Sunday, May 26, 2019

Dark Paradise by Karina Halle

What does this say about me, I wonder, that this isn't the first book I've read where a woman gets sexually penetrated with a firearm? (The first was THE LAST INNOCENT HOUR, but the intent was meant to be disturbing - not kinky.) I'd say that I should reevaluate my reading choices, but we all know that I'm not going to do that. I may be a garbage can, but I'm self-aware.

DARK PARADISE is a short story that comes in the Dirty Angels bundle. Considering the graphic content of the main books, it feels kind of tone-deaf to have a fluffy short story about Esteban just tossed in there. I don't even like Esteban.

Lani is an artist who has come to Hawaii to find herself, because nothing says soul-searching like cultural tourism in the vein of EAT, PRAY, LOVE. *chokes* Sorry, acid feminism reflux. Anyway, instead of painting, she surfs and complains about her lack of inspiration. Her husband cheated on her with her best friend and she took this vacation without him. She's pretty miserable and has a lot of issues, only some of which seem to be external, and so one day, while surfing, she decides to take a page from Bella Swan's post-Edward diary in NEW MOON and try to off herself, only to be saved by a hot man who teaches her that she doesn't need cultural tourism to give her meaning and purpose in life; she can use magic peens (and also, apparently, guns).


DARK PARADISE was not a very good book, in my opinion. The sex scenes lacked the fire of the truly well done ones I know Halle is capable of writing, and the story itself was pretty dull. Also, the author kept repeating words. Esteban's skin was described as "gold" eleventy-billion times, and Lani keeps talking about "colors" and swirls of colors, just so you know she's an artist and she's deep. ON EVERY STREET at least brought some backstory to Ellie and Javier and served some purpose in establishing the motivations for the characters in The Artists and Dirty Angels. This seemed pointless.

1.5 out of 5 stars

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