The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld #12
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: June 1st 2016
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with her most explosive Lords of the Underworld tale to date, about a fierce warrior on the brink of sanity who will stop at nothing to claim the exquisite human with the power to soothe the beast inside him…
Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he's back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he's unable to withstand the touch of another…and he's quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.
Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she's taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she's plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.
But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she'll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.
Baden has always been a tricky character for me. I never really understood where his place was in the series. I never understood how he came back to life after being beheaded. Really? Who survives that. Well, I’m here to tell you.
Baden was locked away in a spirit realm with Pandora (of Pandora’s Box) for something like four thousand years. They both got out but had to put these wreaths on their wrists compliments of Hades. Yeah, nothing good could come from that. I mean, it’s Hades. Admittedly, Hades is a different character in all books by all authors. Sometimes he’s a real ass, sometimes he’s just an evil s.o.b, and sometimes he’s an evil but kind of nice s.o.b. In this case, we’ll go with number three. He’s evil, but he has a good side (I won’t be telling that to my daughter, like, ever) so it was entertaining.
Now that Lucifer is at war with Hades for the Underworld, Hades needs all the help he can get. Which means “recruiting” Baden and Pandora. Oh, don’t kid yourselves, they’re forced to serve Hades because of those wreaths on their wrists that keep them in corporeal form. Hades starts his own reality show of “Who Can Bring Hades What He Wants The Fastest Or Die?”. That’s what I would call it anyway. That sets Baden and Pandora against each other yet again.
When Baden goes to get the first “prize” that Hades wants, he meets Katarina Joelle. Katarina does not want anything to do with her future husband and continues to pray for a miracle. She didn’t expect that her miracle would be someone like Baden. Half Jamie Fraser, half beast. Yes, Baden has a hard time keeping his beast in check. He decides to take Katarina to show her husband, Alex, that he means business. It has nothing to do with his attraction to her or how she calms his beast. Not at all.
As the contest between Baden and Pandora continues, the relationship between Katarina and Baden evolves. Baden has known nothing but betrayal from women. Katarina has known nothing but lying and cheating from men. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. Especially since she knows that he’s only keeping her until he gets what he wants from Alek. She soon decides that Baden is the lesser of two evils. As for Baden, Katarina is the only living soul that can calm the beast. When the beast wants to come out and play by being a violent, destructive bastard, Katarina is the only one that can tame him. Except Baden doesn’t want to be tamed. And we have a catch 22.
There are several misunderstandings that are cleared up, Pandora and Baden kind of like each other once they realize what the bands from Hades really do (I’m not telling), and Katarina gets some dogs that aren’t dogs (I’m not telling, but it’s really cool). Also, Ginny is dying and William is going crazy trying to save her. I love seeing William go crazy because he’s usually making everyone else go crazy including those that read the series!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Darkest Fire (prequel)
The Darkest Night
The Darkest Kiss
The Darkest Pleasure
The Darkest Prison
The Darkest Whisper
The Darkest Angel
Into the Dark
The Darkest Passion
The Darkest Lie
The Darkest Secret
The Darkest Surrender
The Darkest Seduction
The Darkest Craving
The Darkest Touch