Posted in audio books, Book Review

Witches of Bourbon Street

Jade Calhoun series, Book 2

by Deanna Chase, Narrated by Gabra Zackman

Jade Calhoun has shunned magic for years. When her mentor, Bea, becomes gravely ill she convinces Jade that she is the only one who can help. She must embrace her witchy side and learn to use the magic.

Jade’s prejudices block her powers. She is angry at magic for stealing her mother and she has suppressed her gifts for so long, it may be too late to access them now.

When an angel goes rogue and Jade’s boyfriend, Kane is in danger, the past and present collide, and it is up to Jade and her powers as a white witch to save them all. Will she be able to control her gifts or will history repeat itself and she be cursed once more to be alone?

Fighting the powers of evil requires more magic. Many white witches have turned to the dark side to gain enough power to thwart their enemies and are lost because of it. How can an untrained witch hope to do what others haven’t been able to do?

Deanna Chase brings all the power and emotion of love, friendship and combines them with the ambiance of New Orleans and all that is mystical and mysterious about the world. This sometimes funny, sometimes intense emotional roller coaster was a great read no matter which way you experience it, you’ll love it.

Narrator Gabra Zackman did a fantastic job of emoting the story and adding another layer of delight to the reader. I want more from this narrator as well as this author.   

Posted in audio books, Book Review

Love In Catalina Cove

Brenda Jackson is one of those amazing authors who bring you into a story and make you feel as if you are a part of the community.

Love in Catalina Cove by Brenda Jackson Narrated by Ron Butler

Vashti Alcindor left Louisiana under a cloud of shame and remorse never planning to return. When she inherits her beloved aunt’s B and B, fate conspires to bring her back home where she belongs.

Widowed sheriff, Sawyer Grisham has no plans to fall in love again. He’s happy with his ‘friends with benefits’ relationship but upon meeting Vashti Alcindor sparks fly.

Determined not to give the small town anything more to talk about, Vashti tries to resist the pull of desire for the handsome sheriff, but they are constantly thrown together making resistance futile.

When the past and present collide, Vashti risks losing everything to discover the truth about the child she believed died in child birth. Can her relationship with the sheriff survive the lies and manipulations of others? Can they trust each other when others have hurt them?

Brenda Jackson brings the small town of Catalina Cove to life with people who feel like friends, neighbors and family. She is the queen of happy endings, but she sure makes her characters work for it. This is a must read for anyone who loves small town, second chances and hunky heroes.

Posted in audio books, Book Review

An Audible Original

How To Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper, narrated by Amanda Ronconi & Jonathan Davis  (An Audible Original)

This is the first of the Mystic Bayou Series. I am so thrilled to find this series on Audible. While I’m not a big paranormal romance reader, I fell in love with the charm and quirky characters in this book and can’t wait to listen to the next one.

Molly Harper has written a delightful community in the best place in the world for strange and supernatural characters, the Louisiana bayous. I didn’t just fall in love with Sheriff Bael Boone and Dr. Jillian Ramsay, but with the whole town of Mystic Bayou and all the strange and wonderful characters that give it charm.

Ms. Harper is quirky, funny and down right evil in a good way when it comes to the love/hate relationship between Sheriff Bael and his boss, the mayor, Zed Berend, but she does a wonderfully believable job of switching gears when the two men have to deal with murder. As Dr. Jillian observes, Zed’s actions during the investigation and his ability to work cohesively with the sheriff explains why he is mayor. The two men make a great team.

Jillian and Bael struggle to find the right path between human and Majick. While Bael wants to make her part of his treasure, Jillian has worked too hard to give up her dreams of being an anthropologist. Can they have it all? Well this is romance and Mystic Bayou, hold onto your hat and get ready for a bumpy ride.

Narrators Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis breathe life into these wonderful characters, making their words and actions dance and sway to the rhythm of a Zydeco band.

If you like sassy and sweet with a lot of heat, you need to read this series. I know I am.

Posted in Book Review

Cajun Crazy by Sandra Hill

I don’t remember when I read my first Cajun Novel by Sandra Hill. I’ve read several books from her other series but my favorites are her Cajun stories.

I met Ms. Hill at a Romantic Times Convention many years ago. This quiet, gentle lady was on a panel with a pair of boisterous comedic authors. I remember feeling sorry for her because she couldn’t compete with their antics. She waited patiently for them to run out of steam and then proceeded to entertain us with her own, sweet, humble humor. I have never forgotten how this beautiful, reserved lady handled herself during that discussion. Afterwards, I got the chance to speak with Ms. Hill. She was a gracious and intelligent person with a fabulous sense of humor. I have been a fan ever since.

Tante Lulu, the matriarch of the Le Deux clan, is half voodoo queen and half sweet, Catholic great aunt. It doesn’t matter if Lulu is kin to you are not. If she decides you are family, then you’re subject to her machinations. Love potions, lightning bolts and Saint Jude are forces that can’t be beat.

Simone Le Deux, a former Chicago cop, knows her weakness is Cajun men. When she comes home to Louisiana to care for her mother, she has to battle her mother’s religious prejudices and her attraction for inappropriate Cajun men.

Adam Lanier, law partner with Simone’s half-brother, Luc, isn’t interested in anything serious. Once burned, Adam has given up on relationships and is definitely not interested in marriage.

When Tante Lulu, Adam’s father and his daughter, Maisie join forces, he and Simone are out gunned. Desire and lust are held at bay, and soon gives way to friendship and respect.

Sandra Hill weaves the hilarious with the dramatic, taking her readers on a romping good ride through the bayou, from catfish noodling to getting proof of a cheating husband’s perversions. Simone and her partner, Helene of Legal Belles, are more than investigators, they are empowering women to take charge of their lives. The anxiety of Simone’s job and its conflict with Adam’s, adds to the trouble but when Tante Lulu and Saint Jude are on the job, there’s bound to be a happy ending.

Posted in Book Review

James Rollins

I love audio books. I am lucky to work a job with a lot of down time. Most days I read or write when things are slow but on days when I really have to work, especially when I’m getting ready for price changes, I listen to books. I suggest anyone who hasn’t tried it to get a couple of audio books and try it. It makes chores more interesting. I’ve used them at home too, especially washing dishes or windows while listening to a book, makes it go faster.

My new favorite author, James Rollins. I just finished listening to “Alter of Eden”. Can we say whew. Wow, what a roller coaster ride. This fast paced, action-adventure-romantic-thriller-suspense had me hanging off the edge of my seat. I am not a science geek but even for me the science was interesting and captured my imagination; it made me want to go out and learn more. He peaked my interest.

James Rollins who holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine understands the science of these animals but doesn’t bog down the reader with too much information. He teases us with just enough facts to increase our interest without boring someone like me. The animals were as much a part of the story as the characters and added a unique dimension to a wonderful story. They were characters in their own right and empowered the story with strong dynamic relationships.

Veterinarian Laura Polk and US Border agent Jack Menard are wonderfully flawed. Their linked past added an other layer of interest and conflict to an already intense situation. Their relationship was believable, their strengths and weaknesses intertwined with their own personal relationships brought me in close and made me fell as if I were a part of their lives. I was anxious and excited for their survival and enjoyed the thrill ride of each event we rounded one curve and barreled headlong into another more intense curve.

The setting, Louisiana with all it’s flavor and primal beauty was the perfect backdrop for this adventure.

This is a combination of the biological/science thriller and romantic-suspense with a bit of action adventure to create a recipe for an amazing story.