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Dominion #1

Darkest Heart

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Wrong side of heaven...right side of redemption.

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. But 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…

348 pages, ebook

First published August 20, 2018

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About the author

Juliette Cross

33 books2,226 followers
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JULIETTE is a multi-published author of paranormal and contemporary romance, including the best-selling STAY A SPELL series. She is the co-host of the podcast, Smart Women Read Romance with her niece, Jessen. As a native of Louisiana, she lives in the heart of Cajun land with her husband, four kids, and sundry animals. When she isn’t working on her next project, she enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows with her husband and a glass (or two) of red wine or whiskey.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 151 reviews
Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,270 reviews24.7k followers
July 15, 2018
“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.

beautiful female angel warrior

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.”

heaven and hell

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. I was by myself and heard myself uttering the words, no, no, no, no at one point.

I can’t recommend this book strongly enough. I have loved every single thing that this author has written and I believe each book just gets better. The love is stronger and the suspense is even more gripping if that is even possible. This series is going to be epic, how could it not be with a start like this. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

“Hope can save the world.”

Profile Image for Nicola.
1,393 reviews241 followers
August 20, 2018
Juliette Cross kicks off her Dominion series with one hell of 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.

description ...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.

description 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.


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.

description I was so fucking lonely for so fucking long. And then…her.”

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.

description 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.


Copy received courtesy of Entangled Publishing via NetGalley for an honest and unbiased opinion. Stock images.

Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,472 reviews1,204 followers
September 18, 2022
Darkest Heart quickly became one of my favorite reads of 2018!!

Time is running out for Anya. She was an angel bitten by a demon prince and his venom was slowly but surely working its way to her heart. Once it did, she'd be a slave to the demon and no longer in control of herself. She's desperate to find the archangel Uriel because as far as she knows he's the only one who can save her. However, Uriel has proven difficult to locate and she needs help to navigate among the mortal and immortal world to find him. Dommiel, archangel-turned-high demon, has been summoned by a blood bond to help Anya recover Uriel. Together, they must battle witches, furies, soul eaters, and other high demons to not only survive, but to right the wrongs and injustices these beings have plagued Earth with.

I would like to say that it was the world building and plot that really got my juices going, but while they were both spectacular, that wasn't what pushed this onto my favorite reads list. This tale was very much character-driven and these characters were more than worthy to tell a story about.

Anya was an angel warrior who's calling was the orphaned children of Earth. She worked alongside her fellow angels to drive warmongering demons back to where they came from. She didn't get personal and she didn't fraternize with anyone. She got along well with other angels but she knew nothing of personal pleasure or satisfaction. She also had a distorted view on other beings on a whole and grouped Dommiel under the 'unworthy' label. But everyone should know not to judge a book by its cover. Dommiel may have been an archangel cast out and made into a high demon, but at his core, after luxuriating in his new 'evildom', he was still one hell of an angel. He was kind and caring and honorable and his heart was HUGE!! This demon was truly worthy of redemption.

Tasting her might've been a mistake, because that lone demon who preferred to follow his own path could only see one now. The one that led to her. Always to her.

Something about this angel pulled at Dommiel and no matter how hard he tried to fight it, he could only last so long against the irresistible. I loved the way the author captured not only the chemistry but the inevitability of this couple. Their love transcended everything and virtually seeped from the pages. Adding in the heartache, betrayals, camaraderie, true friendships and alliances, along with the intense and amazingly detailed fight scenes, this was a story I'm so glad I didn't miss. Teaming fantasy with paranormal romance, Juliette Cross created a world full of must-read characters and I can't wait to see what's next!

☆.。.:* ARC provided for an honest review .。.:*☆

Release: August 20, 2018 | Genre: Fantasy/PNR | Dual POV - 1st person | Heat: 4 | Standalone - Dominion #1 | Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC

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Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews577 followers
August 17, 2018
He’s a high demon who has betrayed his own kind. Time is running out for her, the deadly venom that flows through her angelic veins is killing her pure soul and the only hope of a cure is with Uriel, the missing Archangel. Together, Dommiel and Anya must find Uriel before it is too late and she becomes a slave to darkness. Unlikely allies, an unforeseen attraction and the clock ticks down on an impossible mission.

Juliette Cross is back with a new series where the eternal battle lines drawn between good and evil will become blurred by the heart.

DARKEST HEART is intense, detailed and filled with the passions of attraction, desperation and need as two souls journey to the depths of darkness and back with only each other to trust. Dommiel has been shunned by his own kind for his defection, yet has no place on the side of light. He is lonely, tormented and struggling. Anya, an angelic warrior, must learn to trust Dommiel in order to find Uriel and save her soul. Will she find he is more than she could have imagined? Is there lightness in the dark heart of the demon? Were their hearts meant for each other?

Ms. Cross has nailed another paranormal hit with characters one cannot help but feel for, a quest that is urgent and a world that feels terrifyingly real!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Juliette Cross!

Series: Dominion - Book 1
Publisher: Entangled: Amara (August 20, 2018)
Publication Date: August 20, 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Print Length: 265 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Beth.
3,124 reviews261 followers
August 13, 2018
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. Darkest Heart is set for publication Aug 20, 2018.

My Rating: 4 stars
Written by: Juliette Cross
Print Length: 265 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: August 20, 2018
Sold by: Macmillan
ASIN: B07G13C74Z
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Darkest-Heart-...
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark...
Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dark...

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Profile Image for Claire.
2,302 reviews703 followers
August 20, 2018
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.

Amazon: https://goo.gl/9LjZWC
B&N: https://goo.gl/9UAEju
iBooks: https://goo.gl/3M3bG2
Kobo: https://goo.gl/LFJdEd

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.

ARC generously provided by the author, and it was my pleasure to provide the above honest review in exchange.
Profile Image for Deborah.
3,283 reviews429 followers
July 30, 2018
At the beginning of this book I kind of felt like I was playing catch-up, there was a lot of information and introductions and it just seemed as if I was missing out.
Things settled down and it can easily be read as a stand-alone (it is a stand-alone). I was a little annoyed with myself when I discovered (on finishing) that the series it links with (The Vessel series) is actually on my to-read list. I really wish I’d checked and read that first.

Anyway back to Darkest Heart.

I really enjoyed this read.
Earth is the battle ground in a war between angels and demons. Humans are in real danger of becoming extinct as the war rages on. There’s no black and white anymore, the lines have become blurred and it’s not always pretty.

Dommiel is a demon he’d been the high demon of New Orleans for over a century before the war. But he’s a demon with a heart who’s considered a traitor by both sides. This makes for a lonely life but he considers he’s paying his penance for his previous sins.

Anya is an angel who desperately needs help and together they both find themselves in each other.

It’s entertaining and exciting, I liked the characters, the romance and the world building and I’m looking forward to the next book.

I voluntarily read a review copy kindly provided by NetGalley.
Profile Image for Marta Cox.
2,530 reviews190 followers
July 19, 2018
Well who doesn’t love a bad boy ? Dommiel is everything you want in an antihero as for a start he’s a demon , he’s considered to be a traitor as he dances to his own tune and his cocky attitude belies just how jaded by life he is. So pairing him up with a sunny, do goody angel really sets the stage for sparks to fly.
Anya has a secret that could see her become the mindless creature she fears the most. Getting Dommiel to help her rescue the one angel who can save her is easy but what Anya hadn’t expected was the pull of someone she should loathe. Dommiel is snarky, corrupt and yet strangely sad but no matter what so very protective of “his”angel.
With Darkest Heart the author has captured the very essence of a romance that for hundreds of years readers have clamoured for. It’s no accident that her hero is well read and his literary bent and poetic nature tugs on the heartstrings showing that this demon is no degenerate. Dommiel isn’t typical, he is his own man and whether fierce or slyly loving his goodness is so very tangible.
So if the hero is all sorts of shades of grey where does Anya fit in? Once she fought as a warrior but at heart she’s the one who wants nothing else then to be the guardian of those lost children who need light shining on their lives. Yes she is good, yes she is a pure being but Dommiel makes her ache for things she never knew she could want. Their journey sees them getting closer and slowly but surely guards begin to drop although Dommiel knows they can never have a happy ending. Anya might prove that she’s no shrinking violet but it’s Dommiel who made me catch my breath as he became everything I want to dream of and if there’s more to come in this world I can’t wait to read it.
A fabulous paranormal romance about redemption that had me glued to the page, recommended.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
Profile Image for Bev .
1,890 reviews395 followers
July 22, 2018
When I started Darkest Heart I was a little afraid that Anya was going to be this Little Miss Perfect goodie two shoes. And whilst she's the good to Dommiel's bad, the light to his dark, she is in no way Little Miss Perfect. This girlie has some serious badass going on, and wasn't afraid to fight to the death for what she wanted.

"I knew he was afraid, and I accepted that. But I wouldn't accept him pulling away from what was happening between us. It was precious and rare"

Dommiel .... sigh. Be still my beating heart....

"I'd never drop you." Her mouth flattened as she gripped me even tighter. "I'd never let you go." ...........
"Then take me to the stars, baby"

I so love me an anti-hero, especially one that underneath it all there's still that inherent goodness. Dommiel had that in spades despite his living on the knife edge of good and evil.

So, Darkest Heart is a slow burn romance. Paranormal/fantasy romances can tend to be a bit on the insta-everything side, Darkest Heart is anything but. There's a lot of world building in this one along with a suspense plot running through, twists and turns aplenty and lots of characters. I think this slowed things down for me at times, I just wanted them to get to Uriel without all the side battles .... I'm impatient like that 😜

Arc received from Netgalley for review.

3.75 stars
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,573 reviews1,461 followers
August 24, 2018
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

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.

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Mindy Lou's Book Review.
2,630 reviews604 followers
August 2, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,023 reviews683 followers
July 21, 2018
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!

Dual POV
Profile Image for Tanja ~ KT Book Reviews .
1,352 reviews172 followers
July 17, 2018
From the first sentence this reader was taken in by Dommiel.

“ I love the smell of sex and brimstone in the morning”

He’s my favorite type of character; one that comes with a rueful arrogance, that not only makes him a cocky delight, but a blistering hot antihero that will put him firmly in place as a top ranking book boyfriend for the masses.

And the angelic warrior that is Anya. Who knew an innocent could be so captivatingly bloodthirsty? She fights like a demon and has the compassion needed for humanity to possibly make a come back in this apocalyptic world.

The two of them make for one hell of a fighting team. The mission is set and both must do what's needed of them to make it out alive. Trust? Loyalty? All the things Dom has had ripped away from him are given back through Anya. He finds himself confused and yet completely enamored by her.

“--her eyes darkened to indigo. A demon could lose his soul in eyes like that. If he had one.”

Anya also sees something in Dommiel that he doesnt think exists anymore. She sees a need to do good, to find redemption, and to care for more than just himself.

“Every kindness and every abuse makes a mark upon the soul.’’ My voice trembled. “The soul remembers.”

Within Darkest Heart I found a beautifully written story of two people. Told with succinct detail and a lovely thread of poetry peppered throughout, I found myself with a need to grab my copy of Shakespeare and swim for awhile. It takes a real talent to quote the greats, yet intwine the hilariously roguish vibrato to make a likeable anti-hero.

“‘Now is the very witching time of night.’” He quoted Hamlet when he went in search of his treacherous uncle. Shocked for a second, I couldn’t help but respond by continuing the verse. “‘When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out contagion to the world.’”

I want to say that, yes, the romance is a key factor in Darkest Heart— but romance is not the entirety of it. The world building is mild since this is a spinoff of the Vessel Trilogy, and the surrounding characters are familiar. However, the introduction of new things and the world-within-a-world storytelling are just amazing. I’m just so incredibly excited for what's to come in the Dominion series. If book one is any indication, this is going to be a monster hit with PNR lovers and readers of the genre. Fans of George R.R. Martin, Ilona Andrews and the like will find a new and exciting series to devour. It hits all the best points. Deliciously evil villains, corruption within, the innate goodness of the righteous, and a love that will survive and conquer. It’s book perfection, people!

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Profile Image for Sarah.
3,323 reviews1,012 followers
August 20, 2018
3.5 stars

Anya is an angel on a mission to save the missing archangel Uriel and if that means she has to pair up with the demon Dommiel, a very unlikely ally, then she's willing to take that risk. The journey to find Uriel is fraught with danger but Anya is on a deadline and she knows that failing to find him quickly will have devastating consequences.

I didn't realise when I requested Darkest Heart that this is a spin off from Juliette Cross' Vessel Trilogy and to be honest there were times, particularly at the beginning of the story, that I was a little lost in this world. I think if I'd already read the previous trilogy I would have found this story much easier to get into but as it stands I still have a lot of questions about how angels and demons ended up using earth as a battleground. I got a bit lost when it came to the different groups of fighters and who was fighting for which side. This did get easier in the second half but it made the first half of the book lag a bit while I tried to figure things out so I definitely think people who are familiar with the earlier books will appreciate this one more. Having said that I did enjoy the story enough that I want to go back and read the earlier series and I'm definitely hoping that we're going to get a book about Uriel soon!

Anya and Dommiel are total opposites which isn't surprising when you consider one is an angel and the other is a demon. Anya was a little too innocent for my tastes but she was a very skilled warrior in her own rights and I liked that she was willing to accept her own feelings quite quickly, we didn't have a pages of her doubting herself and Dommiel and instead she was focused on making things work. Dommiel is a reluctant ally at first, once an angel he was stripped of his wings when he fell and became a demon and he now seems to play both sides off against each other. I wish we'd been given more information about his background and what happened to make him fall, he seemed to believe he was betrayed by his brother but I'm still a little hazy on why that is or how it all happened. He may be a demon but Dommiel has his own moral code and there are lines he isn't willing to cross, make no mistake he admits he's done terrible things, but he's not an all out evil character and I think we probably would have seen some of his struggle in previous books.

This is paranormal romance so the attraction between Anya and Dommiel is pretty instant but as far as relationship building goes they did take a little time to act on it. I enjoyed spending time with them both the banter between them was fun and there was a nice amount of flirting as things started to heat up. I'm definitely interested to see where this series goes, especially if we're going to get a book about Uriel, but I think I'll try to read the Vessel Trilogy and the connected novel, The Deepest Well, before I continue reading. Hopefully that will give me a better understanding of the world and help me avoid the sense of confusion I felt reading this one.
Profile Image for Kira.
1,227 reviews131 followers
July 23, 2018
4.5 stars

This is my favorite book by Juliette Cross. It was much better than I thought it would be. I love angels and demons stories. Anya was an angel on a mission to find the archangel Uriel. She couldn't do it alone. She was paired with an unlikely ally, the demon Dommiel. They were very different but worked well together. Opposites attract and all that.

Anya was pretty straightforward. She was a super goody two shoes even for an angel. However she was a badass warrior. It does seem rather contradictory to me that killing is okay when it's for the right reasons. She did have her own personal plight to deal with wondering if she would overcome succumbing to evil.

Dommiel was complex with an interesting past. An angel who fell. A traitor to the demons. All around an anomaly. He was the perfect man: just enough bad to be enticing but overall a decent guy. I wish more of his past had been explored about his fall. Even the cause of that didn't seem horrible. Heaven is unbending on its standards of good and bad to the degree that it unfairly punishes some. From what was portrayed in this he never did anything despicable. His days of debauchery were long over. He did evolve the most as a character. There was one thing about the end that did not make sense to me.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Carla Bulian.
1,208 reviews198 followers
September 7, 2018
4,5. Adorei esse livro! Muito bem escrito sem se perder em devaneios. Esse tema de fantasia é muito difícil, tem que ser muito centrado para contar uma história... mas a autora foi perfeita.
Os personagens principais são maravilhosos.
Só achei que poderia ser mais longa a história.
Vale a leitura.
Profile Image for Rhenna Morgan.
Author 27 books1,059 followers
July 27, 2018
Okay, I'm a sucker for the bad boy romances. Everyone who knows me knows that's my thing. And yeah, Dommiel is as bad as they get. I mean, he's a demon after all. But Juliette took my addiction and added the ultimate kicker with this one...


And at the hands of an angel, no less.

I mean, come on! Bad boy + innocent yet sexy as hell angel HAS to equal a smoking hot love story, right? And this one TOTALLY does. I was captivated. Spellbound by the rich story telling and off-the-charts chemistry.

Seriously, if you haven't read it yet, go get it. And if you haven't read the related series that comes before it (The Vessel Series), why the heck not! Just buy them all, tell your family and friends you'll be back in a few days, and go enjoy yourself. Trust me. It's a fantastic ride.
Profile Image for ❤️Emma Book Lover ❤️.
454 reviews256 followers
November 30, 2019

“Redemption was wonderful. But love? Well, hell. That was everything.”

The first book in the series
This was a sweet story between a high demon Dommiel and a guardian/warrior angel Anya . It Had plenty of steamy scenes and action as well. What I loved was the interaction between the H and h,they felt real and would have done whatever it takes for each other.
What i didn’t understood was why Anya kept secrets from him until the end, was a bit frustrating, but in the end all sorted out 🥰
Profile Image for Mikky.
750 reviews164 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
November 14, 2019
DNF At 2 hours and 33 minutes (audio book)

I'm currently cleaning out my TBR shelf and this book is one of those that just isn't clicking with me. Maybe it's the mood I'm in, maybe it's the actual book or a little bit of both. I never thought I'd say this because I usually dislike male narrations but I prefer James Larceny's narration over Anais Inara Chase's for this novel. Anais's reading is muffled and hard to hear without blasting the volume (which can cause long-lasting damage to your ears so beware of that). There's no way to differentiate characters because she's reading everything in the same tone of voice. She tries to throw in an accent here and there but it doesn't last long and is barely discernible from the rest. James's narration, on the other hand, is crisp, clear and relaxing to listen to. Compared to Anais's tones of voices of characters James's reading is perfect.
Profile Image for Missy's Book Obsession.
179 reviews98 followers
August 22, 2018
Darkest heart is the first book of this series also my first book read by this author. I enjoyed this book it was interesting and kept my attention until the very end. Can't wait to read more books by Juliette Cross.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,119 reviews1,326 followers
August 19, 2018

How is it that I've not come across Juliette Cross' books before? It's a travesty because this book was so good! I mean you can hardly go wrong with the combination of angels, demons, and romance, but it has to be executed well too and Cross does that here with Darkest Heart. I'm glad that I'm such an impulse reader who picks up books based on just their gorgeous covers because I think I've found a new author whose books I need to check out.

Those of you who love your anti-heroes will want to meet Dommiel. This demon was one cocky bastard but was he lovable or what? I was immediately hooked into the story because his voice was engaging. Dommiel was a high Demon who did his own thing but was seen as a traitor to his kind. With his eye-patch, his scars and his mechanical arm, he was rough around the edges, but also high-key a badass. When one of the few people who had shown him kindness in the past asked for his help on behalf of an angel, he accepted knowing full well that he would have to go back into the depths of the underworld. The said angel, Anya, was another great character in Darkest Heart. Previously a guardian angel for orphaned children, she was a warrior fighting the creatures of darkness as the war between angels and demons waged on Earth. Being an angel, Anya had a kind heart and a generous personality. Even with her softness though, I loved how she could totally kick anyone's butt in battle. She was strong and fearless and was always ready to fight for what was right.

The plot in Darkest Heart revolved around Dommiel and Anya going in search of the archangel, Uriel. Anya was grazed by a demon while fighting and his essence was taking over her body. The only angel who could help her get rid of it was Uriel. Unfortunately for her, Uriel has gone missing. The plot was exciting from start to finish. There were non-stop battles and plenty of twists to keep me entertained. From my understanding, the Dominion series is a spin-off from one of Juliette Cross' previous series, but I didn't feel like I was majorly missing out on much of the world building here. The author does a good job of explaining the details of her world for readers who are new to her books. That said, I feel like there are a lot more interesting elements and I'm invested enough to want to go back and check out her previous series. The best part of Darkest Heart for me was the romance. It was so so so good! I'm always up for an opposites-attract romance and Cross wrote an exceptional one between Anya and Dommiel. The chemistry between the two was smoldering from the very start and I loved how as they got to know each other, it turned Dommiel into a softie and Anya into a braver version of herself. Their romance took place fairly quickly timeline-wise, but it didn't feel like insta-love to me because Cross made me believe in their connection. The steamy scenes in Darkest Heart were also fan-yourself hot.

I don't read a lot of paranormal romances, but Darkest Heart made me go on the look-out for more. It was sexy, edgy and all sorts of fun. If I'm not mistaken, the rest of the series will be a companion series, and I'm excited to see what Juliette Cross has in store! If it's going to be anything like Darkest Heart, it's bound to be awesome!
Profile Image for Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures).
1,516 reviews855 followers
August 8, 2018
Darkest Heart is book one in the Dominion series by Juliette Cross.

This book takes part in the same world as the, Vessel Trilogy series. It’s a spin-off. Even if you haven’t read the other series, you are ok to pick this one up. It stands on it’s own! As for me I will tell you I couldn’t get threw book one, in the authors Vessel Trilogy, so I’m comfortable saying you don’t have to read one to read the other.

In Darkest Heart we quickly learn that the apocalypse has happened on earth. Angels and Demons are battling it out on earth and that the humans are in short supply, going extinct.

Our story focuses on Anya, an angelic warrior and Dommiel, a demon prince outcast. It’s opposing forces, light and dark, coming together to find love and redemption.

I have to say the author did a superb job in describing Dommiel. Oh my is he one HOT demon. Their is so much more to this demon then what everyone sees. He’s got layers that he doesn’t let the world see and I loved this about him. He’s not good, yet he’s not all bad. He had that perfect blend of both to make him enticing and help him find love and redemption. Anya our warrior angel has a heart. She used to help children before the war, but now she is a fighter. I won’t say I fell for her, but I didn’t dislike her. She just didn’t pop like Dommiel.

The secondary characters where nice to meet and I hope we get to see more of the Angel's that where introduced and one or two of those Demon's Dommiel is friends with.

This story puts opposites, light and dark, together in one common goal and on the way they both find that balance between the two and eternal love.

Darkest Heart was a satisfying read. At times it was slow, but things do pick up and we get some great action scenes and sexy times too. I’m curious to see what comes next in the Dominion series.

Rated: 3.5 Stars

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

Profile Image for AvidReader.
1,089 reviews196 followers
April 10, 2022
4.5 stars ⭐️. A new world, new characters and fantastic protagonists.

An Angel heroine vs Demon hero…. SIGHN ME UP!

Hero Dommiel was what I envisioned Lucifer as. He was wicked, an established liar, powerful, cocky with a smart mouth but so damn endearing. He stole my heart quite quickly. And heroine Anya was a warrior with softest heart. She was his soulmate.
From the beginning itself you can see that hero was completely smitten with heroine. Even though he repeatedly assured himself and everyone that he cares for no one. Such a lair he was! I gleefully watched his downfall.
The world building was insane and there are many many interesting characters with many shades. The plot and how the story unravelled was also good.

But the most beautiful part of this book was Dommiel and Anya’s love. It was infinite, deep and everything.

Will continue the series.
TW: there is plenty of blood, torture and gore in this book.

Safe and recommended.
Profile Image for Christina.
627 reviews22 followers
July 20, 2018
To be honest, I feel like I've been waiting for this book for a millennia. After reading The Vessel Series by this author (which is referenced in this one), I KNEW Dommiel needed his own story. I guess it's true what they say, "the best things come to those who wait". This was SOOOOO worth the wait!!!

Dommiel is a high demon. Well...he's technically more than that, but was "stripped" of his Lord title and lost an eye (yeah, you should read the Vessel series). Now that the Fall has happened, the world just isn't the same. Demons, Angels and Humans walking the earth, fighting, and playing games that never end the way they should. But when Dommiel is summoned through a blood oath to help the other side, he really doesn't have a choice. Add in the fact that there's a breathtakingly beautiful Angel and he's 100% committed. Let's just see if he comes away alive.

Anya is an Angel. Not just any Angel. She's a former Guardian Angel, but she's in trouble, and she needs to find the Archangel Uriel in order to survive. Buuuuuut, that's a problem because Uriel has gone missing. So she's asked Genevieve and Jude for help (did I mention you should read the Vessel?). The problem is that she's getting help from a traitor. A high demon who's betrayed his own kind, twice. Can she trust him? Does she have a choice?

I WILL NOT spoil this. I WILL NOT mention a scene that is incredible to try to get you to read this. Why? Because this is truly something that you need to pick up and read with fresh eyes, creating your OWN vision of this world and characters. Because it's THAT spectacular.

The world that this author created picks up where the Vessel series left off, but set after the Fall. So although it's the same, it's different. It's a world that pulls you in to the making of Angels, how they can fall from grace, but be redeemed, all the same. It's about how Demons can be crude and deadly, but still manage to do the right thing. It's about acceptance, hope, love. And even the damned have a heart.

If you like PNR's, you HAVE to read this. I swear on everything that you won't be disappointed. This. Is. EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for Zoe Forward.
Author 26 books1,109 followers
July 21, 2018
Whew-ey Juliette Cross penned the most juicy PNR I've read in ages. Anya and Dommiel have a smoldering chemistry from moment one that steams into some scorching scenes that'll keep you turning the pages for more. We've got two lonely opposites, the demon who's done all the sins (and then some) and the virgin angel, who team up to find a lost archangel. There are a lot of twists and turns in the mystery of what happened to their query that push these two characters together. The story was action packed and loaded your emotions up and shot them out. Can't even imagine what the next book in the series will be like, but I can't wait to pick it up.
Dommiel is a book boyfriend I wish I could keep. I might be convinced to share him but I just want to savor this character and never let him go.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Naima Simone.
Author 128 books1,672 followers
July 27, 2018
Full review to come, but epic! And utterly dark and delicious in the best of ways. Dommiel is the perfect anti-hero!
Profile Image for N.J. Walters.
Author 142 books1,224 followers
August 21, 2018
A jaded demon and a warrior angel come together in Darkest Heart. This dark romantic fantasy is a sensual and compelling tale that will leave you wanting more.

Once again, Juliette Cross has penned another dark romantic fantasy readers will love.
Profile Image for Eva Millien.
3,146 reviews42 followers
August 20, 2018
Release Day Review! Darkest Heart (Dominion #1) Juliette Cross!  

Wrong side of heaven...right side of redemption.
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. But 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…

This forbidden love story is a fascinating and thrilling apocalyptic read that involves the war between heaven and hell and everything in between. Anya and Dommiel are two strong, entrancing characters that easily draw readers into their intriguing story, especially since love between an angel and a demon is a very unlikely relationship. The romance part of this story is sweet, yet rousing as it is full of steamy, zinging chemistry and fiery passion while the relationship has not only that major obstacle to be overcome but quite a few others and since both characters aren’t even remotely thinking of a relationship, but the chemistry keeps pulling drawing them together, letting the feelings sneak up on them.
The plot is fast paced and flows smoothly throughout the book, keeping readers glued to the pages with lots of excitement and danger as they face dangerous adversaries throughout their treacherous quest to find and free the archangel that can stop the ark poison that is corrupting Anya’s body and soul. There is lots of exhilarating battles and surprising twists that keeps readers glued to the pages and the author brings it all too vivid life so the readers can easily picture each and every scene as it happens.
Dominion is an apocalyptic world where heaven and hell are at war and the angels and demons fight among the humans and together with the fascinating characters gives readers an exciting experience as they become caught up in the story. I was completely caught up in Darkest Heart from the very beginning and found the world very intriguing with some fascinating unique elements to add that something extra to the story as well as the characters. I was especially fascinated by Dommiel as he is dangerous and sexy with some unique attributes, so I am looking forward to future books in this series.

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/darkest...

The 1st book in the Dominion series
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/2375...
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07...
Author - https://www.juliettecross.com/dominion

which includes The 1st book in the Dominion series
.5 The Deepest Well1 Darkest Heart
& #2 Hard Fall (coming December 10, 2018)

Available in print or ebook at:
Entangled Publishing - https://entangledpublishing.com/darke...
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G13C74Z/
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark...
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dark...
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dark...

Juliette lives in lush, moss-laden Louisiana where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab, Kona.
Multi-published author of paranormal and urban fantasy romance, she loves reading and writing brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes.
From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.
Website - http://juliettecross.com/
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...
BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/julie...
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/juliettecros...
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Juliette__Cross
Pintrest - http://www.pinterest.com/crossjuliette/
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Juliette-Cross/...


Profile Image for Mirabella.
195 reviews1 follower
August 25, 2018
A great book to start a promising new series! The world building was fantastic, a post-apocalyptic szenario where angels were at war with demons and other hellish creatures after an incident called “The Fall”, which left the world gloomy and the humans scarce with trying to survive and not being caught between the fronts.

The characters were well developed, a wonderful hero, a strong and loveable heroine and likable side characters. The author has great talent to let her characters come to life, especially both H/h. They were supposed to be enemies and had to work together on their quest to find the missing archangel. Despite the insta-attraction their relationship was slowly developing, from wariness and prejudices to respect, friendship and love.

The plot was truly captivating, like a road movie but with sifting from place to place instead of driving. The author never got lost in the details of describing insignificant matters, it was just enough description to imagine the important things and let my own mind add the rest to it, to see and feel the whole picture.

For me as being German it was fun to read about their adventures in Berlin and that little village in the Erzgebirge mountains. The German phrases were well researched, though I think “meine Liebe” is a bit outdated by now or maybe more used by women to other women, men would rather say “hallo Süße” or “Schöne” to a beautiful woman, especially in a dance club.

The story is written from both h+H POV, past tense, there is some OW and OM issue but no cheating and there are some violent scenes with torture, but never H towards h, he always treated her with care and tenderness. The steamy scenes were hot and well written.

I didn’t spot any typos or anything else to disturb the reading flow - just dive in deeply and experience their suspenseful journey to their happy end.

The only thing I didn’t like and therefore give 4.5 stars was that the H saw his own nature as a beast, like it’s a separate part of himself and thus he spoke of it in the 3rd person. I mean he is a demon and his straight teeth and brown eyes are just supposed to be an illusion to appear normal (or so he said in the beginning of the book), the red eyes and fangs only showing when “his inner beast” came to the surface. I would have liked it better if he accepted his nature and were a little bit more “bad”. But that’s my own preference and tendency to like my heroes more with a touch villain in them ;-)

At the end I wished there were an epilogue or at least an answer to the question about his current status or what he was now, that was being left open. But maybe we will get the answer in the next book, I’m really looking forward to it. Highly recommended for all who love a unique world building with a fantastic storyline and great characters.

*A gifted copy was provided by the author for my honest review*
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