Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: Dark Sacrifice (Dark Paradise #2) by Angie Sandro


Mala LaCroix sees dead people—really. After using her psychic gifts to catch a killer, she's locked in a psych ward and must strike a deal with the devil to secure her release. Apprenticed to a dark arts practitioner, Mala vows to free herself and save her loved ones from danger. But she doesn't know who to turn to when her crush on Landry Prince turns into something more serious.


Landry has sacrificed everything to protect Mala. A near-death experience changes him forever, and now he, too, possesses supernatural powers he doesn't understand. Mala and Landry must band together to defeat the dark forces—both human and otherworldly—who would use their abilities for evil. Even as they fall for each other, they must prepare to battle for their very souls . . . 


On Saturdays, the local farmers set up a market in Paradise Park. I plan to do my veggie shopping there since I didn’t get my garden planted this year. The streets bordering the park are packed. I’m lucky to find a spot in the parking lot of First National Bank kitty-corner from the Memorial Rose Garden. Colorful tents are lined up in orderly rows in the square. Each section is separated, with the organic foods in one row and regular folk who want to sell extra produce in the other. Local shops also set up booths selling everything from pastries, coffee and tea, handmade clothing and soaps, fresh eggs, organic meat, and toys and games. A freaktastic clown stands on the street corner with a tank of helium and a gaggle of kids around him. I’m tempted to buy Landry a balloon to cheer him up.
The passenger door slams shut as soon as I shut off the engine. Landry wastes no time coming around to open my door and lift me to the ground before I can squawk in protest. He strides off while I grab my cloth shopping bag, leaving me to stare after his retreating back in shock. When he’s halfway across the street, he pauses and turns around.
“This is your idea. Hurry,” he yells.
“I’m coming.” I shut the door and run to catch up. When I reach him, he moves around me until I’m on his blind side. He starts forward again, but slows his steps so they match mine. If I didn’t know him so well, I’d think he didn’t have a care in the world, but I do. He walks like he did in jail—shoulders back and tight, chest slightly raised. He scans the area, alert for a threat.
I take his hand, squeezing when he tries to pull away.
We blend into the crowd, strolling up and down the rows. It’s a mix of people of all ages. A few people say “hi.” Most don’t. A large percentage of them stare. I feel like I’m at the mercy of paparazzi.
“Smile and wave,” I mutter from the corner of my mouth, jabbing Landry in the side with my elbow.
“You’re acting like you’ve done something wrong, but you haven’t. Don’t let these fools see you sweat. Weakness breeds violence. Like a silverback gorilla in the jungle, you need to beat your chest and fling your poop at someone.”
His snort-laugh doubles him over, and I pat him on the back. “That’s perfect,” I say. “No worries.”
He turns and lifts me into a breath-stealing hug. “Thanks,” he whispers in my ear and presses a brotherly kiss to my forehead. Wish he’d move his lips a little lower. Would a few inches kill him?
My voice comes a little thick and raspy too, and I cough to clear my throat. “No problem.”
How long has he been standing here holding me? We have an even larger audience than before. Now we really are the object of paparazzi-like behavior as people snap pictures of our embrace with their phones. I wrap my arms around his neck and press my cheek against his. “Cheese,” I say, grinning for the cameras.
A couple of high school kids start to laugh.
One yells, “Give her another kiss, Landry.”
“Yeah, Landry. Give me a kiss.” I bat my eyelashes, whispering in his ear, “I swear if you drop me on my ass in public—”
I don’t have to finish the threat.
His mouth steals across mine.
I lean into him, head tilting. My arms tighten around his neck. His lips are soft and juicy, like peaches. Yum. My thoughts scatter and swirl, leaving only the sensation of his mouth on mine.
He breaks free first and lowers me to my feet. He avoids my gaze. “Did it work?” he asks, running his fingers through his black hair so it falls forward to shield his eye again. He shifts from his forward foot to his back which somehow puts distance between us without him having to move.
I laugh, playing off the hurt. “Yeah, we gave our fans a titillating bit of new gossip to take the place of the old. Rumors about our relationship will be flying through town before lunch.” I glance around to be sure. The crowd drifts away, realizing there’s nothing more to see. Even better, nobody hurls insults or throws dead animals at our heads. “Let’s go.”

I read my first Angie Sandro novel a while back, it was the first in the series and this is the second. After I read the first, I just couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. It had me completely entranced and I was hoping that this one would be the same. I mean, how often do you find yourself truly captivated by a book? For me, it isn't very often. 

Right off the bat, with Dark Sacrifice, I was thrilled. This novel starts off with a kick ass first paragraph and I just knew that I wouldn't be disappointed with this book! It really picks up right where Dark Paradise leaves you. It was almost as if I hadn't ever finished reading the first installment, that's how perfectly Dark Paradise picks back up. Now, with some series, you're able to jump around with the order but this one I think that you really need to start with the first one. So if everything you read about this sounds good, definitely go pick up the first one because you don't want to miss any of that magic. No pun intended. 

I think I'm pretty honest with my reviews, I don't usually hold anything back and because of this, I have something to say. I wasn't ten percent into this book and I wanted to chunk my Kindle out the window. Dude. I was pissed. This story takes a turn that really just ticked me off! I can't even describe how upset I was. Sooo angry. I actually put the book down for an entire day ... like I was punishing it or something, I guess. But then I had to pick it back up. I just had to know what happened after Angie Sandro totally wrecked my whole reading world. All of that being said, I totally respect Angie Sandro for pulling a Veronica Roth/Allegiant kind of author created torture. And spoiler alert, I wasn't nearly as pissed at the end of the book.

Yes, this book is worth reading. Yes, it's as good as the first. Well, almost. I was about 3/4 of the way through and I just started getting this weird ... vibe ... from the writing. It was almost as if it lost its fire or something. And this could totally be just me but it just felt different. I mean, it's obviously from the same author but it just felt different. I didn't get that umph the story had previously. It lost its steam. Anyhow, it's still a great book. The story line is fast paced and consistently entertaining. The characters are just as amazing as they were when you met them in Dark Paradise. 

When you start reading this one, make sure you buckle up because you're in for a crazy, wild ride!

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.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Julie, I just wanted to stop by to thank you for participating in the blitz and spreading the word about DARK SACRIFICE. I really appreciate your honest and heartfelt review. :) Thank you!