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He is the guardian of hell, more monster than man. She is the goddess of oppression, more angel than woman. Together they will enter the flames to battle a dangerous horde of demon lords -- and discover a passion unlike any other....

Don't miss this sizzling prequel to Gena Showalter's breathtaking new paranormal series, The Lords of the Underworld! Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive -- and unimaginably powerful....

82 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 2008

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About the author

Gena Showalter

258 books27k followers
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over seventy books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld series, the Gods of War series, the White Rabbit Chronicles, and the Forest of Good and Evil series. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs and cats.

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5 stars
5,645 (36%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 708 reviews
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,333 followers
June 28, 2016
This was a prequel novella that told of the events leading up to the creation of Pandora's box. A nice, quick audiobook, it was a great way to pass a couple of hours. It definitely enticed me to read the rest of this series, which I plan to start immediately.

Geryon and Kadence are tasked with keeping the demons and doomed souls in Hell contained. They've worked beside each other for a long time, never daring to act on, or address, their mutual attraction. Geryon does not deem himself worthy of the angelic goddess. Kadence sees the goodness in this fierce warrior.

Kadence's life is tied to the wall surrounding Hell. As the wall is damaged, so is she. When the wall is attacked, she must work with Geryon to repair the damage and contain Hell's occupants.

Of course, the love story between these two was the draw to this story for me. In such a short period of time, this love story unfolds nicely. You won't get the type of slow build-up and story development that you'd expect in a full-length novel, but I felt like the author did a good job of pulling the story together. It didn't feel rushed or lacking as many novellas do.

Overall, it was a great prequel. It has definitely piqued my interest and made me want to read the other books in the series. I'm sure the background information provided here will help me understand later developments in the series.
September 10, 2019
I decided to do a reread of this series as it's been years since I read any Gena Showalter and they are on Audible romance package. I remember when I read this years ago it was just okay for me, and it's still just okay with me. It's kind of a backstory for the series, but when it takes something away from the HEA. I remember book one being one of my favorites I hope I still love it as much :)
Profile Image for Exina.
1,189 reviews382 followers
January 19, 2020
“… without good, there would be only evil.”

The Darkest Fire is a prequel to the Lords of the Underworld series, actually the love story of Geryon, the Guardian of Hell and Kadence, the goddess of Oppression. Their task is to watch the wall and gate of Hell and make sure that neither soul nor demon ever escapes.
He was a slave to the prince of darkness, spawned by evil; she was a goddess, created in light.

One day Kadence discovers a crack in the wall, which leads to a desperate and doomed attempt to repair it and fight back the demon High Lords who are determined to escape.

The events lead to the beginnings of everything, namely the creation of dimOuniak, a.k.a. Pandora’s box.

Once opened, the box drew the demons from their hiding places, holding them captive as even Hell had been unable to do.
Of course, the gods were pleased with their handiwork and gave the box to Pandora, the strongest female warrior of her time, to guard. But that is a story for another time.

And we all know what happened after that. :)

Unlike many readers, I'm not repelled by Geryon’s beastly appearance. He is a fierce, strong warrior, a protective and desirable man. Through Kadence’s eyes, and through his viewpoint you can’t help but feel affection for him.

Kadence and Geryon’s story is beautiful, passionate, and touching, and although it is not essential to understand the preceding events of the books of the Lords of the Underworld series, it is really worth reading!

Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,515 followers
May 31, 2017
Geryon: Guardian of Hell,
Kadence: Goddess of Oppression

Geryon is unattractive as a monster. Kadence is beautiful as an angel.
This is another version of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, which serves as an excellent prequel for the Lords of the Underworld. It will explain the origins of Pandora ’s Box.

Although it is a short novel, the love story is strong and fulfilling.
Very enjoyable book!

She loved him, just as he was. Horns, fangs, claws and all. Wait—loved? Oh, yes. She loved him. She had considered it before, but had discarded the idea. Now, there could be no discarding. The emotion was there, undeniable as Death stared her in the face.
Profile Image for Corie.
412 reviews
July 7, 2010
So I feel horrible in saying this but I thought this prequel was awful. It came with the Lords of the Underworld Bundle I bought from Amazon for my Kindle. And actually, when I started reading it I thought I was reading The Darkest Night. I'm reading along, thinking the way the story is written and the dialogue is so cheezy I can hardly continue. But I keep thinking, I know I really like this author, and she gets really good ratings, so this must get better. So I'm reading, reading, thinking, I have a 100 page rule, and I am determined to get that far. But then poof, I'm saved and it was over, only about 70 pages as it turns out.

Then I turn the page and realize that now starts the actual book I thought I was reading. The Darkest Night. So let me just end this blurp by saying, I completely have not been able to put down this next book. I love it. The writing is way, way, better. I am completely sucked in. I guess so far there is a little reference in it to theh prequel, and maybe it will become evident later why this silly prequel was even necessary. I honestly feel bad even sayiing anything this bad about a book, but it's true. It was hokey, hokey, hokey. It doesn't even feel like the same person that wrote Darkest Fire, could have written Darkest Night.

Enough said, on to her other great books!
Profile Image for vale pao.
644 reviews358 followers
December 28, 2013
Terrible! LOL. I read this by chance, I actually wanted to read the last book in GS's Atlantis series and this short story was before that one. What can I say ... I just thought this was a lame story with no plot at all and a very -VERY- cheesy romance. It didn't change in nothing the knowledge I had about the LOTU series. I really would suggest people who don't enjoy novellas and short stories much to skip this as it wont help you discover anything new about the Lords. I am even being a bit nice by giving to stars to it...

A nice waste of time.
And don't get me wrong, this must be the first time I have something like this to say about something written by this author as I completely adore her work and recommend it to everybody. Gena Showalters is a fav of mine and I adore all of her books. But this short story was boring as hell, no pun intended.
Profile Image for Julie (jjmachshev).
1,069 reviews283 followers
April 4, 2009
Very interesting, very hot short story from Gena Showalter. "The Darkest Fire" is the prequel to her 'Lords of the Underworld' series. To be honest, I think I liked this short story best of the series yet. It's a mixture of fantasy and romance and Showalter's take on the sacrifices required for love according to ancient myth.

She is the goddess sentenced to maintain watch on the underworld and her duty has bonded her to the wall that contains the demons of hell. He is the guardian at the gate, who traded his mortal soul to head a feckless wife and is now a monstrous warrior. When she notices cracks in the wall, she pleads with Lucifer to allow the Guardian to help her. Instead, he offers the Guardian's soul in exchange for an evil pact. Now, she must convince the Guardian she loves to help her save not just herself, but the innocent on Earth.

A very unusual happy ending, but entirely in accordance with stories in myth and lore. A quick and sensual tale only available in e-read.
Profile Image for Sedef.
373 reviews71 followers
September 23, 2018
Gönül bu işte. Tanrıça da olsan gidip hayvan gibi yaratığa aşık oluyon. Tahtını yapmışlar ama bahtını yapamamışlar, yazık oldu kızcağıza. 😕😕
Profile Image for Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog).
1,732 reviews543 followers
April 19, 2011
I wasn't expecting to like this that much as after reading the first three books of the Lords of the Underworld series I already know that this isn't going to end well for the Goddess of Oppression. However, after a few pages I was hooked and I really enjoyed this really short (90 pages approx) story. It is a Beauty and the Beast story, with a beautiful woman and an ugly man-thing. But you can see why despite his appearence, although he does have some very cute little demon horns, she fell in love with Geryon. I would definately read thiss if you are reading LOTU and it is a nice start to the series if you haven't read it.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books600 followers
March 20, 2011

3.5 stars

This 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 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.
Profile Image for Azet.
1,021 reviews229 followers
January 31, 2021
This is my third time reading "The Darkest Fire" which is a proluge novella for the "Lords of the Underworld" series.The strangest thing is that i haven`t even read any other books in the series,have no idea why.I found this novella some years ago and found it extremely touching.Geryon the Guardian of hell was a beast of a warrior,but so humble and vulnerable that i wanted to hug him!He find his true love in Kadence goddess of Opression who i found very wonderful as a heroine.I am so happy these two found each other,and their love-story touches me every time i read it.
Now i am finally going to start these series,time to go to "The Darkest Night".
Profile Image for willaful.
1,155 reviews370 followers
February 23, 2011
It seems funny to call a steamy story about goddesses and demons in hell sweet, but that's how this struck me. It's a beauty and the beast story, except that in this case beauty feels pretty beastly too, and the both of them spend much of the story feeling insecure and wondering if the other could ever possibly like them. In this case, hell seems mighty similar to high school. There's kind of a cool twist at the end that leads into the "Lord of the Underworld" series, but no real need to read this one before it.
Profile Image for SamJ ★Needs a HEA★.
609 reviews881 followers
January 25, 2015
I have been wanting to start this series for awhile.

I really enjoyed this short little introduction into how the Lords of The Underworld will eventually come to be.

It packed quite a punch in a short number of pages, and you cared about the hero and heroine.

Maybe not a "traditional" HEA all things considered, but I was happy with how it resolved for the couple.

It is not necessary to read this before the series, but it gave a nice background to the origins of the Lords, and was enjoyable.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,482 reviews38 followers
June 25, 2020
This was a nice introduction to the series.

I read the first book (The Darkest Night) a few years ago and had planned to re-read it and then finish the series so I could be all caught up in it but I've been seeing a lot of reviews of the latest books and I'm starting to hesitate to continue my planned re-read. I can't decide on what to do :(
Profile Image for Rachael*Caribbean*girl*bibliophile.
1,671 reviews359 followers
September 16, 2018
I found this one ....weird lol. I dont think the characters and their relationship were developed enough,as the book starts with them having seen each other had a couple of interactions chapters later they're in love. The origins of the box was interesting though.
Profile Image for *CJ*.
4,195 reviews480 followers
April 27, 2017
That was a bittersweet yet wonderful start to the "Lords of the Underworld" series.
The story of Goddess of Oppression Kaderin and the guardian of gates of the hell Geryon introduces you to the world of demons and glimpse into their sweet love story.
The ending wasn't expected and made me tear up.
Technically a HEA, because it's just the beginning.
Profile Image for Pam Nelson.
3,302 reviews102 followers
August 27, 2016
The Guardian of Hell falls for the Goddess of Oppression, she was also connected to the wall between Hell and world.
Now that I am in to book 1 a bit, I can understand why this book was in with this series. It was all about Pandora's Box.

A little confusing until it all clicked in my brain ;)

*All my Reviews are 100% honest and my own.*
Profile Image for Natalia815.
1,504 reviews56 followers
April 12, 2015
Me ha gustado mucho. La historia de amor de una diosa y un demonio en el infierno. Relato de apenas 60 páginas, en el que no se nota que las cosas sucedan de manera repentina. Me han dado muchas ganas de empezar la saga.
Profile Image for Laura.has.too.many.books.
515 reviews4 followers
January 17, 2022
When Kadence, the goddess of Oppression, finds cracks in the wall that keeps the Demon Lords of Hell from entering the world, she knows there might be only one creature that can help her safe the world, Geryon, the Guardian of Hell. But Geryon has his own demons to battle, so the tension is high when they enter hell. Because hell has never been a nice place, even when you fins your passion there.

This might be the prequel-iest of all prequels, as it shows us how Pandora's box was made. You do not need to read this as the first book, but it is nice to have more background information of this very complex world. The ending was sad and cute at the same time and hopefully we will someday meet them again as the story reveals itself.
Profile Image for Kübra .
1,784 reviews312 followers
November 18, 2017
Aslında seriye doğru düzgün başlamadan bir ara kitap okumanın ne kadar doğru olduğunu düşündüm, sorguladım. Ama başladım bir kere, diye düşündüm devam ettim sonra. İyi ki de öyle yapmışım. ^.^
"Those cracks were not there yesterday," she said. "What has caused such damage?"
"A horde of Demon Lords rise from the pit daily and fight to break out. They have grown tired of their confinement here and seek living humans to torment."
"Have you their names?"
He nodded. "Violence, Death, Lies, Doubt, Misery. Shall I go on?"
"No," she said softly. "I understand. The worst of the worst."
"Yes. They bang and they claw from the other side, desperate to reach the mortal realm."

Kitap, seride teker teker okuyacağımız iblislerimizin başlangıç hikayelerinin Tanrıça Kadence ve Cehennem Koruyucusu Geryon'un kısa aşklarını konu alıyor. Aynı zamanda güzel bir seriye hazırlık kitabı olmuş.
"Oh, Kadence," Geryon said, knowing the other gods would have to honor her bargain - and would make her suffer for it. Everything inside him rebelled at the thought. "Why would you do such a thing?"
"To save you. To save me. To save the world beyond our reach. I could think of no other way. A single year to wreck his havoc seemed a small thing to trade in comparison to an eternity of demons roaming free."
Profile Image for Merve Özcan.
799 reviews31 followers
September 12, 2011
Zulüm tanrısı ile cehennemin girişnin koruyan bir iblisin hikayesi. Zulüm tanrıs��,cehennemin kapısındaki duvara tanrılar tarafından ölümlüler dünyasını korumak için bağlanmıştır, iblisler bu duvara saldırmışlardır. ve duvar çökerse tanrıça ölecektir.Lucifela yapılan bir anlaşma ile bu gardiyan ile cehenneme giriş yaparlar. ve aralarındaki çekim artar. gerçi gardian onu ilk gördüğü andan beri boş değildir.Hey burada bir tanrıçadan bahsediyoruz. hepsinin güzel olması gerekiyor değil mi ama? Şiddet ve Ölüm bu iblisler olup duvarın tamir edilmesi için onlarım ölümü gerekli. şimdi düşününce ölümü nasıl öldürecekler ?
tanrıçanın gücü herşeyi kendi kontrolü altına alabilmek, olimpostasn cehenneme gönderilmesinin sebebide bu zaten. güçün var mı derdin var anlayacağın:/
cehenemdeyken zulüm tanrısı aniden acı duyar buda demekki iblisler duvara saldırıyorlar. gardiyan ve tanrıça bağlanırlar ve acı bir nebze azalır ama duvar çöker tanrıça ölür. Onun acısına dayanamayan gardiyan zehirli pençelerini kendi gögsüne btırır mutlu bir ruh ruha ölüm sonrası hayat yaşarlar. tanrılar tanrıçanın kemiklerinden bir kutu yaparlar ve iblisleri onun içine hapsederler ama kutuyu Pandoraya verirler. gerisi başka bir hikayedir. Merak işte bu öldürür kediyi XD
Profile Image for Ronda.
861 reviews139 followers
April 15, 2012
This was a great pre-quel to the Lords of the Underworld, a series that I will be starting in the near future, something I look forward to getting my teeth into!!
Profile Image for Tracy Ehlers.
321 reviews32 followers
January 11, 2016
Love this novella to introduce a new series! Awesome quick read
Would recommend to all friends that love paranormal.
Profile Image for Theresa .
1,424 reviews75 followers
June 1, 2017
3.5 Stars...This prequel novella tells the story of Kadence, the Goddess of Oppression, who is the warden of Hell; and Geryon, a man who sold his soul to Lucifer and became beast now acting as the Guardian to the gates of Hell...although these two characters have known one another for centuries, they have never spoken or interacted...both secretly attracted t one another, these characters are thrust together when the wall at the gates of Hell begins to crack due to the Demon Lords attempting to break free...Kadence and Geryon choose to work together by entering into the pits of Hell and battle the Demon Lords to protect all mankind...for a short novella, it certainly packed an emotional punch with it's epic adventure and dynamic characters...I enjoyed going on this journey and look forward to continuing on with the series:)
555 reviews4 followers
January 16, 2020
Das ist die Vorgeschichte zu der "Herren der Unterwelt"- Reihe von Gena Showalter.

Der Schreibstil der Autorin ist sehr ansprechend und wirklich gut. Leider konnte mich die Story nicht so überzeugen. Die Idee dahinter finde ich sehr interessant, da es wirklich um viele Gottheiten, Dämonen und weitere WEsen geht, was mir sehr gefällt, allerdings war die Liebesstory reines Geschnulze. Vielleicht liegt es auch einfach daran das es eine Kurzgeschichte war. Ich werde die Reihe jedenfalls weiterverfolgen.
Profile Image for Angela.
699 reviews56 followers
March 25, 2011
The Darkest Fire is a short prequel to the Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter.
This story is a short paranormal romance between Geryon and Kadence.

Geryon is the guardian to the gates of hell. Centuries ago, Geryon sold his soul to Lucifer in exchange for his wife’s life and her love. Lucifer changed Geryon into a half beast, with poisonous claws, hoofed feet, horns, and fur covering his legs and chest. When his wife saw his appearance, she left him and he became disgusted with his appearance. Geryon is disgusted with his beastly appearance and for centuries, his days are spent guarding the wall keeping the demons trapped in hell. The only light in his life is seeing the Goddess of Oppression when she makes her daily visit to inspect the wall.

Kadence is the Goddess of Opporession. She has the ability to control others, which has made her an outsider to others of her kind. Gods and Goddesses can be cruel and over the years she went from being a strong and powerful Goddess to being timid and fragile. The Gods and Goddesses wanted her out of heaven and assigned her the duty of guarding the wall that traps the demons in hell. She accepted the duty and was bound to it, feeling pain when it is damaged and death if the wall comes down. Kadence inspects the wall daily and enjoys being in Geryon’s presence.

Kadence discovers a small crack in the wall and seeks Geryon’s help to repair it. Geryon explains the Demon Lords are responsible for damaging the wall, but he cannot help her stop them without Lucifer’s permission to leave the gate. Kadence seeks strength within herself and calls Lucifer. She offers him one year on earth for Geryon’s soul. The price was high, but if the wall comes down than the demons of hell will be loose on earth and humanity would be lost.

Geryon helps Kadence and the two repair the inner wall and enter hell to repair the outer wall. The more time they spend together, the harder it is for them to contain their feelings. Geryon uses his poisonous claws to kill a demon, saving Kadence’s life. He expects her to be disgusted with him, but rather admires him for his skill and heroism. They share an intimate kiss, which leads to them both wanting more. They travel to a demon tavern where Kadence surprises Geryon with her ability to freeze and control the demons. Geryon announces in the tavern that he is Hell’s Guardian here to kill the Lords. The demons flee from the tavern to spread the word. Kadence doubles over in pain as the Lords attack the wall. She realizes that this was Lucifer’s plan from the beginning; if she dies, there is nothing stopping Lucifer from remaining on earth with his demons at his side.

Geryon suggests that if she bond with him, she may be able to break her bond with the wall. Geryon reattaches his soul, given to him by Kadence, but is disappointed that he remains half beast. Kadence tells him she finds him beautiful and desires him. The two make love and the pleasure overpowers the pain. With the pain gone, she flashes them to the wall to fight the Lords. Kadence is killed and as a spirit she tells him she loves him and is sorry that she failed. The wall comes down and the Lords of Hell escape. Geryon sinks his claws into his arms and dies from the poison. They are together forever as spirits.

I loved this prequel short story. I could envision the Underworld and understood the characters. The characters had depth and developed together. The ending may sound morbid, but it was beautiful and Gena Showalter did a fantastic job. I’ve read the Alien Huntress series and LOVE it. This prequel was enough to intrigue me and I can’t wait to read the series.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 708 reviews

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