‘Josette’ by Kathleen Bittner Roth

j kbrSTORY: “Monsieur Andrews, welcome to my home.”

At the smoky, velvet sound, Cameron swung around. Every function in his body—heart, breath, blood ceased to function.

She was lovely. More than lovely.

Tendrils of raven hair framed a face so exquisite, it disarmed him. Her mouth, a soft, dewy pink, parted. And those eyes, as dark as Creole coffee, intelligent and assessing, roamed over him and then back to take hold of his. He needed to step closer, to stroke her skin. To possess her. But would his wealth and worldly experience be a match for the free-spirited Cajun-born widow?

Across the oceans, between worlds old and new—two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads

REVIEW: San Francisco – 1857

Cameron Andrews is the owner of Andrews Shipping Company. The headquarters of the company is in New Orleans, but he has offices in San Francisco and other places in the world. Cameron lost his beloved wife, Dianah and their infant son in childbirth two years ago. Since then, he as chosen to sail the seas aboard his ships in an effort to try and outrun his grief. Although he has lived in New Orleans for a large part of his life, he has preferred San Francisco in recent years as the climate is cooler without the oppressive New Orleans humidity.

When one of his ships arrives in San Francisco, the captain brings him a grubby boy who had stowed away on the ship from New Orleans. The kid is sassy and has a foul mouth on him. Cameron decides to get the boy cleaned up, fed, and housed somewhere until he could put him back on a ship to New Orleans. Hah! Did Cameron ever get a surprise when that grubby boy turned out to be a very beautiful young girl and she called him Papa! Her name is Alexia Thibodeaux and it turns out that her mother was Solange Thibodeaux, the woman to whom Cameron lost his virginity at a whorehouse in New Orleans.

The Thibodeaux family is well known in New Orleans. Josette is the one sibling who has done the best for herself. She married an older and very wealthy merchant. Even though he lived for just a few years, they cared for each other and he left her his beautiful home – the largest in New Orleans. In addition, Josette has a shop of her own where she blends face creams and other cosmetics for the women of the town using her knowledge of the plants and roots of the Bayou. Her mother lives in the Bayou and is the Queen of Voodoo. She has a couple of sisters who live with her and two brothers who find themselves in trouble constantly. Even though Josette, is wealthy in her own right, she is looked down upon because of her family.

Cameron brings Alexia back to New Orleans to stay with her aunt Josette with whom she had been living. Cameron and Josette find an instant attraction to one other that is difficult to deny. Alexia for all of her youth, is talented in many ways. From her uncles, she has learned how to pick pockets and how to navigate her way around the Bayou.

We learn about each of the family members and their interaction with one another and within the community. The author shares descriptions of the local foods that makes the reader literally drool. We learn about the Bayou and its many mysteries. The Queen of the Voodoo is a evil woman and we learn a lot about voodoo. Alexia is a little stinker but a lovable one.

I really enjoyed this novel and was amazed at the incredible amount of research that the author must have put into writing the book. Her characters are very well developed and she certainly brings New Orleans to life for this time period. While the book is a bit long, readers need to realize before hand that they are about to embark on a real adventure that is worth reading each and every page.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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