A Darker Past

A Darker Past

by Jus Accardo

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Overview

The past is Darker than they thought…

Between helping her mother with the Darker Agency and laying the smack down on monster baddies, Jessie Darker puts the "normal" in paranormal. But lately, things have gotten a little crazy…even for a smart-assed half-demon teenage girl.

For starters, Jessie's been contracted into fifty-five years of annoying servitude. To a demon. Then there's Lukas Scott, her sexy new boyfriend. Once the former incarnation of Wrath, he's been going through some…uh, changes. Like residual anger. And trading chaste hangouts for lusty make-out sessions.

But it's when Lukas and Jessie accidentally release a Very Nasty Demon that things get really bad, setting into motion a chain of death and mayhem that threatens both Earth and the Shadow Realm. Jessie has exactly four days to fix it…before all of Hell breaks loose.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622664726
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 11/11/2014
Series: Darker Agency Series , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing. Jus is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Read an Excerpt

A Darker Past

The Darker Agency


By Jus Accardo, Robin Haseltine, Liz Pelletier

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Jus Accardo
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-472-6


CHAPTER 1

There were terrors on this earth the likes of which some people would never comprehend. Foul, dark things with the ability to snatch you up and gobble you down before you could say hell in a hailstorm. I knew, because I'd seen a few firsthand. Demons, ghosts, monsters straight from the pages of Grimm's Fairy Tales—the original one. Yep. They were all real.

But, to put things in perspective, the Tooth Fairy? Not so real. At least I hoped not. The idea of some tutu-wearing weirdo with a molar fetish skulking in the dark corner of kids' bedrooms gave new meaning to the word ick.

How did I know all this? My mom owned and operated the Darker Agency. A detective agency dealing in the staples. Missing loved ones, cheating spouses, child support dodgers ... But our real specialty wasn't the typical Monday through Friday sludge. Our real specialty put us neck deep in things that were just a bit ... darker.

If your family pet suddenly went bonkers, snarling and snapping with an extra row of razor sharp teeth and green acid drool, you'd probably want to give us a call. Or maybe your recently deceased husband planted himself in the deep end of your luxury in-ground swimming pool and refused to move on. Yep. That'd be us, too. We did it all. Everything that scurried in the dark, making up the long list of nightmare creatures straight from hell. Things plucked right from the brain of a first grader searching for the monster under his bed.

My own personal version of hell—aside from zombies and Seth Rogan movies? Math.

Mr. Fritz droned on at the front of the class about triangles and percentages as my best friend Kendra slipped me a small piece of white folded paper. I took it, even though I had no desire to answer the question I knew was scrawled out in elegant cursive, complete with letters dotted in tiny hearts.

Well? I'm dying here. Need details.

Kendra lived her love life vicariously through me. Kind of hysterical if you thought about it. She'd had six boyfriends since second grade. I was on my first. I sighed and scribbled back, No details. Watched a movie. Went home, then refolded the paper and slipped it back beneath my desk.

She enthusiastically unfolded the note, then frowned. It was exactly the reaction I'd expected. Kind of a sour face. Like she'd been sucking on cloves. After a quick peek at Mr. Fritz, who was still obliviously spamming the room with his opinion that math was the single most important subject in the curriculum, she responded.

Why!?!?!?

This one was easy. Because my boyfriend was born in the eighteen hundreds ...

Lukas Scott, my eighteen-going-on-one-hundred-and-forty-eight-year-old boyfriend. Born in Penance, New York in the year 1864, Lukas had the misfortune of getting shackled to a crazy girl named Meredith Wells by his family in order to further their financial standing. When he caught his would-be bride tramping it up, he did what any rational guy would do.

He threatened to narc.

The problem? Meredith was a witch. Not the fresh-faced, swathed-in-pink taffeta-and-glitter kind, either. She was seven different flavors of crazy, double dipped in an assortment of nuts. With the help of a tricky demon, she cursed Lukas to spend eternity fused with Wrath, one of the Seven Deadly Sins. He'd spent decades locked in an ancient box with the other sins until someone—cough-cough-Meredith-cough-cough—tricked Damien, my dad, into opening the box.

I glared at the note, then, before handing it back, added, I'm fine with the pace of things. Which was mostly true. Before I met Lukas, my unbreakable policy was to avoid dating. I treated it as though it were white chocolate—possibly the most vile and gross thing known to man next to demon dog drool—and stayed far away. A little unusual for a seventeen-year-old girl, yeah, but I had good reason. My entire life, I'd watched my parents suffer for love. Mom, a human, and Dad, a demon, were forced to live apart due to factors beyond their control. Then I met Lukas and my resolve crumbled like over dried mud in the summer sun. It was fine, though. It all worked out. For my parents, too. They were finally getting their shot at happy, and I was over my boyfriend fear.

Would I have liked a little more kissy time? One look at Lukas and anyone would know the answer to that. With dark hair and liquid chocolate eyes, he was tall with strong arms and a killer smile. Equal parts chivalry and danger. It was no wonder I turned to goo whenever he came near. Unfortunately, he came from a period in time where, in polite society, men's hands never roamed past the wrist and naked shoulders were equal to soft-core porn. That's not to say he didn't cave once in a while. I was a bad influence on his resolve, he told me.

I kind of loved that.

Kendra took the paper from me, opened it, and frowned again. If she wasn't careful, her face would freeze like that. Really. I'd seen it happen. Of course, there'd been a gypsy curse involved, but still ...

"You're impossible," she mouthed.

I hadn't noticed him come over, but when I looked up, Mr. Fritz was standing over us. He looked from Kendra to me, gaze boring into mine. "And I must know, Jessie Darker." Huh. It was true what they said. His left eyebrow was just a little bushier than the right. "What is so enthralling that it surpasses the knowledge I'm trying to impart?" He held out his hands, giving his fingers a slight wiggle. Craps. He wanted the note.

Kendra glanced at me and biting down on her bottom lip, handed the slip of paper to Fritz. A weird smell filled the air. I held my breath as he unfolded it and the rest of the class waited, knowing he would read it out loud. Just last week he'd read a note Amy David passed to her bff, explaining in great detail what she and Tommy Moore did in his basement the previous evening. But Fritz didn't say a word. He grunted and tossed the paper back onto Kendra's desk before continuing on with the lesson.

"What the hell?" I mouthed as soon as he got to the front of the room.

With a wicked grin, Kendra held up the paper with a proud little wave for me to see. It was blank.

She was a witch. The daughter of Cassidy Belfair, leader of the New York Coven. Until recently, Kendra had major issues with her spell casting. It usually wielded unpredictable and often humiliating effects. The poor girl had cursed herself with a pair of horns at one point while trying to fix the horn in her car. But she was practicing hard and getting better every day. The horns were gone, and she hadn't turned anyone into a snake in over a month. That was major progress!

"I've got this awesome one to try on Mom tonight, too. It's a Liar's Bane," she whispered, beaming. "Makes it impossible for the person to tell a lie."

"Nice," I mouthed and turned to check the clock above the door. But the clock wasn't there. Well, it was, but something was obstructing my view. A pair of Caribbean blue peepers and a mop of blond, unruly hair. "Ahhh!"

All heads swiveled in my direction. "Is there a problem, Miss Darker?" Fritz asked, annoyed.

My eyes went from the grinning demon in my face to the unhappy math teacher at the front of the room. I did my best not to cringe, and said, "Um, sorry. I thought I saw a spider."

There was a chorus of soft snickers as Fritz shook his head. Kendra looked at me funny, but I waved her off and turned my attention back to the uninvited—and unwanted—visitor. No one could see him except me.

Lucky them.

Valefar leaned back and kicked up his feet in the empty desk next to mine. I hated the demon, but you had to admit he had a certain kind of presence. Being a bigwig in the Shadow Realm—AKA, Hell—could do that. He batted his eyes and clutched his chest in mock dismay. "Do I get the impression that you're not happy to see me?"

I scowled in silence, hoping it conveyed hell yes, because honestly? I was never happy to see him. I was indebted to him, which translated into a multitude of unwanted and ill-timed visits. He'd made a habit of popping up at the most inconvenient times. I was convinced it was for no other reason than to annoy me. You'd think someone like him would have more important things to do than test the mental stability of a teenager. Governments to overthrow. Babies to steal. Mattress tags to rip off.

He tsked and tapped the side of his face, still grinning. "What's the matter? Demon got your tongue?" Sliding from the seat, he did a little twirl and landed on my desk. My pen rolled to the edge and went over. "It's okay. You can chat me up, Sugar Plum. They can't hear you."

"What are you doing here?" I rasped, worried someone would hear me. They didn't, though. Fritz was once again absorbed in his own lecture, while the rest of the class did their best to pass the time until the bell. "Didn't we go over the whole personal space thing a few days ago?"

In order to save my parents from a madwoman, I'd been forced to ask Valefar, my dad's boss at the time, for help by making a deal. Our arrangement freed my parents, but ultimately enslaved me. I'd agreed to work for him for the next fifty-five years. I had no idea how the whole thing was going to work in the long run. Did he expect me to go running around, tracking people down with a walker? Maybe use my dentures of death?

He cocked his head to the side and sighed. "I seem to recall telling you that you had no personal space. I own you. Remember?"

Remember? I'd been trying to forget. He'd caught me coming out of the shower a few nights ago. I'd kept that one to myself. Pretty sure Dad would blow a demonic gasket if he found out someone of the male persuasion—Hell spawn, or otherwise—was having shower visitation time with his little girl. And telling Lukas? Well, let's just say you don't go pissing off the ex-incarnation of Wrath without a really good reason. The guy still had serious anger management issues. In fact, lately it seemed to be getting worse.

I sighed. There was no point in arguing with him. I always lost. "Did you want something specific?"

"Your time in the kiddie pool is over." He waggled his eyebrows and a delighted grin spread across his lips. Sometimes it was tough to reconcile with the idea that Valefar was a powerful demon. He came across more like an irritating college guy from some obscure motorcycle frat. Always dressed in black from head to toe, with longish blond hair, sexy smile, and black chain band on his left wrist, he looked like he belonged on the set of Sons of Anarchy. "It's time to get those darling little digits dirty."

I knew this would be coming. It was already the end of January, and since our arrangement in October, he hadn't made me do much of anything. I checked up on a person here and there, and last week he'd tasked me with delivering a package to another demon's earth-bound office, but nothing that could be considered unpleasant. Annoying and inconvenient as hell, but nothing to lose sleep over. Still, we'd made a deal, and there was no way out. I was up a demonic creek without any fairy dust.

I stole a peek at the front of the class. Fritz was tapping the blackboard with a wedge of chalk and stomping his feet over the lack of participation in the room. The poor guy was likely to have a heart attack by the end of the school year if he didn't calm down a little. "What do I have to do?"

Enthusiastically, he snapped his fingers. A small slip of blue paper appeared. "This account has come due. I need you to collect."

"And by collect, I'm betting you don't mean newspaper money." I took the paper from him. "Fred Swain," I read aloud. Then I saw the address beneath his name. Sacramento. As in, California. "Are you nuts? I can't go from New York to California. Definitely not on a school night."

He hopped off the desk and whirled on me, lips twisted in fury. His brows furrowed, and he clenched his jaw to the point I was sure he'd break a tooth. Valefar might move like a human. He might crack jokes and give me ridiculous food-based nicknames. But he was a demon. A dangerous, ill-tempered, sneaky-with-his-own-agenda demon. He got off on intimidation as much as he did on making deals.

Every muscle in my body screamed for me to slip from the chair and scurry to the back of the room where I could hide in the closet, but that's exactly what he wanted. "Let me give you a friendly little reminder, Cookie. If I tell you to burrow deep and dig for China wearing a top hat and Santa Claus costume, that's what you do. We crystal?"

I nodded, mouth as dry as the desert.

Satisfied that I'd been properly cowed, Valefar flicked his hand to the left and flashed an impish grin. His moods were like the freaking wind. Brutal and devastating as a natural disaster one second, then calm and peaceful the next. It was enough to give a girl whiplash. "Besides, what's the big deal? You're a Shadow demon. Public transportation is for chumps."

Huh. I'd never really given much thought to it, but he had a point. Most human-demon hybrid kids—okay, all of them until I came along as far as we knew—didn't inherit any demonic abilities. Sure, we were a little tougher to take down than your average human, but that was the extent of our flash. Except in my case, Dad's ability to shadow—travel from one place to another instantly by simply blending into the darkness—had somehow gotten passed down to me.

Mom had been doing a lot of research, trying to find an answer, but had come up with zilch. We were no closer to understanding why I'd inherited the demon gene than we were three months ago. I still didn't know whether it was a blessing or a curse.

One of the most important things I'd learned, though, is when things that shouldn't happen do happen, the demon shit eventually hits the fan.

The few times I'd shadowed, aside from traveling to the Shadow Realm and back, had been mostly an accident. I hadn't made a habit of using the ability because, the pathetic truth was, the whole thing scared me. It felt strange, yeah, but also good. Right. Right in a way that was kind of crazy and unhinged. I'd been meaning to have a sit-down with Dad about it—if there was anyone who could give me the rundown, it'd be him—but I hadn't wanted to take up any of his free time. He and Mom spent so many years apart because of his demonic status. Now that they'd finally gotten each other, I didn't want to get in the way.

"When do I have to go?"

"I'd prefer you got it taken care of now." He winked. "And by prefer, I mean insist."

CHAPTER 2

Before he left the classroom, Valefar gave me Fred's crystal. When you made a deal with a demon, they took a strand of your hair and crystallized it. While it made an awesome piece of New Age jewelry, that stupid little rock had an epic downside. It was like a demonic LoJack system. With it, the demon, or in this case, the demon's butt monkey—AKA, me—could find you anywhere. My instructions were to transport Swain to the Shadow Realm to settle up his account.

As soon as the bell rang, I slipped into the girl's restroom at the far end of the Math wing and shadowed into Fred Swain's apartment, touching down in a closet. If there was a trick to landing, I was going to have to figure it out. This time it was a closet. Next time, it could be worse. What if Val sent me to collect on some poor shmuck that lived on a boat? Shadowing into the middle of the ocean didn't sound like my idea of a good time—especially since my swimming expertise capped out at the doggie paddle. Becoming shark chow would put a cramp in my newly found love life.

I'd never been to California before. This wasn't how I pictured my first trip out West, either. Kendra and I had talked about a road trip for senior year spring break, but both her mom and mine shot that down before we could even pitch the entire plan. Go figure. I was allowed to face down evil in all its chomptastic forms, but forbidden to leave home for a week of normal partying without parental supervision. Where the hell was the balance in that? I made a mental note to bring it up next time Mom got on one of her normal life kicks.

I stepped from the closet, trying not to disturb anything. Val had given me instructions on how to collect Fred's soul. You'd think a process like that would be complicated, but the way the demon described it, the whole thing was scary simple. All I had to do was touch him and shadow us to the Shadow Realm. Wham, bam, enjoy eternity in Hell, ma'am.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Darker Past by Jus Accardo, Robin Haseltine, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2014 Jus Accardo. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Darker Past (Entangled Teen) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
BooksbyNightMommybyDay More than 1 year ago
**I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review** 3 stars!                                Teenage Jessie Darker doesn’t have the typical high school problems of crushes and frienemies…no her problems are much darker, and more sc-fi than that, especially seeing as she is a half-demon.  Her family has owned the Darker Agency since her great-grandfather – exercising ghosts, hunting down cheating spouses, and keeping the town of Penance safe for generations.   And to make matters worse, since saving her parents, she committed to a fifty-five year to the demon Valefar.  Of course, things are all bad, with her hottie new boyfriend, Lukas Scott, who was recently liberated from Wrath in tow, Jessie’s life is really heating up. With her father back in her life, Jessie tries to feel like a normal teenager, but she knows with her family history of being a half-demon Darker, the chances are slim to none of that happening.  Giving that she has inherited her father’s shadowing ability (being able to pop in and out of any shadow, even halfway across the world when necessary), it comes in handy when she’s out “Monster-Mashing”, or tracking down stray demons with her mom.   But when Jessie and Lukas sneak into the Town Hall to retrieve some Darker family items and they inadvertently set an elementary demon loose that is looking for some vengeance from, wouldn’t you know it – the Darker family, as well as the Belfair family of witches (which also happens to be the family of Jessie’s best friend Kendra).  He swears his vengeance and begins with killing several of the Belfair coven.  So not only does Jessie have a crazy demon active seeking out ways to hurt her and her family, but there’s the demon she is tied to for the next 55 years constantly popping in to call her in for “jobs”, as well as her part demon boyfriend that is fighting his urges that accompany his transformation from Wrath to demon…yup, all in a day’s work for Jessie Darker!  But can she find a way to make it all work this time – or will she be brought down once and for all? While I liked this story – it was light, not scary, while still being an intriguing story; I had a really hard time connecting with Jessie, her family, etc.  For me, the best part was finding out about the mystery of Lorna Belfair (won’t give any spoilers, but she was involved in trapping the demon, Gressil, in the mirror in the first place, along with one of Jessie’s relatives, Charles) and what really became of her.  It had action, as well as a little romance, but I just had a hard time getting into the story.  This is probably a great book for teens/ tweens that enjoy stories about the supernatural, just not really my cup of tea.
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
A thrilling and thoroughly entertaining YA paranormal romance, A Darker Past was a wonderful sequel that I really enjoyed. I thought it was a lovely read. Jessie was great. Clever and feisty, she definitely livened up the pages. Lukas was wonderful as well. Sweet and determined to be a better person, even with the effects of Wrath still lingering. I thought they were both as likable as ever. The romance was lovely. Jessie and Lukas still had some obstacles to overcome, particularly with the changes going on with Lukas, but what made them a great couple was that they knew how to work through them. Despite everything, they were always sure of their feelings for each other. I thought they were great together. The plot moved quickly and had me hooked the entire way through. There were plenty of thrills along the way, and a few surprises in store. I really enjoyed the story and the ending had me curious about what will happen next. A Darker Past was a wonderful YA paranormal romance that I really liked. It was a lovely sequel that definitely won't disappoint, though there was enough explanation that it could be read as a standalone. YA lovers, this is a book worth checking out. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Falln2books More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored Darker Days, and I had been looking forward to the sequel for some time. A Darker Past did not disappoint. Accardo's lovely and captivating writing combined with Jessie's sense of humor and Lukas' depth made for a terrific novel. Everything I loved about the first book was present in the second installment as well. I can't wait to see what's in store for Jessie and company next! The characters in these books really make the stories what they are. Each character has depth and is extremely unique. I absolutely love Valefar. I know he's supposed to be a horrific demon, but he just cracks me up. Lukas' adjustment to the 21st Century is also endearing and funny. Jessie's sarcasm makes me love her, and Kendra's flirty nature is a nice offset to Jessie, who had sworn off boys until she met Lukas. I also enjoy reading about Jessie's parents. Her demon father and human mother make for an interesting couple. I'm so glad that the parents aren't conveniently MIA for the novel and that Accardo has included them in the story. Jessie and Lukas both evolve over the course of this novel, and every change felt organic. It seems as if Accardo lets the characters tell their own stories instead of manipulating them to fit her plot. I really love books like that. The plot itself is packed full of suspense, not only because of Lukas' changes (showing a darkness that his character lacked in the first installment), but also because of the fact that they have four days to fix their mistake before they have apocalyptic repercussions. Between my interest in the characters and the suspense of this novel, I was flying through the pages. However, Accardo's exquisite world-building can't be ignored. I really love she gives us more history about the Darkers and Belfairs and talks about the ancestry in this novel. I'm a big history dork, so seeing more history made me understand the world that much more. Also, the author paints vivid pictures of both Hell and the Earth-bound settings. My only complaint about this novel is the ending, which I felt was a little bit too clean cut. I'm still looking forward to the next installment, though! If you're looking for a lighthearted, fast-paced read, look no farther than this series. It's a great escape from your everyday life, and Accardo is a fantastic author.
Sophie_Valencia More than 1 year ago
Recommended for YA Paranormal newbies (like me) I admit, I'm a little wary of YA fiction since it's been a couple of, ahem, decades since I've read a YA book from front to back. And YA paranormal? Well, let's say that I almost never voluntarily read anything paranormal. But after reading A Darker Past, I definitely need to reconsider YA paranormal stories. If I had to pick one thing that I really enjoyed about Jessie, the main character, it would be that she has so many, fully-developed dimensions -- daughter, friend, girlfriend, awesome paranormal investigator. This is a credit to the writing of Ms. Accardo. All of it was pretty seamless. It didn't feel as if Ms. Accardo was telling Jessie's story in a lock-step manner, like "in this chapter, I'm going to show Jessie as a girlfriend, and this chapter I'm going to show Jessie as a daughter." Rather, the story felt like Jessie was revealing an aspect of herself little by little with each page so that readers were right with her, as opposed to observing her from afar. Paranormal activities aside, this book tackled the universal themes that are present in every great story -- friendship, family bonds, young love, and self-discovery. I really enjoyed this book because these themes, as explored from Jessie's teenage point of view, were heightened and felt more acutely. For example, as love develops, it can cause tension between friendship or family bonds. Loyalty to one's family can sometimes stifle self-development and self-discovery. It was a throwback to the best -- and sometimes not-so-great -- parts of my own teenage past (minus the demons, of course). Overall, this was a great book that I would recommend for YA paranormal newbies (like me). It's difficult to covert someone like me, who has avoided YA paranormal for years. At this point, the highest complement that I can give to a YA book is, "Yeah, I'll read another one." So, my verdict on this book? I'm looking forward to the next Darker book and have placed Book 1 in the series on my "To-Read" list. Reviewer's Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and errors are my own. This review is an excerpt of the review on my book blog.
love2dazzle More than 1 year ago
"A Darker Past" by Jus Accardo is the second novel installment in the "Darker Agency" series. The main character Jessie is just as snarky as the first novel. I am glad that she is back and here to protect her family and friends. Jessie is not your everyday teenage girl. She is part demon and has a contract with a demon to basically do his bidding. Valefar is his name and he seems to want Jessie at the most inconvenient times. Valefar comes across has being a scary but interesting character. Jessie has to serve Velafor for 55 years. Life is never a dull moment for Jessie. When she and Lukas accidentally break a mirror that imprisoned a nasty demon who hates the Darker family; the demon promises to rain down all the evil in the world down on them if he doesn't get what he wants in 4 days. Now Jessie and Lukas are on a mission to figure out who this demon is and what he wants. With this new demon being on the loose, Jessie has to dive into the past of the Darker family. It was really enjoyable getting to know Jessie's parents a little better in "A Darker Past." It is really nice to see Damien actually being a dad. How Accardo dies into the entire families past is really enjoyable and I feel like the reader gets to learn a lot of good information. This book is written really well and it definitely gets the reader's attention right away and keeps them hooked. I believe this shows that Accardo is a great writer. I am anxious to know what is going to happen next in the story. Accardo made it extremely easy to step right into Jessie's world and life again. I don't feel like I missed anything from last time and I was able to connect into this world again. If you are interested in the paranormal fantasy world then this is a great series to kick off with.
Bookworm_Babblings More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. A Darker Past is book two in The Darker Agency series.  Seventeen year old, Jessie Darker has an interesting life.  By day, she's your typical high school senior with her best friend, Kendra. But in her off hours, she works alongside her mother, father(a demon), and boyfriend Lukas in an investigative agency.  While recovering some special Darker trinkets before they are in the public, Jessie angers a ghost that in turn damages a mirror that was keeping a demon trapped. Now they must race against time to uncover the secret to recapturing him.  Will they be able to piece the puzzle together? Is the rumors about the Belfair magic true? This was a really great book with lots of action and never a dull moment. I loved how Kendra stood up for her friend to her mother.  The characters each had their own unique personalities and they complimented one another.  The descriptions of the Shadow Realm is very imaginative, you can easily visualize the image in your mind's eye.  The growth of Jessie gradually progresses as she soon realizes what is really important to her. I can't wait for book three too see what other trouble Jessie and Kendra get into.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars 'A Darker Past' is the exhilarating and fun second book in a young adult paranormal series. It continues to follow our leading lady - Jessie Darker - as she spends her time helping her mom with the family detective agency (which deals mostly with the strange or supernatural), spending time with her boyfriend Lukas (fresh out of entrapment in a small box for over 100 years and now turning into a demon), and running errands for Velafor - the demon she has to serve for the next fifty-five years. These daily occurrences are natural for Jessie and she's getting into kicking some real monster butt, along with managing her first relationship, when everything hits the proverbial fan. Jessie and Lukas accidentally break a mirror that was imprisoning a nasty demon who hates the entire Darker clan - and promises to rain down all sorts of hell if he doesn't get what he wants within four days. No pressure or anything. Now Jessie and Lukas have to figure out just who this demon is and exactly what it is he wants - before it's too late. I absolutely adored the first book in this series and waited anxiously for this installment to release so I could see what Jessie would get into next. I had high hopes for the book considering how much I loved the first one - and I'm happy to say that it went above and beyond anything I could have wished for. It was just as fast-paced and exciting as the first, if not more so. Jessie continues to be an awesome main character. She's one of my favorite heroines actually, mostly due to her various personality traits. She's half-human and half-demon and (for some unknown reason) she inherited some of her father's demon abilities. When it comes to personality, Jessie has it in spades. She's witty, sarcastic, smart, devoted to her friends and family, and determined to kick some monster butt. On the other hand, she does have some bad traits - she can be incredibly pushy and stubborn with a habit of not letting things go. Which usually lands her in trouble of some kind. The book is told from Jessie's point of view, so the reader gets to know her on a really intimate level - more so than any other type of writing style. Because of this, we get to hear her snarky and hilarious inner dialogue (I found myself snickering a lot throughout the book) but we also get to see the hidden things about her - the hopes, fears, and doubts that she tries to hide from those around her. I loved getting to know Jessie even better in this book, along with watching her character continue to grow and mature in different ways - both normal human ways and part demon paranormal ways. I also loved watching Jessie's relationship with Lukas grow. I think the romance was the perfect amount - not too much to overrun the main story line, but enough to satisfy our demanding romantic hearts. The plot was intense and full of almost non-stop action. It seems as if Jessie can't go five minutes without something happening - whether it's her fault or not - paranormal or not. She's like a magnet for these types of things. I loved getting to know more about the history of the Darker family along with the mythology involved in the series (with all the demons and their backgrounds and other details). I hope we continue to learn more about all of these things in the next book too. I believe it adds a depth to the series that helps to set it apart from others in the genre. Underneath all the paranormal bad guys and the magical problems, the book deals with some heavy topics that you don't really catch while reading it - probably because you're so wrapped up in the story. It talks about family - both good things and problems - relationships and love, friendship, determination, and not giving up. It adds a solid layer of deeper issues underneath all the fun and scary moments. The writing was phenomenal, as usual. I was immediately drawn back into Jessie's world from the first few sentences - and I didn't come back up for air until I finished reading the entire book; which happened to be only a few hours in one sitting. The tone was so conversational and it had such an easy flow that I lost myself and the time within the pages, and before I knew it - I had finished it. I seriously can't even begin to tell you how much I love this book and the entire series. It's got something for everyone - paranormal, fantasy, monsters, romance, action, adventure, humor, etc. I very highly recommend this book to everyone - especially fans of YA paranormal and fantasy fiction as well as those looking for a fun and original twist on the usual paranormal books out there. If you haven't read this series yet - do it now. I promise you won't regret it! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Booksalamode More than 1 year ago
I didn't read the first book in the series and you don't have to. I wish I did so I could know Jess character better.   Jess was very witty making her character very interesting.  "Hell in a Hail storm." She said it so often and made me Laugh each time .  There was a plot twist. Plot twist make the story more interesting.  If you like Demons and magic you will like this book.    Character were fun to read about. and the plot was fast paced.I would give this book 31/2/5  stars. 
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Even though I hadn't read the first book in this series, this book just places you in the action from the very first page. The background information from the earlier book is provided where it is relevant to this book, making it easy to get on and enjoy this one without necessarily having read the first one (I can vouch for that as I haven't read the first one yet!) The central character to this is school girl, half shadow demon, Jessie has agreed to essentially be enslaved to the 'bigwig' demon from the shadow world, Valefar - not just for a day but for fifty-five years to save her parents from a madwoman. Now he wants to get her working and life is going to get interesting for her yet again! What with Valefar and her 'eighteen-going on one hundred and forty eight year old boyfirend' Lukas Scott life is certainly not that of your typical seventeen year old but then again, she's anything but typical! The story is fast paced with a thread of humour as well as horror running through it. Jessie's best friend Kendra is one of the Belfair witches and their families have a long and tangled history. Will they work together now and in future or will the past interfere? Can Jessie work with her family and friends to save the world from the new demon that threatens now? Well you'll just have to read the book to find out! A lively, thoroughly enjoyable book I have no hesitation in recommending! I'll certainly be looking out for the first book in the series and the sequels when they are published! Thanks to the author and publishers for enabling me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for this honest review.