Somehow, I seem to have neglected to write a blog posting about The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter (2008), book three of the Lords of the Underworld series, and one of my favorite romance novels of all time.
From the back of the book:
Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her--even defy the gods.
Danika is on the run. For months she's eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won't rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can't forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear....
Reyes is my favorite of the heroes from the four books in the series to this point. Bring a strong, silent type with a certain element of conflicted self-torture to the table, and he's the one for me.
In order to "perform" in a sexual sense, Reyes has to feel pain, so there's a definite erotic, violent twist to the sex scenes.
Again, the heroines in Showalter's series are very strong women, equals to the Lords. And Danika is so much more than just a woman. She has dreams that she turns into paintings, visions that actually foretell the future. Targeted for death, along with her family, by the gods, will the Lords harm or help Danika and her family?
Mix in more on the search for Pandora's box and the battle against the Hunters, who are also searching for the box, and there's an element of suspense mixed in with the romance and passion.
My overall personal rating of The Darkest Pleasure is an A.