“Olivia rents haunted houses and writes ghost stories while in them. She is fiercely independent and self-reliant due to her upbringing by the nuns. She knows nothing of her family as she was left at the convent by a woman they never could trace. So when Olivia arrives at laMalediction she is...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Olivia rents haunted houses and writes ghost stories while in them. She is fiercely independent and self-reliant due to her upbringing by the nuns. She knows nothing of her family as she was left at the convent by a woman they never could trace. So when Olivia arrives at laMalediction she is surprised, this is the house from her childhood nightmares? What does it mean? Will she learn something of her background?
Old houses, of the very wealthy, commonly had tunnels and out-of-sight passages for the servants to move around the house without being seen. It seems laMalediction has many of these hidden tunnels and hallways, in which an intruder/stalker is hiding.
John had been searching the old mansion for his half-sister who has gone missing, after noting on her calendar that she was coming to laMalediction, when Olivia arrived. Now the two of them are working together to find his sister and her stalker.
This fast-paced, enjoyable story has mystery, romance and voodoo! All the elements needed for a story set in a cursed mansion, in a bayou in Louisiana. ”
“Here's a new technique - I an writing reviews in reverse! The Secret of Cypriere Bayou is the (March 2011) prequel to Bayou Bodyguard, reviewed below. I enjoyed Bayou Bodyguard so much I bought the prequel for my Nook and read it last night. Both books are set in the remote swamps of Louisiana, at a hulking, antiques-filled mansion called laMalediction. Believed to be haunted and cursed by the locals, laMalediction has been the site of madness, murder and voodoo since it was built just before the Civil War.
When Olivia leases the mansion, believing it to be the perfect location from which to write her latest ghost novel, she gets the shock of her life after she arrives and realizes laMalediction is the house that has been haunting her nightmares since she was a toddler. Although she has been searching for the house for years, actually seeing it and feeling its presence is a terrifying experience. But Olivia is no shrinking violet, and she has two missions to complete: write her latest book before her deadline, and solve the mystery of how she knows this house. Complicating matters is the presence of a hunky new caretaker, who has ulterior motives of his own. John is an off-duty police detective, searching for his missing sister, who disappeared the week before while en-route to laMalediction. Shortly after she arrives, Olivia begins hearing strange sounds and an old photo appears of the original, murdered owner, who looks just like Olivia. John and Olivia begin to investigate together, and the heightened tension and danger parallels their increasing sexual attraction and respect for one another.
As with Bayou Bodyguard, the hero and heroine are frequently trapped at the remote house by sudden violent storms, impassable roads, and no telephone lines or cell coverage. As a technique for heightening the tension it is very effective, but it begins to feel overused here, as these storms seem to pop up every few hours. However, that is a small thing to complain about, since the rest of the book is well-written, with nicely developed characters, a beautifully evoked sense of place, and a building feeling of menace. The mystery is just right for the length of the book, and very well-crafted. The list of suspects was believable, and I was not sure who the bad guy was until the end - love that! Add in a lovely romance with a touch of realistic, steamy sex, and you have a great, fast read that is absolutely perfect for the beach or reading late into the night while snug in bed.
I'm now an official fan of Jana Deleon, and will review more of her books in the near future. Meanwhile, you should check her out at janadeleon.net