Tall, Dark, and Cajun
With a title like Tall, Dark and Cajun, certain images come to mind – a sexy hero, a thick Creole accent, hot Louisiana nights and a little bit of bayou magic. Sandra Hill delivers all this and more in her latest book.
Feng Shui decorator Rachel Fortier just broke up with her fiancé. He never appreciated her – constantly buying her work-out equipment so that she could maintain her “perfect body,” and even going so far as to get himself a vasectomy on the sly. Rachel takes a month off from work to find herself and ends up traveling to Louisiana to visit her grandmother Gizelle, whom she’d never known as a result of her upbringing in the foster care system.
Ex-soldier Remy LeDeux is now a helicopter pilot. He was severely burned in combat during Desert Storm; scars cover one side of his face and much of his body. He needs a larger landing pad to land a drug surveillance contract with the DEA and has his eye on some bordering land. He approaches his crazy neighbor, Gizelle Fortier, to buy her land, and there meets Rachel. Sparks fly.
It’s love at first sight when Remy met Rachel. The sparks between the two are so intense that both feel the burn. But Remy doesn’t believe a woman as hot as Rachel could want such a disfigured man. But he’s wrong; not only does she think he’s good-looking, she sees beneath the surface and sees the true man inside.
Their relationship faces challenges, chief among them that Rachel’s grandma wants nothing to do with any of the LeDeaux clan. This poses a problem for Remy and Rachel personally, and for Remy professionally. Part of this book’s enjoyment is in reading how they find ways to knock down the barriers between them. That’s true enough of any romance, but particularly in this one, most likely because of the book’s combination of heat and humor.
In this book Sandra Hill convinces the reader to believe the impossible; that there is such a thing as love at first sight. Because the chemistry between Rachel and Remy is downright incendiary, the reader is immediately pulled into their story. It doesn’t hurt that the love scenes are equally hot, nor is the book’s humor any hardship for the reader. This is a laugh-out-loud, side-splitting read, in part due to secondary characters such as Rachel’s grandma and Remy’s aunt. And then there’s Useless, Gizelle’s pet alligator, and some mini-skirt wearing, pink haired, gun-toting senior citizens that introduce readers to a whole new South.
That said, the book features a big, overblown misunderstanding/secret, often a deadly combination. Rachel reacts quite badly when she learns Remy’s big secret. Though they’d already been physically intimate, that she expected him to share his secret so quickly is unreasonable and her anger at the situation too extreme. Also problematical was that after the big secret is revealed, Rachel suddenly turned TSTL and behaved against character more than once.
Tall, Dark, and Cajun is the long-awaited sequel to Love Potion. Big secrets and misunderstandings aside, Hill dealt with many sensitive issues so that by the end of the book, there were no loose ends. This is a laugh-aloud contemporary romance that was worth the four-year wait since the earlier book in this series; I hope we don’t have to wait another four years for the next installment.