Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Water, Esher was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.
Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Tormented by his past, Esher burns with hatred towards mortals and bears a grudge against Hades for forcing him into their world, condemning him to a life of battling to keep a fragile hold on his darker side—a side that wants to kill every human in the name of revenge.
Until he finds himself stepping in to save a female—a beautiful mortal filled with light and laughter who draws him to her as fiercely as the pull of the moon, stirring conflict in his heart and rousing dangerous needs long forgotten.
Aiko knows from the moment she sets eyes on the black-haired warrior that he is no ordinary man, just as she’s no ordinary woman. Blessed with a gift, she can see through his stormy façade to the powerful god beneath, and the pain and darkness that beats inside him—pain she grows determined to heal as she falls deeper under his spell and into his world.
When the daemon bent on turning Esher against his brothers makes her move, will Esher find the strength to overcome his past and fulfil his duty, or will the lure of revenge allow the darkness in his heart to seize control, transforming him into a god intent on destroying the world?
This is the third book in the Guardians of Hades series. I loved it!
Esher is a wonderful character. I love a tortured soul and Esher fits this mould easily. He is the middle child of seven siblings born to Hades and Persephone, and has power over water. Banished by his father to live in the mortal realm to guard the gates to the Underworld, Esher lives in Tokyo with one of his brothers. Due to an event in his past he struggles with his dark impulses to hurt the humans in his city, so he avoids them when he can or tries to ignore them when he can't. When he impulsively helps a damsel in distress, he finds himself captivated by her gentle soul. However, danger abounds. Will he be able to curb his dark impulses, or will he end up hurting the ones he loves?
Aiko is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a gentle and loving woman with a huge heart, and the ability to see and speak to spirits. When she meets Esher she realises that he's not entirely human, but she is drawn to him and as she gets to know him, she begins to fall for him. As danger threatens to tear them apart, she finds herself targeted as a pawn in a dangerous game played by a mysterious opponent.
I love reading the Eternal Mates series, but this new series may give it a run for it's money. This story takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end. I started to read this story and didn't put it down until I'd finished it. I loved meeting the brothers again after almost a year since the previous book (Valen) was released. I love the little details the author has included, like Valen and Ares losing bets with their significant others and the forfeits they had to deal with. It made me giggle. They are obviously in love and complete saps to boot.
In this story, we get to meet Hades and Persephone in the Underworld, though it's not entirely a happy affair. But, this leads to an event that... Ugh! This would be a spoiler, so going to stop there. Nevertheless, I found myself shedding tears a few times in this story, so recommend you keep a tissue handy (just in case). There are new villains you will love to hate including a Valkyrie, but there is also a mysterious woman mentioned who seems to be the mastermind behind the plot to turn the world into the Otherworld that the three Fates or Moirai had warned about, but we (the readers) will have to wait for the next books in the series to find out who this person is. As I reached the end of the book, I found myself becoming even more excited for what is to come. I am now looking forward to reading Marek's story as soon as I can.
Felicity Heaton has written another fast paced, sexy paranormal romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her fast paced writing style, which flows effortlessly from scene to scene. She is on top of my favourite author's list.
Each book of this series could be read as a stand-alone, as this one does not end in a cliffhanger, though I would recommend reading them in order. I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the extremely HOT and explicit sexual scenes. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love sexy paranormal romances full of gods and daemons. - Lynn Worton