Review & Excerpts: The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld #11) by Gena Showalter

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Book Description:
From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes the long-awaited story of Torin, the most dangerous Lord of the Underworld yet…Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.She is Keeley Cael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win.
Buy Links: Amazon/Barnes&Nobel

Excerpt #1

They would be a couple, she decided. Touch— pleasure—had been denied her for far too long. A fact his presence had never allowed her to forget. He’d had other girlfriends so he knew how to handle a romantic relationship. They could do this, could make this work. And they would be vigilant, cautious, never courting danger.

All she had to do was get him to agree.

There was no better time to try. “I’m dirty,” she an- nounced. “Absolutely filthy, and I’m going to take a bath.”

“Good for you.” So mocking.

So unaware of his coming fall.

“Be a dear and help me remove my dress,” she said. A strangled sound left him. “It has no ties, no zipper.

You tug it on and off.”

“Well, good news, then. As strong as you are, you shouldn’t have any problems.”

His gaze swept over her and heated. He licked his lips, as if he could already taste her. “What game are you playing, princess?”

“Does it matter?”

“Yes. And why the hell are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?”

“Like I’m a hero. I’m not a hero. I’m a villain.”

Did he not realize that only made her want him more? “Well, be a good little villain and help me out of my dress.

“No.” His tone dovetailed into guttural as he added, “I’m not going near you.”

He’s definitely tempted. How thin was his control? “Very well. I’ll near you.” Hips swaying, she closed

the distance between them. She reached out.

He jerked away only to return—closer.

She wrapped her fingers around his wrists and guided his hands to her hips.

He resisted. At first.

“Relax, warrior. We’re protected by our clothes.”

His fingers clenched around her and held on tight. Did he think she would f loat away like a forgotten balloon?

“What’s…next?” he gritted.

Not exactly surrender, but close enough.

She leaned forward, careful as her breath fanned over his ear. “All you need to do is feel good.”

“I can do that.” He tugged her against him. Suddenly they were f lush, the softest parts of her cradling the hard- est parts of him. A growl rose from low in his chest as if, in this stolen moment, he’d regressed into little more than an animal. “I’m doing it right now.”

The pleasure…thoughts of being careful evaporated like mist. “Would you like to do more?”

“More. Yes.” His lips parted as he fought for breath. Eyes glazing with a wildness she’d never seen from any- one other than condemned prisoners, he squeezed her hard enough to bruise. “I’m going to take more, and you’re going to like it.”

***I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review***
My Review
If you regularly read my blog, then you’ve seen that it’s no secret how much I love Gena Showalter! So you can imagine, I was more than excited to read this book!!
The Darkest Touch definitely had it’s very own genre of paranormal romance. Torin, one of the Lords of the Underworld is an immortal (and a sexy one at that) and also the keeper of the Demon of Disease. Yes folks, you heard me, he’s got a secret keeper in the form of a deadly virus-inducing Demon living inside his body! What does this mean you ask? Well basically, he is unable to touch anyone without passing on some form of a sickness, and if you don’t die of the sickness, then you become a  carrier for the disease, free to spread it to the world. So this proves to be a little problematic when he crosses paths with the beautiful, yet equally deadly Red Queen Keeley Cael. The two of them instantly zero in on each other and a passionate, but also destructive relationship ensues.
This book started with action right off the bat and had me glued to the pages. This world Showalter created was unlike any I had read about, in which the mortal realm, as well as many others all coexist, and characters of Biblical decent and mythological decent coincide. Overall, it was a lot of awesome people interacting at one time. Unfortunately, because I haven’t read the other books in the series (each book has a new perspective but interconnected stories)it was hard to keep up with who was who. There were just so many characters and names being thrown around, that parts of the book got a little confusing to follow. Of course this just means I will have to go back and read all the others now.
Either way, Torin and Keeley’s relationship was HOT!! It was fast tempered, passionate,and all out torturous to read about. I definitely enjoyed watching their feelings develop and seeing the struggle between the two brew into something more. Though, I can’t deny that the constant tug of war these two played with one another’s hearts got frustrating if not redundant. They were both perfect for each other, it just took QUITE a long time for them to both come to terms with that. And this book was not without its fair share of action. Both Torin and Keeley are forces to be reckoned with, and I loved reading their fight scenes! They were brutal and merciless, yet both of them fought with nobel intentions! However, my one stipulation with this book is that not a whole of plot development occurred, romantic development… check, but enemy full on smackdown/resolution in place…ehhh semi-check. Lets just say it certainly left things open for the next book, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
Overall, I enjoyed The Darkest Touch for it’s unique characteristics and wonderfully steamy romance, and look forward to reading more on these characters as they continue their epic lives in this more than intriguing world Gena Showalter has created!

Excerpt #2

She appeared in front of him, displaying more tanned skin than she concealed, her hair falling around her face in lush, golden waves. Her eyes glittered with remnants of her anger. Her lips were slightly swollen and pinker than usual.

“Temper much?” she quipped.

His relief was palpable. She hadn’t forgotten him! But the relief was quickly replaced by concern. “Are you all right? Did someone hit you?”

She blinked with confusion. “No. Why?” “Your lips are swollen.”

She rubbed them, color heating her cheeks. “Someone didn’t hit me, but someone sure did hit on me.”

Hit on her. As in kissed her.

Already on edge, Torin. Utterly. Erupted.

He forgot everything he’d planned to do and say and got in Keeley’s face, snarling, “Who was it?”

Her eyes widened. “Hades. Why?”

“You dare ask why? You belong to me! We agreed. You do not kiss other men, Keeley. Ever. Have you for- gotten my rules?”

Her jaw dropped, and she gasped out a few unintelligible words as if she couldn’t quite figure out what to say to him.

He stood in place, breathing too quickly, too heavily, his throat and lungs burning. He reached for her, but as so many times before, fisted his hands and dropped them just before contact. This is crazy. I’m crazy. I have to leave.

“Are you…thinking about touching me?” she asked, her eyes widening again.

No, she had to leave. He could not be in public right now. “Go shopping. Buy yourself something pretty. My treat.” He basically tossed his credit card at her. He should be calm by the time she finished. “Come back in an hour. Maybe two. Actually, we’ll reconvene to- morrow.”

“You are,” she said. “You’re thinking… Even craving me. You don’t like the thought of another man’s hands on me, and you want to replace the memory with your hands.”

That. Yes. Hades would die, and Torin…Torin would touch this woman and never stop.

He gnashed his molars. “Last chance, Keeley. I sug- gest you take it and leave.” Soon. His control was almost completely shredded.

“No way. You’re the big bad warrior, yet I’ve had to come on to you time and time again. I’ve had to battle within myself—worth the price or not worth it. Well, it’s your turn.”

“There is no damn way you just suggested I haven’t done the same. I’ve battled.”

“When have you ever caved without prompting from me? You’ve resisted me so easily, always walking away. Sure, you’ve snarled while you’ve done the walking,

but still you left me behind. So, tell me. When did you ever—”

“So easily?” he roared. Had she just said so easily? She had no clue about the intensity of his need—but he would teach her better.

Torin cupped her by the nape, yanked her close and smashed his mouth against hers. The kiss was a brutal assault meant to silence her, to dominate and possess. He held her still, making her take it, take everything. But the moment she softened against him, welcomed him inside her mouth, the darkness churning inside him switched gears. From the need to punish and master to the need to seduce and please.

This was Keeley. His princess. She deserved his best. He gentled the pressure, rolling his tongue inside her mouth, learning her all over again, tasting her. Summer berries and melted honey. So sweet. And mine. All mine. He framed her cheeks, angled her head and rolled his tongue just a little deeper. This time, she met him with a roll of her own.

That was his undoing.

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Author Bio:

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.

 Social Media: Blog/Twitter/ Facebook/ Goodreads

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