This is an anthology of 3 of Gena Showalter’s ebooks that she has compiled with some LOTU extras. The first story is a LOTU prequel. But not really. It is about the Guardian to the gates of Hell named Geryon, and the Goddess of Oppression Kadence. He is was a man who sold his soul to save his wife, who then left him for another man. Very tragic. Kadence is bonded to the wall of hell in order to keep all the demons in there…and you guessed it, the Lords’ demons. In fact, Pain, Lies, Doubt and Violence are the ones who crack the wall. Kadence bargains with Lucifer to get Geryon’s soul back so he can help her repair the wall. They descend into hell to fix it, but are repeatedly attacked by demons. Geryon fights what he can, but Kadence finally finds her goddess powers and controls all the demons there. Except for the Lords’ demons. They are too strong, and they keep chipping away at the wall until it kills Kadence who as we know is bonded to said wall. Geryon and Kadence have loved each other from afar, and reveal their love in true Showalter fashion-lots of steamy sex…and they bond to each other hoping to sever Kadence’s bond to the wall. Eventually they cannot repair the wall quickly enough and the demons get free, but Geryon kills himself to live free (as spirits) with Kadence. One thing I really REALLY loved about this story was that Geryon was once a man, but Lucifer turned him into an ogre…that their love was strong enough to overcome death was great, but that he kept his furry form was fantastic! Kadence never knew the man, she knew the beast. It was a great take on Beauty and the Beast- that Beauty fell in love with the beast, and not the handsome prince. So he stayed in beast form, and they both lived happily ever after. I liked that he retained his “beast” form. The LOTU demons were bound into a box the gods made from Kadence’ bones, and given to Pandora to guard. We all can figure out what happens from there.

The second short story was “The Amazon’s Curse” and it picked up right after “The Vampire’s Bride” ended. Remember Nola? The amazon warrior banished from the gods’ contest of Survivor? She was turned invisible. Zane, the vampire she’d met at the competition was turned into a slave for the amazon camp. It was a VERY short story where every time Nola admitted to herself where she went wrong with Zane, she got a piece of herself back. First she was visible, then solid, but still bound to the camp, then she was freed once she told Zane she loved him. It was a sweet, lovely story. Once she freed Zane, she had to fight her amazon sisters, and then was beaten for letting him escape. Zane and the vampires came back, and drove the Amazons out of their camp, then healed Nola, and got their happy end. It may have more to it, since I’m sure the Amazons won’t be content to let themselves remain beaten.

The third story, “The Darkest Prison,” was by far my favorite. It takes place in between “The Darkest Pleasure” and “The Darkest Whisper.” The Greeks have just been overthrown by the Titans, and Atlas-Titan god of Strength is holding down Nike- the Greek goddess of strength, and he is tattooing his name on her back. As she branded him across the chest with hers. When he had been locked away in Tartarus, Atlas seduced Nike to help him escape…too bad during the escape, she ran into the other female guards he had seduced in attempts to escape. Jealous and angry, she tattooed NIKE across his chest. When it was his turn, and he saw his name across her smooth back, he didn’t feel justice, he felt…possessive. “Mine” he thought. So he imprisons her, but can’t get her out of his head. Eventually they realize the lust is still there, but neither of them want to want each other. Atlas realizes first that he loves Nike, and so he frees her. Kronus finds out and strips Nike’s tattoo off his chest. That hated brand had become his last link to Nike, and Kronus cut it off of him! Well, Nike was never one to run, so she frees Atlas, tells him she loves him and they escape to Earth, and possibly want to meet up with our Lords of the Underworld. The crazy part was that Sienna was sitting in ghostly form next to Kronus…Paris’ Sienna! I have it on good authority she will have some parts in the next 2 or 3 books. We’ll just have to wait for May for the next installment “The Darkest Passion.”
5 stars

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