Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bayou Bodyguard by Jana DeLeon

Released: July 2011

Bayou Bodyguard is a follow-up to DeLeon's The Secret of Cypriere Bayou (March 2011). DeLeon is currently contributing to Harlequin's Intrigue series.

Justine Chatry has been hired to research a collection of historical documents and journals to pinpoint the location of valuable emeralds that have been hidden for years at laMalediction, a vacant mansion nestled deep in Louisiana bayou country. Assigned to accompany Justine for the duration of her project is a bodyguard named Brian Marcentel, an incredibly sexy and alluring man whom Justine has recognized from her traumatizing childhood. Determined to keep their connection secret should Brian learn of her true motive for accepting the project at laMalediction, Justine riskily attempts to uncover the truth about her family's legacy, despite the violent events that continue to transpire around her. With danger surrounding Justine and Brian, the pair must also confront and deal with the undeniable chemistry and attraction between them that spices up their adventure together.

When there are no professional reasons to review a Harlequin novel of any type, I will usually not read these books for fun simply because they aren't my usual taste; however, Bayou Bodyguard has proved to be an excellent exception. The novel is tastefully written, genuinely intriguing, and keeps you guessing about the murderer's identity until it is revealed at the end. Seasoned readers may try to over-analyze the murder mystery, and if they do, may be surprised with the final outcome, as it is utterly unpredictable.

I remained skeptical during the first chapter of Bayou Bodyguard simply due to my cynical nature in approaching series romances, but DeLeon writes a page-turner that will suck you in from the get-go. The setting of Bayou Bodyguard within the town of Cypriere is charmingly romantic and spooky without obvious intention, which just adds to the novel's overall likability.

I am happily awaiting Jana DeLeon's next bayou-inspired novel entitled The Lost Girls of Johnson's Bayou, set to release in February 2012.

DeLeon has also written the Ghost-in-Law mystery series and stand-alone novels entitled Rumble on the Bayou (2006) and Unlucky (2007).

What are your favorite Harlequin Intrigue novels?

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