I am a long-time reader of Harlequin romance novels. When I was 10 years old, I discovered my mom’s stash of Harlequins. She had a whole walk-in closet full of them! It was a waiting utopia of romantic ideals. See, my mom was a Harlequin subscriber for many, many years. She had more than 500 Harlequin romances, and I read them all before middle school ended. I guess you could call me a Harlequin romance novel addict.
I started collecting my own copies of romance novels after Mom’s collection ran out, and it’s something I still do to this day. Almost every time I go in Walmart or Barnes & Noble, I come out with a Harlequin romance of some kind. My favorite Harlequin lines are Nocturne, Intrigue, Romantic Suspense, Love Inspired Suspense, and Love Inspired.
I’ve decided that, because I’m passionate about reading romance novels, I’m going to review the ones I read here. First on my list is Bayou Shadow Hunter, author Debbie Herbert’s latest Harlequin Nocturne release. (I’m a HUGE fan of her Dark Seas trilogy–it doesn’t get better than mermaids and romance. Check them out at http://www.debbieherbert.com/books/.)
While Bayou Shadow Hunter is a departure from Debbie’s Dark Seas trilogy, I am already craving the next book in THIS series! Yes, Bayou Shadow Hunter is THAT good. You’re wondering what makes it so good, right? Well, buckle up because it’s a long list.
First and foremost, I ADORE the setting–Bayou la Siryna. It strongly resembles the area where I grew up. Being a native of the Alabama Gulf Coast and married to an avid fisherman, I can vividly see and feel the bayou setting. Actually, every bit of the setting feels real to me.
Next on my list of loves about this book is the heroine, the Hoodoo practicing “witch” Annie Matthews. I feel deeply connected to her on so many levels, and I can identify with every single one of her struggles. I don’t want to detail too much and risk spoilers, but she’s one of the most real and well-rounded romance novel heroines I’ve ever read.
Naturally, the hero–Tombi Silver–comes next! This strong, sexy, brooding Choctaw Shadow Hunter is mouthwateringly strong and far beyond hot!
I love how the plot is shrouded in suspense, Hoodoo, and Choctaw legends, all inexorably entwined. The spiritual framework for this novel perfectly matches the internal belief system I developed growing up in an area similar to Bayou la Siryna.
As for the shadows that Tombi hunts, I have had my own struggles with similar evils, and that part of the novel felt so REAL to me.
That’s what I love about all of Debbie’s novels, though. She has a fantastic way of making magic feel real.