DARK PARADISE by Angie Sandro
Release date: July 1, 2014
Grand Central Publishing/ Forever Yours
Genre: NA Southern Gothic
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 starts to wonder 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.
***WARNING*** MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!
To say I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this book, is a major understatement. I have been anticipating the release date since Angie made her cover reveal. So, when I spotted a post on twitter stating, I could get my hands on a copy before it's release, I hurried over and snatched it up.
So let's get into it, Dark Paradise, if you don't know by now is Angie Sandro's debut novel. And let me tell you it does not disappoint. Malaise LaCroix is one heck of a heroine. Angie weaves a story that boast mystery, suspense, with witch craft and love that unfolds in the dirty South. I love it.
All things Mala...
Mala (as she's called) was born into a family of voodoo/hoodoo women and to a alcoholic prostitute, none of which she's able to live down. Just like in all small town someone has to be the source of gossip, and Mala gives the town folk a lot to gossip about.
When she finds the dead body of Lainey Prince in the bayou on her land, and reports it to the police. The right thing to do right... wrong. She's not only on her mother's hit list, but she just added satanic ritual murderer to her infamous list of short comings for gossipers.
Things heat up when Landry Prince, Lainey's brother enters the scene seeking her help to solve his sister's murder, while believing she maybe the killer he's searching for.
Lainey wants to avenge her death from the grave. So like a normal ghost she haunts the two people capable of helping her Mala and Landry.
Angie takes the reader on a ride that leaves you begging for mercy. There were times my stomach was in knots and I cried uncle. The story is paced well, and the twist at the end is unexpected.
Mala is great she's everything you'd expect from a heroine, she's strong calculated and she has heart. She's learned to be guarded because of she is and the rumors, but not to guarded where she doesn't let anyone in.
Jasmine I absolutely love, as a Southern girl I can identify with this mother(abuse, alcohol and prostitution aside) the flavor she brings jumps off the page. I personally would have loved to have seen more of her. She's one of those parents you'd pat on the head thinking if only she knew better. Love her.
Landry although gorgeous and sexy, I didn't find him to be too arrogant, which you'd expect. However I thought most of the time he fell a little flat. I needed more from him, a little more depth. I was happy that he didn't have that you know you want me attitude, and he wasn't afraid to be in love with her. This is what drew me to him.
Aunt Magnolia, Yeah baby bring it on. She's kick-a** and scary as hell, and it's because of her I can't wait for book 2. She's a rich 3 dimensional character that I believe will ooze drama, suspense, fear and excitement in the next installment.
Georgie...I don't know about him I'm still forming my opinion. Let's see what he brings to the table next...
What I loved
Angie drops you in the rich Creole cultural and holds you there until she's ready to release you. There is no doubt of the bayou and the dangers it brings, or the hatred that lingers at Mala's door. Not just from her being a descendant of a slave master, but from townie's who she thought where friends. Keep you friends close and your enemies closer, rings true in the pages of Dark Paradise.
My all time favorite things were saying's such as "liver lips" that brings back memories of my own childhood. I love the rich Southern feel this novel has. I also loved that Angie left us with a cliffhanger, but Dark Paradise is a complete story that didn't leave me frustrated at having to wait for the next installment. But eagerly anticipating it's arrival.
Dark Paradise is one I don't think you should sleep on. I rate this debut novel 5 kick-ass stars!!!
Kudoos Angie Sandro!!!
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