Title: WILD MAN'S CURSE
Series: Wilds of the Bayou #1
Author: Susannah Sandlin
Format: Paperback, 284 Pages
Published: Montlake Romance (April 5, 2016)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
The bones said death was comin’, and the bones never lied.
While on an early morning patrol in the swamps of Whiskey Bayou, Louisiana wildlife agent Gentry Broussard spots a man leaving the home of voodoo priestess Eva Savoie—a man who bears a startling resemblance to his brother, whom Gentry thought he had killed during a drug raid three years earlier. Shaken, the agent enters Eva’s cabin and makes a bloody discovery: the old woman has been brutally murdered.
With no jurisdiction over the case, he’s forced to leave the investigation to the local sheriff, until Eva’s beautiful heir, Celestine, receives a series of gruesome threats. As Gentry’s involvement deepens and more victims turn up, can he untangle the secrets behind Eva’s murder and protect Celestine from the same fate? Or will an old family curse finally have its way?
From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes the first book in the Wilds of the Bayou series.
“The bones said death was comin', and the bones never lied.
Eva Savoie leaned back in the rocking chair and pushed it into motion on the uneven wide-plank floor of the one-room cabin. Her grand pere Julien had built the place more than a century ago, pulling heavy cypress logs from the bayou and sawing them, one by one, into the thick planks she still walked across ever day.
She had never known Julien Savoie, but she knew of him. The curse that had stalked her family for three generations had started with her grandfather and what he'd done all those years ago.
What he'd brought with him to Whiskey Bayou with blood on his hands.
What had driven her daddy to shoot her mama, and then himself, before either turned forty-five.
What had led Eva's brother, Antoine, to drown in the bayou only a half mile from this cabin, leaving a wife and infant son behind.
What stalked Eva now.”
WILD MAN'S CURSE is a dramatically stunning roller coaster ride imbued with a slew of dark twists and turns by the fantastic Susannah Sandlin. Under the alternate pen name of Suzanne Johnson, she writes one of my favorite paranormal urban fantasy series, the Sentinels of New Orleans. I finished inhaling this southern romantic thriller in yesterday morning's early hours and it was nothing short of fabulous! Teeming with voodoo and Indian mythology overtones and a murderous family curse that won't go away, the mystery element within is unquestionably strong. There was also plenty of danger, history, culture and steamy romance. I couldn't put the book down even though I was terrified of what would happen next. I especially feared for the characters I'd grown fond of including our hero's cute stubby bat-eared dog and "Red," his agency partner. Taking place in Whisky Bayou, this is the story of Celestine, the sole heir of murdered voodoo priestess Eva Savoie, and Louisiana wildlife agent Gentry Broussard.
While on a poacher take-down in the swamps of the bayou, Gentry spots a man leaving the cabin of Eva Savoie. He gets a short startling glimpse of a man who closely resembles his own brother - the same brother who died in a gunfight two years ago with Gentry firing the bullets that took him down.
Celine's Nashville music career is on no-where street when she's summoned back to Whisky Bayou where her aunt has been cruelly slain butcher-style. Celine never expected to return to this place she escaped from years ago. Now, she just wants answers as to why her aunt was murdered and a way out. But, she wasn't taking into account a sexy wildlife agent or that the killer would target her!
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this gripping read:
Ceelie preferred cats and small dogs, although they tended to be eaten by alligators around here, as she recalled. Munchability wasn't a desirable trait in a pet.
“She glanced up at him. "Why does it matter? Why do you care?"
He'd been staring at her hands again, but jerked his gaze up to hers as if surprised by the question. He answered quickly, almost automatically. "I am a law enforcement officer. I found your aunt and saw what... that animal" -- he seemed to struggle with the words -- "I saw what he did. And we don't know why."
Ceelie nodded. "So this is how you'd treat anyone whose case you got involved with?"...
He leaned across the space that divided them, cupping his left hand around her jaw and pulling her toward him as if she were fragile, breakable. His kiss was soft, a pressure of lips, a slight parting, a promise of more. His stubble scratched her chin.
That's the real answer." His voice was so soft the air around him seemed to soak it up. "And don't ask me what it means because I'll be damned if I know.”
“We can do slow and sweet later. I want you fast and rough, and I've been begging for a while now." She hooked a leg around his, bringing their bodies together as close as possible. "If you missed the memo, buddy, I've been trying to get you inside me half the day."
With a low groan, he picked her up and lowered her to the bed, his mouth and tongue setting up a rhythm to match the fingers he slid inside her. "Not that," she said. "You. Now."
"Bossy Cajun woman." He gave her a tousle-haired, lopsided grin as he rolled into the cradle of her thighs, positioning himself at her 'entrance...”
Susannah's writing never fails to favorably impress - no matter which name she's writing under. Her storytelling ensnared me from the very beginning and never let go until I'd read the last page. Her Cajun-speak was nothing short of enthralling and her vivid descriptions made me feel I was there: in the heat, humidity and the swamp teeming with creatures I didn't want to meet!
GREAT NEWS! The author has just announced that the second book in this series has a name! It will be titled BLACK DIAMOND and it's tentatively scheduled to be released mid-October 2016! I can't wait!
This is one of those books that makes you say WOW... over and over. I would not hesitate to read this thriller again - but, only once my heart slows down to a regular rhythm by thinking about it. I highly recommend WILD MAN'S CURSE to anyone who enjoys powerful, intense, well-paced, well-orchestrated Southern romantic suspense!
Suggested Reading Order:
Wild Man's Curse (Book #1)
Black Diamond (Book #2) - releasing mid-October 2016!
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