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Review – His Darkest Salvation by Juliana Stone

Publisher: Avon
Publish Date: July 26th
How I got this book: NetGalley

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…
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I was anxiously awaiting the book about Julian and Jaden, the final Jaguar Warriors novel, and getting the rest of the details about the portal and demons and everything else that was left to wrap up the story line. As much as I liked about this book, there were things I didn’t like, which makes this a difficult review to write.

Julian has been missing for a few months now, and suddenly he is back from the dead. No one knows where he was, and he returned with a touch of darkness that has those close to him wary. Jaden has always known Julian was her mate, and despite their horrible history, still feels something for him despite burning hatred. When he comes to her for help finding the portal, they will have to find a way to work together.

But with Jaden’s double crossing of her family, Julian’s time in hell including his bargain to get out, and the intense feelings that bounce between then – the stakes are constantly raised. When they finally find the portal and realize that together they might have the real deal, are they going to be able to even have a chance at life?

Again, this is a really hard review for me to write, because I have strong negative and positive feelings about this book. As the conclusion of the Jaguar Warrior’s series, I was glad with the way everything wrapped up nicely. All the questions surrounding the portal, the demons coming to earth, and the core characters were resolved in a way that was believable and satisfying. I especially liked that the few secondary characters who are not part of the core character cast were set up nicely to be stars in Stone’s next series: The League of Guardians. I’m *hoping* that Declan and Ana are up next, and I can’t wait to get their story as they are both very intriguing characters.

I also really enjoyed getting to see everyone again. All the Castille brothers were back and in action, fighting for their futures. I’m a sucker for seeing old characters once again, and love that the brothers play a big role in each other’s lives without taking over the main story. I can only hope we get a glimpse of these characters again in the next series.

Unfortunately the part that really annoyed me while reading was the romance between Julian and Jaden. I liked their characters separately, but when the two of them got together, they drove me bonkers. Julian is so hurt and jaded from his time spent in hell that he has become this angry and dark and brooding jerk who honestly doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Jaden has been playing both sides of the fence for so long now she is damaged in ways that seem almost insurmountable. And given their history, they honestly seem to hate each other. They say awful things to each other, cut deeper than either imagined, and yet neither of them really says their sorry. I think that bothered me the most. One moment they are hating each other and having angry sexy times, and the next they are admitting they are in love. O_o

It felt sudden and cold and almost convenient. I wanted to smack them both upside the head for the horrible things they did to each other, then I wanted to do it again when neither of them really put forth an effort to communicate about why, but just accepted their mating happily. I wanted to believe in their romance, but I just couldn’t see how either of them came to the “love” decision after everything they went through.

All in all His Darkest Salvation was an interesting reading experience for me. I can’t recall the last time I really had such conflicting feelings about a book. I enjoyed so many things, the conclusion of the overall plot arc, the secondary characters, and even the hero and heroine as individuals. But the romance (or lack there of) just brought the story down for me.

I give His Darkest Salvation a C-

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By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

4 replies on “Review – His Darkest Salvation by Juliana Stone”

@Mandi – I had a hard time with the 2nd book as well. I really enjoyed the first one in the series though. I’m interested in the next series, but after this experience, I might have to library them if they aren’t available on NetGalley. 🙁

It’s tough when one element of a story gets in the way of enjoying the rest of it…and for it to be the romance that’s an issue, when it’s a romance novel? Yeah…I’d be conflicted, too.

@BJ – Exactly! And I was so looking forward to their romance. There was a good build up between Julian and Jaden… it just didn’t work for me. 🙁

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