Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Rating: 3.5-4/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
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.
What I Liked
Dual POVs between Mala and Landry
Although there was more of Mala, Landry doesn’t falter behind her. Mala was really cool and so easy to like. I enjoyed the fact that she was obviously a fighter, but also kindhearted as well. She was witty and smart and really into solving crimes. She just had this spunky attitude that really drew me to her. Landry was kind of dark and brooding, but also sweet too. He really cared about his family, but sometimes judgements from them and others got the best of him. When he was clearly thinking, he was very protective and loving. I cannot deny that I fell for him along the way.
Witches, hoodoo, ghosts and spirits!
The paranormal elements of this book was definitely a favorite. It was the star of the book and got better and better along the way. The witchy powers in Mala’s family was explained thoroughly and while Mala wasn’t quite a believer, she was given the chance to respect and embrace it. The ghost haunting and visions were the mot creepiest and really gave me the heebie jeebies at how descriptive these parts were. There was blood, dead bodies, enraged spirits, dark magic, and possession. All of this kept me going and had me riveted.
Suspense and secrets and crime
There was a ton of suspense and moments where you might flinch or anticipate what was to come. I enjoyed Mala and Landry trying to uncover the truth about Lainey’s death even though most of the time they were getting themselves into a whole lot of trouble. When the secrets and cover up started coming out, it was unbelievable to me (and I mean this in a good way). I suspected a lot of characters but always had doubts and was shocked to find out the absolute truth. It was disgusting and appalling and god, I just wanted to break something or someone. It was awesome.
What I didn’t like
There is no love triangle I am telling you this now so you could all let out a breath or two. It was quite obvious that there will be a little something something between our two MCs and I was not feeling it. I liked their banter, their playful flirtations and sure, because I like kissing, their make out scenes were spicy. It should have stayed like this for now. I was not feeling their budding romance because Landry was just all over the place and the trust between the two was sketchy. So for me to really feel and believe they were in love despite the hatred and mistakes made..I don’t know.
The pacing and length
This is probably my main reason for my rating. The beginning really dragged on for me and when that happens, it becomes an effort to read. It did get better, but by the time I hit the half way point I had felt like I should have been done with the book already. This honestly is just a “feeling” that I could not push away. I was compelled to read the book because of all the things I mentioned above, but this part pulled me down.
Overall, I did like Dark Paradise. It was suspenseful, morbid, and amusing. I will definitely be reading the second book because I’m curious to see what happens with Mala next!
*Thanks to Forever Yours for sending a copy for review purposes in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my view of this book.