By Kira Saito
Genre: Paranormal YA
Sixteen year old Arelia LaRue lives in New Orleans where the music is loud, voodoo queens inhabit every street corner, and the ghosts are alive and well. Despite her surroundings, all she wants is to help her Grand-mere Bea pay the rent and save up for college.
When her best friend Sabrina convinces her to take a well-paying summer job at the infamous Darkwood plantation, owned by the wealthy LaPlante family, Arelia agrees.
However, at Darkwood strange things start to happen, and gorgeous Lucus LaPlante insists that he needs her help. Soon, the powers that Arelia has been denying all her life, come out to play and she discovers mysteries about herself that she could have never imagined.
It had to work. It just had to. After repeating the chant at least six times, it still didn’t work. “Fine you greedy spirits!” I yelled. It was clear that they wanted more blood. In a rage, I drew more blood, this time slashing my palm. I brought my dripping palm up to Ben’s neck and repeated the chant. After a few minutes, I felt a distinct energy. It was a force within me so incredibly strong that I was convinced that I was able to move a mountain if I wanted to or even get Sabrina to stop talking about boys.
“Arelia what are you doing?” Ben’s voice forced me to open my eyes.
“You’re strangling me.”
I realized my hands were gripped a bit too tightly around his neck. I unwrapped them to find that his wound had completely healed, and his fever was gone. “Ben, you’re okay!” I exclaimed. I gave him an enormous hug.
“Of course, I’m okay,” he said. “I’m just sleepy it was a long night. Tell the alligators and ghosts that I’ll see them tomorrow.” He closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
In my excitement, I leapt up, and by sheer impulse gave formerly-shirtless guy a hug. As my body touched his, I could smell him and felt my skin tingle.
Delicious chills overtook my body. He wasn’t wearing any cologne, but he smelt lovely. Warm and familiar mingled with a dash of sadness and danger. I caught myself clinging to him and took a step back in embarrassment. My moment of conquest had quickly passed, and I realized that I was standing next to a swamp, in front of a stranger in a corset and petticoat which basically translated to a bra and underwear. I was horrified.
Formerly-shirtless guy looked at me like the existence of Santa Claus had just been proven before taking off his jacket and wrapping it around me. “You must be cold,” he observed. “Your hand is bleeding.” He ripped a sleeve off of his shirt and covered my palm.
In my state of absolute exhilaration, I had failed to acknowledge the fact that the night had gotten a bit chilly. My entire body was covered in goose bumps, and my hand was leaking blood everywhere. “Why did you follow me?” I wrapped his jacket around me realizing that I was standing in the middle of nowhere with someone who could be a psychopathic, serial killer.
His lips broke out in an amused smile. “Do you think I’m stalking you?” He asked hovering over me. It really sucked being short sometimes. Standing at a measly five foot three inches made me feel as if I lived in a world full of giants. At this moment, formerly-shirtless guy looked like a giant even though he wasn’t freakishly tall or anything, maybe slightly over six feet.
“Well, how else can you explain being here?” I stated what I thought was the obvious. I tried to stand on my toes, hoping to make myself appear taller.
Kira is a magic junkie and loves writing YA paranormal romances. Some of her heroes include: Jack the Pumpkin King, Willy Wonka, Larry David, Princess Tiana, the vampire Lestat, Andy and her Maltese Costanza.
Review - 5x5
Wanna get sucked into a great story steeped in New Orleans voodoo and magic? This is the book for you then! Arelia is a down to earth girl who has been born and raised in New Orleans. She's raised by her Grandmother and they scrape by each month. Her BFF is uber rich but she doesn't accept handouts, that's not her style. When she goes to work for the summer at Darkwood plantation everything changes for her!
I love this story line, it submerges you into the world Kira has created. She creates the scenes beautifully and you feel as your roaming the halls of Darkwood. VooDoo Queens and curses play a role in this original tale. The characters are well written and although Arelia is spot on she does a couple of things that make you go... why? why would you do that?? but that just means you care! Lucas, well I fell for him and his charming, southerly gentleman ways. He is sexy, kind, and very romantic!
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