New Orleans and the Cajun country of Louisiana, are the background for Michelle Jerott’s Golden Heart Award-winning book, Absolute Trouble, and a wonderful book it is. Absolute Trouble has a wounded heroine, a bad boy hero, a drug-dealing slug of a villain, and some great supporting characters. Mix all these with a fast-paced plot and you have a book to get lost in.
Dulcinea (Dulcie) Quinn is a former policewoman in New Orleans. A while back, she ran afoul of Jacob Matsumi, the cities’ premier drug dealer and his goons did a number on her spine with baseball bats. Dulcie has healed, but her back still gives her trouble and she is unable to work as a policewoman, so she lives on her houseboat and makes and sells beautiful handcrafted dolls.
One day, Detective Bobby Halloran comes to Dulcie and tells her the police have a witness who saw Matsumi kill someone. Julien Langlois is a male stripper who was at the Cracker Bar when Matsumi killed Juan Hernandez, and Julian saw the whole thing. The police want Dulcie to take Julien on her houseboat and keep him safe until it is time for him to testify. Dulcie misses police work and wants Matsumi put away, so she agrees.
Julien is six-feet three-inches of bad boy arrogance and toe-curling charm. He is sinfully handsome, he can cook a tasty jambalaya, and can even help Dulcie sew her doll clothes. Still, neither Dulcie nor the two police officers, Les and Lucille, who are guarding Julien, entirely trust him, and their suspicions are well-founded. Julien has his own agenda regarding Matsumi. Matsumi is responsible for the death of Julien’s younger brother, Marcel. Marcel’s death has caused Julien to become estranged from his large family, and all he wants to do is kill Matsumi. For Julien, it is a matter of honor.
From the moment Julien sets foot on Dulcie’s boat, clad only in a trench coat and G-string, the sexual tension begins and never lets up. The love scenes in this book are as hot and sensual as any I’ve read in a long time. For readers who have complained about the lack of steaminess in recent books – believe me, you will have no complaints here!
Absolute Trouble is not just a steamy romp in the swamp. While the book breaks no new ground, it does tell its story in a very engaging way. Julien and Dulcie are extremely sympathetic and likable characters and Ms. Jerott does a wonderful job with the Cajun dialect.
Sandra Brown may have a hardcover best-seller in her novel set in New Orleans, Fat Tuesday, but I thought Absolute Trouble was much better.