Darkest Heart

Darkest Heart

by Juliette Cross

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Overview

Darkest Heart by Juliette Cross

Anya—a stoic, blue-winged angelic warrior—was bitten by a demon prince in battle, and now she has precious little time to find a cure for his deadly venom. But the only archangel with the power to stop the dark poison from corrupting her body and soul is missing. She’ll have to trust her guide, the outcast high demon Dommiel, who is as handsome as he is dangerous if she has any hope.

An outcast of his own kind, high demon Dommiel stays under cover while the war between angels and demons rages on. When the only person who ever showed him kindness asks for his help, he has no choice but to try to save the angel. Venturing back into the dens he has avoided for so long, Anya makes him want and feel things he never thought possible.

But Dommiel knows there is no way an angel can ever love a demon…

Each book in the Dominion series is STANDALONE:
* The Deepest Well
* Darkest Heart

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640636231
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 08/20/2018
Series: Dominion , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 348
Sales rank: 212,615
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

JULIETTE is a multi-published author of paranormal and fantasy romance. She calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab named Kona. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance--brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more books set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Dommiel

I love the smell of sex and brimstone in the morning.

Of course, I hadn't had a woman in months or a smoke in two days, so it was a pretty shitty morning.

At three a.m., the watchdogs had finally wandered away from the compound, unable to resist the lure of the night. Debauchery was calling their name, and she was a sexy bitch. No way to deny her when the heart of the demon den starts pumping hard. I should know, since I had been the high demon of New Orleans for over a century, enjoying the pleasures of decadence and excess. But that was a long time ago. Before the world turned upside down.

The high demon in London where I now stood was some asshole named King Henry. What the fuck? Who calls himself King Henry? An over- bloated megalomaniac hoarding goods in the apocalypse so he could lord over the human populace, that's who. He reminded me of myself once.

I hated him.

The electric fence rimmed with barbed wire was a good deterrent against human thieves. Unless humans hired a high demon who could sift from one place to another, in particular onto the other side of a high-voltage fence without a scratch.

Reaching out with my heightened senses, I found none of my brethren in the immediate vicinity. We needed to move fast. No telling when the guards would return. In a blink, I sifted inside the compound within the shadows of the warehouse. King Henry's wards did nothing to stop me. The wards would keep out the angels, but not another demon. Convenient for a merc-for-hire.

My raven, and partner in crime, cawed three times. His way of giving me the all clear. I avoided the one streetlight buzzing above. Pulling out my Zippo with the etched phrase "To thine own self be fucking true," I flicked on the flame once, then out. Twice, then out. And a third time.

A dozen footsteps pounded toward the entrance at my signal, while I opened the gate from the power switch near the warehouse. A party of the human underground resistance marched in with stealth, finding cover in the shadows. They called themselves the Twelfth Night, for some reason unknown to me, and refused to bow down to the demon lord of the day. And they paid well.

The captain of their faction here in London, Cooper, gave me a nod to lead on. Cooper was a man of few words and efficiency. I liked him. We skirted away from the side entrance toward the back. Still no sign of guards. King Henry's tin soldiers were lazy as fuck. Not one remained behind.

I tried the door. Locked. No problem. Holding the door handle, I summoned my essence. The familiar burn flared in my chest and streamed up my throat. With a puff of air, I blew out a plume of black smoke that snaked its way into the lock.

Snick.

Cooper was the first behind me, watching every move with curiosity. Otherworld powers were nothing new to humans since this Great War between heaven and hell had begun, raging across the planet. Only, this time, Cooper was on the receiving end of the benefits of that power rather than suffering from it, which was the norm for humans caught between the angel and demon power play.

Once inside the cool interior, lit only by a neon-blue bulb in the corner, each soldier moved swiftly to different pallets and started filling their canvas sacks without a word. They were fast and efficient, I'd give them that. I strolled one aisle stacked with cans of corn, peas, beets.

"Beets?" I mused. Who the fuck would want beets?

"Coffee," came the excited whisper of a woman behind me, digging inside a box and stuffing her pack.

Now that got my attention. I stepped up beside her.

"Imported. American," she added.

Peering into the box, I saw the familiar red packaging of Community Coffee, the heartblood of south Louisiana that was my home for over a century. But no more.

"Baby, you just found yourself gold."

She smiled and kept packing, while I leaned over and took a bag for myself, stuffing it in my ammo pack.

"Best take a lot of that before —"

A barrage of bullets flew overhead, pinging on the scaffolding and ricocheting off the corrugated steel of the warehouse wall.

"Down! Down!" shouted Cooper.

Every soldier dropped and drew weapons. Hell, at least they were trained to react fast. Rolling over the coffee pallet, I popped from behind and peered out, scanning. No sign of otherworldly beings. King Henry left behind human guards, who apparently didn't have night vision goggles or just had piss-poor aim. The girl and I should've been toast.

Making eye contact with Cooper with my one good eye, I pointed down a side aisle. He nodded and pointed to the one closest to him. We'd loop around toward the front and flank them.

There were three of them, fully armed and creeping toward the area where the Twelvers ducked for cover. I sifted next to the biggest one with the automatic AK rifle and coldcocked him with a heavy uppercut to the jaw.

They always say it's the little guys you have to worry about. They're right. The second guard, a skinny dude, knocked me to the ground with a swift kick to the chest. Cooper engaged the other guy. Damn good thing, too. I had my hands full with Karate Kid.

I could've sifted behind him and cracked his neck, but where would be the fun in that? Nothing like a good beating to make you feel more alive. After the fourth punch to my face, I decided he'd had a good run.

"My turn."

Two punches to the gut, one to the eye, a swift crack in the ribs, and a kick in the jaw knocked him to the floor but not out. Tough bastard.

He groaned as he rolled to his side and spat out a gob of blood.

When he reached for a blade, I put the heel of my boot on his hand, pinning it to the pavement, and drew my Smith and Wesson — a specialty, modified by the one and only Bone — the best demon arms dealer and maker in heaven or hell. Even by the neon blue, I could tell the guard's eyes swirled with the dark essence of a demon master. No doubt, King Henry had given his human minions a bit of his essence to juice them with extra strength.

"Let's play nice, zombie."

Karate Kid gritted his teeth and growled like the dog that he was. I clocked him with the butt of my gun. He crumpled to the ground.

Cooper walked over, panting, shoving his bloody blade into the sheath attached to his military belt.

"What did you call him?"

"He's a zombie. A slave for his master." I signaled to the others. "Ten seconds to fill your packs, then let's go. They probably triggered an alarm."

Within thirty seconds, we were out the back door, through the gate, and beyond the wards behind an abandoned gas station.

"Gather 'round, friends."

As I'd instructed on the way here, they locked arms. Coffee Girl closed her eyes. She got vertigo on the trip over and lost her dinner in the bushes. I gripped Cooper's forearm. "Hang on."

With a crackle, we blinked out. Zipping through that amorphous place between time and space, gray shapes blurred past as otherworlders moved through the Void. We sifted out onto the solid and snowy ground of Hyde Park.

A wave of obvious relief washed over them because I hadn't doomed them to some dungeon in hell — not that I had one, though I might've hinted that I did — and they'd made it out alive and with the goods I'd promised.

We grabbed the gear we'd hidden inside some brush before we'd sifted to King Henry's compound. I lifted my black leather ammo pack. Cooper passed me a pouch with his right hand and reached out with his left to shake mine.

"Payment as promised."

He paused midair, apparently forgetting. I followed through and gripped his left with my mechanical hand. Bone's craftsmanship was remarkable. I was perfectly fine with a hook until Bone suggested this beauty.

"Pleasure doing business with the Twelvers. As always."

The others milled a few feet away, watching for trouble.

"Hey. What did you mean he was a zombie?"

"You've seen humans with clouded eyes? Like black smoke on their irises?"

"Yeah," said Cooper, glancing over his shoulder. Nervous habit these days, I imagine.

"That means a demon is controlling them."

Cooper hung his head with a pensive scowl, and I knew he was probably beating himself up over the guard he stabbed.

"Don't feel sorry for them." I liked Cooper. He was tough as hell. In a world where humans were becoming an endangered species, he was the kind of man who just might save a few of them. "Just remember, any lower demon you see with the red eyes or zombies like those dudes back at the warehouse means they're weak. Red-eyed demons are humans who gave up their souls willingly. Zombies were taken. Only those weak in spirit can be controlled. And in this world, we both know what that means."

I didn't need to say it. But the old adage, Only the strong will survive was never more true than now.

"Cooper. Let's go," urged Coffee Girl, shifting from foot to foot and scanning for trouble.

"Thanks again. I'm not sure why you help us."

I lifted the pouch and jingled it. "Keep bringing me this, and we'll continue to do business. I'll be going underground for a while. I imagine King Henry will want my head after this one."

This was my fifth hit on one of his warehouses. He must've thought this one was well-hidden enough that no one knew about it. But spies are easily bribed. In the apocalypse, there was no real loyalty.

"How will I reach you if the cell towers fail? Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't."

"They won't fail," I assured him, stuffing the pouch into my ammo pack.

While the human world crumbled, they retreated to hidden communes, except for those who either dabbled with demons or aligned with angels. The one thing both sides wouldn't let fall entirely was technology. Sure, any angel or demon had the power to sift anywhere they pleased, but that wasn't always convenient. So in an age where Wall Street was nothing more than a memory, cell phones and other electronic devices remained up and running. In some places. Some cities were without power, but most demon lords had kept it on. Enough to keep their parties going, anyway. The upside of the apocalypse? No bills. Downside? Nothing was open. I'd kill for a Big Mac right about now.

Cooper gave me a nod and merged with his troop as they slipped away toward wherever they holed up in this city.

I sifted to Bone's shop on the south side of London. Bone kept no wards. Both sides sought out the expertise of the best supernatural arms maker on earth — or in the otherworld for that matter. And no one messed with Bone.

Ambling through the basement maze of hallways, I ducked through the entrance into a vast workshop with metal hanging on every wall. Shelves of automatic and semi-automatic weapons on one side, swords and blades of all shapes and sizes on the other. This place was nothing but sharp edges that smelled of metal, heat, and gunpowder.

I heard the grinder working in the back. Sparks popped up.

"Bone!" I called as I entered the forging area where a hot furnace piped out red heat.

With a flick of her face shield, she watched me enter from cat-shaped eyes. She smiled and shut off the grinder.

Bone was a slender female, roped with muscular arms but curvy in all the right places. Her long dark hair was plaited in tiny braids over her entire head, a streak of purple coloring the front right braids falling at her temple. Fully tattooed from her collarbone down, she left only her neck and face untouched. The warm, desert-sand hue of her skin was made more beautiful by the intricate, swirling, and jagged images. Though I'd never seen her whole body, I imagined she had ink covering every last inch. Female demons were rare. Female high demons were almost unheard of.

High demons were only those of us who were created from the Fall. All of us were angels once, not that I can even remember what that was like. And I never knew Bone before the Fall. Couldn't even tell you what her real name was. Didn't matter. She was Bone now. She reminded me of the exotic beauties of the Creole women of New Orleans where I ruled for so long. She carried a mystical warmth that made most feel at ease. But only a fool would underestimate her. Strong otherworldly power burned behind those hazel eyes.

"Well, well, well. I thought you'd jumped continents."

"And leave you? Never."

I gave her my charming smile. With a roll of her amber eyes, she gestured toward a workbench.

"Sit. Let me look at my handiwork."

That's what she called the mechanical hand she'd made to replace the left one I'd lost. Using her gifts, she'd fashioned an arm that linked to my thoughts. It worked as well as my real hand. How? No idea. Her magic was something special.

Straddling the bench, I let her examine it carefully, as she liked to do.

"Dammit, Dommiel. Are you punching concrete walls with it?"

"No. Just demons. And stupid humans."

"Well, stop. Beat them with your flesh-and-blood hand. Not this one."

She grabbed what looked like a tiny pair of scissors and tweaked something around the motorized thumb.

"You have blood on your shirt, by the way," she added, still focused on tightening a wire.

"Yeah. Business."

"Is business good?"

"Business is booming. That's why I'm here. I need more ether ammo."

"Make a fist."

I squeezed the digits together. They curled into a perfect ball.

"Okay. Now be still." She hopped up, wiping her hands on a rag, then tossed it aside and opened a drawer along her wall of gadgets. She returned, straddled the bench opposite me, and gripped my chin. "Look at me."

She removed the patch over what was once my right eye and leaned closer. Her expression remained calm and assessing, but I knew what she looked at was ugly as hell.

"Yeah," I sighed. "Damas left me a pretty present before he left this world."

She shrugged. "I like it." She lifted a new black leather patch and affixed it over my eye socket, settling the thin elastic around my head. "Makes you look more dangerous."

I chuckled darkly. The memory of that demon prince Damas churning bitter anger in my gut. "Glad that fucker is dead."

She stared close, shifting the patch till it fit just right.

"You know, you don't have to make excuses if you want to get close to me." I grinned at her smiling reaction. Bone never smiled. Except for me.

"Still trying to get into my pants?"

"No. Just offering to take off mine if you're a bit lonely down here in your dungeon."

She finished and placed her hands on her thighs, sitting back to examine me.

"This isn't my dungeon, Dommiel. This is paradise."

"Paradise? I could do better than this if you ever want to get out of here."

"If I ever want to leave, I'll let you know. But you need a softer woman to ease that ache you've got." She rose from the bench and crossed to a shelf on the right lined with bins of cartridges of all kinds. When she did, I felt a subtle tingling sensation on my right eye.

I chuckled. Now she was psychoanalyzing me. "Oh, do I?"

She rummaged around on the second shelf, picked up a small box, peered inside, picked up a second, and returned to the bench.

"Yeah. I don't have what it takes to fix what's in here." She set the two boxes on the bench and poked the left side of my chest. Probably the only person I'd ever let actually poke me without drawing back a nub.

"Ain't nothing left to fix in there. Hey, what's up with this patch?"

Her catlike eyes flared bright, and she nearly smiled again. With a swift move, she was up and across the room on my right side, moving out of my periphery. "Keep looking straight ahead."

I did till I couldn't see her anymore, though I heard her lift and throw something. Suddenly, that tingling sensation sparked to a sting. I snatched the object that had been hurdled at my head before it hit me, wrapping my fingers around cold steel. I looked down at the wrench in my hand.

She returned with a satisfied grin on her face. "The patch looks like a regular leather patch, but I've enhanced it with threadlike sensors that detect movement. That way, if any asshole tries to attack you from your blind side, you'll be ready for him."

"Hell, Bone. I was in love with you already. Now you had to go and do this?"

She waved me off as if her serious skills meant nothing and pointed at the boxes in my hand. "Two cartridges of ether ammo for a .44 Magnum, Smith and Wesson."

"You're sexy as hell when you talk ammo and guns."

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, I've got something else I thought you might like."

She disappeared down an aisle behind me and returned with a rectangular black box, opening it to reveal four slender daggers, their size easy for throwing but hefty enough for one-on-one combat. Bone knew me so well.

"They're laced with ether ammo."

"You little minx. You are trying to seduce me."

"I've got a belt that has hidden interior sheaths, for easy access and hidden concealment."

Closing the box and setting the daggers on top, I reached for my ammo pack and pulled out the pouch Cooper had just given me.

"How much do I owe you, beautiful?"

"The usual. Four drakuls for the ammo. The daggers are a gift."

"A gift? And the patch?"

Bone didn't give gifts.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Darkest Heart"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Juliette Cross.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Darkest Heart 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Nicola1202 5 months ago
Juliette Cross kicks off her Dominion series with a bang and if you’ve read The Vessel Trilogy and The Deepest Well (although not imperative), demon, Dommiel will be no stranger, nor will the battle between angels and demons. Some books are there to be savoured rather than devoured and I took my sweet time reading this, absorbing the atmosphere, falling in love with the characters, the romance and the tension, build-up and fight as war on modern day earth rages on. “...he was definitely a fallen creature of the underworld, but his rough, take-me-or-leave-me appearance and attitude drew me in. I love a tale of redemption and I’ll take the bait when an anti-hero is up for grabs, and Dommiel’s story is one of best I’ve read—he’s a fallen angel, a high demon and isn’t missing an eye and limb for no reason. His past has been brutal, he’s a loner and also a traitor amongst his ranks, and he’s something special. “I was doomed. Fated to follow her and this quest till the end. Even if it led me to the darkest pit of hell.” Anya is his polar opposite—once a guardian angel watching over orphans and abandoned children, she left that behind to take her place on the battlefront—and she needs Dommiel’s help in finding missing Archangel, Uriel. And when you combine her light with his dark, what develops is a story rich and bold, and full of feeling. “We were so opposite in every respect. Light to his dark, angel to his demon, calm to his storm.” I have loved so many of Cross’ couples in the past, but Anya and Dommiel are up there as one of her finest with a chemistry which was perfection. Anya is the heroine we’d all love to be—a fearless, kick-arse warrior who epitomises what we perceive in angels with her protective, guiding nature, and Dommiel is deliciously dominant with a subtle, dry sense of humour, but underneath has many layers—many new and unrecognisable to even himself—and as Anya peels them away, we begin to see exactly why he is the demon he is today. “The darkness cannot win.” I highlighted so many quotes as I read, many which made my heart hurt, particularly for Dommiel, but which also showcase Juliette Cross’ gift with words and making her reader feel. And to say I’m excited to see how this series unfolds as there’s a wealth of possibility to be had from the cast of characters, is an understatement. “Aren’t we a motley crew? Two archangels, an angel, and three hunters. Oh, and one demon-spawned raven. Against two demon princes and their horde of infernal priests. Good odds, I’d say.” Darkest Heart is an absolute must-read.
belllla 14 days ago
This is for me the best paranormal book that I read so far. I loved the story, loved the characters. I loved the angel Anya and the demon Dommiel. I loved Dommiels thought thinking it was for me some of the best writing things ever. The story has it all something dark, some light, humor, action, love, passion, suspense, searching fight. I loved every f.u..... page. Well written, amazing read. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
jkmeaux 3 months ago
Second in the Dominion series, "Darkest Heart" kept me riveted to the pages from beginning to end! I hadn't read a paranormal story in quite a while and my selection to re-enter the world of angels, demons, witches and other "creatures of the night" was the perfect choice. Genevieve, the all powerful "vessel" of the angels, has decided to pair Anya, an angel bitten by a Demon Prince with Dommiel, a demon that has become a traitor to both then angelic realm and the demon world. Their race against time is filled with adventure, and the attraction between Anya and Dommiel is so palpable it can be cut with a knife. Will they make it in time to rescue the only Archangel that can heal Anya? And if they do, what happens when their mission comes to an end? I've already purchased "The Deepest Well", the first book in the series, and can't wait to start reading it! Pick up your copy today! You definitely won't regret it. I received an arc of this book via NetGalley.
etoile1996 4 months ago
you guys, i haven't read any prior books in this series, but i feel like darkest heart might be the pinnacle. dommiel and anya are so freaking swoonworthy. he's a high demon who has turned on his kind. he helps humans and angels and roams the earth alone except for his familiar, a raven named puck. his lair is awash in literature, and he quotes shakespeare and coleridge. when his blood vow is called upon by genevieve, he is paired with the angel, anya. anya is desperate to find the archangel uriel, because she believes only he can save her from the poisonous bite she received from simian, a devil prince. there is a lot of mythology. i liked it, but more than anything i loved the love story between dommiel and anya. they are made for each other. his dark complements her light. his irreverence brightens her devotion. his love is perfect for hers. they shouldn't work together as well as they do. their story should end in tragedy, and it very nearly does. but then they get the best happy ending. and it's so delightful. i am still swooning from it. **darkest heart will publish on august 20, 2018. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (amara) in exchange for my honest review.
Sailon 4 months ago
Sultry, sexy and lots of action, Darkest Heart is one of those roller coaster romance rides that you just don't want to get off. I received this ARC copy of Darkest Heart from Entangled Publishing, LLC - Amara. This is my honest and voluntary review.
UpAllNightBB 4 months ago
4 Darkest Stars Review by Nancy Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog A fabulous paranormal romance! The perfect example of how opposites attract! Darkest Heart by Juliette Cross is the first book in the Dominion series and Cross started it with a bang. This book is a battle between good and evil and although we were always told the bad guys never win, towards the end of the book you will be hoping the bad guy gets his HEA! Anya, an angel warrior, is in desperate need of help. Dommiel, a high demon, is sent to help the Vessel Of Light, where he first lays eyes on Anya. When Dommiel first spots Anya he experiences an instant spark, he knows he can not possibly be attracted to an angel but there is no denying his attraction. Anya is hesitant having to work side by side a demon, she knows not to trust him, and yet she can’t chase away the feeling of longing for him. Through a lot of twist and turns we get to experience the slow burn that is the love between Anya and Dommiel. This read is angsty and dark, yet you can’t help but swoon. Dommiel is the perfect anti-hero. In a battle between worlds we get a glimmer of happiness, Cross developed the perfect mix of all things paranormal with the romance we seek. A dangerously thrilling read!
UpAllNightBB 4 months ago
4 Darkest Stars Review by Nancy Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog A fabulous paranormal romance! The perfect example of how opposites attract! Darkest Heart by Juliette Cross is the first book in the Dominion series and Cross started it with a bang. This book is a battle between good and evil and although we were always told the bad guys never win, towards the end of the book you will be hoping the bad guy gets his HEA! Anya, an angel warrior, is in desperate need of help. Dommiel, a high demon, is sent to help the Vessel Of Light, where he first lays eyes on Anya. When Dommiel first spots Anya he experiences an instant spark, he knows he can not possibly be attracted to an angel but there is no denying his attraction. Anya is hesitant having to work side by side a demon, she knows not to trust him, and yet she can’t chase away the feeling of longing for him. Through a lot of twist and turns we get to experience the slow burn that is the love between Anya and Dommiel. This read is angsty and dark, yet you can’t help but swoon. Dommiel is the perfect anti-hero. In a battle between worlds we get a glimmer of happiness, Cross developed the perfect mix of all things paranormal with the romance we seek. A dangerously thrilling read!
Anonymous 5 months ago
DNF at 44%. First off, let me just say, it's me not the book. The angels and demons have started waging war on each other and the humans are caught in the cross-fire. Anya is an angel who has become disillusioned with the angels and their disregard for human life, she's been bitten by a demon prince and has very little time before she becomes his thrall. Dommiel is a demon who has grown sick of the violence and the war, when a favour is called in he can't refuse, but soon the unthinkable happens, the demon and the angel have feelings for one another. Let me be 100% honest, the reason I did not finish the book was because what I really wanted was an urban fantasy type arc where Anya and Dommiel love from afar but but do nothing for at least three or four books. When the plot veered towards instant resolution my interest waned. I wanted snark and unrequited love and angst but what I got was more instalove. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
BookwormBrandee 5 months ago
*4.5 Stars* In Darkest Heart, Juliette Cross created an atmospheric world and populated it with brooding heroes and badass heroines. There’s so much to love and then she threw in classic literary quotes and references which made me glow in happiness. Dommiel is a demon who despite his arguments otherwise cares about more than himself. When he’s asked by a friend to help someone he finds he may have gotten himself into more than her bargained for. Because even though he’s been branded a traitor by his own kind, is he really willing to aid the other side? Anya is a warrior angel living on borrowed time. Bitten by a demon prince and infected with his essence, she must find the Archangel Uriel to have the poison removed before it’s too late. She could never have guessed she’d be working with one whose kind is the reason she’s in her current predicament in order to get out of it. Ms. Cross created a post-apocalyptic world where the animosity between angels and demons is palpable as well as the apathy they each seem to feel towards humans. I could almost feel and smell the air on the gritty streets, in the crowded club, and in the snow-laden countryside. And then there were the characters. Dommiel is dark and brooding, attempting to maintain a facade of selfishness and self-indulgence. He didn’t believe in love after the betrayal he’d suffered but Anya made him hope. Anya, despite being a warrior, had a heart of gold, always caring for those most affected by the war between Heaven and Hell…the children. That these two were so drawn to one another seemed wrong but was so right. And their shared love of classic literature only added to my adoration of them. The romance developed organically – which was a feat considering they were opposites in many ways. Their love blossomed between suspense and action as they worked at finding Uriel. Darkest Heart was exciting and hard to put down. This was an excellent start to a new series. There are characters I hope to see again and this is a world I look forward to spending more time in. I received a complimentary copy from Entangled Publishing via Netgalley. This did not affect my rating and my review is provided voluntarily.
Timitra 5 months ago
I will admit when I started reading Darkest Heart I struggled with it, it felt very cheesy and cliche especially the dialogue but as I continued to read I began to enjoy it and became invested in the characters. Darkest Heart was action packed, a bit brutal and a whole lot of forbidden. I enjoyed and I'm looking forward to reading more stories set in this intriguing world. ARC provided by author in exchange for a honest review
Robin_Snyder 5 months ago
3.5 Sexy Demon with an Eye Patch and Mechanical Hand Stars. He was once an Angel but fell from grace and is now known as demon. She is an Angel Warrior and the protector of orphans and lost children. Only in the apocalypse could love find a way. The upside of the apocalypse? No bills. Downside? Nothing was open. I’d kill for a Big Mac right about now. Dommiel might be a demon but he isn’t all bad and it looks like he might be switching sides. He seems to have some friends on both sides of the battle and since the apocalypse began, the lines between good and evil seem to be blurring a little. Temptation is well, tempting, you know. Anya is the good girl and warrior angel but she has a little problem. Seems she was bitten by a Demon and if she can’t find the Archangel Uriel, she is doomed to have a demon take possession of her. When you’re going to play with Demons, you will need one on your side to help along the way. Darkest Heart is a spin-off to the Vessel Trilogy by Juliette Cross. I have never read the Vessel Trilogy and while I could tell that many of these characters had been involved with one another in another book series, I didn’t think it really affected my overall enjoyment of this book, it stood alone well. This is definitely more PNR than UF, in that there isn’t a lot of time before the characters started ‘noticing’ the hotness of the other. I thought it might take a little longer since Anya is an angel and Dommiel is still a demon and a little on the bad boy side of life. Opposites do tend to attract and before you know it, both are having a difficult time denying their attractions to the other. Maybe she’d somehow captured what part of my soul remained and kept it in her pocket so that every time she drew near I yearned to get closer, needing to reunite with that part of myself she’d stolen from me. The search for Uriel is a dangerous one, since he has gotten himself in a heap of trouble and they must go into the pits of hell, so to speak, to get him back. Darkest Heart has a few things going for it. There is some sizzle happening between Anya and Dommiel, of course. There is also the world with danger around every corner and the struggle between the humans, Angels and Demons. This is not a safe place to be a mere mortal anymore. I liked that because of the ability of both Angels and Demons to shift, we got a pretty good range of locales without any of that pesky travel time. The only thing I wished I got more info on, was why heaven and hell are fighting on earth. I’m sure that is in the Vessel series and I could get a lot more backstory if/when I read those. I appreciate that Juliette didn’t rehash the events of all the prior books but I was curious to find out more of how this world ended up in the state it did. I’m very much hoping the next book in the series involves Uriel and a certain demonic Witch. I think that would be a lot of fun.
carvanz 5 months ago
Holy heck! Is 5 stars all I can give it??? There are just no words to describe this book and all the feels that I experienced while reading it! Anya is in need of assistance to help her find the archangel Uriel. When she is introduced to Dommiel, she can’t allow herself to fully trust him. He is a high demon, despite losing his position in New Orleans. As a guardian/warrior angel, she should not be feeling an attraction to him but with every step they take on their journey she becomes more trusting and drawn to him on every level. Dommiel has lost everything. He is considered a traitor to his own kind and yet does not belong to those who fight for the light either. Helping to assist the human resistance, and with no followers of his own, he is called in to help the Vessel of Light whom he has a blood bond with. It has kind of become his thing, but he wasn’t expecting to lay eyes on an angel that immediately pulls on him in a way he doesn’t understand. If ever a high demon deserved redemption, it was Dommiel. I loved him from the Vessel Trilogy and oh my gawd, I fell even harder and faster for him here! Having a chance to experience his point of view as well as his backstory, I needed him to find some kind of happiness but I really wasn’t sure if he would be able to. No way could a high demon and an angel work. It just doesn’t seem possible. Anya was the perfect heroine. She was tough (warrior here) but her soul was soft and caring. She was the perfect paring for Dommiel. She never hesitated to do what was needed to save those that needed help and along the way she wedged herself into Dommiel’s heart. I loved watching this couple grow closer! While Anya could have continued on her route, Dommiel needed something more. He needed redemption but that had never even crossed his mind. My heart hurt so much when each of these characters hurt. They fell in love in such a beautiful manner that I felt as if there was no other way for it to have happened for them. They each gave so freely to the other, neither giving a thought for their own safety and the fate that might await them. And Dommiel! This is the type of hero that I long for in every book I pick up but rarely find. He would do anything for Anya! I just can’t express how much I absolutely LOVED this book! This author has definitely solidified herself on my “she’s one crazy author but I love how she thinks” list. Because as wild as the ride gets, as emotional as some of the scenes are, as brutal as some of the choices are that have to be made…in the end, she mends my heart back together and lets me know that these lovers are going to be good forever. This is a complete standalone with a HEA, although there is a storyline that will continue on through the rest of the series. The pace is perfection, the drama due to outside forces which leaves me to consider this low relationship angst. However, some of the trials these characters experience amps the angst up a notch or a hundred. The secondary characters are amazing! There are a few scenes with those from the Vessel Trilogy as well as new ones that I’m very curious about. I’ve got my eye on a certain witch. Overall, I cannot exclaim how much I freaking loved everything about this book! If you haven’t had a chance to read anything else by this author, please, please, please try this one!
Boundlessbookreviews 5 months ago
Darkest Heart is a gritty, raw tale of an apocalypse. Where the demons are taking over the world. And the angels and human’s are trying to stop it, trying to survive. Darkest Heart had a draw to it; the cover initially caught my attention. I had to have it, and I had to jump into this story. I don’t like to read blurbs or reviews. I had never read anything by Juliette Cross. But I had a feeling. This was written in such a poetic way. The detail of the world and what was going on around them was enthralling. Dommiel and Anya are by far total opposites. A Demon whose own kind is out to destroy him. And Anya an Angel, whose sole purpose long ago before the fall was to protect children. Dommiel is one of those characters that you should hate. But you adore. He’s real, and even as a Demon, he has a bit of a conscious. But he wasn’t always a Demon. I didn’t want to stop reading this story. I love when that happens, that urgency. This world is full of evil, full of hope, and death surrounds everything. But there’s a light in that darkness. There was never a dull moment in this story. Dommiel and Anya’s connection was real. The fire that was between them no one could extinguish. Overall, I have to give this Five Boundless Stars. Thank goodness this is a series. I can’t wait for the next one. 
Linnyc 5 months ago
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Darkest Heart & I’m so pleased that I did. First of all the cover is amazing setting the scene for Dommiel the high demon & that great first line just sets the scene! The first chapter is a full on wham bam introduction to his world. Then we get to meet Anya who is no shrinking violet but a kick ass angel who you just know is going to give him some serious grief. The whole book is fast paced & brings a whole world with a vast array of characters into play. This book is a spin-off from the Vessel series but you don’t need to have read that to really love this book. I haven’t read them all (yet!) & started them after reading Darkest Heart, but got into the storyline very quickly. If you like your heroes tough, sexy & demonic with all sorts of redeeming traits to melt your bones plus a sassy, capable heroine with a secret, then this one is for you. It is the second of the Dominion series but Dommiel & Anya will be hard to beat as they rock.
PennySparkles 5 months ago
5 "Completely blown away" Stars Darkest Heart is set in the world of The Vessel Trilogy (that I haven’t read yet but I’m really looking forward to), and while there is a bit of catching up to what’s what, I had no problems getting settled into this post-apocalyptic world where angels and demons are fighting for dominance and the humans caught in the middle are just collateral damage. Anya is one of the few angels who still cares not only about the fight but about humans too. She finds herself in quite the situation and in desperate need of help navigating the demonic territories on earth. Dommiel is the one demon/mercenary roped into helping her, even if he is in the outs with most of demonkind. Anya and Dommiel’s attraction is powerful and immediate, but for obvious reasons, neither thinks the other will want to explore it. Not that Dommiel would let any opportunity pass to let Anya know exactly what he would love to do to her. Dommiel was the perfect anti-hero and had me completely in love. A fallen angel, he’s partaken in each and every sensual pleasure to be had for centuries. Now he basically works for himself and he’s become somewhat of a mercenary. He was the epitome of a bad boy: alpha, bossy and a total bada**. He was hot AF, had all the right moves and, in the end, had a heart of gold. He could also dirty talk like a boss. Anya was pure and innocent, virtuous and caring but she was not naïve. Best of all, she was one hell of a kicka** fighter. That girl did not stand by and let things happen, she was right in the middle of the melee kicking butts and taking names. I absolutely loved how Dommiel and Anya’s relationship unfolded, their chemistry was palpable and their encounters scorching hot. There was absolutely nothing in Darkest Heart that didn’t work for me. There is action galore with fights, ambushes and raids. There is suspense and intrigue, sexiness to fill your heart’s desire because… Dommiel. This is a completely amazing start to a series and I can’t freaking wait to see what happens next and whose story we get to read. *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
Sandy-thereadingcafe 5 months ago
DARKEST HEART is the first instalment in Juliette Cross’ post-apocalyptic, urban fantasy DOMINION paranormal, romance series focusing on the fight for control and power- the Great War- between heaven and hell. This is fallen angel/demon prince Dommiel, and guardian angel/warrior Anya’s storyline. Told from dual first person perspectives (Anya and Dommiel) DARKEST HEART follows blue-winged angel Anya, as she goes in search of the Archangel Uriel believed to be held captive by a witch with demonic powers. Anya’s only chance to find Uriel, and save herself for the growing darkness within, is a fallen angel, a former archangel, a demon prince called Dommiel, and the man with whom she will fall in love. What ensues is the growing attraction and love between demon and angel, and the potential fall-out as Dommiel surrenders his life to save the woman he loves. The relationship between Dommiel and Anya is one of the forbidden. Anya is the ambrosia to Dommiel’s poison; the demon prince whose very existence is now the heart and soul of a woman whose time is ticking, a secret she has yet to reveal to the man that she loves. The romance is seductive; the $ex scenes provocative and passionate. DARKEST HEART is an emotional, dark and exquisite story between good and evil; hatred and love; vengeance and salvation. The colorful and charismatic secondary characters are brooding, intelligent and intense. A powerful story with passionate characters by a brilliant author. DARKEST HEART is spirited, mesmorizing and breath taking-Juliette Cross opens the heart to the mind’s eye of endless possibilities.
Katie-Face 5 months ago
I waited 3 years for this book, and what a wait it was. My patience was richly rewarded, and I have to say I love Dommiel more than I ever expected to! This book is #1 in the Dominion series, sequel series to Juliette Cross' Vessel trilogy. (Also see The Deepest Well by Juliette Cross). It continues in the same world as the Vessel trilogy, but focuses on other characters (not Jude and Gen, the main couple in TVS). Dommiel is a demon, one of the fallen angels who was cast out of heaven. With the world currently in chaos during the battle between good and evil, Dommiel is asked by the "Vessel" Gen (the chosen one, who fights on the side of good to save humanity) to aid in finding an archangel who has gone missing. His partner for this search is angel warrior Anya, who has her own reasons for finding the archangel - and soon. She was bitten by a demon prince, and must be cured of the demons' venom before it can completely ensnare her heart and corrupt her soul forever. Dommiel and Anya must follow the trail through war torn lands, outsmart high demons, trick witches, and sacrifice everything they love to find the archangel before it's too late. Along the way they find the one thing that will save them both - love. Oh man, if I were to say that I loved this book, that doesn't emphasize enough how much I LOVED this book! I've been waiting for ages for the next book in the Vessel world to come out, and it was worth the wait. With every book she writes Juliette Cross outdoes herself. You fall in love with all of her characters - in spite of, and because of their flaws. She creates a world that you desperately want to escape to, even though it's right in the middle of an epic battle between good and evil! (I know, who wants to go do a battlefield? With Juliette's characters, you WANT to fight alongside them!) One of the things I love the most about this book is how Juliette makes both Dommiel and Anya reconsider the meaning of both "good" and "evil." The whole book looks at various things people see/thing/hear/etc that we instantly label as being "good" or "bad," and makes you rethink your preconceptions. Can a bad person do good things? Can a good person make a bad decision? Should 1 good deed save a person from being bad? Can 1 wrong move instantly make you bad? And what about a persons' soul? Can a soul be saved, or is it forever lost once a line is crossed? (Side thought - I thought this message was well placed in this particular milestone in the series. Being a series deep into the characters and the battle that's going on, I thought it was very smart for Juliette to remind people that not everything in war is black and white. It's difficult to place clear labels on "right" and "wrong," even when it comes to angels and demons. I mean, of course we want the angels and humanity to win...but are there no shades of gray in life? Can someone be a little of both, especially during war?) While writing an epic love story between an angel warrior and a high demon , during the midst of the most epic war, Juliette makes you think, makes you question, and honestly made me feel hopeful about the world we live in. A person can always make a different choice. A soul can always be saved. You can always do the right thing. LOVE LOVE LOVE this series, and I can't wait for the next one! Read this book, you will NOT be disappointed!
Barb-TRC 5 months ago
Darkest Heart by Juliette Cross is the 1st book in her new urban fantasy Dominion series. I have said this a number of times that I am a big fan of Juliette Cross’ writing. Each and every book she writes is totally fantastic, which I have come to expect from her. She is such an awesome author whom you should be reading. As Darkest Heart begins, we meet our hero (or antihero) Dommiel, who is a high demon, but is considered to be a traitor to his kind. Dommiel no longer considers himself to be aligned with any side, and sells his help to the highest bidder; but he also helps save humans from other demons; this makes Dommiel different as demons care for no one. Dommiel receives a call from Genevieve, a powerful vessel of light who can kill demons just by speaking and to whom he has a blood vow with. Genevieve is concerned that Uriel, the good archangel is missing, and wants Dommiel to work with Anya to find him. But Dommiel isn’t too sure he wants to work with an angel. Anya was once a guardian angel for lost and helpless children, only to become a warrior to fight the demons and creatures. During a battle, Anya was bitten by a demon prince, whose poison is slowly growing inside her. She needs to find Uriel, who can remove the poison, or she will be fully pulled into the dreaded demon world. Though she wants nothing to do with Dommiel, Anya abides by Genevieve’s request that he will be the best person to help her find and rescue Uriel. What follows is an amazing story where Anya and Dommiel must enter a dark and dangerous world in an attempt to save the archangel. While working closely together, in a short time, both Dommiel and Anya find their attraction to each other becoming stronger with each passing day. Dommiel knows he shouldn’t become involved with an angel, especially one who is a virgin, but he is drawn to her like he has never been to anyone. Anya also feels the lust developing between them, and though they are like night and day, she cannot resist him. The bond they develop is strong and truly a beautiful love story. Is it possible for a demon to really love an angel? I loved Anya and Dommiel together. At the start he was somewhat arrogant, but that changes when he knows he has fallen in love with Anya, something he never thought would be possible. Dommiel turned out to be such a great hero, willing to do anything to protect and save ‘his angel’, even give up his own life. Anya was also a great heroine, being a tough warrior in her own right, and determined stand beside Dommiel, no matter the consequences. The chemistry between them was lethal, but the future was grim. Will they survive a demon onslaught and save the archangel? You will need to read this book to learn more. Darkest Warrior was a heart stopping, intense, pulse pounding, action packed, exciting thriller that kept you glued to your seat, but it was the love between two people so different that was so heartwarming and beautiful. Darkest Warrior not only pulled on all your emotions, but had an amazing couple that you rooted so hard for. As I have said before, if you have not read Juliette Cross, you are seriously missing a fantastic author, who never fails to wow us each and every time.
MBurton 5 months ago
Darkest Heart is about the battle between Angels and Demons. Before the war, Anya was a guardian angel over orphaned and neglected children. Now she is fighting against the demons who are taking fellow angels and humans as slaves. She's about as innocent as you can get and still be a fierce fighter. Dommiel is a high demon who was once betrayed. He may be a demon but he also known as a traitor for helping angels and a human underground resistance named the Twelfth Night. He's the anti-hero that has more good in him that he or anyone else believes he has. This book begins with Anya seeking help to free Uriel, an archangel who is in a demon infested territory. She was bitten in battle and took in a demon princes essence. This poison is threatening to take her over and making her into a slave to the demon prince. Her only chance of survival is to find Uriel who has the power to pull the essence from her. This is my first read from this author and I was very entertained. The story was imaginative and very well described. I immediately dived into Anya and Dommiel's world and could imagine each of the scenes as they played out. I love that a demon and angel were paired together. It has a touch of the forbidden to it that added to the excitement of their story. I'm not sure if the author has plans to make this into a series but I sure hope that she does.
caroldh4 5 months ago
“Even the darkest heart yearns for the light.” Darkest Heart is book one in a brand new series called Dominion by Juliette Cross. I just this minute finished this book and my heart and my mind are filled with emotion. Above all else, this is a love story. A deep bond between two opposing forces, one light and one dark. But Juliette also keeps us gripped within the pages as the story unfolds and our Hero and heroine are tested again and again. This can easily be read as a stand alone. Juliette gives us plenty of details to fill in the gaps. But, if you really want to start at the beginning, you can take a look at her Vessel Trilogy. Either way, buckle up because you are in for quite a ride. Dommiel has a blood vow with Genevieve, so when Gen calls for him, he comes. This is how he first laid his eyes on Anya. Gen summoned him. The Archangel Uriel is missing. Anya needs help in finding and rescuing Uriel and Dommiel is being called upon to help her. Dommiel is or was the high demon of New Orleans. Now, though, Dommiel has switched sides. He’s working for the resistance, the good guys. He’s seen as a traitor by his own kind and not accepted by the good guys so he’s sort of stuck in the middle, constantly straddling the line between good and evil. Anya is an angel. She once was a guardian angel, devoting herself to helping the helpless orphaned children. She has since become a warrior, fighting against the malevolent creatures that now roam the earth. Anya was bitten by the demon prince, Simian, during a battle. It was only a graze but the poison is in her system. It is slowly working its way towards her heart which will eventually make her a slave to the demon that bit her. There is only one being that can save her by removing the poison and that is Uriel. He is her only hope. She needs to save him, not only for herself but to help to lead the resistance against the evil that has plagued the earth. “This sweet-eyed, blade-wielding tight-bodied goddess had me wanting to fall to my own knees, to beg to worship.” Demons don’t have emotion. They take what they want. But one look into Anya’s eyes and Dommiel was lost. She was the light to his darkness. She made him want things that weren’t possible. “He was so much more than he let the world see. What was more shocking was my innate need to know more of him. To know all he would tell me and give me.” Anya had never been tempted by the pleasures of the body. She was an angel and was devoted to her duty. But this man, this demon, made her yearn for things, made her want things, made her ache for things. Only Dommiel had ever awakened this part of Anya and she was ready to experience all he had to offer. “She was mine. She just didn’t know it yet” “My angel. My Anya.” As Dommiel and Anya embark on their journey to find and save Uriel, they are forced to fight time and time again to protect innocents and each other. The bond between them grows increasingly stronger but Dommiel is convinced that this story won’t have a happy ending. He’s a demon and demons don’t get happy endings. This story was both beautiful and horrifying. I couldn’t have loved these two more. Dommiel was everything. But Anya was no fragile flower. She was a warrior. And she would fight to the death to protect those she cared about. Juliette keeps us on edge until the very end. The suspense built throughout to an epic ending.
bouncyberthaCR 5 months ago
5 - "We always knew our story would be a tragedy... didn't we?" Stars! Another exceptional story from the mind of Juliette Cross, an author who is fast becoming one of my go-to authors for Paranormal/Fantasy reads. If you have read The Vessel Trilogy or The Deepest Well most of the main characters that you come across in Darkest Heart will be ones that you know (and some of them probably love, ahem… Jude ♥♥♥), but this is the story of High Demon Dommiel, falling for what is percieved as his polar opposite in every way. If you have read the Vessel books, you will remember that he hadn’t fared too well by the end of the trilogy. "Whats an angel and a demon doing working together…" Can’t lie, it’s been a while since I read the trilogy, so the intricacies of what went down were not fully fresh in my mind, but Dommiel is not a character who is forgotten easily, and I slipped right into his and Anya’s adventure like the proverbial hot knife through butter. "What I wouldn’t do to show you every first..." The most unlikely pairing you are likely to find, and Angel Warrior, and a High Demon, but as the story progresses with them the deeper the bond and feelings between them grow. As has generally become the case with this author’s books, a review of the story is pretty difficult as I want to avoid giving away any of its secrets. Those, I always think are better discovered by the reader as they take the characters journey with them, but as always, it is beautifully written, well-paced, and just leaves you desperate for more from the world she has created as well as the characters that you have gotten to know and love. "I’ve got you…" "That’s what I am afraid of." Another great read, and I am looking forward to more from the Dominion series in general, with Hardest Fall due at the end of 2018.