by Angie Sandro
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Forever Yours
Mala LaCroix has spent her whole life trying to escape her destiny. As the last in a long line of "witch women," she rejects the notion of spirits and hoodoo and instead does her best to blend in. But when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house, Mala taps into powers she never knew she had. She's haunted by visions of the dead girl, demanding justice and vengeance.
Landry Prince has always had a crush on Mala, but when Mala discovers his sister, murdered and marked in some sort of Satanic ritual, he wonders if all the rumors about the LaCroix family are true. Yet after Mala uses her connection to the spirit world to identify his sister's killer, he starts to form his own bond to her . . . a very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth, Mala and Landry must risk everything—their families, their love, and even their lives.
Dark Paradise opens with introducing us to Mala LaCroix. She is the last in a long line of witch women, although refuses to acknowledge and rejects all references to hoodoo magic or spirits. Heading down to the bayou behind her house to check her traps, she finds the body of a dead girl, which sets in motion a chain of events involving murder, betrayal, heartbreak, spirits, hoodoo magic, and discovery.
I enjoyed Dark Paradise, although at times I did find myself annoyed with Mala and her choices. Landry is the dead girl's brother and he has been crushing on Mala for years, but flip-flops back and forth, depending on how much alcohol or what dosages of drugs he has had that day, between her being the devil incarnate and the love of his life; definitely a fickle fellow.
The ending was satisfying and just open-ended enough to cultivate a bit of eagerness for the next installment in Mala's adventures.
Overall I thought the story was intriguing and I really enjoyed the premise and have high hopes for increased character maturity as the series continues. The world building was very colorful and well done and I am looking forward to revisiting it with future installments. I received this book via NetGalley.
3 1/2 Sheep
About the Author:Angie Sandro was born at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Within six weeks, she began the first of eleven relocations throughout the United States, Spain, and Guam before the age of eighteen.
Friends were left behind. The only constants in her life were her family and the books she shipped wherever she went. Traveling the world inspired her imagination and allowed her to create her own imaginary friends. Visits to her father's family in Louisiana inspired this story.
Angie now lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an overweight Labrador.