Saturday, May 4, 2013

Review of The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter

One of the things that persuaded me to get back into this series was the fact that I knew Paris had a book. Not only do I sort of grudgingly like Paris (I'll explain the grudging part in a minute), but the set up between Paris and Sienna, which took place earlier in the series, was really excellent.

The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld, #9)Paris is possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, and one of the consequences of his possession is that he can only sleep with a woman one time--after which, he will fail to respond to her sexually ever again. Sienna had the distinction of being the first woman to arouse him twice, before she was abruptly killed. Now Sienna is a spirit, and is also possessed by the demon Wrath. Paris still wants her, and is willing to brave all kinds of hell to get her back.

The secret society/band of brothers trope in paranormal romance usually features some predictable cookie cutter personality types. There's always the leader/series strategy guy. There's the hacker/technology savvy genius. The legitimately crazy/genuinely scared one. The unusually normal guy who is the most in touch with the human world. The smurfette.  And then there's Captain Super Dick--the one who sleeps with approximately all of the women. I generally hate Captain Super Dick. I even had problems with Rhage from BDB, though admittedly he won me over in the end. But generally, I hate unapologetic man-sluts. I hate that their behavior is rarely seen as bad and is often actually lauded for behavior that would get a female character blacklisted.  And Paris is, of course, Captain Super Dick.

What distinguished Paris to the point where I'm kind of fond of him is the fact that he actually doesn't like the revolving door to his bedroom. Showalter describes his dilemma in such a way that I can see why that would get really depressing after a hundred years or so. She actually made me sad that he has so much sex. I don't think any author, not even Ward, has made me feel the plight of the ever-horny in quite this way. What's more is that, this dilemma makes Sienna valuable to Paris even before he really loves her, and that gives us an interesting premise to build the entire quest of this book on.

Sienna, if I'm being honest, is still a bit bland in personality. Despite Showalter's attempts to load up her back story and give her solid motivation, in the end I don't feel that I'll remember her. When I compare her to some of the other heroines in the series, who stand out both for their huge personalities and grand powers, she just falls short. No matter who's power she absorbs or how big a deal she is.

Anyway, the romance in this one is more than adequate, and I found the plot quite engaging. I would say that among the books in this series, it is far from the best, but it is certainly not the worst. 3.5 stars.

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