Review: Deja VooDoo

Reviewed by Carrie

This is the third book in Elle James’ Cajun Magic series but the first one for me. I didn’t have any trouble hopping in and understanding the world. The book is set in the atmospheric swamps of Louisiana’s Cajun country in the small town of Bayou Miste where alligators are kept as pets and the local Voodoo Queen is revered. Alexandra (Alex) Boyette is trying to keep her head above water while running her gym and helping her mom care for Alex’s 19 siblings. Ed Marceaux is an undercover Baton Rouge cop in town to protect a high profile witness. When Alex’s scheming Mama pairs them up at a family dinner, an instant connection is made.

Had the plot stuck to this storyline, I feel like the book could have succeeded. At the beginning of the book, the Voodoo Queen gives Alex a gris gris bag that turns Alex’s dog, Sport, into man to supposedly help cure her loneliness. This was supposed to be the charming and quirky part of the book but, unfortunately, it just seemed out of place and kept me from enjoying the main story.

Ed was a good fish-out-of-water character being the city cop trying to pretend he’s a backwoods fisherman. The author doesn’t get too heavy handed with his troubled childhood backstory and instead focuses on how good a family man he could be and I appreciated that.

Alex, on the other hand, was tiresome. She complained that she was lonely, but adamantly refused to entertain any idea of a relationship. This fact was reiterated every other chapter. Oh, but then she runs into handsome Ed in town, has sex with him about two seconds later and promptly runs away from him because she can’t possibly have a relationship and maintain a business. I will say the sex scenes have good tension and have the right amount of heat.

The main suspense story was ok, if completely predictable. The cops are hiding the witness. The bad guys start attacking Alex and Ed rushes to protect her and insta-love happens. Never mind that they have only had one conversation out of bed. Perhaps Alex & Ed had conversations in the previous books that would’ve made their relationship make more sense.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, because I love the unique culture of the Cajuns and the swamps really are a little bit magical. However, the voodoo in the book was just downright corny and not needed. I had a hard time with the writing in general and kept putting the book down and forcing myself to pick it back up. If you’ve read the previous two books, then you probably know what you are getting in to, but for me, this one didn’t work and doesn’t inspire me to pick up the others.

Rating: C-

*ARC Provided by Entangled

Click to purchase: Amazon
Deja VooDoo
by Elle James
Release Date: June 24, 2013
Publisher: Entangled

Review: Voodoo on the Bayou

Reviewed by Allison

This book was very intriguing. Think “The Frog Prince” mixed with some Voodoo magic, shifting, & a dash of N’Awlins charm.

Craig Thibodeaux is a lawyer from New Orleans who came to help out his uncle on a “business vacation” to the small town of Bayou Miste. When he goes out with and turns down the wrong girl, her grandma, Madame LeBieu, comes a looking for him. While she has him tied down and chants over him he thinks it’s all a joke his buddies are playing on him… until he wakes up a frog!

“By day a frog, by night a man, ’til de next full moon, dis cunja will span… A woman will answer Ezill’s call, one who’ll love him, warts, and all… He’ll watch by day and woo by night, to gain her love, he mus fight, to break de cunja, be whole again, transformed into a caring man”

When he transforms back into his human form, he realizes that he needs to find a girl to fall in love with him, stat. However, Bayou Miste being a small town, the pickings are slim! That is until Elaine Smith comes to town. A scientist from the city, freshly dumped by her jerk of a fiance, she’s on a mission to find out why the Bayou is becoming toxic and be an environmental hero. If only she could get over her fear of water…

Although the timeline was a bit quick for my taste, it was fun to see Craig and Elaine drawn together, no matter how hard they fought it. I loved to see the commitment phobes fall so hard! Each night that Craig took Elaine out to hunt frogs was another chance they could get to know each other, so that by the next full moon, they were both head over heels for each other. I think the mystery could’ve been fleshed out more, because it was actually pretty interesting and relevant. It was a gripping twist that would’ve been really fun to follow further. I also would’ve enjoyed seeing the couple after the curse was over to see how they fared back in the big city together.

All in all, it was an sexy and compelling interpretation of a popular fairy tale and a happy ever after I was delighted to read!

Grade: B+

*ARC provided by Entangled

Click to purchase: Amazon
Voodoo on the Bayou
by Elle James
Release Date: February 18, 2013
Publisher: Entangled