ARC Review: The Darkest King by Gena Showalter

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ARC Review: The Darkest King by Gena Showalter
The Darkest King
Book Info

Released: February 25 2020
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Lords of the Underworld #15
Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
Pages: 416

“I don’t think this book lived up to my expectations.”
~ Under the Covers

This review is going to be hard to write because I have a lot of feelings and at the same time, not much to say.  We’ve waited over a decade for William’s book and any time there’s this much anticipation it can be hard for the book to live up to expectations.  I’m going to go with that in the end.  I don’t think this book lived up to my expectations.  Of William as a hero, of his romance, of the story.

At this point in the series I rarely read blurbs.  I didn’t read the blurb for this one before going in.  So imagine my surprise when the talk about unicorn shifters started.  I still can’t remember where this has been a thing before now in the series and having not been prepared for it, it took a long time for me to settle into that idea.  In the end, I don’t think I’ve fully embraced that new development or the fact that William’s heroine is a unicorn shifter.

The romance was off the charts steamy though.  *fans self* Grab an ice bucket and keep it handy to cool off. William lives up to his name of the panty melter!  As much as I couldn’t really fully get behind Sunny or her personality, I did like how they meshed together.  Even though William felt very different than how I’ve pictured him throughout this whole series.

Some things I reflected on looking back at years of reading this series: the humor, the personalities.  I’ve started to feel as if Ms. Showalter’s characters personalities have become interchangeable.  Change the name and you can literally swap them out.  And the humor could border on the over the top for me.  Not just with this one but the last few books I’ve read by her.  Could be this is just me.  At times it felt like this book was trying too hard to be funny, inserting Facebook meme type conversations that made no sense within the context of what was happening.

Then there’s the curse.  We’ve had this big looming thing over our heads the whole series about William’s curse and how when he falls in love with his mate she will kill him.  When it’s finally revealed what’s happening it was both so simple it made perfect sense, and at the same time anticlimactic. I wanted so much more drama about how the curse would break!

In the end, this book did make me laugh.  A LOT.  William has always been great at comedic relief and he didn’t disappoint in this book.  I have so many great one-liners.  It was so very steamy.  And it was a good time.  But was it what I thought it would be?  Definitely not.


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About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.


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  1. Too bad it wasn’t stellar, but you were very balanced and fair when reviewing it. I am back at book eleven so I have a ways to go. Unicorn shifter is new to me, too. 🙂

  2. Like you said, when anticipating a book, especially for so long, it can be hard to live up to.
    I’m sorry this fell short, but that you were able to find some positives!

  3. I was very disappointed in this book as Ive waited ten years. Her LOTU series was a favorite for a long time & I feel she has just gotten lazy. There was no tension between characters just intense immediate lust. I am so over the 1000 yr old virgin heroine its boring. Unicorn shifter? Stupid. Magic filter? Distracting. No no no Gena youre better than this

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