Review: Punished (Arelia LaRue, #2) by Kira Saito

Publishers: Self
Published Date:  March 3rd 2012
From: Author - to review
My rating: 5 out of 5
Down in New Orleans, Arelia Larue’s once ordinary life has quickly transformed into something truly extraordinary.

As her ability to communicate and work with Les Mysteries (spirits) grows, so does her attraction for Darkwood’s secretive owner Lucus LaPlante.

However, Arelia soon discovers that Darkwood’s shiny and seemingly extravagant exterior holds secrets that may put her very soul at risk.

In the intoxicating world of New Orleans voodoo/hoodoo, expect the unexpected.

Come along for the ride!
Its very rare that a second book of a series keeps me captivated as much as the first. Usually something gives in the wrong place or a character gets too cocky, but Punished held its own exactly as Bound did. Gorgeous writing, beautiful scenery, sumptuous food, shocking history and lots of wonderful romancing made this read highly enjoyable.

This book starts exactly as the previous book ends. Bound ended with Lucas, the hot mysterious guy opening his bedroom door. Punished begins with what happens next, and I was utterly hooked. Again! I dove straight back into the story, and felt like the characters were all old friends and exactly as I'd left them.

Punished is much darker than the first. The dark histories spiral outwards as Arelia understands her path as Voodoo Queen. She feels the confidence growing in her to call on the spirits, who are not all nice and friendly, and she acts without hesitation when they turn on her friends. Arelia as a character was still as great as I remembered and had room to grow in this book. She finally stands up to Sabrina, her jealous and selfish best friend though Sabrina surprises us in the end. Arelia also embraces her need for knowledge in regards to the lotions, oils, concoctions and tools needed to defeat the evil. Her feelings for Lucas grow immensely and while it should almost be a forbidden love, you can't help feeling finally glad that they've found each other.

This is much more than just a Paranormal YA book. Saito helps us learn more about the cruelty of the slave trade. We get to understand how these poor people suffered in terrible conditions and share their emotions as if they are real people. We also get to finally understand about Lucas and his nemesis. And how can I forget the food. Once again my mouth constantly watered when I read about the divine dishes served, and I really wished I was there to try them out!

The ending was a cliffhanger but in a good way. A culprit has been found, but what happens next...only book 3, Possessed, can tell us and it will be out soon!
You can reach Kira Saito here:
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  1. Thank you so much for the insightful review! I can't wait for you to read Possessed :)

    1. You're very welcome! I just love the setting, story and actually nearly everything about these books! I'd love to know when Possessed is ready for reading!

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