Friday, August 21, 2020

Bayou Baby by Lexi Blake

A heartwarming contemporary romance set in Louisiana's Butterfly Bayou from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

Seraphina Guidry loves Butterfly Bayou. A young, single mom, she’s trying to find a place for herself in the town she cherishes, but past mistakes have made her wary. She adores her son but has sworn off men. She's dedicated herself to restoring an historic house and building her own business. A quiet life is all she wants.

Harrison Jefferys never expected to find himself in small-town Louisiana, but he has a job to do and a family to reconnect with. After years in the Army, he’s happy to spend time with his Aunt Celeste and his cousins in such an idyllic spot. When he meets Seraphina, he starts to think Papillion might be a great place to call home. But a secret from Sera’s past rears its head and threatens to tear the community apart.

Caught between the woman he’s coming to love and the only family he has left, Harry knows he has to follow his heart and with the help of the crazy, loving, meddling locals find a way to keep them both.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Property porn, delicious family drama, and a gorgeous veteran turned contractor? So many of my favourite things in one story. This is a different side of Lexi Blake for me and I absolutely loved it.

Single mum Sera is a great leading lady. She’s a bit of a mess, has made a few big mistakes but she’s loyal, hardworking. and easy to love. Harrison is an equally perfect hero. If anything, he’s a little too perfect. He’s a blue collar veteran who feels more than a little out of place with his aunt’s wealthy family. He’s quiet and gentle and good – and hooked on Sera. I love the way he slowly earns Sera’s trust as he works to rebuild her home. Theirs is a quiet romance, a connection between two people who are both a little bit jaded by life.

As much as this is Sera and Harrison’s story, it is also the story of Harrison’s aunt. Villain or victim, the relationship between her and Sera is possibly more interesting than the one between Sera and Harrison. And then there’s Sera’s own mother, and the aunt she inherits her house from. In all honesty, it is the women who really shape this story and I think I enjoyed the themes of female fortitude and resilience as much as I enjoyed the romance.

This is a great book from a favourite author.

This is the second book in the series, and I think I would suggest you read them in order, as there is inevitably some world building in Butterfly Bayou, but you could read this as a standalone and love it too.

This story centres around two people who find themselves on the opposite sides of 'proper,' even though they are very similar and it is the interference of others which is at fault.

Harrison has come to help his aunt prepare for his cousin's wedding by rebuilding a wooden gazebo. Since he returned from war, less one leg, he has been happy travelling around the country doing carpentry jobs for friends, and he expects to be moving on again after the wedding. His widowed aunt, Celeste, lives in the big house with her two surviving adult children, and lords it over the community. But really as he learned from his mother, her sister, her origins were humble, and her superiority complex is not from her past. He is, however, tolerant. The son that died was the favoured one, and the fallout from this is still felt now.

Seraphina, single mum who will not say who the father of her son is, who is bequeathed a giant of a house, right in the backyard of Celeste and family. I loved her being so strong, yet accepting that she needed help, that her son deserved the best. That he came first and yet she was prepared to consider that her happiness affected his too. And knowing that Harry really did want her, not just for a short while, but for keeps.

It is the perfect set up for a complicated two-family storyline which plays out in the full view of the gossips of Papillon. I love that although Harry and Sera was central to the romance, there were lots of other issues playing alongside and vying for our attention. There are so many characters who could be the focus of future stories, I am really excited to see what happens next!

Bayou Baby is the second book in Lexi Blake’s Butterfly Bayou series but it can be read as a standalone. Sera Guidry, our heroine, is a young single mum living in her hometown with her family and her three-year-old son. She inherits an old house from her aunt but only on the provision that she uses money left to her to do it up. Enter love interest Harry, a gorgeous single contractor who has come to town to help his Aunt Celeste, who hates Sera with a passion, and helps Sera out with her house.

This is a lovely romance and I like the way that Sera and Harry click. Sera is a good woman and a great mum and Harry is an honest, upstanding hottie. But this story is about more than just their romance. Harry’s Aunt Celeste, a most unlikeable woman, plays a big part in this story. She has a long-standing hatred of Sera and when Sera and Harry start dating, she has to make some choices about her life and her long standing views. Parts of the story are told from Celeste’s point of view and it adds another lay of depth and emotion to the story.

Some parts of Bayou Baby are fun and playful, some are romantic, and others are upsetting and heartbreaking. I went from loving Harry to hating him to loving him again. I’m still not sure how I feel about Celeste, but I can say Sera is one understanding and forgiving woman. I felt a wide range of emotions reading this book and at one point I even had a good cry, but like all good romance stories, the happily ever after was worth the tears.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Seraphina loves living in her little town. Despite some hiccups in living there, she's happy. And while she hasn't quite found her place, she knows that if she keeps trying, she will. Her son is adorable, and she knows that she has to do what's in his best interest. When she sees the new guy in town, she warns him right away that her mother will try and set them up – she's not interested and doesn't think it's a good idea.

Harrison isn't used to living in a such a small town. Everyone knows everyone else's business. Rivalries are rampant and his aunt is right in the middle of one of the biggest. Harrison knows his own mind and despite appreciating his aunt's willingness to help him in his time of need, it doesn't give her carte blanche over his decisions or life.

When Harrison and Seraphina need to work together, their attraction is something out of a fairy tale. Sera knows she's walking a fine line. She's been at odds with Harrison's Aunt Celeste for years. Nothing she does will ever be okay in Celeste's eyes and Seraphina knows why. While Harrison is falling more and more for Seraphina, Celeste is working hard to ensure that Seraphina doesn't stay on the property that was willed to her.

Loyalties will be tested, family dynamics will change drastically, lessons are learned, and love is found. This is a sweet story that has a lot of drama. When the dust settles, everyone will know the truth and the truth will change everything.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.

This book is the second of the series and I would definitely suggest reading the first book in the series so that you will have a better understanding of the players in the Bayou.

The romance starts off slowly between Sera and Harrison. Each of them brings their own set of baggage to the relationship, including secrets that would devastate the families involved.

This was a good book, but at times, it seemed to drag for me.

Also Available in the Butterfly Bayou Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Butterfly Bayou post.

Lexi Blake is the New York Times bestselling author of the Courting Justice novels, including Order of Protection, the Lawless novels, including Ruthless, Satisfaction, and Revenge, and the Masters and Mercenaries series, including Love Another Day, For His Eyes Only, and Submission is Not Enough. She is also coauthor with Shayla Black of the Perfect Gentlemen series, including Big Easy Temptation and Seduction in Session, and the Masters of Ménage series, including Their Virgin Mistress and Their Virgin Secretary.

Connect with Lexi

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Bayou Baby (Butterfly Bayou #2) by Lexi Blake to read and review.

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