Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feature Review: "His Darkest Hunger," By Juliana Stone

By Gannon Carr and PJ Ausdenmore, RBTB Correspondents


Have you ever seen a man who moves with the predatory grace of a sleek jungle cat? We’ve never been fortunate enough to see such a sight in person, but Jaxon Castille is just such a man...and a jaguar shifter to boot. PJ and I were lucky to have read a gripping debut novel this month, “His Darkest Hunger” by Juliana Stone. Jaxon has been plotting his revenge against his former lover, Libby Jamieson for three long years. When the time comes for him to pull the trigger, he realizes he can't do it without confronting her first. But when he comes face to face with Libby, he finds that she’s not the same woman he once knew.

PJ: Stone had me hooked from the first few pages of this book. I was stunned when I realized that Jaxon’s target, the person who had betrayed their anti-terrorist team and caused the death of his cousin, was his former lover. I could understand his pain and rage, his need for revenge, but my heart about stopped when he raised the gun and I realized that he was going to kill Libby...and then started again when he changed his mind -- the first time he had ever disobeyed a direct order. As you said, Gannon, Libby has changed dramatically. She’s no longer the strong, vital woman Jaxon once knew. Even more shocking is the fact that she has no idea who Jaxon is -- or who she was -- but she’s about to find out more than she could have imagined when someone tries to kill both her and Jaxon!

Gannon: Talk about starting a story off with a bang! Instead of getting rid of Libby himself, Jaxon protects her from a sniper’s bullet and realizes he’s become a target himself. Suddenly, the hunter has become the hunted. Despite the fact that Libby doesn’t remember anything about her past and she’s sick and emaciated, Jaxon is not letting her off the hook for her role in his cousin’s murder. But now they’re literally running for their lives, and the safest place for them to go is Jaxon’s compound, where he and his fellow team members can discover the identity of his attacker. But his biggest fight is controlling the attraction he still feels for Libby. And, boy, does that piss him off!

PJ: Does it ever! By this point in the story, the sexual intensity and his internal battle between hatred and desire are spiraling out of control. Add in the bad guys, who are determined to kill them all, and the action escalates to a boiling point. But that’s nothing compared to what happens when Libby begins to regain her memory!

Gannon: You said it, PJ! Once Libby’s memory kicks in, she goes from frail and damaged to kick-butt with a vengeance. If you want to know who the bad guy is -- and he’s very, very bad -- and if Libby and Jaxon get their HEA, you’ll have to --

Buy the book!

If you thought that someone you loved had betrayed you, what would make you willing to give them a second chance?
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Tomorrow: Cara Elliott -- debut author and half of the classy Yale romance class teachin' team you read about here first -- visits RBTB to chat! Make sure to check out her "To Sin With A Scoundrel!" It's getting lots of great praise!
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13 comments:

Monica Burns said...

I doubt it when it comes to betrayal. I'm of the mindset, screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.

Betrayal is such a harsh thing to endure (as I know from experience as a guy I was engaged to betrayed me, I left the day I found out).

I think it also depends on the individual. Some people are more trusting than others.

But I think in a romance, where the HEA is guaranteed, I can deal with betrayal and 2nd chances just fine. Specifically because THERE IS an HEA. *grin*

Scorpio M. said...

Hmm, betrayal is pretty hard to overcome. There has to be a whole lot of love, understanding and explainin' to get past that trespass.

Becke Davis said...

This sounds AMAZING!!! I just ordered it. Thanks for a wonderful, tantalizing review, but darn you for adding to my TBR pile. I need to spend a year or two doing nothing but read. In a parallel universe, of course.

PJ said...

I know what you mean, Monica. Betrayal is one of my deal breakers but I'm more forgiving of it in fiction than I think I would be in real life. In this book it helps (without giving too much away) that there are extenuating circumstances that come to light during the story.

PJ said...

Scorpio, I know people who have managed to do that in real life. I honestly don't know if I could be that forgiving.

PJ said...

LOL, Becke! I know exactly what you mean! Fair warning: this is the first book in a series and the cliffhanger at the end has me salivating for book #2.

Becke Davis said...

PJ - Thanks for the warning; that's another reason why my TBR pile is so big!

Gannon Carr said...

Monica, I'm with you. In real life, I don't think I could be too forgiving. But in this book, it works. Like PJ said, there are extenuating circumstances that make it all much clearer.

Gannon Carr said...

Scorpio, I do know a few couples who have overcome betrayal, but I'm not so sure I could ever trust again after that.

Gannon Carr said...

Becke, I could definitely use a year or so with nothing to do but read. LOL

Glad PJ warned you about the cliffhanger that sets up the next book. So many books, so little time, right? :-)

debbie h said...

Thanks PJ and Gannon, one for the great article two for keeping Becke's TBR pile much bigger than mine
;-).
Wow what a great question and you know I'd like to think I'd know the answer to that, but I don't know the answer to that. I mean if someone betrays you and it matters to you then they obviously mattered to you. I guess if I would have to guess I'd say it would depend on the level of betrayal. Great now you confused me just before the weekend.
Deb

Gannon Carr said...

Thanks PJ and Gannon, one for the great article two for keeping Becke's TBR pile much bigger than mine
;-).


Glad we could help, Deb. LOL


But sorry we confused you on the betrayal question. Hope it doesn't ruin your weekend. ;-)

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