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Her Soul for Revenge by Harley Laroux


Her Soul For Revenge

by Harley Laroux

Self-Published

Book 2 in the Souls Trilogy


Juniper

After a cult tried to sacrifice me to their wicked God, I went on the run, doing whatever was necessary to survive.


Until a demon offered me a deal: give him my soul and he'll help me claim the vengeance I seek. Blood will be spilled, and the monsters I once ran from will soon be running from me. But damning my soul was just the beginning - it's my heart the demon wants next.



Zane

I've been hunting souls for centuries, but she's the ultimate prize - vicious and feral, with a broken soul as dark as my own. I thought claiming her would be a simple game, but Juniper is far from simple. I chose to follow her on a path drenched with the blood of her enemies, but it's our blood that may be spilled next. As an ancient God wakes from Its slumber, neither of us may survive.


Her Soul for Revenge is book 2 in the Souls Trilogy. Although all the books are interconnected, they are stand-alone and can be read in any order.


Content Note

This book contains sexual scenes, kink/fetish content, horror elements, drug use, scenes of trauma, anxiety, and PTSD, and depictions of "hard" kink/edgeplay. A complete CW can be found in the frontmatter of the book.

Genre:

Dark Supernatural Romance

 

Her Soul for Revenge is the second book in Harley Laroux's Souls trilogy. It follows the same timeline as t he first book in this trilogy, but this time centers around Juniper and Zane. When Juniper almost loses her life in a sacrifice to the god in the mine, she goes on the run, and does anything she has to to stay safe. For years, she travels as far as she can from her hometown, and the people who tried to kill her. She doesn't realize that she has caught the eye of a powerful demon, a soul hunter. He is intrigued by the girls resilience, and strength. When she finds out her brother has been murdered, she heads back to her hometown. And when Zane offers her a deal she can't refuse - her soul in exchange for revenge - she doesn't hesitate to take it. Despite getting what he wanted, he can't seem to tear himself from her, or making sure she lives. He shouldn't care - but he does. And Zane brings up feelings Juniper long though dead to her. But can they fight a god, and its followers, and stay alive?


I didn't like this one as much as the last one. Which is too bad, because I really enjoyed Zane. I don't know if its because both books are of the same timeline, so I know how things are going to go down, or what, but I found myself dragging my feet to finish this book. Same setting, same enemies, but the characters were different. I will give Harley that. Zane is much more ... happy? ... then Leon in the previous book. He is still a demon, and is incredibly strong due to the souls he has claimed, but he just genuinely seems to enjoy life and is more vibrant. I had a hard time liking Juniper, but I understood her character and why she is the way she is. So I found the things I didn't like about her forgivable. The chemistry between them was a bit stronger than Leon and Rae, and the sex was hot. Harley took it a bit further in this book, introducing a touch more of the taboo, but again, not in a way that is a turn off. The only things I genuinely disliked is the same things in the last book: spitting (and as I said in my last review, I don't kink shame, but even seeing someone spit in the street makes me gag, so reading about it made me cringe) and predictability. The predictability is worst in this case than the last one, as we already knew how this book was going to end after reading about it in the first book, and seeing it through Rae's eyes.


It's hard for me. I like the story, but didn't like knowing the outcome. I loved Zane, but didn't love Juniper. The sex was great, despite the spitting. haha. Honestly, if the third book was already written, I wasn't going to read it. It was too hard to get through this one because I was a bit bored. But who knows? Maybe when the next one comes out, I will be ready for the conclusion. At least with the third one, there will be a conclusion, since the characters/couple involved in that one are the only ones strong enough to actually take down a god.


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Give a human knowledge, and he thinks he’s wise. Give a human magic, and he thinks he’s strong. Give a human religion, and he’ll think he’s right. The bullet struck my shoulder. It felt like nothing more than a pinch. I looked down at the wound curiously, poking my finger in to dig out the bullet. She watched, in horror, as I dropped the bloodied bit of metal onto the ground.

Zane: “My, my, so flirtatious.”

I chuckled.

Zane: “Do that again, Juniper, and I might think you want to play.” Dear fucking Lucifer, I did love a killer. Human or demon, it didn’t matter: a being with blood on their hands and a smile on their face just did it for me. Vicious little mortals were rarely a threat to me; but damn they were cute, and their souls had a unique weight to them that I adored. I liked cute things. I liked to crush them and break them and see what would become of all the jagged little pieces. Perhaps my definition of “cute” was just a little different. Juniper Kynes, for example. Adorable. Murderous. Vicious. And bound to be mine. Zane: “And what’s this?”

I pinched at his tight shirt. PNW Security Services was stitched onto the front.

Zane: “Playing security guard, are we? Have you caught any naughty, snooping students yet?”

Leon: “Only one,”

he muttered, peevishly straightening his shirt.

Leon: “I’m still figuring out how to punish her for it.”

I chuckled, lighting up a joint.

Zane: “Well, if you need help thinking something up, I’ll gladly help you brainstorm some ways to make her squeal.”

The campus was quiet that afternoon. Students hurried past between classes, and groups of them were spread out across the lawn as they studied. Leon glared at any who dared come too close with undeniable distaste. Being forcibly summoned and kept, as he had for so long, will change a demon in unpleasant ways. I was fortunate to have never experienced it. After a few centuries of collecting souls and growing my power, a magician would need to be powerful indeed to manage to summon me, if they were able to get their hands on my name.

Leon: “I’m supposed to tell you not to smoke here,”

Zane: “Noted. When can you leave? I want to go out somewhere. Catch up. It’s been ages since Kent let you out.”

Leon: “Tonight.”

He paused, giving a long, heavy glare to a pair of students who’d paused in front of the building to snap a photo with their phones. One glance from him and their faces fell, hurrying away.

Leon: “There’s a festival in town. Kent wants me to keep an eye on things.”

Zane: “Why?”

I groaned. I laid down on the stone steps behind him, simply because it bothered him, and bothering Leon was far more fun than it should have been.

Zane: “That’s such a painfully mundane use for a demon. Doesn’t he ever give you anything interesting to do?”

Leon: “At least this way, he’s not always fucking watching me. Zane.”

He shot me an extremely perturbed look.

Leon: “I’m supposed to tell you not to lay on that.”

Zane: “Good job, gold star, what a very good little demon you are — Hey, hey, woah!”

I leaped up the moment he raised his foot to smash it down on my face.

Zane: “Be nice, be nice, fucker. I’m getting up.”

I took a long drag on the joint, exhaled in his face, and dodged away before he could hurt me. He looked ready to snap my neck — it was charming, really. Zane: “I have good news and bad news. What’ll it be first?”

She didn’t look amused.

Juniper: “Bad news. Hit me with it.”

Zane: “Ah, well, bad news first ruins the impact of the good news —”

Juniper: “Just tell me, Zane.”

I sighed dramatically, but really, the more unpleasant she acted, the more I wanted to bend her over the counter and fuck the bitchiness out of her body.

Zane: “Fine. The bad news is that dear brother Marcus is in White Pine.”

Her hand clenched around the beer can, causing the metal to crinkle under her fingers.

Juniper: “Fucking hell. That bastard threw him down in the mine?”

Zane: “Yeah. Shame about that, but he is technically buried again. He’s underground at least.”

If her eyes could have shot fireballs in my direction, they would have.

Juniper: “And what the hell is the good news then?”

Zane: “Oh, right. Well, the good news is that I found out where he is.”

I grinned.

Zane: “Told you, bad news first ruins the impact.” Juniper: “Why does it matter to you?”

I traced my thumb over the bloody stain. I should have been worried about the stitches I’d torn beneath; but instead, when I looked at the blood, all I saw was weakness.

Zane: “You need to stop asking that question.”

I glared up at him.

Juniper: “Why?”

Zane: “Because neither one of us is ready to hear the answer.” Zane: “You’ve got eternity, at the end of all this. Your mortal life will end, but Hell awaits. You’ll outlive the Hadleighs, the Libiri. Despite all the pain they caused you, you’ll see more than they ever will. Maybe that frightens you. Don’t let it. I’d like to see what becomes of you, Juniper Kynes. A human like you, in Hell, can be a powerful thing.”

I smiled before I could catch myself.

Juniper: “Ugh, God, I still have to put up with you in Hell, don’t I?”

Zane: “Oh yeah.”

He laughed.

Zane: “You’re stuck with me. I get to keep bothering you for eternity.” Juniper: “What the fuck did you do to him?”

Her voice was vicious.

Juniper: “You said he wouldn’t be hurt, Everly!”

Archdemon: “He’s fine.”

I could hear the eyeroll in the Archdemon’s words.

Archdemon: “He’s just being dramatic.”

I was being dramatic, yes. But I’d gotten Juniper to be all soft over me as a result, and that was immensely satisfying. The vicious little thing actually cared. If we lived, I’d be sure to tease her about it for the rest of eternity. Zane: “What are you scared of?”

Juniper: “This,”

I whispered, and he smiled against my skin.

Juniper: “I’m scared of this...whatever...whatever this is.”

He looked up at me, with his head still lowered as he held my hand. It was strange that a monster could look gentle, especially when he smiled at me with teeth sharp enough to rip me apart.

Zane: “And what do you think this is?”

This was usually the point at which I’d end the conversation. I’d met my fair share of people that had grown close to me over the years; men and women who’d somehow decided they wanted more from me — and those questions were always the ones that made me run. But Zane and I were bound together. Eternally. There was no getting out of it. A damning bargain was all it was supposed to be.

Juniper: “A bargain,”

I said softly.

Juniper: “It’s...just a bargain.”

He took both my hands, and kissed the other one just the same as he had the first, before he laid my palms against his chest.

Zane: “Juniper Kynes, a storm manifested in human form, is afraid of a bargain?”

He leaned close and kissed my neck, pausing with his lips barely brushing beneath my ear.

Zane: “No, you’re not. You’re afraid of something far bigger than that. And I’ll tell you something, Juniper — this is a hell of a lot more than a bargain. I’m not fucking around. I don’t fuck around when I find something I want.”

Juniper: “But you already have me.”

My voice sounded desperate. As if I was pleading with him to be callous, to tell me he was just joking.

Zane: “Body and soul. But I decided I want something else too.”

He laid his hand around my neck, and pressed his thumb against my pulse. Every beat was emphasized as it throbbed against his finger, hard and fast.

Zane: “That right there. I want that next.”

He lowered his voice, a shiver-inducing whisper in my ear.

Zane: “And I’ll have it. Just wait.” Juniper: “I’m broken. I’m fucked up. It’s like I’m only getting worse.”

His voice rumbled in his chest as he spoke.

Zane: “I followed you for years, Juniper. I saw all your broken pieces. I saw the sharpness. It was like shattered glass every time I looked at you.”

His hand moved up, tucked against my neck and his thumb pushed up my chin.

Zane: “Have you ever seen shattered glass catch the light? Have you seen it reflect colors that a perfect, pristine pane never would? How it shines as bright as the sun?”

I didn’t make a sound, but tears rolled down my face before I could stop them. I was going to ruin my facepaint if I kept this up. I hated crying in front of anyone; I always had. But instead, in that moment, it felt more like a relief.

Zane: “I don’t think you need to be fixed, Juniper. I think you need to catch your light.” Juniper: “You thought you threw a lamb down into the dark. You didn’t. You threw down a wolf, and I came back biting.”

 

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