The Darkest Surrender

Mass Market Paperback | September 27, 2011

byGena Showalter

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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.

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From the Publisher

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...

Gena Showalter writes in the genres of contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and young adult fiction. She is the author of the Alien Huntress series, Tales of an Extraordinary Girl series, Atlantis series, and Lords of the Underworld series. Her other books include The Stone Prince, The Pleasure Slave, and Catch a Mate. Her books h...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 6.62 × 4.21 × 1.2 inPublished:September 27, 2011Publisher:HQN BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0373775814

ISBN - 13:9780373775811

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Great adventure and a wonderful romance. This is a great book for anyone who loves plot twists and action with some hot romantic love-lust scenes thrown in.
Date published: 2015-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it As usual Gena Showalter does it again! This paranormal romance is full of Awesomeness! Really love the Harpys!
Date published: 2015-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing At first I didn't think I could get into this book but after a while I couldn't put it down. I absolutely love love love Strider and Kaia together. Such a hot read
Date published: 2014-10-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hmm Good stuff! :)
Date published: 2014-06-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Darkest Surrender Striker is so imature but than so is Kaia so I guess they were well matched .The story was boring but it did manage to have some cute phrases. Could have left out the preview of Kane but I did enjoy Paris. Looking fotward Paris hope I' m no disappointed.
Date published: 2013-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it So good! I love all the LOTU books!
Date published: 2013-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Darkest Surrender Not as good as the other lord books. I didn't like the switching of stories throughout this book I kept losing track of the main characters.
Date published: 2013-02-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from She Never Fails I love Gena Showalter I think she is an amazing writer and I love her books. This adition to the Lords Of The Underworld series was awesome, I really loved Strider even though he is really cocky, and I also loved kaia she is an awesome match for Strider. Overall awesome book and I CAN NOT WAIT to read Paris's book YAAAAA. :0)
Date published: 2012-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enchanting! I absolutely adore this book. I especially love this whole series, Lords of the Underworld, by Gena Showalter. This book is enchanting and captivated my attention for two full days. I couldn't put this book down! This was the first book I bought out of the series and it is what started my love of Gena Showalter's novels. Paranormal romance novels I have read in the past usually concentrate more on the romance aspect. In the book and series, the characters and plot are very well developed. Every book features a primary character who the focus is on and numerous other secondary ones. Then the next book in the series will take a secondary character and make them the primary. Have you ever wondered the stories of secondary characters? Well this series puts you right into the Lords' worlds captivating your attention and making you want more! I strongly promote these books to all of my friends! If you're looking for an exciting read that will excite you in many ways, this is definitely where you want to start!
Date published: 2012-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cannot Fail To Win Anohter entry into the Lords of Underworld series, this one focusing on Strider, and Kaia the harpy. Showalter continues her hits with another book depicting a man possesed with his demon, and the need to protect those he loves. A little evil, a lot hot, and even smarter this demon is one to watch for. Kaia the harpy is smart, funny, and has a sentsitivity that I was not expecting with the character. There story has its up and downs, the great sex, and chemistry that makes for a great read. Also this book has wonderful insights into what's to come in the series, as well as some background on stories still evolving.
Date published: 2012-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Addition Another view into the Lords of Underworld series, this time focusing in on Stider, the keeper of Defeat, and Kaia the black sheep of the harpies. They fight, they love, and then they do some of that back and forth banter that we know about love from Gena Showalter. The sex is hot, and the mystery around the other characters allows for a good read. Showalter is good at adding bits and peices about other characters, that keep the readers wondering, and of course buying the next book to figure out what happening. All while keeping that main focus of the characters of this book interesting. Fans of this series will enjoy the book, and the small views into whats coming next in the books to come.
Date published: 2011-11-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Absolutely great ... NOT Seriously????? I read 'Dark Taste of Rapture' and was sooo disappointed, I swore to never buy another book by this author. But, lo and behold I went and purchased this one .. 'The Darkest Surrender' ... and the verdict? This woman is now officially blacklisted from my reading list of authors. Her writing is juvenile ... and soo repetitive ... the reitorated egotism and fiercest sexiness crap! There was no character or story development except for the superficial exhaltation of the characters' "physi-ques". She's the best warrior harpy, yet, she got flattened ever so often. He's the baddest warrier dude, yet, can't formulate thoughts outside of a crotchless panty ... Seriously? In this day and age? If you're running out of steam, stop the boat ... really! I really wish the publisher/author had a money back guarantee ... cause honey I Want My Monies BACK! P.S.: I only gave 1-star because I couldn't publish this review otherwise. Real rating 0.
Date published: 2011-10-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from And My Crush on Stirder Grows... I have had a crush on Strider ever since I met him in the first Lords of the Underworld book, The Darkest Night. Funny, smart-mouthed and sexy, what was not to like? With each book, my crush grew stronger. So when I found out that book eight would be his book, I was very excited – even though it meant that he was about to find his HEA which in-turn meant that whatever chance there was for us to be together was fleeting seeing how all alpha and possessive these demon carrier guys are. *sniffle* The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter is the story of how Strider finally realizes that Kaia is his life mate. I really like these books. The world that Gena takes us to with each installment is really something. We have a bunch of immortal warriors who were naughty and who stole Pandora’s box, setting the demons inside free. As a punishment, the warriors were tasked to each carry a demon inside himself or herself. Such a cool concept! Strider is the keeper of Defeat and experiences debilitating pain when he loses a challenge – and his demon is always trying to find a challenge. I love how Strider often thinks “that is not a challenge” because he can feel his demon stirring. Quite funny. Kaia is a Harpy and the perfect match for Strider. He is such an ego-maniac, but in the best of ways – and she’s just like him in that respect. But she also hides a very vulnerable side – something you don’t usually see in a Harpy. They are a vicious race. Heck, even the Lords are intimidated by them! When she was fourteen years old, Kaia did something that she really shouldn’t have and since then she has been dubbed ‘Kaia the Disappointment’. She is touched that her sisters have stood by her even though her mother hasn’t. But Kaia talks big and acts big in order to hide how she truly feels. I loved that about her. She was tough and sassy, but that little hint of softness really made me like her. And she and Strider together are so much fun to read! In this installment, we are introduced to a Harpy tradition: the bi-centennial Harpy Games. Kaia must compete in this competition with her family. It was neat to see how the Games worked, and it was also fun to read the scenes where the Harpy’s compete. They were well written as you could really picture the kicks and the screams as the blood gushed out of the Harpy’s bodies. Did I forget to mention that Harpys are really violent and love blood and gore? Yeah…no dainty little women here. My only beef with this book is that I wish there was more Strider/Kaia time. Get your mind out of the gutter; I’m not talking bow chica wow wow time (tough there was a nice amount of that). I’m talking just the two of them on the page, talking and snarking and getting to know more about the other. There is some, but most of the story is about Kaia and her family in the games. But I will say that it was a nice change to not have the book strictly focus on finding artefacts and hunting Hunters, although there is some of that of course. It sort of took a back seat to the Games and I didn’t mind that at all. I hate the Hunters. There I said it. I want them all to experience slow and horrible deaths. I know that won’t happen since they are the main villain in this entire series, I just wish sometimes that there could be something different going after the Lords. At least Gena keeps us on our toes when it comes to the Hunters, introducing new members and unexpected leaders in each installment. But they make my blood boil and after eight books, I’m ready for a break. One quick mention: We do see quite a bit of Paris in this book, so all of you Paris fans can smile and drool. His book, which is going to be called The Darkest Seduction and is due to hit stores February 21 st 2012, was really well set up. And Kane got some decent page time, as did William! In fact, Kane’s meeting with the Fates left me going “Whoa…”. That scene also made me giggle. His book is due after Paris’ and to be honest, I never really gave him much thought since he’s rarely seen in the books. But after reading his scenes in this book, I am really curious how his story is going to play out. And who his heroine is hinted at being…pretty cool. All in all, I found The Darkest Surrender to be a good addition to the series. Strider did not disappoint. As he likes to remind us, he is awesome and you can really see it in his book. I only hope Gena doesn’t keep him hidden in future installments. I’m assuming that since he is her favorite character, she’ll pay more attention to him and make sure he makes many more appearances. And that would be fine by me.
Date published: 2011-10-12

Extra Content

Read from the Book

"I WANT HIM.""Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. The day of the Unfortunate Incident, something you made me swear never to discuss, even upon threat of death. And I won't discuss it now, so don't get your panties in a twist. I just thought you were more careful with your affections nowadays."Kaia Skyhawk peered over at her twin—Bianka the Heavenly Hills Ho, as Kaia had recently dubbed her. A name her precious sis deserved. Girl had nailed an angel. A freaking angel. 'Course, in return Bianka had dubbed her Kaia: Bed-warmer of the Underworld for getting down and dirty with Paris, the biggest man-whore in existence.The title didn't sting nearly as much as her last one. Fine, her current one. Harpies had long memories, and shouts of "Look, everyone, it's the Disappointment" still happened anytime she ran into another of her race.Anyway. Bianka was as ravishingly gorgeous as ever, a dark fall of hair cascading down her back, her amber eyes bright. And just then she was flipping through a rack of designer dresses, a mix of determination and concern radiating from her."That happened, like, a million years ago," Kaia said, "and Strider is the first man Fvedamn it, he's just the first man I've wanted, truly wanted," she added before her sister could comment on her "boyfriends" throughout the centuries, "since. Or ever.""Actually, that, as you called it, happened a mere fifteen hundred years ago, but we aren't discussing it. So what about Kane, keeper of Disaster, huh? I thought you once had a moment with him? A shock to your senses or something like that.""Nothing but static."A snort full of amusement. "Try again.""I don't know. Maybe his demon sensed a kindred spirit in me and reached out, hoping to fan the flames of a romance. That doesn't mean Kane and I are destined to be together. I'm not attracted to him.""Better, and okay, Kane's out. Maybe you need to look elsewhere for a boyfriend. Like, say, the heavens. I can set you up with an angel." Bianka held up a flowing swath of blue material with sequined flower appliques sewn into the top and layer after layer of lacy ruffles at the bottom. "What do you think of this one?"Ignoring the dress as she'd been ignored, Kaia pressed on. "No set ups. I want Strider.""He's no good for you."He's perfect for me. "One, he doesn't belong to another Harpy. Two, he isn't psychotic. Well," she added with a few seconds of afterthought, "he isn't psychotic all of the time. And three, he'she's my consort, I know it." There. She'd said the words out loud to someone other than herself and the brain-damaged man in question.My consort.Consorts, as Kaia now knew, were extremely hard to find and utterly cherished because of that. Actually, they were necessary. Harpies were volatile by nature, dangerous and, when annoyed, lethal to the entire world. Consorts calmed them. Consorts appeased them.If only you could select your consort from a catalogue and be done with it. Instead, instinct picked for you, and your body followed suit. Wouldn't have been so bad, except each Harpy was granted one consort during her seemingly endless life. Only one. You lost him, and you suffered eternally. If you didn't kill yourself outright.That Kaia had once tried to steal Juliette's, that Juliette had been without her male all this time, not knowing whether he lived or had died, hating him for what he'd done but needing him anyway, that Juliette still loathed Kaia and had promised retribution—retribution the bitch still clearly planned to achieve—shamed her. But then, what could she say to defend herself? Nothing!She had disobeyed. She set the man free. She had unleashed his fury upon an unsuspecting community.Every year Kaia mailed Juliette a fruit basket with a "sorry about you consort" card, and every year the basket was returned with rotten apple cores, black banana peels, and a picture of Juliette flipping her off with "Die, Whore, Die" written in blood somewhere.Only reason Juliette hadn't yet attacked was out of respect for Tabitha, who was still a force to be reckoned with among allies and enemies alike.Don't think about the past. You'll start spiraling.She'd think about her consort. Strider. Barbaric, slutty, idiotic Strider. He was an immortal warrior who'd long ago stolen and opened Pandora's box to "teach those asshole gods a lesson" for daring to pick a "mere woman" to guard such a "dumb relic," and because of his rampant senselessness, he and the friends who'd helped him—the infamous and deliciously frightening for everyone but a Harpy Lords of the Underworld—had been cursed, forever forced to carry the demons they'd set free inside themselves.Strider, the beautiful moron, was possessed by the demon of Defeat. He couldn't lose a single challenge without suffering debilitating pain. Of course, that made him determined to win everything, even something as silly as Rock Band. Which she refused to ever again play with him because she'd totally nailed the bass, then the drums, then the mic, and he'd spazzed out and yelled at her before passing out and twitching with pain. So melodramatic.Anyway, his determination made him stupid, egotistical, stupid, an all around asshat and stupid! Butthere was no man more handsome, no man more fierce.No man who wanted less to do with her.Had she mentioned he was stupid?"Well?" Bianka shook the dress in Kaia's face, forcefully claiming her attention. "Opinion, please. And sometime today."Focus. "Don't kill the messenger, but that thing will make you look like a cracked out prom queen who has no plans to sleep with her boyfriend when the big dance ends—because she doesn't have a boyfriend. She's too weird. Sorry."Bianka merely shrugged, unperturbed. "Hey, cracked out prom queens might be weird, but they're hot.""If hot is a synonym for destined to die alone, you're right. So go ahead. Buy the dress, and I'll buy you a hundred cats to keep you company while you spend the rest of eternity trying to figure where your relationship with the angel went wrong, never really understanding that the problems started this very night""Do you know anything about me? Hello, I like dogs. But fine, whatever." Red lips pursing, her twin snapped the hanger back onto the rack and continued her search for "the perfect gown" to wear when she broke a bit of bad news to her consort, Lysander.Poor Bianka. She hadn't just nailed an angel, she'd bound herself to one. Forever. Lysander lived and worked in the heavens and was so boring Kaia would rather shove bamboo splints under other people's fingernails than spend time with him. Okay, bad example. She actually enjoyed shoving bamboo splints under other people's nails.There was something so best-musical-ever when people screamed and begged for mercy, and she could listen to a good musical all day."Kaia?" Bianka said. "What the hell are you sighing about?""Musicals.""Musicals? Seriously? When I'm dying for help? Will you just listen to me for once?""In a minute. Geez. I really like this thought train." Or rather, she'd liked the station stop before the musicals. A male this boring needed an equally tedious nicknamelikePope Lysander the First. That's right. He was an elite warrior with wings of gold and yeah, he was a demon slayer extraordinaire, and okay, that was sexy as hell, but he was also morally upstanding. Like over the edge OCD about it. Kaia shuddered with distaste. He was slowly but surely sucking the fun right out of her once delightful sister.In fact, Lysander's aversion to blatant shoplifting was the reason they had abandoned Budapest—too many prying eyes—returned to Alaska and broken into Anchorage's Fifth Avenue Mall at night rather than taking what they desired in broad daylight. As usual. Again, too many prying eyes.To be honest, Kaia was kind of embarrassed about the concession. She would have told her man to take his request to "please don't steal in front of humans, it gives them ideas" and stuff it up his ass. Also, she despised the lack of thrill, needed it to soothe her darker side, but whatever. She loved her sister. More than that, she owed Bianka a debt she could never hope to repay.They might not ever discuss the Unfortunate Incident, but Kaia had never forgotten it. (See? A Harpy with a long memory.) Every day she remembered how Bianka had writhed in a pool of her own blood, her eyes glassy with pain. How moans of pain had parted mutilated lips.Bianka sighed. "Okay, let's get your problems out of the way so we can concentrate on me. Tell me why you picked Strider as your heartmate. I know you're dying to extol his virtues."For a moment, Kaia could only blink at her sister, certain she'd misheard. "Are you freaking kidding me? Heart-mate? Did you just say heartmate?"Bianka snickered. "I did, and I almost gagged. Ly-sander's influence, you know. Anyway, Strider's such a tool. And a challenge." Another snicker echoed. "Get it? A challengehe can't lose onebut he sure as hell acts like one."Kaia rolled her eyes. "I think you've been hanging with the angels too much. Your IQ has dropped.""What? That was funny." Square-tipped nails painted bright blue drummed against the metal rack between them. "And by the way, the angels aren't that bad.""Whatever you need to tell yourself, my love."Bianka blew her a kiss full of fang. "All's I'm saying is that Strider's gonna be a handful—and not the good kind. He's—actually, wait. I recant. He's too big to be anything but a good handful. Or more. But he's also gonna be a bad one. Wait. That doesn't ring true, either. How should I put this? He's going to—""I get it already! He's got a huge package, and he's irritating as hell. What's your point?""Glad you're finally up to speed. It's sad, really, that you need so much explanation." The sparkle in her sister's eyes dimmed. "Anyway, you told him how you felt about him and he rejected you. He'll be annoyed by any further contact you initiate, and an annoyed demon-possessed warrior is a global disaster waiting to happen.""I know." If she had realized his importance to her sooner, she wouldn't have slept with his friend Paris, the keeper of Promiscuity. Otherwise known as Paris the Sex-orcist, a male so sensual he could make your head spin. And if she hadn't slept with the Sexorcist, Strider the Stupid wouldn't have rejected her.Maybe.Or maybe he would have. Because to her consternation—yes, consternation, and not an all-consuming, organ-flaming rage—he kinda sorta desired another woman. Haidee, a pretty female who belonged to his friend, Amun, keeper of Secrets.At least Haidee was off limits, and Kaia didn't have to worry about Strider getting handsie. Honor among evil demons, and all that.But damn it, just the thought of his gaze on another woman caused Kaia's nails to elongate and sharpen, her fangs to sprout and her blood to boil. Mine, every cell in her body cried. She would kill anyone who made a play for him, as well as anyone he made a play for; she wouldn't be able to help herself. Her dark side would take over, driving her to protect what was hers."Seriously, he's lucky to be alive, and not just because I want to chop off his man parts and feed them to zoo animals while he watches," Bianka continued. "Any man who can't recognize your worth deserves a good torturing.""I know." Not because Kaia was anything special—though she was, kind of, maybedamn it, she used to be—but because no one could reject a Harpy without suffering severe consequences.Actually, most Harpies would have taken Strider despite his wishes. So maybe she was the stupid one for allowing him to push her away. She justwanted him willing. She needed him willing. To abscond with him was to defeat him, and to defeat him was to hurt him.She couldn't bring herself to hurt him. Even at the expense of her sanity."You're too good for him, anyway," Bianka said, loyal as always."I know," she repeated once more, lying this time. She would only ever be a disgrace to her clan. He deserved better.Her sister sighed. "But you still want him." A statement of fact, not a question. "Yeah.""So what are you going to do to win him?""Nothing," she said, fighting a wave of depression. "I chased after him once." And he'd found her lacking. "I'm not going to do it again.""Maybe—""No. A few weeks ago, I challenged him to kick more Hunter ass than me." Hunters, the enemy out to destroy all things demon. The fanatics loved to go after innocents who dared get in their way. The pre-dead guys who would meet the tips of her claws if they approached Strider again.Well, if they dared approach him with a weapon in hand. She might let them crawl toward him to apologize for the trouble they'd caused throughout the centuries. Torturing the Lords—only she was allowed to do so. Blowing up buildings—yawn. Could they be any more B-movie? Sooo irritating. Decapitating the keeper of Distrust—okay, that one was a little more than irritating, considering Strider was still messed up about it and everything.Speaking of Distrust's murder, Haidee had helped carry it out. Yep, that Haidee. The one Strider desired.Kaia didn't understand it. If he could want Haidee despite her crimes, why couldn't he want Kaia?

Editorial Reviews

"If you like your paranormal dark and passionately
flavored, this is the series for you."

-RT Book Reviews on The Darkest Whisper