Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gena Showalter - The Darkest Torment

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he's back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he's unable to withstand the touch of another and he's quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride just not his own.
Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she's taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she's plunged into a war between two evils with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.
But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she'll have to teach him to love or lose him forever.

Comment: This book was originally released back in May, in hardcover but I only got the paperback edition, first because of the price and second, because it will look much better in the shelf if all books in this series have similar sizes.
This is not the time but it does really bother me not to be able to have my books in the format I want because of publishing rules and such... publishers only think of money which is fine, many people depend on that to earn their salaries but from a reader's POV, it is very annoying and frustrating not only having to wait but to pay more if you can't wait. All editions should come out at the same time. Change the cover and such months after if you feel it can increase sales... sorry about the rant.

In this new installment (the 12th which is great, beloved characters always showing up) we have Baden's story. After his death, his fellow Lord friends have missed him and tried to honor his figure but recently we were told about the truth behind his death and how he was abele to come back. Now that he did return, Baden is too angry and suspicious and feels he might hurt his friends or their mates and is constantly thinking about a change but being with them makes him happy too. Trying to fulfill Hades' orders - as a way to stay alive - leads him to Katarina Joelle, a dog trainer, and someone who just married someone she didn't want to but was blackmailed. Using as a bargaining chip is one thing but falling for her wasn't in the plans. Would Baden be able to balance his emotions and wishes to the difficulties in front of him?

This is the type of story that belongs in a series that you need to have some knowledge of. Most books part of series can be read as standalone, but in this case, even if in terms of development it's possible, I don't advise it because so many things only make sense if we have all the other books' information in our awareness. Still, it's complicated because with so much time between books and so many characters, details and situations, it's hard to bear in mind everything and when it happened. Hopefully, as we read along, some things do come back to us.

I had fun reading this story, as always the author has included several elements and information about the Greek and Roman myths that bring to life all those ideas of gods and goddesses. The plot seemed intriguing enough, there are some advances on the overall plot as well but most of the focus is clearly on the romance between Baden and Joelle. I kind of liked them together but I have to say I do get bored with all the amount of attention that is given to the sex scenes. I'm not seeing it shouldn't be part of the books, it has always been, but the way the characters behave is so similar to all the others in the previous books, only the names change basically. I think the emotional aspect of the relationships, something I always found amazing looses points and interest because of the repetition of sex scenes and the evolution from getting to know one another to becoming an actual couple. Anyway....

Everything else seemed pretty normal for this series. I really like the mixing of mythology and contemporary ideas, the wonderful cast of characters that can look too much but with the time between books it doesn't seem that much. I like it how the characters have to deal with certain situations and that affects their actions and choices but... it also seems previous installments had this in a deeper level, I remember crying when Paris was faced with a terrible choice in the 3rd installment (The Darkest Pleasure) but I no longer recall anything like it in the books after. I mean, deep, emotional and heavy elements related to the characters' feeling. They still exist but not portrayed that complex way....I miss that despite enjoying seeing the characters conquering their problems.

Overall, this was a good book, interesting, had many things that appealed to me, that made me want to read. Others not as interesting but all books are like that. I think the author used a good amount of air time to all sub plots but I guess it depends on a personal perspective. I'll keep waiting for books in this series to come out and show us again the characters we've come to love. I'm still pretty much invested in knowing the whys and hows of certain things and the secrets behind two or three lifelong "mysteries" in the series...
Grade: 7/10

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