Review: "His Darkest Salvation", by Juliana Stone

Filed in 4 1/2 Stars , Juliana Stone , Review , The Danger Lover Posted on July 11, 2011 @ 10:00 am 13 comments
Format Read: eARC provided by Author for review
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Jaguar Warriors Book III
Release Date: July 26, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Avon
Formats Available: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle, Nook

Book Blurb:
In a world on the brink of chaos, passion and vengeance collide …
After six months in hell, Julian Castille has returned to the world a changed man. No longer the calm, powerful CEO, but a shifter fully embraced by the blood of his clan. Julian has one goal: find the key to the portal that stands between the human realm and unprecedented darkness—and win back the pieces of his soul. The last thing he needs is a distraction like the beautiful, enigmatic Jaden DaCosta.
Three years ago, a forbidden night of passion left Jaden forever altered: mated to Julian Castille–bound to a man who despises her. But the temptation to trust this darker, more savage—and more captivating—Julian is overwhelming. And as they fight for their immortal souls, their insatiable desire for each other may prove their fatal undoing…

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My Thoughts:

In characterizing Julian Castille, Ms. Stone has developed one of the more tortured heroes I’ve read in a long time. If you are a fan of the Jaguar Warrior series, you will remember during the battle at the conclusion of His Darkest Embrace Julian and warrior/magician Declan O’Hara disappeared. Six months have passed and most, including Julian’s family considered he and Declan dead or worse.

Julian & Declan have endured painful torture in the darkest of places. Half of Julian’s soul has been shredded and taken. Julian has changed dramatically from the Castille brother we first met in His Darkest Hunger. As a GQ corporate CEO Julian always rejected his jaguar shifter side. While he isn’t a warrior shifter (he doesn’t have the tattoo markings and he is golden in his shifter form with black rosettes) he now embraces his animal side and his powers are darkly enhanced. Julian and Declan’s return to the human realm, hails a darker and quite predatory Julian. He is constantly fighting an evil that lurks inside and threatens to consume him. While I felt Julian’s anguish acutely and sometimes deplored his treatment of the heroine of this story I was also drawn to his sexual magnetism.

Julian and Declan have one goal, obtain and destroy the portal that will keep unprecedented darkness from being unleashed into the human realm or suffer for eternity. And, they have a very small window of time to accomplish their mission.

Jaden DaCosta is a warrior shifter who Julian met three years previously. During a night of passion, Jaden chose Julian as her mate and bonded with him. When he discovered she was a DaCosta jaguar he rejected her and she has regretted her decision to mate with the man who humiliated her every day since their joining. His Darkest Salvation chronicles an extremely conflicted and tempestuous relationship between these two beings. The narrative is full of sexual tension and palpable anger which slowly turns into a deep love. Ms. Stone’s jaguars are intensely sensual creatures, they mate for life. Female warrior shifters are rare and Jaden is instinctively and inexorably drawn to Julian particularly during her heat cycle despite his unpleasant treatment of her.

Her hair was loose, just the way he liked it, the long damp tendrils falling in silken waves behind her shoulders. A lot of her golden skin was on display, the low plunging neckline of the dress she wore, left nothing to the imagination. It barely covered her breasts and with a slit the size of Niagara Falls up the side, a good expanse of her legs could be seen.

Her clan tattoos glistened, catching the last remnants of sunlight and he was mesmerized by them. Fire ripped through him as his eyes drank in the exotic markings, etchings that declared her taken.

And his mouth went dry as he heard a whisper of insanity inside his head. Mine.

His Darkest Salvation © Juliana Stone

Jaden is a powerful kick-ass warrior who, as a reader I loved and admired. She is tough, resilient, smart, and unlike her father and brothers is devoted to obtaining the portal and destroying it for the good of humanity. Unknown to Julian, Jaden (for very personal reasons) has been leading a double life for years, working undercover and leads her own team to defeat her evil father, brothers and Cormack.

Julian and Jaden, along with Declan, and other characters introduced earlier in the series join in a quest to find the elusive portal and defeat the evil warlock Cormack. I have to say the origin and nature of the portal was quite a surprise. IMHO Ms. Stone has woven an intricate multilayered plot for the final story of her Jaguar Warrior trilogy uniting the main characters from the first two books and adding some awesome new otherworld creatures. Most notable? The legendary Ethan Crane – wait till you meet this guy! Wow – lol!

The climax and conclusion of His Darkest Salvation is an action packed nail biter, and there are deaths. I thought Ms Stone deftly expanded her dark and sensual world in His Darkest Salvation which sets the stage for Wicked Road To Hell, Declan’s book and the first of her League of Guardians, spinoff series. His Darkest Salvation was a hot, riveting thrill ride and I’m so looking forward to reading the sexy, dark and extremely witty Declan’s story. I do feel that if you are interested in reading the Jaguar Warrior stories it would be best to read them in order because there is extensive world building over the course of the three novels. 🙂

I give His Darkest Salvation 4 1/2 Bookies

His Darkest Hunger
Book I – Jaxon Castille’s story

His Darkest Embrace
Book II – Jagger Castille’s story


***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Lea

Lea is an animal loving, tree hugging vegetarian who lives in Toronto, Canada with her family, which includes three dogs. She is a prolific reader and has been blogging and reviewing since 2008. Lea is a contributor at the USA Today HEA Blog and an active member at Goodreads.

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Join the Discussion
  • Chris July 11, 2011 at 10:13 am

    That cover feels very "old school" romance to me!

    I can't believe it's Monday again…

  • Dottie (Tink's Place) July 11, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Having read her other books, I'll be looking to pick this one up too! Most excellent!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Dottie 🙂

  • Mary G July 11, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Wonderful review Lea. Reminded me so much of why I loved the first book & it's time to get the second one so I can read this one.

  • Ju Dimello July 11, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I am dipping my toes into cat shifters and loved the premise of this book! Sounds like a fab read.

    Juliana is a new author for me..would need to check out her books….

    Is this stand alone or better read after the other books in the series?

  • Estella July 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Have not read any of her books yet.

  • Sheree July 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    It feels like I've been waiting for this book forever. What a cover!

  • Sheree July 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    @Ju, I think the books may work better read in sequence.

  • Lea July 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Hi Chris:

    The cover is kinda old school isn't it? but very pretty. The thing is, it doesn't really emulate the tone or nature of the book. Julian is, as mentioned so dark and tortured the colors of the cover didn't quite fit for me. But it is a pretty cover. 😉

    And, yeah – Monday – it was a brute too!!

    Thanks Chris!

  • Lea July 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Dottie:

    Thanks!! I really love Juliana's voice and this dark imaginative world she has created – good stuff!!

    Thanks again!

  • Lea July 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks Mary!

    Yes, Juliana has kept up the pace and tone of the Castille brothers world. This one is really good. 😉

  • Lea July 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Ju!

    I would recommend you read the books in order as mentioned in the review. Juliana does build and expand the world with each book. 😉

    These cat shifters are hawt!!


  • Lea July 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks for your note Estella.

  • Lea July 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Sheree!

    I know the publisher has been releasing these ones soooo slowly but if your a fan I think you will find Julian's book worth the wait!

    Thank You!!

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