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The Darkest Passion - Gena Showalter Fifth book in the Lord of the Underworld series. Here we have Aeron, immortal warrior possessed by the demon of Wrath. He's had an 'unseen' spirit following him for a while who is sentenced to kill him for a law he broke. That spirit is an angel named Olivia who's been assigned the task of killing Aeron but discovers that she can't do it because the immortal Lord intrigues and fascinates her and she finds herself falling for him. Literally....

I hate saying this but this was kind of disappointing for me. It was still a really fun read, I couldn't put the book down but there were some things that were missing from this and other things I just had issues with. If it weren’t for the lovely couple I would be giving this a 3 star to be honest. The overall plot was a little meh. I was really anxious to read this one and had high expectations for it (when will I ever learn?) but I found it falling short in some ways. And it's not for the obvious reasons I was expecting.

First of all, I love Aeron. LOVE him. He is one of top favs of the Lords. He caught my interest and my attention from the very first book. I was really curious and intrigued by him cause he's not your typical 'hero'. He's a complete package of contradictions. He's got that steely resolve, cold resolute serious personality yet quiet tender incredibly passionate side of him that rarely comes out only when he's concerned for the ones he loves. He's incredibly loyal and fiercely protective and selfless. Selfless to the nth degree. Just the whole mix of conflicting characteristics and different sides drew me to him from the very start. I wanted to know so much more about him. Plus the whole tattoo thing made me even more curious and let me tell you he pulled it off. He made it sexy and I'm not a big tattooed-all-over-the-place fan. I got him, I bought it. Hook. Line. And sinker. *drools*

I thought the plot set up of this was really fun and had a lot of potential. An angel giving up her wings and 'falling' for a human (in this case immortal) just to be with him and save him. Pretty promising start. I loved how Olivia came into his life, the way she sacrificed so much and was willing to do anything to get to him and save him. She went through a lot to be human. Takes a lot of courage to do what she did and it was really admirable. Sorry but I'd be blubbering my ass off and jumping off the walls for a few days too if I endured what she did. Plus I thought the whole scene where she tries to walk for the first time without her wings was really charming and reminded me of my favorite fairy tale story The Little Mermaid. The mermaid falling in love with a human giving up her gills and tail to be human for the man she loves. Lots of parallels right there. Especially how she ‘surfaced’ and came to earth. So it was a winner to start with for me. The whole two opposites coming from complete different worlds and pretty much considered 'forbidden' to each other scenario grabbed me from the start.

I loved Olivia and the purity and almost child-like innocence she brought into Aeron’s life. It was really sweet and just refreshing to see. One of the problems that I had was I wish the author didn’t quickly rush Olivia into ‘sexing’ it up for her man or in her words ‘slut it up’ just to get his attention. It was a little disappointing how her sole purpose was to get in Aeron's pants. Just whaaaat? for me. I mean I loved seeing her wanting to experiment and try human pleasures but it was too much and too soon. It just became a little unrealistic for me given that's she an angel. It made me cringe how quickly she morphed from innocent child-like other-worldly creature to a sex-crazed woman wanting to jump her man's bones every 2 seconds. Tone it down there! I also wish the H/HR spent more time together alone rather then the constant push pull and interruptions and oh yes! the annoying Legion thrown in there (I'll get to that later).

Anyways, another thing that started to veer off a little for me was Aeron isolating Olivia from the others; it was very similar to the previous book with what Sabin did to Gwen for one. And while this was less intentional and couldn't be helped considering the condition Olivia was in, I do wish Showalter integrated more of the cast in this. I felt I saw very little interaction between Olivia and the other women in the household and it really bugged me. I mean yes timeline-wise this all goes down in a few days? Not even a full two weeks? And yet Olivia never really sat down talked with the other girls, except for Cameo and Kaia. She kept saying how much she liked the other women but didn't really know them and she avoided the other warriors through most of the book. I didn't like that. I felt it created a big disconnect with all the other characters with all the constant isolation.

Now onto Legion. I've said it once while reading this and it bares repeating: what a conniving manipulative little shit. She was just a 'bitch just die' character for me. Sorry but seriously not a fan especially after the countless stunts she pulled and oh yes let’s not forget the bargain she made. Am I supposed to like a character like that? Ain't happening. After everything Aeron did for her, her actions were pretty destructive and so selfish. Knowing Aeron I knew he would forgive her but I was hoping he wouldn’t. Yes she was naive but she clearly wasn't a child like Aeron thought previously. I could have done without her and her horny-manipulative -scheming-self. I tolerated her as the creepy annoying Gollum-like pest but after her transformation it just veered right off into 'oh hell NO' territory for me. Plus really creepy. The silver lining for me was Aeron not being responsive to her 'seduction'. And if it wasn't for the blow up and harsh tongue-lashing he gave her near the end I would have given up. It just got really gross and wrong and I wasn't crazy about the 'prettier than Olivia' comparison either. HELL NO. She is his surrogate daughter and always has treated her like his baby girl (much as it annoyed me) so I wish it just stayed that way. But I understand why it was done, to cause friction and angst for the H/HR but I wish Showalter used some other outside source. I just didn't understand how a couple can compromise over something like that especially when said 'daughter' is taunting and threatening the woman he cares for and attacking his own friends. Showalter has pretty much written Legion in love with Aeron and doing anything for him to win him, I just would like to see how they overcome that hurtle and try living in 'harmony' together cause I just don’t see it happening. Legion is one character I could have done without and made it a little frustrating to get through this book because of it. The scheming and gross-inducing things she did to try and 'win' Aeron was pushed a little too far for my tastes. I don't think there is a fictional character I loathe more than Legion. Please Aeron leave her in hell where she belongs!

Which comes to the last and final point. The ending. Yeah it was the expected happily-ever-after but it was a little underwhelming...and short. This book seriously needed an epilogue. I just felt after all that angst, dramatic build-up to lead to a conclusion that literally ends in 2-3 pages is kind of a let down. And I also wanted to see how the lovely couple are faring once they reached home. It drives me nuts when books end with the cliché line 'let's go home' and that's it. The End. Especially when it comes to a series so extensive as this w/ a full cast I wanted to know what happened once they got home considering what happened to Aeron and what Olivia had to do to save him. Left me completely hanging and just guessing. And also I was a little disappointed with the sacrifice Aeron had to make. That was almost changing his character and who he is.

And this is more of a side note but I swear to g-d if Gena Showalter doesn't give William and Gilly a book that is just cruel. So cruel. lol Those two little iddy biddy scenes with those two interacting really grabbed me and had me wanting so much more. It was the first time I could actually take the character William seriously and see him as something other than a sex-crazed self-centered immortal. Gilly is just all-kinds of adorable. I hate to be teased with these side stories if they aren't gonna go anywhere. I hope she gives a prequel or continuation book for these two. Really really really hope so.

Anyways, overall it still was an enjoyable read. While I wasn't so crazy about how the story played out I still loved it. It was better than good, it was great. I ended up devouring the book cause I wanted to know what happened. I just wasn't blown away by it like I wanted to be. Olivia and Aeron are 5 star all the way, the story was 3.5/4 star.