Rene LeDeux returns home to southern Louisiana after quitting his job in Washington as an environmental lobbyist. Years of battling with the oil industry and land developers have left him completely burnt out, and now all he wants to do is work on his cabin on Bayou Black. But his peace of mind is disrupted by a few things. One, his great-aunt Tante Lulu is determined to get him hitched. Two, a couple of his activist friends have hatched a plot to bring national attention to their cause to save the bayou. They've kidnapped a TV celebrity and brought her to Rene's cabin. And three, the celebrity is none other than Valerie "Ice" Breux, Rene's nemesis while growing up. Talk about red-hot trouble!
Burned out as a Washington, D.C., environmental lobbyist, Ren� LeDeux retreats to his remote Louisiana Bayou Black cabin to regroup at the start of Hill's spicy conclusion to her Cajun Bad Boy series (Tall Dark and Cajun, etc.). In temporary residence is Tante Lulu, Ren�'s 79-year-old matchmaking great-aunt, who's in her usual rare form, planting plastic St. Jude statues all over the place, stitching up bridal quilts for those wild Cajun nephews of hers and waiting for the "love thunderbolt" to strike. When a couple of Ren�'s eccentric "tree-hugging" pals kidnap TV anchorwoman Valerie Breaux and abandon her on Ren�'s doorstep, Tante Lulu figures her prayers have been answered. Not Ren�; the last thing he wants is a woman in his world, especially Val, with whom he shared an embarrassing high school sexual disaster. Ditto for Val. Recently canned for refusing to spice up her news stories with tabloid-style segments, she just wants to get back and raise hell about her dismissal. But Tante Lulu (and St. Jude) have other ideas. While the ending is a little overdone, Hill's thigh-slapping humor and thoughtful look at the endangered Louisiana bayou ecosystem turn this into an engaging read. (Apr.)
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March 31, 2005
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