Review: Bayou Dreaming by Lexi Blake
Returning to Papillon aka Butterfly Bayou, we are treated to the youngest Guidry's story. Zep comes across like a carefree playboy. He is so much more. I'm not sure if I'm more sad or mad that he let himself be portrayed in this manner. It seems as if small towns that know everyone's business still only cares about surface level fluff. It takes outsiders like Zep's brother-in-law, Harry, and the new nurse practitioner, Lila, to point this out to people. And even then, they seem to discount what Harry and Lila bring up.
Roxanne is an outsider and whilst she may physically lust after Zep, she too believes what the gossips say about Zep. Roxanne aka Roxie is a mix for me. I am not sure if I like her or not. The way she treats Zep and continuously puts her foot in her mouth with him begs the question of if this will be how it is in the future. It is not that Roxie is cruel or intentionally degrading, she is thoughtless and more like her father than she believes. I am always a bit leery of female characters with Daddy Issues. And boy does Roxie have Daddy issues. Ms. Blake does balance this out even more with Roxie's Mommy Issues. Roxie is a whole bunch of issues.
Roxie and Zep's romance may have started out as fake, but they were able to find the real "them" when they got to know each other. I liked how their relationship developed and also how their characters became more honest with themselves as well as each other. This is the power of Ms. Blake's character building. Her characters are never perfect. They are human and struggle with common day issues. Witnessing the change and growth is a reassuring sentiment which generates warm fuzzies. Also, watching a community rally around one of its own always makes me feel good. Makes me wish there are more communities like this and that maybe one day, I will find one like this too.
This contemporary romance is recommended to readers who like small towns with big hearts and endearing characters who find themselves and their passion.
*provided by NetGalley