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His Darkest Hunger [Mass Market Paperback]

Juliana Stone
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 15 2010

“Christine Feehan’s fans will devour this steamy paranormal treat. Juliana Stone rocks!”
—Ann Aguirre, author of Doubleblind

 

Debut author Juliana Stone launches her career with His Darkest Hunger, a hot new paranormal series…with a twist. His Darkest Hunger features a dark, sexy, shapeshifting hero who hungers for revenge on his ex-lover. The success of the novels of New York Times bestsellers Nailini Singh and Lora Leigh prove that shapeshifters are the next big thing—soon to rival vampires in popularity—and with this steamy tale of love on the wild side, author Stone loudly announces that she has, most emphatically, arrived.


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Review

“Fantastic, fresh world--impossible to put down.” (#1 New York Times bestseller Christine Feehan)

“Christine Feehan’s fans will devour this steamy paranormal treat. Juliana Stone rocks!” (Ann Aguirre, national bestselling author of Doubleblind and Blue Diablo)

Jaxon has raised my darkest hunger for more of Juliana Stone’s intriguing, sexy heroes!” (Eve Silver)

Newcomer Stone wastes no time establishing her ability to tell an enthralling story. Passions run dark and deep in this tale. Stone introduces a world that holds plenty of treachery, ensuring lots of danger and heart-stopping adventure. Can’t wait for the next installment. (Romantic Times BOOKclub)

Interesting mythological lore, intense action & attention to detail set this book apart. (Fresh Fiction)

From the Back Cover

Jaxon Castille: jaguar shifter, warrior, assassin. He has long hungered for the chance to make his former lover, Libby Jamieson, pay for her deadly betrayal. After three long years he's finally found her. The hunt is over . . .

But the Libby that he finds is not what he expected. She has no memory of their tumultuous affair, of her treachery, of anything beyond her own name. A shadowy and deadly clan has marked them both for death, and in an instant, he game changes: the hunter has become the hunted.

On the run, with the ghosts of their past between them and a dark, desperate hunger quickly reclaiming their bodies and souls, Libby and Jaxon must discover the truth behind the dark forces working against them. Together, they must grab hold of a destiny that has the power to either heal them or destroy them.

But the truth is far more shattering than anyone could imagine . . .


Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars It was an ok read... July 27 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sigh... I really wanted to LOVE this book considering all the hype I've read in reviews. Alas, this was not so. It was an ok read. Too many cliches, a lot of repeated words/descriptions and not enough "meat". I felt as I was left floundering at the end of the tale with too many unresolved, or even miraculously resolved, issues. So sorry we weren't a better match!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a mixed bag Oct. 10 2010
By Rory Girl TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I received this book as a prize from Anya Bast's blog.

This is the first Juliana Stone book I have read. His Darkest Hunger is a shifter suspense story. The first 120 pages or so cover the back story for the book and in my opinion should have been edited down. I found there was a lot of repetition that just did not need to be there. It also caused confusing for the Libby/Jaxon relationship. First he hates her, then she hates him. I found them wishy washy. The suspense portions of the book were where Stone really excelled. When she got into the groove of the suspense plot I was riveted. The underlying story was good. Libby and Jaxon are on the hunt for the men that kidnapped and tortured her for three years. They also stole something much more important from Libby that may just destroy her. His Darkest Hunger had all the right elements and parts of the book are great, but wading through the rest made for slow going overall. The ending had a couple of really great twists to it that I did not see coming - which I loved - and it does end in a cliff hanger. I think Stone has great potential in the suspense genre and I will be giving His Darkest Embrace a try.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Debut! March 30 2010
By Fiction Vixen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jaguar Shifter Jaxon Castille has one objective. Find and kill his former lover, Libby Jamieson. He has been hunting her for three years, ever since she betrayed the anti-terrorist unit they both belonged to resulting in the death of his cousin, and then disappeared without a trace. Vengeance is all he's thought about for three years and now the moment of truth has arrived.

Deciding to face Libby before he kills her he soon realizes she has no idea who he is, she is poor health and something is very wrong. When a sniper takes a shot at him in the diner while he confronts Libby, Jaxon realizes he has been set up and he is the target. He also realizes that his feelings for Libby are far more complicated than the anger and hatred he's harbored the past three years. Instead of killing Libby, he takes her to his compound where he assembles his former teammates to track down and discover who has put out a hit on him and what it has to do with Libby.

Juliana Stone has written a story that truly encompasses the saying, "There's a thin line between love and hate." Jaxon is angry to the point of hatred toward Libby but at the same time is fighting his physical attraction to her. Disgusted when his body responds her to, he becomes angry and at times takes his frustrations of his own weaknesses out on her. He seems torn between his dedication to vengeance and romantic feelings he thought died with Libby's betrayal.

Libby also feels some attraction to Jaxon, but has no idea if they had a relationship in the past. She is confused by Jaxon's hot and cold behavior as he rides a range of emotions from lust and occasional tenderness to anger and animosity. She seems to think he is the key to helping her regain her memory and is basically at his mercy. She feels herself being drawn to him, but then put off by his conflicting behavior.

Once Libby begins to regain her memory and the true circumstances of her betrayal and disappearance come to light, not only must Jaxon face his enemies but also the deeper feelings for Libby he has masked with his anger for so long. However with the return of Libby's memories comes the strength and determination of her former self. Jaxon is not the only one with enemies and she must find a way to face her enemies and to reclaim something taken from her far more precious than her own life.

Although the sexy Jaxon is pure alpha male, and quite a hero, Libby steps up as an amazing heroine in His Darkest Hunger. Based on her behavior early on in the story, I thought I'd be reading a story with a helpless heroine needing to be saved by the big aggressive alpha. However Libby is revealed as a strong, capable and very likeable heroine that does a little saving of her own. She and Jaxon become a very nice compliment to each other as they battle their enemies, realize things are not always as they seem, and discover a love that runs deeper than either of them ever knew.

The action is fast paced and the fight scenes are exciting with a nice mix of hand to hand combat and magic. What I really liked is although there is plenty of alpha male goodness, it's the women who really step up and kick ass when it counts. Go girls!

His Darkest Hunger is an exciting, sexy, fast paced tale of love and betrayal. Juliana Stone has created a dangerous and interesting paranormal world with characters that are flawed, but redeemable that will leave you looking forward to the next book in the series.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Action Story - Maybe, Romance Story - NO Oct. 24 2011
By Rare Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I actually downloaded a sample first based on the wide range of reviews and liked the sample. Too bad the rest of the book did not live up to the sample. I was looking for a good new paranormal/shifter romance - the book has the paranormal/shifter element but lacks big time in the romance department. Some mild spoilers included.

The Good
Fairly good action scenes
Fairly decent writing - a little too much prose at times
Good world building

The Bad - The Improbable & Unbelievable
After knowing that the lead female protagonist has been tortured for a good length of time, the other characters ignore it and proceed to treat her worse than a prisoner at times (at least most prisoneers taken by the good guys can expect to be fed at times.)

There was some plain lust scenes but they stretch the limit of believability - not because of the position or anything kinky - but considering that Libby is dealing with broken ribs and is in pain most of the time (mentioned quite frequently) - it seemed rather improbable.

I got the impression that the sex scenes were added so that the book could be considered a romance.

The Downright Ugly - Where's the Love?
The story revolves around the central theme that the hero hates the heroine (because he feels that she betrayed him) and then the heroine turns around and hates the hero because of what she had to endure because of him.

While it was an interesting concept - so much negative emotions between the two characters all the way to almost the very end of the story - made the "romance" part feel fake! Even in a Sci-Fi or PR, you can only suspend your belief so much.

After so much hate, mistrust and downright cruel treatment between the two main protagonists - the so call HEA felt contrived and abrupt.

If you are interested in a paranormal/shifter story with pretty good action scenes - maybe you might enjoy this novel - but don't except any real romance to be involved.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The first 100 pages were great.... April 1 2013
By Rumana Faruque - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
(warning thar be spoilers here) This book had wonderful promise, it started right off with action and a promising story. The set up between the hero and heroine was looking to be solid and then came p. 123. Now mind you, the first 100 pages set the heroine up as broken - physically and mentally she's broken from years of extreme physical abuse from a mysterious "them"; scars abound on this girl, literally a wounded bird. The hero comes along to kill her for a wrong in the past and winds up saving her from other assassins. While saving her and treating her like the trash he perceives her to be, she tries to kill herself to just make it all end and go away. So all this is happening to the frail and wounded heroine and then comes page 123 (or two days into this unhappy little reunion) when she wakes up from a nap and proceeds to get hot and heavy with the hero. I was willing to perhaps forgive the author this little encounter but then on p. 126 the heroine, who has up until now been pathetic, whiny, weak, and fainty proclaims "Oh my god, this feels good" and shortly thereafter the hero pushes her away in disgust and becomes a real ahole again. Um no, just no. The heroine does not have enough distance from her terrible abuse to act like this, nor has the hero (whom she doesn't remember ever having a relationship with) given her any reason to trust him or promote any sort of sexual encounter. Although he's the typical hot guy he is ugly in both word and deed. I could see perhaps a torrid and tormented kiss at this juncture but not full on bodice ripping so to speak. She goes from not being able to interact with people to ripping her clothes off for a stranger she just witnessed magically shapeshifting?! As one reviewer keenly observed this romance lacks romance and I won't even get into the childish and repeated use of "tummy" as a descriptive for the heroine's stomach. I like solid characterization, a slow build to passion, and explosive action. This book gets a two because it manages only one of those things. Cannot begin to urge you enough dear reader to put this back on the shelf and save yourself the time and money.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A shapeshifter seeks revenge, but soon 'hungers' for something a bit more sensual July 8 2010
By melindeeloo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jaguar shifter Jaxon Castille has spent three years waiting to extract his revenge on his former lover Libby, but when Jaxon finally catches up to her he finds not the vibrant sassy human who was a member of his paranormal special ops team, instead Libby is a frail broken woman with no memory of her past. As much as Jaxon wants to hate Libby for her betrayal, his instincts demand that he protect her. And as Jaxon's team comes under attack once again, it becomes imperative that Jaxon help Libby recover her memories and to find out if Libby truly is the enemy or something much more dangerous - his mate.

I like shape shifters, so the Jaguar shifting Jaxon was right up my alley. At the start of the story the shattered Libby inspires a great deal of sympathy for what she suffered and Libby becomes even more interesting as she goes through a dramatic transition/recovery, but Libby is so focused on her goals that she definitely has TSL moments.

The rest of the supporting cast offers a great deal of potential for future books - more shifters (jaguars and eagles), a mage and a vampire. With all the good stuff going on I expected to like His Darkest Hunger more but I thought the writing style was a bit on the dramatic adjective heavy side and the ending felt kind of abrupt (like "here's the HEA get those leads out of here so that we can get on to the next book"), so the book ended up more on the OK side.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Paranormal Series! Jan. 24 2011
By L. J. Engelke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Juliana Stone's debut novel His Darkest Hunger is an absolute jem. Paranormal fans will love this adventurous, spellbinding, dangerous tale with plenty of passion!

Our heroine Libby Jamieson is a waitress. Well, at least she has been for the last two months. Before that? She finds that she can't really remember anything from her past. Yet, her former lover Jaxon Castille knows. Libby once worked with him on a team known as PATU (Paranormal Anti-Terrorist Unit). Their affair had been something that affected them both deeply, but then Jaxon discovered Libby betrayed their unit on a mission and played a significant part in the death of his cousin Diego. It has been three years since Libby and Jaxon have seen each other and he has only one thing on his mind: Libby's death. He has been order by PATU to assassinate Libby and after their rocky past, he is happy to enact his revenge. Little does he know, Libby has absolutely no idea who Jaxon is.

Jaxon realizes something isn't right and delays ending Libby's life until he can figure out what it is...or until Libby receives her memory back. It doesn't help matters that now someone if after them, wanting to kill them. Is there a higher power at work against them? Jaxon reunites the PATU team to find out, and together they realize nothing is what it seems. The more time Jaxon spends with Libby, the more his feelings for her emerge. He also realizes there is more to Libby's betrayal and the reason she has no memory, something no one ever expected.

The twists and turns throughout this story are why it's a fantastic read. His Darkest Hunger is the kind of book you pick up and don't put down until you finish. If you love paranormal and shape shifters, chances are you will enjoy this irresistible novel. It's an original story that grabs you in the beginning and pulls you along for a perilous, emotional adventure. The silent, heartfelt connection between the main characters will give you chills and bewitch you with its sincerity.

Libby was such an interesting character. The first half of the book she has no memory of her past, which is why Jaxon initially frightens and terrifies her. She doesn't understand how Jaxon could be so angry with her, why it feels like they have a past, and the reason she feels such a magnetic attraction to him. The point where she reclaims her memories is a true moment to behold. She transforms into a brazen, confident force of strength. Nothing and no one will stand in her way.

Jaxon is the alpha hero you have no choice but to swoon over. You can't help but find his macho, kick-butt attitude as the ultimate turn on. He mentality is to shoot first and asks questions later. All of this is why his attraction to Libby is so disconcerting. Libby shakes up his entire world, and while Jaxon wants nothing more than to hate her, he can't ignore his reaction to her. Jaxon is the loner who thinks he can never give his heart to any woman because it would be too dangerous. Which is ironic because Jaxon never appears to be intimidated by anything or anyone. He can take out any obstacle in his way except the woman who holds his heart.

The story is mysterious at first and action packed until the end. Libby and Jaxon share a past and a passion that both of them have to work to overcome. At times, it's a painful story filled with plenty of heartache because of the obstacles theses two individuals go through. Jaxon shuts himself off from his feelings for Libby because of her betrayal. When Libby has no memory of her past, she feels vulnerable, alone and scared. This is a novel about both people changing for the better, but first they have to face the truth and their feelings for each other.

Overall Rating: 4/5
Heat Level: 4/5

Lisa @ Once Upon A Chapter
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