The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld Series #9)

The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld Series #9)

by Gena Showalter

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At long last, New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter unveils the story of Paris, the darkest and most tormented Lord of the Underworld….

Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive—but his potent allure comes at a terrible price. Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die. And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he'd thought was forever beyond his reach…until now.

Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet in Paris's arms, the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up.

Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally—or tear them apart?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373776573
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Series: Lords of the Underworld Series , #9
Edition description: Original
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 238,087
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 6.64(h) x 1.36(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

Read an Excerpt

Paris tossed back three fingers of Glenlivet and signaled the bartender. He wanted an entire hand and by right or might, he'd have it. Except soon after the single malt was poured, he realized an entire hand wasn't going to cut it, either. Fury and frustration were living entities inside him, frothing and bubbling despite his recent fighting.

"Leave the bottle," he said when the bartender made a move to help someone else. Hell, suddenly Paris doubted every drop of alcohol in a ten-mile radius would do the trick, but hey. Desperate times.

"Sure, sure. Anything you say." Shirtless Boy Wonder released the bottle and beat feet.

What? He looked that dangerous? Please. He'd washed off the blood, hadn't he? Wait. Hadn't he? He looked down. Shit. He hadn't. Crimson streaked him from head to toe.

Whatever. He wasn't in a human bar, so no "authorities" would have a beef with him. He was in Olympus, though the heavenly kingdom had recently been renamed Titania. Once only gods and goddesses had been allowed here, but when Cronus reclaimed the realm, he'd changed things, allowing vampires, fallen angels and other creatures of the dark to come and play. A nice little screw you to the previous king, Zeus.

Call the bartender back, Promiscuity said. I want him.

Promiscuity—the demon trapped inside him, driving him. Irritating him. Remember when I wanted fidelity? Monogamy? Paris replied in his mind. Well, we don't always get what we want, do we?

A familiar growl sounded in his head.

Whaa, whaa, pout, pout. He downed the second alcoholic offering and quickly chased it with a third. Both scorched so good he enjoyed a fourth. The potent alcohol razed his chest, burned holes in his abdomen, and flooded his veins. Nice.

And yet, his emotions remained as dark as ever, the edges of that bone-deep fury and frustration un-smoothed. His inability to save a not-so-innocent woman he should hate—did hate, at least a little—but also hungered for, body and soul, drove him, a constant whip against his flank.

"If I asked you to leave, would you?" a monotone voice said from beside him. A voice accompanied by a blast of arctic air.

He didn't have to look to know that Zacharel, warrior angel extraordinaire and infamous demon-assassin, had just joined him. They'd met not long ago, when the feathered axman had come to Buda to off Paris's friend Amun. Had old Zach actually succeeded, two crystal blades would have been drilling into his spine at that very moment.

I want him, the demon said.

Screw you.

Finally. We 're on the same page. Really hate you right now.

Once upon a time, the demon had spoken to Paris with annoying frequency. Then the stupid sex fiend had stopped, merely urging Paris to bed this person or that person, no matter their gender or Paris's own feelings toward them. Now, the talking had started up again and it was worse than before, because he wanted everyone, especially the ones Paris felt no desire for. "Well?" the angel prompted.

"Leave, when I had to beg Lucien to bring me here and I know he won't be so accommodating next time? No, but I'd damn sure want to know why you gave a crap about my location."

"I do not care about your location."

True story. Zacharel didn't care about anything, a fact you learned real fast in your dealings with him. "That's my point, so get lost."

As Paris nursed a fifth whiskey, he studied the smoke-stained mirror in front of him, covertly panning the area behind him. Bejeweled chandeliers hung from the ceiling. The walls were rose-colored marble, veined with glittering ebony, the floor a sparkling stretch of crushed diamonds.

Throughout the room, men and women talked and laughed. From minor gods and goddesses to fallen angels trying to work their way back into their saintly fold. Good luck with that in a bar. Morons. Anyway. There was probably a demon or two sprinkled among the masses, but Paris couldn't tell for sure.

Demons were as sneaky as they were evil. They could skulk around in their own scales, proudly showcasing their horns, claws, wings and tails—and getting decapitated by warrior angels like Zach. Or they could possess someone else's body and skulk around in their skin.

Paris had thousands of years of experience with the latter.

"I will leave, as you so succinctly suggested," Zacharel said, "after you answer another question for me."

"All right." Something else Paris knew from experience: angels were freakishly stubborn. Better to hear the guy out, otherwise he'd find himself with a new shadow. He turned, facing the dark-haired stunner with eyes the color of jade, and sucked in a breath. Never ceased to amaze him, how magnetic these celestial beings were. No matter their gender—or how mind-numbingly dull their personalities—they drew and held your attention, every damn time. For some reason, Zacharel did so with more intensity than most.

But the magnetism wasn't what caught Paris's attention this time. Majestic wings arced over the angel's broad shoulders, a turbulent fall of winter clouds with streams of gold winding and curling throughout, snow-flakes raining from the tips like glitter in a globe.

"You're snowing." Captain Obvious, that's me.



"I can answer you, or I can ask my question and leave." Dressed in the long white robe that was customary for his kind, Zacharel should have looked innocent and prissy. Instead, he looked like the Grim reaper's evil twin: emotionless, as frigid as the snow he shed and ready to kill. "Your choice."

No thought necessary. "Ask."

"Do you wish to die?" Zacharel said it as simply as he'd said everything else, mist crystallizing in front of his mouth, creating a dreamlike haze and reminding Paris of the breath of life. Or death.

Definitely ready to kill, Paris mused. "What do you think?" he asked, because honestly? He didn't know the answer anymore.

For centuries he'd fought to live, but now, now he constantly threw himself into the fire and waited to be burned. Liked being burned. What kind of sick prick had he become?

Unflinching, the angel held his gaze. "I think you want one particular woman more than you want anyone—or anything—else. Even death…even life."

Paris pressed his tongue to the roof of his mouth. One woman in particular: the not-so-innocent one.

Her name was Sienna Blackstone. Once a Hunter and always his enemy, for Hunters were an irritating army of humans who hoped to rid the world of Pandora's demons. Then fleetingly, she'd been his lover. Then dead, gone. Then she'd been brought back from the grave, her soul merged with the demon of Wrath. Now, she was out there. Somewhere. And she was suffering. Cronus had enslaved her, thinking to use her demon to punish his adversaries, and now that he'd lost control of her, he thought to torture her into submission.

Paris might dislike the things Sienna had done to him, and yeah, as he'd already admitted, part of him might even hate the woman herself, but even she did not deserve the cruel, vicious—eternal—punishment being meted out.

I will find her, and I will save her. From Cronus…from himself. Right now, Paris simply couldn't get past the fact that she was suffering. Once that part of the equation was dealt with, he would stop thinking about her. He had to stop thinking about her.

"So I want her," he ended up saying to the angel. Sienna was not up for discussion. "BFD."

"I will pretend I know what that means." Zacharel shook his wings, more of that pure, glistening snow raining down. "As for you, I think that, despite your own desires, your demon wants anything with a pulse."

"Sometimes even a pulse isn't a requirement," he muttered, and damn if that wasn't the truth. Sex, as he'd taken to calling his dark companion, wanted anyone and everyone—but only ever once. With the exception of Sienna, Sex would not allow Paris to harden for the same person twice.

Why could he have Sienna again? No damn clue. "But again, so?"

"I think, even though you crave this particular woman, you slept with your friend Strider's future wife. He is the demon of Defeat, and your actions made his courtship of the Harpy very difficult."

"Hey. You're entering dangerous territory here." Not that Paris had anything to apologize for.

The one-nighter had happened weeks before Strider and Kaia hooked up. Or had even thought about hooking up. Therefore, Paris had done nothing wrong. Technically. And yet, he now knew what Kaia looked like naked, and Strider knew that he knew, and that meant all three of them knew Sex tossed out naked images of the girl every time they were together. A consequence Paris loathed, but couldn't stop.

Zacharel's dark head tilted to the side in a reflective pose, all the more mysterious because of the mist that continued to form with his every exhalation. "I meant only to point out that you have clearly moved on to other conquests and that you are hardly discriminating in your choices, which makes me wonder why you still pursue your Sienna."

Because Sienna had been Paris's one and only shot at monogamy. Because he'd inadvertently brought about her death. Because he'd felt like he lost everything when she died.

"You're annoying," he snapped. "And I'm done talking to you."

Still the angel persisted. "I think you feel guilty about every heart you break, every dream of happily-ever-after you crush, and every bit of self-loathing you encourage when your partners realize how effortlessly you overcame their reservations. I also think you are overindulged and pathetic, and that you have no business crying about your problems."

"Hey! I've never cried." Paris slammed his glass on the counter with so much force the bar split down the center and the cup shattered. Blood welled from the slices in his palm, but the sting was minimal. "And you know what? I think you are seconds away from finding pieces of your body scattered in all the corners of this bar."

Then, while he's down, we can have him! Zip it, Sex.

"Uh, here you go," the bartender said, Johnny-on-the-spot with a clean rag he thrust in Paris's direction. His arm shook. He was still afraid of Paris.

I want—

I said zip it! "Thanks, man." Paris fisted the material, applying pressure to the slivers of torn tissue before anyone could scent him and the oh-so-special phero-mones his demon excreted.

One whiff of the intoxicating aroma, and everyone around him would become unforgivably aroused, uncaring about where they were or who they were with. Mostly their hunger would be for Paris, and though that would have been an especially craptastic outcome tonight considering he was operating under a time crunch, he would have enjoyed rebuffing the males with his fists.

Except…the pheromones never enveloped him. He frowned. Sex wanted everyone he'd spotted tonight. Why not take advantage of his ability and force the patrons to want him back?

Paris returned his focus to Zacharel, wondering if the angel was somehow responsible.

Those eyes of the rarest jade narrowed to tiny slits. "I think you hope to save your Sienna, and that is a good thing. I think you mean to keep her, and that is not. No matter how intensely you crave her, no matter that she might be your only chance at forever, your demon will eventually ruin her, for humans were never meant to battle demons, and at heart, she is still a human."

"What about her own demon?" he snapped.

"If one is bad, two is surely worse."

"Enough!" If they continued on this path, his fury and frustration would rise up and consume him. He would lose sight of tonight's goal. "I'm not going to keep her." He would. He so would if given a chance, and if she would have him, of course, but hell, she wouldn't have him.

"Good. Because this particular woman would not like the man you have become."

Snorting, Paris shoved his free hand through his hair. "She didn't like who I was." And now, after he'd irrevocably stepped over the line between right and wrong? Please.

He'd known his actions were reprehensible, and he'd stepped over anyway. He'd killed, callously. Seduced, methodically. Lied, cheated and betrayed. All of which he would do again and again.

"Yet you still rush to save her," Zacharel said.

Yeah. He was as big a moron as the fallen who frequented this place. Whatever. He knew. Didn't care. "Look, I don't answer to you. I don't have to explain myself. And what's with all the questions? You said you only had one more."

"I have asked only the one. The rest have been observations, and I have one more of those to offer." Zacharel leaned into him and whispered, "I think, if you continue on this destructive path, you will lose everything you have come to love."

"Is that a threat?" Paris fisted the collar of the angel's robe. "Go ahead and try something, winger. See what—"

Air. He was fisting and yelling at air.

Little growls sprang from his throat as he lowered his arm to his side. The only reason he knew Zacharel had been here was the temperature of his hands. They were practically frostbitten.

"Uh, who were you talking to?" the bartender asked, faux casual as he cleaned an already clean counter.

If an angel didn't want to be seen, an angel wouldn't be seen. Not even by his brethren, fallen or otherwise. So only Paris had seen Zacharel this go-round. Great. "Myself apparently, and we prefer to chat without an audience."

Was Zacharel still here? Paris wondered. Or had he materialized somewhere else? And what was the purpose of all that talk of Paris needing to stay away from Sienna? The angel shouldn't care.

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The Darkest Seduction 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 425 reviews.
SuperBookish More than 1 year ago
Wonderful Book I enjoyed reading. kept me entertained all the way through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gena Showalter is an amazing writer. I love everything she writes and I can't wait to read this book.
BekahSC More than 1 year ago
Like pretty much everyone else, I absolutely loved the early books in this series (Lucien's is still my fave) and had been feeling kind of "eh" about the past four or five. Part of this is because I've been waiting forever for Paris and Torin's stories, and now at least Paris has been given his HEA. I was surprised by the book's length and overall was happy with how the story went, but I definitely think some things could have been cut to make the book better. The novel really drags for about 100 pages, and there's a lot of repeat information that faithful readers of this series don't need like an almost verbatim description of Paris and Sienna's first meeting. The Paris in this book is very different from the Paris we knew in the first books, and while I understand the reasons he'd change (losing Sienna, despair over his Demon, drug addiction, bottomless rage), I miss him. The early Paris was charming. Amusing. He didn't take things too seriously, and his lightness was a welcome antidote to the intensity of the other Lords. Well, in this book he's super intense. He's discovered that Sienna is being held by the Titan God Cronus and been given Aeron's old Demon Wrath. With William and the angel Zacharel, he sets off to rescue her. Sienna turns out to have a pivotal role in the war between the Lords and the Hunters, and the ending was a suprising but welcome touch. The Darkest Seduction moves the overall story arc forward in leaps and bounds. It really is the ending of a chapter in this series, and in my opinion it answers questions and wraps things up pretty nicely. I'm interested to see where the series goes from here. There's still Torin who received an incredible gift that will change his life completely, Kane who's been rescued by a mysterious woman, William and Gilly, Galen who I actually started to like in this book, the heartbreaking Legion and some new characters who pop up in this book. Some small quibbles... what's up with the Calvin Klein ad cover art? and, when did the author and everyone else start refering to Paris as "Sex?" He has the Demon of Promiscuity. That was annoying. Overall, a huge improvement over the last books and can't wait for the spin-off with Zacharel this summer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Preordered and opened. Really enjoyed reading Paris & Sienna's story. GS does an excellent job keeping the story unpredictable. I can usually figure out the plot, twists and turns in a novel in the first couple chapters, but not in this novel. The main characters have to fight and sacrifice to stay together. Their friends have to stand with them and fight, but the specifics of each sacrifice and fight are a happy, happy surprise. I like surprises. Predictability is boring. Yeah go Lords of the Underworld. Can't wait for the dark angel series to start. Also, GS does a great job keeping readers up to date on the main cast of characters current status. Poor Kane.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is amazing!!!! Why anyone would write a bad review on it yet is beyond me. This story is long anticipated and after reading the preview, i doubt i'll be dissapointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to love this book and don't get me wrong there were a lot of parts that I liked, but (and I SOOO hate saying this because I truely love this series) it fell a little flat for me. There were some parts in the book that really dragged out and I kept thinking to myself will this ever end? 90% of the book was all about Paris and Sienna and I was kind of hoping for a little more of the other lords, especially the birth of Maddox and Ashlyn's twins and maybe a little more interaction between Gilly and William (who are my favorites). I did like the end and it seems that Ms. Showalter opened it up for a whole new direction which had me very interested to see what happens next. I guess maybe I had too high of expectations because there was this huge build up for Paris so I was hoping that his story would just blow me away. All in all this book is good, but not one of my favorites. If you are a fan of the series, it is an enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the strong character sienna turned out to be but the actual romance between herself and paris i felt was lacking something. While reading the other lords books i went crazy for paris info and was drooling for this addition which is good but i feel like it didnt go all the way with its potential. Still love gena n the series though xoxo kb
Thereviewerofromance More than 1 year ago
I have been an avid Gena Showalter fan for awhile now, but after the first three LOTU books the series has just sort of fizzled out. This story was long and dreary with no real hook. Sienna was lame and Paris just had too much going on. I found myself skipping pages and generally had a hard time finishing the book. Overall, very disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been waiting forever for this book. It's a must read. Doesn't let the preorder glitch discourage you. As for those having trouble with preordered books, try archiving and unarchiving several time via the archive folder in the My books section. First archive. Next, select and hold on book until option screen appears, then select book details. From there select manage and unarchive. If it doesn't work, try several times or archive, restart and try again. Sometimes that works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. I couldnt put it down. I read it in two evenings! I couldnt have made a better story for Paris if I tried too. Some loose ends were tied up. Just amazing. Cant wait for the next book in the series!!! Bring it on!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There was so much hype about this book, but after taking FOREVER to read it (because there were definitely slow parts) i'm underwhelmed. The ending is pretty exciting, but everything else was long and drawn out. Showalter can do better. Excited for William's story...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe it's just that I'm burned out with these really dark sad depressing characters, but I just can't finish this. I've been a Gena fan for a long time. I think I've read all her books, even the older ones. You know the ones that were lighthearted and the characters were funny and you had fun reading them. Well if I don't start seeing some of those return, I'm just going to stick with rereading her good ones. I've never particularly enjoyed depression. Don't get me wrong. I've certainly read plenty of dark haunting romances and thoroughly enjoyed them. I just can't take anymore psycopathically depressed characters.
Afanreader More than 1 year ago
Slow starter This book starts very slowly and seems to drag on with details that could have been left out. With all the positive reviews, I thought it would be more interesting. Perhaps, one should read previous books in the series to grasp the full dynamics. However, this one is not for me. I've had the book for 2 weeks and I still don't know how it ends.
GEMYNI More than 1 year ago
Had to dumb-myself-down to endure to the end… I loved the first three books of this series. Maddox, Lucien and Reyes’ stories were entertaining and fun and – yes – erotic. The next few left me feeling …Meh, they were just OK. After the inane stupidity of the last book with Strider and Kaia, I wasn’t even going to finish out this series. Then I saw it was Paris’ story, and held out hope that maybe the idiocy of the writing was just Strider’s personality, and not the direction of Ms. Showalter’s writing for the future. Alas, I was wrong… The little side conversations that these warriors continue to have with their inner-demons are stupid and childish. For being over 1,000 years old, I would have expected them to grow up some. It was a challenge to finish this book. I actually put it down and began and finished another book that kept my interest more in the middle of reading this one. Anohter thing, I don’t want to read a horror story, that’s why I’m reading romance. If I read about another “crimson pond” or “river of crimson blood” or “pile of bones” I was going to scream. Whether we’re in Hell or Heaven, apparently they all look the same. Get back to the fortress and the interaction with the other warriors and their mates! That's what we all want to see. Unfortunately, this is probably the last LotU book for me. I can’t dumb-myself-down enough to endure any more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story line is so long and drag out .all the different characters and none with a definate story line this book remined me of charlie brown teacher. I cant get into it every side characters is more interesting than the main characters. SO DISAPPOINTED !!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her previous books were pretty good but this last one seemed wooden. The characters were very one dimensional an a good two hundred of its pages were internal dialouge. While I am happy Paris isn't emo anymore I found myself more interested in the Galen/Legion snippets than anything else. In hindsight I should have waited a month for my library to carry this book than to shell out $5 for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Freakishly Awesome! I could'nt put it down.
skyyreader More than 1 year ago
Loved the book! Paris definately deserved his happy ending but was completely unsure of how it would happen or if it would even work. G.S. did a great job telling his story. Lots of big changes for alot of the characters in this book. I was at the edge of my seat the whole time and was sad to see it end. Excited for the next story!
addictedtolove More than 1 year ago
This is easily one of Gena's best in the Lords series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you've read the rest of the books in this series and enjoyed them then you're going to love this one! Everyone who was waiting for Paris' story will not be disappointed. I can't wait to read what comes next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waited for this book and now im skipping pages. Interactions between Sienna ad Paris are so bleh. High expectations for the next one. I love Gena but im giving 4 stars to this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Woooow is it me or did gena's writing skills improved to great heights. Her books were already good but this. . Wooow she was number 2 favorite author of mine. She just bumped up to numero uno!!! You wont regret reading her books go for it. Also the pple who marked her two stars that the file wont open . They shouldnt blame gena for that. They need to call b n N. Reset therr nook or just play around with it aliie. Dont blame the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best installments in the Lords of the Underworld series. Well worth the wait. So happy to see Paris finally get his happily ever after.
segnenlea More than 1 year ago
Paris has been a major player popping in and out of all the Underworld series and I don't doubt that his story was the hardest to write. Honestly, how DO you hook a man up that has to have sex with a different woman every night??? This was an excellent read and I can't WAIT for the next series ( Hotty Zach is gonna get his due I bet)! You've got to read Paris and Sienna's story.. it absolutely ROCKED!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing and heartstopping if u follow the series!! If u dont its not as amazing but still probley pretty epic