Title: Beauty and the Bayou
Series: Boys of the Bayou #3
Author: Erin Nicholas
Format: Kindle edition (282 pages)
Published: August 13th 2019 by EN Fiction, Inc.
ISBN: ASIN B07QV9YND9
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
A sexy small town, opposites attract rom com!
Sawyer Landry knows he's been beastly to be around for the past few months. But he can't seem to remember how to be fun-loving and friendly. Until he sees Juliet Dawson on his boat dock... and realizes that hip waders are, apparently, one of his turn-ons. But despite the beauty in the boots, the last thing he needs right now is a city girl in his way for the next two weeks.
But he's not really getting a vote. Juliet is determined that her little brother rebuild the dock he and his idiot friends smashed. She's quirky, klutzy, independent... and possibly an even bigger pessimist than Sawyer is. He's incredibly drawn to the cynical fish-out-of-water, who seems to be the one person who isn't intimidated by his growling.
The big, gruff boat captain is the first person in a long time to want to watch out for her and Juliet finds that hotter than his grandma's jambalaya. Well, that and his sexy scar, his emotional baggage, and the sense of humor and fun that is buried deep.
But Sawyer doesn't need any more people to worry about long-term and the things that make him feel protective of Juliet aren't going to go away. So, this two-week adventure can't be anything more than a fling. With Juliet down on the bayou, there's an even bigger threat than alligators and hurricanes. There's the very good chance of someone ending up with a broken heart.
“Well, when we get hot there are a couple of other things we do,” he said.
Had he moved closer?
Juliet swallowed. “Like what?”
“We take clothes off,” he said.
Beauty and the Bayou is the fourth fun and fabulous installment in Erin Nicholas’ Boys of the Bayou series. It can work well as a stand alone, but the prior books have been so amazing, I’d recommend reading the series in order if possible. Each entry so far has spotlighted one of the Landry brothers. That said, their sister’s story will be featured in the fourth book. The siblings are all part of an extended loving family who has grown up on the Louisiana bayou and are always there for each other. This particular book gives prominence to the serious subject of recovering from a deep loss. Erin handles it with aplomb, giving us thoughts to ponder, while focusing on renewal. This is the story of Sawyer Landry and Juliet Dawson.
I confess that I was actually a little worried about Sawyer’s story. He’s been such a dreadful Mister Gloom & Doom in the prior books that I was afraid I’d have trouble warming up to him. I’m happy to report that I had absolutely no need to be apprehensive. The very first scene in which Sawyer meets Juliet is hilarious and sets the tone for what is to come as two safety-focused opposites discover they have a sizzling chemistry.
I LOVED Sawyer. I’ve been a sucker for guys who can speak French since Gomez spoke in the language of love to Morticia in one of my cherished childhood series. He’s big and strong but still a devastated man as the story opens. He’s been lost ever since his best friend and business partner died in a freak accident. He can’t take out tours anymore because he chases paying customers away with tales of all the terrible things that can happen to them if they aren’t careful. He also is fearful that the ugly scar on his face is revolting. He knows that his family wants him to lighten up but he just can’t.
Juliet is a hoot. She’s determined to keep her younger brother – the brash idiot who stole and totaled one of Bayou Swamp Boat Tour Company’s airboats in the last book destroying a company dock in the process – from turning into an arrogant, indulgent spoiled adult. To that end, she has come to an agreement with the other owners of the tour company - unbeknown to Sawyer - to rebuild the dock in two weeks with her and her brother’s labor. Neither she nor her brother have any construction experience. But, that has never stopped Juliet from doing anything. Juliet is an over-preparing planner and is accomplished in playing the “what if” game which serves to diminish possible negative outcomes.
I really liked them together. Sawyer took to Juliet’s curves and to her “what if” game. Being such a safety freak, her fetish for wearing a life jacket, hard hat, waders and other safety equipment strangely and comically appeals to him. Juliett is an angel as she determinably shows Sawyer how to break out of the depression that has been dogging him since his friend’s fatal accident. She doesn’t shy away from Sawyer’s broody nature either as she digs his focus on safety. Sawyer is the first man that really seems to understand her and she pegs his scar to be sexy. He also inspires her to let go a bit. I couldn’t get enough of their flirty banter; it was entertaining and swoony. Who knew talking about construction and safety could be so titillating? The author shows us that while love heals, it also accepts.
Following please find a few of my favorite lines from Beauty and the Bayou:
“Hey, the only person I almost shot was Owen,” Maddie said, giving her boyfriend a huge smile. “And if that does end up happening, he’ll forgive me.”
Owen grabbed her wrist and pulled her close, kissing the top of her head. “You’d nurse me back to health?”
“I’d make you alligator gumbo out of the fu**ing lizard that tried to take a bite of you,” she said.
Juliet laughed. “You all are crazy, you know that?”
“Oh, for sure,” he said with a nod.
“Does it rub off?”
“If you’re lucky.”
Wanting her because of that ass in those jeans was normal.
Wanting her to wear a hard hat in bed wasn’t.
This series is teeming with sexy times, humor and Cajun craziness and continues to rank as one of my top two contemporary romance series this year. Beauty and the Bayou is a gem with a great plot and colorful characters. I seriously want to move to Autre to hang out with Ellie, Cora, Leo, and all the rest! I didn’t think Erin could top the previous books, but she has. Bennett is going to have his hands full with Kennedy Landry in the next book, Crazy Rich Cajuns. Thank goodness we don’t have long to wait as it releases next month!
Suggested Reading Order:
My Best Friend’s Mardi-Gras Wedding (Book #1)
Sweet Home Louisiana (Book #2)
Beauty and the Bayou (Book #3)
Crazy Rich Cajuns (Book #4) - coming Sept 2019!