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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (426 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Peppermint

Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor's edge of surrender.

Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can't afford because he has an agenda of his own—steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter—the love neither had thought possible.…

The annual Harpy Games were overrun with more than troublesome harpies. Demons, Greek gods, and angels add to a thrilling adventure that kept me glued to my seat.

Strider's witty personality is only one of many reasons I anticipated the release of his story. His sense of humor amused me in previous books so I knew he would provide some serious comic relief as a hero. Even when he was staring into the eyes of his enemies, his personality never lost its quirkiness. As the keeper of the demon Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge no matter how trivial or seemingly unobtainable. Which is why Kaia, harpy sister to Bianka and Gwen, purposefully challenges him every chance she gets. It's obvious that he needs someone to keep him on his toes. Kaia is certainly the most entertaining choice for a mate. Kaia as a heroine touched my heart and made me fall in love with her right along with Strider.

For all of her cockiness, Kaia is actually extremely vulnerable. Who knew? It was interesting to see a seemingly strong female role have a softer side. She was labeled a disappointment by her harpy kin due to a mistake she made when she was younger. It's one of the reasons why Strider's approval is so important to her. Kaia is determined to earn his respect. With two such strong willed individuals I knew sparks would fly. The dialogue was really clever so the conversations between these two were never dull.

The relationship between Strider and Kaia is one that will stick in my mind for a while. So much so I can see myself reading this story a few more times. They are both known for their wit and sense of humor so it is only fitting that their banter is the best I have ever had the privilege of reading. While they intentionally push each others buttons they do not accept anyone else challenging their mate.

The harpy games added an extra level of excitement to this story. It was the perfect time for some favorite characters from previous books to make an appearance. Readers are also treated to a show of why the harpies are so feared by all including the lords and other demons. Ms. Showalter does an incredible job of painting the harpies as fearless, cunning warriors. It's not often you see such strong females portrayed in stories and it's one of the reasons I was immediately drawn to the harpies.

With a wide array of loveable and entertaining characters, this series has always been one of my favorites. This story has made it in the list of most likely to re-read. If you like an epic novel that includes Greek mythology, demons, angels, mythical creatures, a great love story, alpha males, strong females, and much more you won't want to missThe Darkest Surrender.