Review: Bayou Beauty by Lexi Blake
★★★★★ @autherlexiblake #BayouBeauty @edelweiss_squad
Another heartwarming romance in the small town of Papillon. Full disclosure, I went into this book with my eyes shut. I didn't read the book blurb. All I saw was the title and Ms. Blake's name. I loved this book because it made me a little bit weepy. I am not sure if it is my older age where I am more sentimental or if it is the magic of Ms. Blake who makes a jaded old woman feel. If you are suffering from book reading apathy or all around ennui, my tried and true antidote is reading anything written by Ms. Blake.
Returning to this small town, Sylvie and Rene's romance has it all. Bitter destructive relatives, best friend's "baby" sister, second chance romance, old money, betrayals and adult children freaking out about their parents dating. Sylvie's brother is Rene's best friend. Sylvie and Rene almost dated when they were in college together. Due to various reasons, it didn't happen. This is an important piece of information and why it didn't happen. Remember it because it comes back to bite Rene years down the line when he is reunited with Sylvie.
For those who have read the previous books in this series, Sylvie is the mayor of this slightly crazy town. Her mother is one of the ring leaders of voodoo/psychic shenanigans. Being a mayor of a small town instead of a politician in DC may sound like a mayor set back in Sylvie's career. What people do not understand is what Sylvie really wants. What are her dreams? People who have "sowed" their oats so to speak can change what they want. For Sylvie, working with the big wigs in DC is something "been there, done that" and bought the T-shirt. At the heart of Sylvie, she wants to make life better for her people. She wants to bring her talents back to the place where she has family, friends and fond memories.
Rene is the son of one of the wealthy families. It is interesting to see different people's perspective of Rene. Is he the philanthropist or the evil capitalist? Is he the one supporting and caring for the future generations? Or is he the stingy bastard who controls his family's purse strings and forces them to suffer on a pitiful allowance? I find that Rene is a multifaceted character because he is different things to so many different people. I understand the pressures he is under and I feel for him. What is even better is that Sylvie also understands and this time around, it is the right time for both of them.
There are parts to this story which caused knots to form in my stomach. Other times, I am laughing like a loon. A few times I am so frustrated and angry on Rene and Sylvie's behalf that I want to dive into the story and smack a few of the characters around. A couple of times, the painful cathartic confrontations bruised my heart. Running through a gamut of emotions is what I adore about Ms. Blake's books. This one does a superb job and after writing this review, I want to go read the book and experience it all over again. This is why I highly recommend the book to readers who want to feel hope and love in these uncertain times. Readers who love second chance themes, this is definitely a winner.
*provided by Edelweiss