Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Release Day Review, Spotlight and Giveaway: Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro

Welcome to the release day blitz for Dark Paradise by Angel Sandro!

Below you will not only find my review but also a fabulous excerpt from the book and a great giveaway so be sure to check it all out!

Series: Book One in the Dark Paradise Series

Published By: Forever Yours (July 1, 2014)

Book Description:


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.

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.

Twitter: @AngieSandro


He looks down, and our eyes meet.

“Kiss me,” I blurt out.

“What?” His breathing quickens. “What did you say?

Oh, shit! I just propositioned him. Me, squeaky clean, cowardly Mala. Lack of oxygen must’ve given me brain damage. I take a shaky breath and straighten in his arms. “I said kiss me.” My voice cracks. “It’s okay. I won’t punch you or anything. You have my permission.”

“Your head’s not on straight.” Landry gazes off across the water … distant, cold. Oh, so sad, and it breaks my heart. All I want at this moment is to drink the pain in his eyes. Guzzle it down so it never fills him again. I know nothing’s forever. A momentary patch is about all the comfort I can give him, but maybe for now, it’s enough. For both of us.

“I know. I’m scared.” I take Landry’s face between my hands, holding tight when he tries to pull away. “Stop. Listen. Why do I have to keep dealing with the craziness of my life alone? I’m so tired … Why is it wrong to want to escape?”

My trembling fingers lightly trace the curve of his jaw. I never in a million years thought I could be so bold. I’ve always protected my heart because I feared it would get squished. Being afraid hasn’t gotten me anywhere but alone. “I like you, Landry. And … and I think you like me. At least a little bit, right? You make me feel safe … alive. Maybe … maybe I can make you feel the same way.”

His eyes, thick, black lashes outlining luminous silver, close as I trace my fingers across his eyelids. I press my lips to the angled plane of his cheekbone in a gentle kiss. His skin tastes salty from sweat and smells of grass. Rich and pungent. Intoxicating. His stomach muscles tighten against mine, but he doesn’t move. I kiss the other cheek, then tilt his head toward mine and brush my lips across his, so lightly that it’s more a mingling of breath.

My tongue caresses his lips. I taste him in small nibbles, and then, feeling bold, I pull his plump bottom lip between my teeth, gently teasing him until he finally responds.

Impatient, he threads his fingers into my hair so I can’t pull away. His tongue flicks against mine as I open my mouth to his, deepening the connection between us. I’ve heard about French kisses, in high school the girls giggled about them and rated the boys according to skill, but until now, I’ve never liked a guy enough to want his tongue in my mouth. Landry rated pretty high on the Awesome Kisser scale. Now I understand why.

The rush of excitement chases away any lingering fear. At some point, he stretches out on the ground, and I lay on top of him. My hands caress his wide shoulders and rise to tangle in his silky hair. I rub against his chest, wishing our clothing didn’t separate us. I want to feel the softness of his skin against mine. I want to trace the tempting dimple in the small of his back and lick the faded scar to the left of his belly button.

Yeah, I totally peeked when he did his striptease in the boat. I may be the queen of denial, but I couldn’t deny myself the sculpted beauty of Landry Prince in all his glory. I pull my mouth free of his lips and slide down the hard length of his body. He sucks in a breath, stomach tightening when I run trembling hands up his chest, lifting his T-shirt to give me access to that scar. I trace my tongue around it a swirl of motion, like licking an ice cream cone. He tastes ten times better than chocolate—maybe like chocolate and caramel with marshmallow chunks—all gooey and melty in my mouth. So tasty that I want to lap him up. But I bite him instead.

Satisfaction throbs at his growl. The soft bit of flesh between my teeth almost sends me over the edge. I’m so hot … burning up inside.

I release him, licking the soft indentations in his skin.

“Mala,” he moans, quivering when I pin his reaching hands to the ground. I give him a wicked grin, then lower my head. I steadily work my way up his chest, biting and licking until I reach his pecs. I run my tongue around his left nipple, then blow across the hard nub. His hips shift, a slight jerk upward. His erection presses against the fabric of his jeans. Is it uncomfortable?

I bite my lip, scared at the bold nature of my thoughts. It’s like years of repressed sexuality screams to be set free. Too many romance novels have given me a working knowledge of what goes on. I can fake it until I make it, but I’ve got to decide right now how far I want to go. Soon I’ll be too far gone. My body decides for me.

I love when a story, when an author, can take me by surprise. When the unexpected turns into something wonderful dark and rich. 

When the bayou shows it's true colors. The horrors of the unknown and the magic of the whatifs. 

This is a debut novel for Sandro and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed with it. This isn't your typical YA paranormal mystery read. It is dark and gritty and completely messes with your mind. It has a pretty fast paced plot as well as one heck of a tangled romance in it, that while isn't the main focus of the story, does have a spot light without taking over the rest of the plot.

I absolutely loved the rich atmosphere that Sandro created as we feel the darkness of the bayou and a town filled with traditions and old ways as well as superstition and hate of the unknown.

Mala was instantly relatable and likable and I loved her right away. She is a rough and tough kind of girl that doesn't let anyone or anything get her down. She hasn't had an easy life but she fights for all that she does have and all that she wants to be. 

This novel was wonderful done and managed to not only capture my full attention but hold onto it until the very last page. I was completely enthralled with the story and didn't want it to end.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi, I just wanted to drop by and thank you for hosting my release day blitz on your blog and for your wonderful review. It means a lot to me. I hope you have a wonderful day. :)

    1. Of course! Thanks for stopping by Angie. :)

  2. This one sounds REALLY good! I love the cover and I love that it takes place in the south. I'll have to remember this one for sure!

  3. Did I just hear you shout, "Challenge Successful"? I guess another book goes on the TBR mountain. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

  4. Dead bodies, witches, bayou? Sounds like fun!

    Um, I read a lot of sexy books, but somehow I wasn't expecting the excerpt to feature erections or so much...licking, so thanks for the laugh this morning, hah.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. LOL! It might be hard to believe but this really is a mild read, not dirty at all!

  5. Loved this one as well except for Landry.

  6. ooo this is a YA!! Didn't realize that, interesting. Curious now

    1. Well it is actually probably a NA since they are over 18.

  7. There are tons of YA paranormal, so it's always great to find one that stands apart. Great review!

  8. I recently read a review for this on Jenea's blog and I like the sound of the setting and the storyline. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. This sounds wonderful from the setting to the dark and gritty. I want this one Ali :)

  10. I love this cover :). Cannot wait to read it :)

  11. "It’s okay. I won’t punch you or anything. You have my permission."

    Do you know how often I have to tell guys this? lol. This sounds good, and I love the bayou setting.