Series: Lords of the Underworld #13
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Also in this series: The Darkest Warrior
Also by this author: The Darkest Warrior
New York Times
bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Lords of the Underworld story about an iron-willed sovereign and the somber beauty who melts him with a glance
Possessed by the demon of Misery, Cameo isn't allowed to experience joy. If she dares, her memory is wiped clean. With no other recourse, she sneaks into a land more fantastical than any fairy tale, determined to find the one man with the key to her redemption.
Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual rules his kingdom with a single unwavering focus: to build his army and annihilate his enemies. Nothing distracts him - until Cameo. He is relentless in his quest to make her smile and seduce her into his bed.
As dark forces conspire against them, threatening to destroy the fragile bond they've forged, the once-calm Lazarus grows crazed. Every heart-stopping kiss and wicked touch causes Cameo to teeter on the brink of happiness. But if she falls, she risks forgetting him forever
The Darkest Promise is part Alice in Wonderland, part biblical tangent, part mythological twist. You have Cameo, who is inhabited by the demon of misery. Lazarus the cruel and unusual is king of the realm of the grimm and fantica. The world Showalter has created is insane! Its so incredibly unique and fantastical! Its also VERY sexy. Talk about sexual tension!
Now, Lazarus is a character I know from the Bible. He is the man Jesus raised from the dead in his last miracle before his passion. Also, religiously speaking, Balthazar was the demon of misery who, like Satan, was once an angel who was banished. So, these stories had me thinking about the characters and trying to make connections in other ways. It was fascinating because obviously, the story goes in directions you could never predict but it didn’t stop me from trying!
Talk about a forbidden love that is never to be! Cameo has her memory erased the moment she experiences happiness. So, no love, no joy. Lazarus knows she is his intended (he has a weird greek word for it), but they simply cannot be together. Its all very tragic and angsty. Cameo is one of the Lords of the Underworld, but because her demon makes everyone around her miserable, she has pretty much steered clear. Lazarus also knows that keeping Cameo in his life will lead to his death, just like his father. As if these two didn’t have enough against them, it seems like literally everyone is out to get either Cameo, Lazarus, or both of them! Seriously, these two can’t catch a break. When Cameo makes Ever and Urban cry just by talking, my heart hurt for her. I can’t even imagine not being able to talk to my godchildren!
Loved the supporting characters! Urban and Ever are adorbs! Viola is an interesting character as well. At first, I thought her demon didn’t seem that bad (compared to Cameo’s anyway!) but you start to see how it would still be pretty sucky.
Finally, I enjoyed the banter between Lazarus and Cameo. Despite all the tragedy and danger, there are moments when these two are hilarious and punny! It was incongruous with their situation, but it totally worked.
I haven’t read the previous books in the series. Honestly, I don’t think it mattered THAT much, but because Showalter has created such a unique fantasy world, having had more background would have probably helped a bit. However, you really could read this as a stand alone like I did.
Full Disclosure: I totally skipped to the end to make sure this would end in a way I was okay with. #SorryNotSorry
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: fantasy, paranormal, fated mates (of sorts)
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »Yes; no epilogue « Hide Spoiler