Avon, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-256639-3
Contemporary Romance, 2017
Cajun Crazy is a reference to heroine Simone LeDeux’s weakness for bad boys from her home turf of Louisiana. Mind you, enjoying these bad boys hadn’t been good for her: she was divorced three times by the time story takes place, and naturally, it’s always the men’s fault. Lying, cheating men… ugh!
All Simone could do now is to repeat an old joke that had become her motto, or should. George Strait might wail about “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” but Simone would modify that to, “All My Losers Come from Loo-zee-anna.”
She was thinking about having it tattooed on her butt, which was big enough.
When her mother began prattling over the phone about her knees wearing out but she is unable to undergo the kneecap replacement surgery unless she loses thirty pounds before. When Scarlett starts talking about buying exercise videos or signing up for the fat farm organized by the neighborhood church, Simone takes this as a sign that maybe she should go drop by her mom’s place for a while. She is still smarting from finding her last ex being… well, another lying, cheating man, so why not?
Waiting in Houma, Louisiana is Adam Lanier, another big city import currently running the local law firm while raising his daughter Mary Sue (no, really, and she’d like to be called Maisie, thanks). He’s tight with the LeDeux clan because a cousin married into that family, so it is inevitable that Scarlett and Tante Lulu begin their matchmaking frenzy. Have to keep the big city imports breeding and adding new blood to the swamp cult, after all – I won’t be shocked if, by the time this series reach its fiftieth book, Tante Lulu reveals herself to be a demon who feeds on new babies born to the people in this swamp. No sane human can be this obsessed about getting people to have sex with one another.
Anyway, that’s basically the premise of this story, and the rest of Cajun Crazy can be summed up as “Oh, and wacky things happen because of those HEE-LAAA-REEE-YOOOS secondary characters LOLOLOLOL!!!”
Left on their own, Adam and Simone have some amusing moments, and I like that they are both well-matched in the sense that she has been around the block so she’s not some quivering neurotic trembling under the touch of the first man that touches her there, ooh. However, they are rehashes of the author’s past characters, without much done to make these characters stand out from their predecessors, and the story isn’t interesting enough to make up for this. Oh, and Simone’s man-hating spree can go on and on past its welcome, and I wish the author has done something, anything, to make the heroine’s efforts to be a more bitter version of Amy Schumer a little less repetitive.
The back cover mentions Simone’s starting of a private investigation agency to catch cheating spouses – sigh, can we have a more interesting shtick for the heroine? – but this only happens late in the story. The bulk of the story meanders lifelessly as the author throws wacky old women and creepy, unnaturally sage little girls at the hero and the heroine, as if the author had no idea what to do with this story and are just making things up as she goes along. This won’t be so bad if the story were uproariously funny, but it isn’t. As I’ve mentioned, Simone’s man-hating spree gets old fast, and the secondary characters are obnoxious distractions trying to hide the fact that this story has no… well, story.
The author also has this distracting habit of ending all her punchline sentences with an exclamation mark. Is this because she doesn’t trust me to get her jokes unless she hits me between the eyes with a pointy exclamation mark first? I don’t remember the author writing in this manner in the past, hmm. Then again, maybe she did and I didn’t notice because I wasn’t as bored as I am while reading this one.
At any rate, Cajun Crazy tries very hard to be funny, but it does this for the wrong reasons. Instead of using humor to enhance the story, the humor here resembles a frantic effort at diversion to keep me from noticing that there really isn’t much here in terms of solid story line or memorable romance.