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Mona Lisa Darkening

(Monère: Children of the Moon #4)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,823 ratings  ·  99 reviews
On the vernal equinox, Mona Lisa is taken against her will to NetherHell, the cursed realm of the damned. In this place, she will be torn from both within and without by desire, love, and ecstasy. And when her first love crosses the boundaries of the world to rescue her, she must choose her own destiny?before others choose it for her.
Mass Market Paperback, 273 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Berkley (first published December 29th 2008)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  1,823 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Julie (jjmachshev)
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
Sunny's 'Mona Lisa' series is a fascinating, dark fantasy filled with otherworldly creatures that are quite a bit different from the usual paranormal fare. Her world is based on the Monere, a society of moon descendants who 'bask' in the moon's rays to sustain their life. They are stronger, faster, and prettier than normal humans...and many, if not most, are quite a bit crueler.

Mona Lisa is drawn into NetherHell this time, and neither her status as Queen nor her Hell mate Halcyon can help her ou
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: super fans or people that want to read an LKH clone
It's weird, I liked this one better than the last but I still can't rate it higher than a 2. The beginning was interesting but the end was incredibly disappointing and lame.

Mona Lisa and her group are basking on the night of the Vernal Equinox and a dark light flashes across the moon. Mona Lisa disappears and reawakens in NetherHell; a separate realm worse than normal Hell. Once in NetherHell, Mona Lisa is taken to a gargoyle warlord who becomes incredibly interested in her because he wants to h
Lisa Lap
I'm disappointed with this chapter in Mona Lisa's life. Ironically it wasn't that I couldn't believe that Mona Lisa would end up in netherhell thanks to Mona Louisa, I so easily could believe that the evil queen had managed to take more of Mona Lisa's happiness away yet again. No, my disappointment comes from the fact that the majority of this story didn't allow us to catch up with all the familiar characters we have come to love through this series. The scenes with Amber, Halcyion, Gryphon and ...more
I ♥ Bookie Nookie (
Hmmm...where did this book come from? Did Sunny have a substitute writer for this installment? liked it but, meh. It just didn't have the same feel as the first 3. It's like she didn't know where to go with the series, so she just took it "out there" like really, really out there to the NetherHell. Anyhoo.

I might have been generous with the stars. If I hadn't been so inthralled with the series as a whole, I might have dropped it to 3 stars, but I am leaving it at 4.

There is so much
May 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
I bought the first book in this series and didn't buy anymore. For me, the series has always had something missing and a hit or miss quality. Still, I do enjoy reading it b/c there are some good solid areas and interesting characters. This last book is a let down after Mona Lisa Craving. I'm hoping for the return of a character from book three, Dante. He's one of the reasons I continue reading. But hey, not everyone can be Anne Bishop and I don't expect them to either.

There's a lot of interestin
Sunny took a completely different turn with her latest book in the Monere series, and, for me, it was a turn for the better.

I must admit I was skeptical when I read that this book was to be set in Netherhell, but Sunny created quite a vivid setting and populated it with some of the most fascinating characters she has yet created. I loved the gargoyles. Also, this one was not driven by sex, and again, I found that to be an improvement.

I don't know how she does it. I tell myself each time I read
In truth, I don't think that this fourth book in the Monere Mona Lisa series fits into the series well at all. For the first 100 pages of the book, I didn't feel like the storyline meshed with the previous books, and I frequently became distracted while reading.

Also, I was a bit annoyed that the author kept skipping between first person and third person. It felt abrubt and confusing at times.

I didn't hate the book, but I was left feeling disappointed...
Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was another great read...I love this series...Mona Lisa's life challenges are so great and yet she remains true to herself...The way this ended left me wondering if there was going to be another book...which I since have found out that it is indeed continuing...thank goodness because I really really love Mona Lisa's world. I highly recommend this paced with loads of actions, heart wretching moments and hot men.
Rapid Reader
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reverse-harem
Love this series! It's just too bad that the author has discontinued being a writer, so the series was left hanging. I was rather upset that one of the male love interest got killed. Good thing he didn't stay dead for long, though! The last arch of the series was fantastic! Note: I read all 5 books in one go.
Elisa  Castro
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
done running

Mona Lisa Darkening is book four in the series A Novel of the Monere by author Sunny. This tale of love is poignantly beautiful- it’s a finding of one’s self and deciding to just stop running and let love be love.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy
Not as good as the first or second book.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
All the books had so much more potential, i feel. I enjoyed the series but wish it went a bit differently.
Kat Crumb
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic ! You get lost in sunny's world .
Always guessing where the story will take you. Action, intriguing, wonderous mystery and of course but not least SEX
Diandra {Ambrosia Books}
Reviews like this (and more) can be found on Ambrosia Books

Oh, Mona Lisa. You were the love story of my early twenties. I wanted nothing but to be like you. Men who fought for your honor (sexy men, at that), connection to the moon, sex for power. That was the life...

After years hiatus of continuing this story, I finally picked this up and read it, so full of nostalgia. I was shocked, utterly shocked at what I read. I'm so upset to say this and it truly brings tears to my eyes, but Mona Lisa....
Jan 17, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Finally this series is starting to pick up some traction for me and get really good for me. In this installment of the Monere series, our main character Mona Lisa is abducted into cursed realm known as Netherhell. There she meets her first set of garagoyles and even learns that NetherHell is a place for truly bad individuals. Such as the damned demons of the Monere world as well as human convicts, gang members, and even corporate fraud types as well. Which is not all that surprising for Mona Lis ...more
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book literally has it all. I was amazed at how Sunny managed to surprise me at every twist and turn of the pages. It was non stop action, passion, and hot romance.

Mona Lisa, a mixed blood monere queen who has the ability to compell people against thier will, heal and totrure with just the palms of her hands (from the goddess's tears), call weapons to her with her mind, and recently the ability to suck out someone else's life force. Not to mention non-human speed and strength. Oh and she is
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Mona Lisa Darkening is the fourth book in the Monère, Dark Fantasy, paranormal romance series. When I first read Mona Lisa Awakening, I was shocked that I haven't heard of this series more than I did. I instantly loved it and found the characters very likable. The characters are one of my favorite things about this series. Halcyon is my favorite. I love Gryphon and everyone else, but I still keep going back to Halcyon. He's unique.

The heroine, Mona Lisa is a mixed-blood queen among the Monére. A
Sammy Loves Books
The past two books in the Mona Lisa series ended on such sad notes that I decided to take a break and read other books that had a more cheerful ending. Well, that never happened. I felt compelled to read Mona Lisa Darkening because even with it's not so happy parts, I have enjoyed the overall series immensely. This book was a total surprise because all others have been written in first person from Mona Lisa's point of view. For the first time we were able to glimpse other events that were taking ...more
The Monere series by Sunny has always fascinated me. The idea of a species of people who are ruled by their own queen and need the moon to survive was genius on Sunny's part. And to add it onto that, this book is surely to please fans of later Laurell K. Hamilton writing; Mona Lisa is definately a girl who is not afraid to have more than one lover.

However, this book in particular fell short for me. The initial plot was fascinating; Mona Lisa, while basking in the light of the moon, is suddently
Dec 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: erotica
Mona Lisa is off on her craziest adventure yet. She is somehow sucked into NetherHell. While there, she must rely on an enemy hidden insider herself for her survival. She rescues a gargoyle child, becomes coveted by a gargoyle king, and manages to make some allies in the most unlikely places.

This one also bounces back and forth between Mona Lisa's 1st person POV and 3rd person POV of Gryphon and Halcyon, who travel to NetherHell to rescue her. She has some disturbing/touching moments with the t
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book in the Children of the Moon series by Sunny; and it was actually my favorite of the series. The setting was more interesting than previous books and there was a lot more action; there wasn't as much sex and romance so people who really dig that may not like this book as well as some of the previous ones.

The book starts out with Mona Lisa basking for her Monere. Suddenly a black light comes out of the moon and Mona Lisa is taken somewhere else. Strangely enough Mona Louise
Goge (BARRONS) le Moning Maniac,

Wow this was good.. Interesting.. It brought a new depth to the Monere world. It was slow paced though, I gotta say.. It would do well as a stand-alone. Because it was so rich, it didn't necessarily seem like a prior book introduced this one. I liked it:)


This was Halcyon and Gryphon's book, well 3/4ths of it was JUST-Mona Lisa, and that other Queen who I actually like nowX), which I found very very intriguing and awesome. I hated missing the guys but she can certainly take
Jun 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Laurell K. Hamilton
This series has a major theme common with the two Laurell K. Hamilton series: a tough on the outside, loving on the inside magically powerful heroine and her relationships with many different men who are mostly cool with sharing her. Ridiculous? Absolutely. Really interesting if you like complicated relationships, YES! There's some interesting action and alternate realities thrown in too, which I like.

Premise of this fourth installment in the series: Mona Lisa gets accidentally sucked into Nethe
Aug 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hum, well, I wanted to find out what had happened to Gryphon, and I did. But ... the rest ...

There were parts that I really enjoyed and parts that bugged me, taking up precious space in the book instead of adding more to the overall storyline (IMHO).

Initially I thought, "cool, Netherhell ... interesting, kinda spooky", then "come on already" was all I could think while pushing through the pages. I did enjoy learning about the Gargoyles and thought parts of their storyline was interesting, but
2.5 stars
This almost felt like reading two different books. The first 2/3 of the book was okay but then it sort of wraps up and feels like the end of the book and the rest of the story seemed added on as an afterthought. A new dilemma is presented to prolong the story enough to revisit past characters and to throw in some sex. And when I say "some sex", I mean as in Mona Lisa getting it on with 4 different men all within the last 1/3 of the book. I guess she's making up for lost time. And then i
Trang Nguyen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, e-romance
There are definitely some elements of this series that I've found to be rather derivative of others-- demon dead, matriarchal societies, vampirism, etc. The reason why I still read on is entirely due to the main character. She describes herself as sort of plain and flat-chested in a race full of beautiful Queens. (Man, I can relate!) In this book, she has an experience of what life is like without her other supernatural powers, and for me that balances out the fact that she seems to be the roman ...more
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A family practice physician and Vassar graduate, Sunny was finally pushed into picking up her pen by the success of the rest of her family. Much to her amazement, she found that, by golly, she actually could write a book, and that it was much more fun than being a doctor.

As an author, Sunny has been featured on Geraldo at Large and CNBC, and has won many awards including the prestigious PRISM Awar

Other books in the series

Monère: Children of the Moon (5 books)
  • Mona Lisa Awakening (Monère: Children of the Moon, #1)
  • Mona Lisa Blossoming (Monère: Children of the Moon, #2)
  • Mona Lisa Craving (Monère: Children of the Moon, #3)
  • Mona Lisa Eclipsing  (Monère: Children of the Moon, #5)

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In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
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“Because you offer something ever rarer than power of aphidy. You offer something that few other Queens offer-love. You bestow love on all you take under your care. And intimate love to only a few. I saw it once in your eyes for me, and I want to see it again. I need to, as much as I need to breathe air. Mona Lisa, this one thing-love-you have still to give. Don not deny me. Not when my soul needs you, cries out for you.” 1 likes
“We shall see. You have been long away from our people. Your skills may have grown rusty."
"What skills?" I asked.
"His sexual ones. That is how we court among our kind," Vlad explained.
"Oh, well, I'm not sure about the charm, Gordane may have to practice on that," I said, making Gordane growl.
"But I can vouch for his sexual skills. He's had plenty of practice." A low growl, two low growls behind me, suddenly made me realize how my words could be taken.
"I meant plenty of practice on other women," I hastened to add, looking exasperatedly at Gryphon and Halcyon-where the growls were coming from. "He has an entire harem of at least eighty women, for Pete's sake."
Thankfully the menacing growls subsided.”
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