Series: Book #8 of the Lords of the Underworld
Publisher: Harlequin (September 2011)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 426 (paperback)
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor’s edge of surrender.
Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can’t afford because he has an agenda of his own-steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter-the love neither had thought possible…
Poor Kaia. After years of being banned from the Harpy Games from an incident she caused that resulted in the death of a good chunk of the harpy population, Kaia has finally been asked to compete in the Games once again. But the past is definitely going to bite her on the butt, for her enemy is in charge of the Harpy Games. So pretty much Kaia is screwed. And to make matters worse, her destined consort denies her at every turn. If they can just work together and admit their love for each other, then maybe they can make it out of the Games alive.
I was trying figure out why I loved this book so much. I mean, the plot is interesting, the action is almost the best in the series, and the love story was adorable. But what really made me smile while reading this book was Kaia and Strider. Not just because their the most awesomist (oh yeah, totally made up a word) characters ever, but because their humor is almost identical to mine. I actually felt a kinship with these characters and couldn’t help but crack up constantly at their snarky banter and dry wit. (Ergo, I crack myself up).
Strider annoyed me as first. It was heartbreaking to watch him shoot down Kaia’s advances over and over again. I wanted to slap him. But he definitely grew on me. He’s sarcastic, loyal, and up for a fight morning, noon, and night (WIN!). His demon, Defeat, was just plain fun. Poor Stridey probably doesn’t like him so much as he doubles over in pain for three days if he loses a challenge, but I can’t help but love a demon that hates to lose and pretty much makes everything a challenge. I’m totally with you, Defeat, I hate to lose, too.
Kaia is just freakin’ hilarious. Her and her sister Bianka are pretty much the best duo ever. They love to cause trouble and look good doing it. But Kaia has a past that has haunted her for years. Her confidence has been ripped to shreds and Strider’s constant denial of their mutual attraction only drags her confidence further through the dirt. But she hides behind a huge wall of awesomeness, as she would put it. To look at her, you would never know that on the inside she’s a huge ball of sad. But she’s also sassy, cute, and knows her way around a fight. Pretty much the perfect match for Strider.
The Harpy Games was the best part of this book. It made everything else that much more exciting. Watching a whole bunch of vicious harpies going at it with pretty much no rules to hold them back was just exhilarating. Harpies have no limits. Now that’s my kind of species.
As always we get snippets of what’s to come in future books. Sometimes this irritates me because I like to focus on the main couple, but this time it actually made the book better. I know I, along with every other Lords of the Underworld fan, can’t wait for Paris’s story. The little sneak peeks of his adventures has done a great job of preparing us for his story and book, which is coming out very soon. I’m so excited!
I was sitting here, getting ready to write my review, and for some reason I was trying to find something wrong with the book. I don’t know why. I guess I assume there is almost always something a novel can improve on. But The Darkest Surrender truthfully had no bad parts. Was it the best book of all time, no. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and I rarely put it down. I was actually so anxious to see how everything turned out that I did the unthinkable. I skipped ahead to the end. I know, I know. I’m a bad, bad reader for doing so, but I couldn’t take the stress another minute. I always take this as a sign of a great book.
We get a couple hot sex scenes.
The Darkest Surrender was a whirlwind of fun, action, and blood. The superb action that cannot be denied and the amazing dialogue made this book a five star success. Kaia and Strider are close to being my favorite characters of the paranormal romance genre. Showalter has done a great job at keeping this series fresh and interesting. Can’t wait for the next book. Highly recommended.