sexy and intriguing in their own way. We all love Paris. He has a small appearance in this book and your heart will continue to grieve on his behalf as he continues to indulge in too much ambrosia as he continues to pine away for that special lady. You'll be pulled back in to the world Gena so creatively captures. It is going to be a long wait for me as I await the next chapter in this series.
JC_Rubio More than 1 year ago
Amun and Haidee are just perfect for each other. Their story is full of gentleness, romance, love, sacrifice, and very steaming & sexy scenes. Gena Showalter did it again!
dasuzuki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I feel like I've been waiting for ages for the next lords book and I was so excited to get my hands on this one. Amun was always much more mysterious to me since he rarely spoke and was always in the back ground so I wasn't sure what to expect. Then to add to the confusion the story opens up with Strider being extremely attracted to Haidee so I had to flip the book back over to make sure this was supposed to be Amun's story. In the end I wasn't satisfied with the explanation for his attraction to her. Still the relationship between a lord and Haidee, the women responsible for killing their best friend, Baden, made for an interesting story line.It was great seeing more into who Amun is and that while strong he wasn't as overtly alpha male as some of the other lords. I loved Haidee and the back story of how she is still alive after having her head chopped off was deftly done. The chemistry between the two of them was smoking and their scenes together were steamy but it wasn't really their romance that made this book for me. Despite Haidee being a hunter and the killer of one of his best friends and Amun being a lord she's grown up swearing to kill they came together relatively easily. What truly grabbed me was all the little tidbits we get about the other lords. Like I mentioned above I was confused by how intense his feelings were towards Haidee even though she wasn't his one. Once we do see who he is going to be paired up with then the excitement kicked in. The pairing seems perfect and leaves you eager to read their story. We also see a little more of William and Gilly's relationship and I may have just forgotten about all the revelations of who William was but there were a few shockers in here about his background. And of course as usual Showalter tortures us with just a glimpse into Paris and Sienna's story. I swear sometimes I just want to shake the book and yell at it to reveal what is going to happen between Paris and Sienna. Overall this was another nice addition to the lords world and it just leaves you eagerly waiting for the next book.
SmashAttack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story opens up with Strider, who had not caught my attention in previous books, but that has sure changed! We get a healthy dose of Strider in this book, probably because his book is next. (I am way excited for that HEA! What a serious courting process that will be.) If you recall from The Darkest Lie, Strider caught a Hunter known as Haidee who has caused much strife for the warriors in the past. Strider brings Haidee to the fortress so that she can be questioned.Amun, keeper of the demon Secrets, is still struggling from his trip to Hell. In fact, Hell is still with him because he absorbed a few hundred demon minions during his trip and they are causing him constant agony and torment. While Amun lay in misery, he calls out for help. If you recall, Amun cannot speak, lest he release all the horrible secrets he has heard. So, he reaches out with his mind. And Haidee hears him. And so starts the treacherous journey that the two must make in order to learn that they are destined for one another. There is serious bad blood between their kind, but in the process of working together to bring respite to Amun, memories reveal that all is not what it seems. We see some very tender moments between the two as they come to this realization. And quiet, mysterious Amun shows a very different side of himself when the Lords share their true opinion of Haidee.William gets screen time in this book, which made me extremely happy. He is another favorite of mine, and has been since he was introduced. I love a snarky, sarcastic hot piece o¿ man, and he fits the bill beautifully. We get a small scene between he and Gilly, and learn a bit about his curse, which gives us great insight into his outlook on life and behavior. While William is not a Lord, I assume Gena will write his HEA because he is a very well-loved character. I will be very upset otherwise. :) Some of the best scenes in the book included Strider, Paris and William. I was roaring with laughter. Those scenes were gold. GOLD, I tell you. Between the text messages, the strippers and the ambrosia, it was pure magic. Fried Twinkies, FTW!The ending of this book was a bit odd and partly the reason I did not give it a five. The final showdown nor the situation that brought the characters together in the end felt unnatural, to me. It didn¿t flow well. I also thought Haidee¿s ability to come back from the darkness, so to speak, was far to easy. I wanted more struggle. However, as with any of the LOTU series, I expect smex (Gena teases us with sexual play throughout the entire book, but we don¿t get the full shebang until much later. ), laughter and action, emotional struggles and vulnerability in otherwise threatening, aggressive warriors, and strong yet gentle heroines! The Darkest Secret delivered.
thetearose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another book in the Lords of the Underworld series, I wasn't too interested in this one. It started off strong, with interesting male and female leads, but the end just sort of petered off. Showalter put a lot of the heroine' s backstory in the last 50 pages of the novel and it just sort of fell flat. Strider's story seems to be up next, with the harpy Kaia as the love interest.
ABookwormsHaven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the 7th in this series, so we have seen many lives unfold in this world and the more time I spend with the lords, the more I fall in love with them. I was hesitant about this book because I did not see how this was going to end well. The girl who killed Baden is supposed to end up with one of the lords herself, really? I did not see that happening, but I was eager to see how Gena wove this tale and have these two characters overcome their pasts.We have gotten glimpses of Amun before and I did not really find myself intrigued by him, but in this book he demanded my attention. I loved that he was not full on alpha male, but his presence still dominated anyone around him. He loves all his fellow lords and does his best to protect them, but once pushed he is a force to be reckoned with. Haidee on the other hand really remains a puzzle for much of the book. You are given clues about her past, but not enough to riddle out the answer until you get much closer to the end. Which was frustrating and awesome all at the same time. When the two are forced into a journey through hell, both of their beliefs are put to the test and watching them trying to decode the other was fascinating.While I loved Amun and Haidee¿s story, Paris, William and Strider stole the show for me. There is one scene about halfway through the book where they are partying at Paris¿ house and decide to drunk dial Maddox. I was crying at one point I was laughing so hard. I am not going to write out what happens because I think you will enjoy it more if you discover it on your own. Just be on the lookout for this scene in the book, I am sure anyone who is a fan of these books will enjoy it as well. The point to me sharing this scene with you is to point out how much I love the chemistry between the warriors. Their sarcastic remarks and witty commentary always puts a smile on my face and I love that Gena lets us get to see that side of them.Overall, this is another fantastic addition to this series. With each book that passes I get drawn deeper into the lives of the lords and can¿t wait to spend more times with them. Now I just have to wait it out for Strider¿s book, which I know will be fantastic as well!
Slion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Surrender is a slice in the LOTU world that focuses mainly on the inner struggles of Amun, the keeper of Secrets and Haidee, the Demon assassin who will be the woman who can save him from the countless demon minions who possess him from his trip in hell. For fans of the LOTU, Amun has had very little page time, so this book has been a long await glimpse into the warrior. The novel also touches on Strider, who has brought Haidee into the fortress, and shows us slivers of the personality the warrior and demon possess. There is also some foreshadowing of Kaia¿s interest in our demanding warrior. There are also some breadcrumbs for us to chew on about William and the tortured Paris, both of which are making very calculated actions with regards to future tales.I will have to say; this was one of my favorite books in the series to date. To have a break from the story arc of the artifacts, the gods and goddesses, or even the plot with Galen and the hunters was kind of nice for a change. Amun sacrifices so much for those around him, even the ability to speak, just a simple tool to interact with others and bring those close to you. He becomes possessed with minion demons helping Aeron (last book) to save Legion and now is suffering from this possession. The angels are threatening to kill him because he cannot control the possession. He cannot even ask or scream for help. Amun refuses to spill the secrets he knows even to help himself. How can you not feel for this guy?Strider has captured Haidee, Baden¿s killer, and brought her to the fortress. She, of all people can hear and calm Amun. An angel, Zachariel, also has told Amun that if goes back to hell with Haidee, he can fee himself of the demons. As the saying goes, love is hell, and these 2 steams up the netherworld. I found great amusement over the amount of oral gratification in this relationship considering Amun cannot speak a word. He can only communicate telepathically with Haidee. So actions are always louder than words for him. Eventually, the key to Amun¿s salvation is the revelation of Haidee¿s secrets. Hate is replaced by love but in doing so everything they knew before has had to change. That change is devastating.Darkest Surrender truly is a love story for LOTU. When I look at all the sacrifices that Amun has given for those he loves, and the fact he has never made excuses for what he has done, maybe we owe him this tale. A life of a hunter is one filled with hate, and the problem with their organization is the hate is misplaced. Just like Ashlyn, Haidee realizes once she knows the person the demon possesses, that her actions may have been wrong. Actions speak louder the words. Amun personifies this since he has no words to give. Everyone, the other Lords and the readers, at the end are happy for Amun, for getting the girl. Nice.
historicalbooklover on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
OMG....going it to this book I was not expecting a lot & boy was I wrong by end it had found it's way into my top favorites of the series. One of the best in the series!
RtB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review by JenI'm a huge fan of this series and they are one of the few books on my auto-buy list. For those unfamiliar with this series, Gena Showalter has taken a look at the mythological story of Pandora and what happens when her box is opened. Here's how Gena describes the series on her webpage: Long ago, twelve immortals warriors ¿ each more dangerously seductive than the last -- stole and opened Pandora¿s box, unleashing the evil from within. Now they carry that evil within themselves. Violence, Pain, Death, Disease, Disaster, Misery, Doubt, Promiscuity, Defeat, Lies, Secrets, and Wrath. When a powerful enemy returns, they will travel the world in search of a sacred relic of the gods ¿ one that threatens to destroy them all. The Darkest Secret is book 7 in the series and follows Amun, who "carries" the demon of secrets. At the start of the book (well, and through most of it), Amun is in a really dark place because of events that happened in book 6, The Darkest Lie. Which really tells you that this series works best if you read them in order. But I digress... So Amun is in a really bad way and the only thing that seems to calm him is the presence of Haidee, who also happens to be the enemy.Keeping in mind there are a several subplots going on, continuing from prior books and leading us towards the next one, the main plot is the "romance" between Amun and Haidee. While I loved the story, Showalter moved a little too far into the realm of horror for my tastes. There were a few really graphic scenes that made it just less enjoyable for me to not give it a better rating.But I was very happy with how Showalter handled Amum's story and the moving forward of the subplot. I'm looking forward to the next book, which is to be released in late September (happy birthday to me!).
onyx95 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Since the time that the warrior¿s opened Pandora¿s box, Amun had resigned himself to a lonely existence spent protecting his friends from their own secrets that his demon was able to get from everyone around him. After a particularity bad event leaving him unable to control himself or his demon, Secrets, Amun was more than surprised to find that whoever was being held in the next room seemed to be able to hear him. Hear his thoughts. No one was going to hurt her man, she had dreamed about him nearly all of her life, but there was something different about him now and Haidee needed to get them out to safety before bothering to find out what it was.Book 7 ¿.. Oh Lords, talk about the strong silent type. Always like to learn more about how each of the demons work to help or hinder the Lords, and this is one of them that I was really looking forward to. Not a disappointment. While I loved their story, I also very much enjoyed the addition of Strider, William, Paris and a few others getting some story time. This series has so many great characters that just seem to get better and better with each new addition. So, I eagerly await Striders story in the Darkest Surrender (due out September 2011).
arthistorychick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Darkest Secret is Gena Showalter¿s latest edition in the on-going Lords of the Underworld series. I love this series, have read most of it at least twice and until now there has not been a single book in this series that I haven¿t liked. Until now, I said. To be fair, I didn¿t totally dislike The Darkest Secret but it left me feeling a little meh at the end. Let me tell you why this feeling sucks so hard: because this is the story of the dark and beautiful keeper of Secrets, Amun. I so wanted to feel warm and fuzzy at the end of this book and for Amun, the most caring of all the Lords to find peace. What I got was just meh.Amun¿s story begins with him having just returned from a trip to Hell, his body is overrun by a bajillion demons, he has not spoken to anyone in a few millennia, and he finds himself inexplicably drawn to Haidee, the woman who took the head of his brother-in-arms, Baden. This butt-load of baggage should have exploded all over the pages and instead it just sort of trickled out and oozed all over the pages. Don¿t get me wrong the trickling and oozing was interesting but not what I have come to expect from this author and from this series. Amun and Haidee¿s story plays out as I expected it too with no real surprises along the way. The two are transported to Hell in order to find a way to remove the bajillion demons from Amun before they claim his sanity and his life. The tension between Amun and Haidee is palpable; they hate one another yet at the same time both desperately want to shag one another. The most interesting part of this journey is how Showalter brings these two sworn enemies together. Of course this struggle leads to some fabulous and frequent naughty bits Remember, this love-to-last-the ages is developing in and around these two finding clever and creative ways to overcome the incredibly creepy, sinister, evil, and sometimes slithery obstacles before them in Hell. Hell, we¿ve been there and done that!OK, OK! I¿ll stop with the ranting and the negativity but only because I feel absolutely compelled to tell you about The Darkest Secret¿s sub-plot. Now this little bit of drama has me fired up and ready to send Showalter a nice long email that ends with ¿TYPE FASTER!!¿ In general, the full cast and crew of the Lords of the Underworld series appear in each and every edition of this series but in this instance Showalter broke with tradition and focused most of our attention (easily ¼ of the novel) on Strider, the keeper of Defeat. Grrrrr, hello, Strider! Don¿t misunderstand: Showalter did not write two totally separate stories in one novel. In fact, she made Strider an important part of Amun¿s story while at the same time laid the ground work for Strider¿s story. Based on the information that is tantalizingly (and tauntingly) dangled in front of us in The Darkest Secret, Strider¿s story has the potential to be one of the best books in this entire series!! The bottom line: yeah, I was a bit disappointed in Amun¿s story. Since his introduction, Amun has always been one of the most fascinating characters for me and I somehow wanted more for him than what he got. On the flip side, there was the Strider part of the story that has left me a bit desperate for the release of the next book. The combination of disappointment and shear excitement sort of cancelled out each other and left me feeling well, a little ambivalent. Write faster, Gena Showalter, I need some more Strider in my life.The Darkest Surrender (Strider¿s story) is scheduled for release September 27, 2011. I have already marked my calendar.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best in this series so far (IMHO)
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CeCeSG More than 1 year ago
OMG!!!!! I loved it!!!! Ok, I'm going to try not to gush  and write a coherent review here....   I give up!! I'm totally going to gush!  If you want a coherent you have to go read one of my other reviews. I loved this book from beginning to end.  I have read the previous books in the series, and each one has been sooo good (no disappointments like the BDB series).  But this one?!?  It's the best of them all so far. At one point I thought I was going to burst in to tears (don't judge me!) By the end, I couldn't put it down.  Amun, is my favorite of the Lord's of the Underworld so far.  Each has their burdens to bear along with their demon.  Each has made their sacrifice.  Of them all Amun was the one who always intrigued me. One (and let me get this out of the way) because he's described as a black men (skin the color of coffee with a dollop of cream), that's how he's described and that's how I see him.  I love authors who can include characters of different colors and ethnicity in their stories.  Two, he's the keeper of Secrets. That alone is intriguing.  The things he must know!  How he keeps those secrets only to himself, never tainting those around him with that burden.  I don't think any of the other lords are as self contained and disciplined as he is.   I had no idea how they were going to overcome the mountain of their past, Amun being a Lord and Haidee being a hunter and the killer of Baden, but they did and in the best possible way.  The journey they had to go through not only made them rely on each other, but also made them get to know and understand each other better.  I thought the story was very well done, very well put together. I appreciated that layer up on layer was slowly revealed as you read.  If you haven't read the series up to this point.  I would suggest you start at the beginning, each one gets better and better.  I am hoping Strider's book is next (I have not looked ahead to see)I can't wait to see how Kaia challenges him.   Happy reading!
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