BAYOU MY LOVE, BY LAUREN FAULKENBERRY
PUBLISHER: VELVET MORNING PRESS; MARCH 1, 2016
Synopsis: Thirty-year-old Enza Parker is at a crossroads. To prove to her overbearing father she can flip a house on her own, she takes on an ambitious project and it puts her in the path of the most alluring man she’s ever met. Enza plans to flip the house she inherited from her estranged grandmother, Vergie, in Bayou Sabine, Louisiana. As a child, she spent summers there until the day her mother—Vergie’s daughter—inexplicably left. Since then, Enza hasn’t let anyone get close to her.
Arriving in Bayou Sabine, Enza finds her house occupied by bedeviling firefighter Jack Mayronne. Enza has no intention of being a landlord, but Jack convinces her to let him stay in exchange for helping her with repairs. With only six weeks to fix the house and sell, she’s determined to prove her father wrong, but she didn’t count on all the delicious ways Jack could distract her. When Enza’s fling with Jack intensifies, she finds herself entangled with a vengeful arsonist from Jack’s past. As she reaches her breaking point, she must decide: Should she sell the house and leave her past in Bayou Sabine behind for good, or can she overcome her fears and build a new life there with Jack?
Goodness, I’m not sure how to even begin to review the fantastic “Bayou My Love,” by Lauren Faulkenberry! After reading the novella, “Back to Bayou Sabine” I was hoping that the follow-up novel would be wonderful, and it was. “Bayou My Love” picks up with Enza inheriting her grandmother Vergie’s home since her death. Enza convinces her father to let her take the lead on the project of flipping Vergie’s house and heads back to Bayou Sabine. Upon arriving she realizes that an adorably gorgeous firefighter, Jack, has been renting Vergie’s house since before her death. She reluctantly agrees to let him stay in exchange for help with the house but quickly finds herself falling for him. The bad part, however, is that strange voodoo items keep turning up in the yard, and one bad thing happens after the other.
This is such an outstanding book and absolutely one you won’t be able to put down. Enza’s character continues to amaze me with her beauty, strength, and intelligence. Faulkenberry shows a more sensitive side to Enza as she starts falling hard for Jack, but she is just as determined and strong-minded as before, especially when she stands up to her father. Then there’s Jack, and I’m honestly not sure there are any flaws to Jack. He’s sweet, caring, funny, and sounds like an absolute delight to like at! He doesn’t rush or push Enza but allows her to let down the walls around her at her own pace. We also meet Jack’s family Buck and Josie who are wonderful, and then the not so wonderful characters Remy and Miranda. Duchess is also introduced as a voodoo priestess from whom Enza seeks help, and there’s the sheriff, Andre, who is trying to find the arsonist and protect Enza.
“Bayou My Love” is definitely romantic and sexy with the undeniable chemistry between Jack and Enza, but it’s a sweet romance because he falls for hard so hard and is adorably cute about it. Besides the mushy-gushy stuff, this novel is very suspenseful with an arsonist burning down buildings all over town and the dog, Bella, finding and bringing back spooky voodoo symbols of unrequited love and obsession. Whenever thought I had figured out what would happen next or who the real bad guy was, I would end up surprised. Mystery still remains pertaining to the box of Vergie’s items in the house with letters and journals, making you eager to find out if Enza learns anything about her mother. This novel is not a cliffhanger that will leave you frustrated, but when done reading you will certainly be eager for the next novel to come out.
Lauren Faulkenberry completely drew me in with her writing style, complex characters, and captivating storytelling. “Bayou My Love” is wonderfully unique and stands out among romance novels with its blend of love, suspense, crime, and the unknown. If you have not yet had a chance to read her novels, it is absolutely time to catch up and experience Enza and Jack in Bayou Sabine.
Learn more about Lauren Faulkenberry by visiting her web page.
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author and LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.
Published by Jennifer Thomason