Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Snow on the Bayou (Tante Lulu Adventure #1) by Sandra Hill



Joining the Navy was the second best thing that ever happened to Justin "Cage" LeBlanc, the rebel son of a no-account convict. The first was Emelie Gaudet, the love of his life . . . until he was forced to leave town and swore there would be snow on the bayou before he ever returned. Now, only his mortally ill grandma can bring the injured Navy SEAL back to Terrebone Parrish, where he must face his past-and Emelie, who's even more beautiful than she was all those years ago.

Bourbon Street blues singer Emelie is once bitten, twice shy. When she learns that Justin is back in town, she wants nothing to do with the once wild Cajun teenager who fled with the law on his tail-and broke her heart. But she can't deny the red-hot attraction between them . . . or his efforts to prove he's finally changed his hell-raising ways. Can she trust that this time the bad boy of the bayou will be the best man for her?

I read the Cajun series and loved it. I mean, hot heroes, spunky heroines, action plots with steamy chemistry, what’s not to love? But what really made them memorable was the humor, most of it delivered by wacky Tante Lulu. Tante Lulu believes in St. Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes, and in her God-given mission to sort out her family and friends, mostly by marrying them off to a person carefully chosen by her. These two beliefs are not unrelated… Suffice it to say I was ecstatic when I heard she was getting her own series.

Which brings me to Snow on the Bayou. It does not disappoint. There are some heart wrenching moments but overall it’s fun, the plot is interesting and the Happily Ever After is heartwarming.

The hero, Justin or ‘Cage’ as he is known, is a Navy Seal. He’s hot, he’s competent, and he’s confident – except when it concerns his past and going back to where he grew up. And that’s just where he’s going to have to go because Tante Lulu has shown up in Coronado and informed him that his grandmother is dying.

Emelie, the heroine, was his childhood friend and later sweetheart. In the best Southern tradition her disapproving father forces him to join the service or go to jail. He goes but doesn’t give up – sending letters and trying to contact her. Emelie doesn’t know why he took off and SHE tries to contact him. They are both unsuccessful and feel betrayed and abandoned and she marries another man. (We meet the ex-husband and the best description is ‘smarmy’. I had to wonder why dear old dad thought he was a better choice.)

Tante Lulu  dives right in manipulating  these wounded lovers back together – making this a true ‘second chance romance’ story. There is an action plot involving terrorists which brings his Seal team buddies around and onto Tante Lulu’s radar. I suspect we may see some of them starring in future books.

You could read this as a stand-alone but I found revisiting the characters we met in the previous Cajun books was a lot of fun. I recommend reading the other books as well. A word of warning though, if you have trouble reading dialects they will drive you crazy. An example from Tante Lulu: “Yep. I came all the way from Loo-zee-anna, and I ain’t leavin’ ’til I’ve said my piece ta the boy.”

So pick up the book and visit Bayou Black. Set a spell. Maybe Tante Lulu will stop by and decide YOU need a hope chest too…

Goodreads series listings:
Tante Lulu Adventure series
0.5         Saving Savannah
1             Snow on the Bayou

Cajun series
1             The Love Potion
2             Tall, Dark, and Cajun
3             The Cajun Cowboy
4             The Red Hot Cajun
5             Pink Jinx
6             Pearl Jinx
7             Wild Jinx
Jinx Christmas   
8             So Into You

This review is based on the ARC of Snow on the Bayou provided by NetGalley and the publisher for an honest review.

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