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Review: The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Lie (Lords of the Underworld #6) by Gena Showalter
Paranormal Romance, Demons, Mythology
Mass Market Paperback (HQN, 448 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0373774613

Forced to his knees in agony whenever he speaks the truth, Gideon can recognize any lie—until he captures Scarlet, a demon-possessed immortal who claims to be his long-lost wife. He doesn't remember the beautiful female, much less wedding—or bedding—her. But he wants to…almost as much as he wants her.
But Scarlet is keeper of Nightmares, too dangerous to roam free. A future with her might mean ultimate ruin. Especially as Gideon's enemies draw closer—and the truth threatens to destroy all he's come to love…

Author Site: genashowalter.com

Dialog issues made this a difficult one to read... (3 stars)

Beautiful, enigmatic Scarlet, Keeper of Nightmares, has been taken into custody by the Lords of the Underworld. Dangerous and lovely she's trouble with a capital T. This is only complicated by her past, a past that she claims involves a marriage to Gideon, Keeper of Lies. While he might be infatuated with and drawn to Scarlet he has no memories to support her claim. But when she uses her gifts from Nightmares to show him their linked past he will do anything to see those memories restored. Even take on the goddess of Memory.

Meanwhile, Amun, William and Aeron go to hell in search of Legion. The Lords have taken the artifacts into hiding and Strider faces off with an old enemy. Chaos and tumult are around every corner as the overall story arc of the series thickens into a really fine soup.

I have to sigh and shrug on this one. Gideon was always the Lord I looked forward to seeing in more scenes. He added a nice slice of humor because of his forced lying. Unfortunately I found myself so swamped in double-talk dialog I was falling asleep reading it from the brain strain. It's a fun element in small doses but for me there was just way too much dialog to unravel. Showalter does explain most of Gideon's double talk right after the line has come out--"I thought it was ugly." Meaning he thought it was pretty.--but after a while it feels like wasted words. I'm not sure if other readers would naturally try to twist it in their head before reading the second line but that was what happened with me.

Gideon's lie-based double talk aside the Gideon/Scarlet chemistry was a little dry. The reasons for their attraction and interest in one another are constantly put to the test by the events happening to them involving her past and his lack of memory of said past. I liked both characters individually but their romance felt a little bit contrived. I did love the "TO PART IS TO DIE" thing. It was romantic, sweet and a nice plot point until late in the book when certain things are revealed that I won't spoil for you. The bits between Lies and Nightmares was an excellent twist, the demons have always played bigger roles in the lives of their keepers so seeing their roles here was enjoyable.

As far as the other plot elements regardng the other Lords goes I wasn't very impressed. I realize we're setting up for Amun's book, The Darkest Secret, but the Strider parts were annoying to read. I've never been more bothered by him as a character as I was this time. Because Gideon and Scarlet's story involves the other Lords at such a minimal level the breaks with the other characters felt like they were out of place most of the time. I hope they won't be as trivial feeling in the next installment.

If you're a LOTU fan it would be hard to skip this one but I can honestly say it vies with The Darkest Night as my least favorite. Which sucks, 'cause Gideon was my favorite Lord before this book. I won't say skip this one because there are some key factors introduced here toward the overall storyline of the series but be warned, this one might be a hard sell with such brain melting dialog to unravel.

Other Reviews:
Julie of Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks
Tori of Smexy Books
Karan of For What It's Worth
Pearl of Pearl's World of Romance

Notes: I received this review copy via Amazon's Vine Program.

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