A little magic goes a long way…
Alexandra Belle Boyette is closing in on the big 3-0 and her mama has made it her mission to marry her off. In the tiny parish of Bayou Miste, deep in the Louisiana swamps, finding suitable hubby material can be a challenge—and Alex would rather not rely on magical spells to do the trick. But there is a sexy new man in town who might fit the bill…
Ed Marceaux is in Bayou Miste to safeguard a key witness to a Louisiana Mafia murder. He must keep an eye out for suspicious characters—but the place seems to be full of them! What could be stranger than a woman dressed in a sexy nightgown chasing a naked man down the street? The enchantingly gorgeous Alex Boyette certainly makes it worth his while to find out…
Add a Voodoo spell gone wrong, and voila! madness—and love—ensues.
Title: Deja Voodoo (a Cajun Magic Novel)
Author: Elle James
Genre: Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Length: 187 pages
Release Date: June 2013
Imprint: Entangled Suspense
“Action-packed and full of passion—an Elle James book never fails to please.” –Julie Miller, USA Today Best Selling Author
© 2013 Elle James
BAYOU MISTE, LOUISIANA
“Boyette, I hope this idea works.” Edouard Francois Marceau scrunched his smartphone between his ear and shoulder as he sat on the bench by the back door of his rental cottage. With his hands free, he pulled off a muddy boot and dropped it to the porch planks. “If it doesn’t, we may have us one dead witness on our hands, and that bastard Primeaux will get away with murder.”
“Don’t worry, it’ll work,” Ben Boyette, his partner in the Special Criminal Investigations Unit of the Louisiana State Police in Baton Rouge, reassured him. “Did you have any trouble fi nding the old trapper shack?”
Ed snorted. “Did anyone ever tell you GPS devices work best on roads, not waterways? Still, we managed, with a few dead ends and switchbacks. I lose this thing, I’ll have to hire a tracking dog with gills to fi nd Phyllis and Marcus. Holy Jesus, that swamp is a freakin’ maze! Marcus and I counted no less than nine alligators while we were out there. And those were the ones we could see.”
“Did you point them out to our witness?”
“You bet.” Ed shifted the phone to the other ear and attacked
the laces on his other boot. “That ought to make even her stay put.”
Ben chuckled. “You think? After the drug-running, backstabbing Mafi a thugs she’s been shacking up with, the alligators probably looked tame.”
“Good point.” One-handed, Ed tugged at the remaining muddy boot. The phone slipped, and he grabbed for it. “Tell me again why we’re playing babysitter to a witness and why you didn’t take this assignment?”
“Number one, I don’t trust anyone else to get our witness to the courthouse alive. I suspect we have a mole on the force. And I’d have done it, but I’m up to my neck in trials over the serial rapist case.” Ben sighed. “Since I did all the legwork, I’m the one in court. God, I hate courtrooms. But we have to nail this guy so it sticks. Otherwise, I’d be there in a heartbeat. Oh, and I have a pregnant wife at home.”
“Oh, yeah. That. Guess you’re right. Although I’d switch with you in a second. You’re the one with all the experience wrestling alligators.”
“You’ll survive. Hopefully, the only alligator you have to wrestle is my moth—” Ben stopped in midsentence as if he changed his mind about what he was going to say next. “By the way, how are your digs? Mom buy your story?”
“Yeah.” Ed padded through the small cottage, appreciating the homey feel of it. This was the kind of house he’d always pictured belonging to his grandmother. If he’d ever known her. “I hate lying to your mom, though.”
“She’ll get over it. Did my share of fi bbing to get out of doing the lawn a couple times growing up.” He chuckled. “Come to think of it, I can still taste the soap. That woman could see right through every lie. She always caught me. But she loved me anyway.”
“She had to love you, you’re her son.” And Boyette was damned lucky to have her.
“I’m sure your mom did the same.”
“Don’t bet on it. Never knew her.” His voice was a bit harsher than he’d intended. A twinge of longing fl ickered across his subconscious, which he quickly squelched. No use pining after something he never had.
After all these years, he hadn’t realized how much he missed having a mother until he’d met Ben’s. Barbara Boyette was the consummate maternal fi gure. Care and concern written in every smile, wrinkle, and gray hair.
Ben cleared his throat. “Oh, by the way, do you like kids?” Ed pushed his boots to the side and stood. Did he like kids? “Never thought about it. Why?”
“No reason. Did Mom invite you to dinner already?” Ben asked.
“Don’t worry, she will.”
“Is that bad?”
“Uh, no, not at all.” Ben’s answer was a little too swift for his comfort. “She moves quickly with single men.”
“I’m not single, I’m divorced. There’s a difference. Is there something you’re not telling me?” He tamped down a sudden urge to get out of town. Fast.
“No, no. Nothing at all.” Now Ben’s voice sounded entirely too innocent.
Uh-oh. He should defi nitely run from this small town stuff as fast as his Nikes could take him.
“Mom’s a great cook. She just sometimes cooks up more than her guests are ready to swallow.”
Now he knew for sure Ben was keeping something from him. “What the hell do you mean by that?”
Ben ignored his question. “Okay, so you’re all set, then. Lay low and go fi shing enough to keep Marcus and our girl fed and happy.”
“Gotcha.” He looked around the tiny cottage, the walls closing in on him already. “One question.”
“What the hell am I supposed to do with my time for the next few days?”
“Keep an eye open for suspicious characters. Did I mention fi shing? Make this like a vacation, and relax.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever taken a vacation.” He scratched his head and thought back. No, he’d hung out at the offi ce even on annual leave. All that use-or-lose vacation time got lost each year.
“What does one do on a vacation?”
“Sleep until noon, girl-watch, you know, the usual thing.”
“Maybe on Cocoa Beach, but in Bayou Miste? I’d go so far as to say the alligators outnumber the people. I don’t think I’ve seen one live human besides your mother and the marina owner. Tell me, Ben, do they count the alligators in the census?”
Ben’s outright laughter blasted Ed’s ear. “Bayou Miste isn’t that bad. Think about it, you arrived in the middle of the day, right?”
“School and work should be getting out by now.” Ben chuckled again. “Just wait.”
He didn’t like the sound of his partner’s laugh, it had a devilish quality. “Wait for what?”
“To meet the family. You’re gonna love them.”
“I thought it was just you and your mother.”
Ben snorted. “Oh, no. I have eighteen brothers and sisters.”
Ed fumbled the phone and almost dropped it. “Holy hell!”
“Yeah, that’s what it’s like around my house after school.”
The introverted halls of Monti-Ed-zuma crashed around his ears.
Nineteen children in one family? What were his parents thinking? Obviously, they hadn’t been thinking, they’d been— Holy crap.
“What have you gotten me into, Boyette?”
“You’re a tough guy, you can handle it.”
I love anything written by Elle James, especially her Voodoo series! Her characters have spark and the humor is snarky and fun to read. When Alex’s mama decides it is time to marry her off and unsuspecting Ed shows up on an investigation, magical mayhem ensues. The sex is smoking hot and just right for a Cajun flavor of bayou romance.
The Boyette family is full of quirks and there is definitely a whole lot of room for things to go awry with nineteen children running about. Then there is the thing about turning someone into a dog. I will say no more. It reminded me some of the first book where there was a spell cast to turn the male character into a frog so he could fall in love by a certain time or be lost to humanity forever. This had some of those elements. A fun read for a summer afternoon.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to more things by this author.