by Nancy Warren, E.C. Sheedy, JoAnn Ross

December 2005
ISBN: 0-7582-0851-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Brava
Trade Paperback

In light of recent events, I felt a strong tug at my heart as I started to read Bayou Bad Boys. The vivid images of death and destruction overshadow what once was the Gulf Coast, and Louisiana in particular. The three talented authors who created this anthology did not let me linger in my sorrow for very long. Soon I was reaching for a fan to cool my flaming senses as the stories became incendiary.

Author JoAnn Ross almost burns up the book with her passionate story about second chances, Cajun Heat. With a dream in his heart and a passion to leave Louisiana behind, Gabriel Broussard fled his home for the bright lights of Hollywood. Now a successful actor and sought-after leading man, on film and in person, Gabriel’s notoriety has caught up with him. Gabe decides that a visit to his hometown will give things a chance to cool off, and allow him to regain his privacy. He didn’t count on seeing Emma Quinlan again, or the effect she would have on his heart. Emma isn’t the same shy chubby wallflower she was in high school and her disastrous marriage has taught her to be wary around men who don’t mean what they say. Gabe Broussard is the poster-boy of commitment-phobia, and she has to guard her heart against his charm.

Author Nancy Warren keeps the fire burning with You Give Me Fever, which introduces a bit of Cajun history along with some action between “kissing cousins.” History lecturer Lucy Charles is excited to be traveling to New Orleans from her home in Toronto. Her book tracing the split of her family into two branches, Canadian and Acadian, may land her a professorship. So far, it has revealed that there are distant cousins living in Louisiana, and Lucy is anxious to meet that side of the family. She hopes that they may have additional documentation about their Cajun roots to add to the story. Her research obviously failed to mention that her cousins are leaders of New Orleans society and live in the famed Garden District. Beatrice LeBlanc’s home is a showplace of Southern architecture, and that handsome gardener turns out to be her son, Claude. In addition to some hot and spicy romance, readers will be treated to a story that twists like the Mississippi River.

Author E.C. Sheedy may be known for her romantic suspense, but In Good Hands is ample proof that she can produce a hot-blooded story. Former therapist Esme Shane is looking forward to a few day’s of work and relaxation on Dane McCoy’s private island. The beach illustrations will wrap up her latest assignment, and her rendering of her host’s home is small price to pay for his hospitality. She soon realizes that there is more going on than her friend, Marilee, told her about her wealthy, workaholic brother Dane. She cannot believe in the instantaneous attraction that flares between them. She also realizes that being attracted to a man who spends all of his time amassing more wealth will never work.

Bayou Bad Boys may make some readers nostalgic for the sultry days when “The Big Easy” was synonymous with spicy food, hot jazz, toe-tapping Zydeco and the sexy men who seem to be around every corner. Just hearing someone say chere makes my heart flutter.

Reviewed in November 2005 by Paula.