Review: Voodoo on the Bayou by Elle James

Voodoo on the Bayou by Elle James
Series: Cajun Magic (# 1)
Release Date: February 18, 2013
Publisher:   Entangled Publishing LLC
Pages: 217
Source:   book provided by the publisher for review

At first, lawyer and ladies’ man Craig Thibodeaux thought Madame LeBieu’s chant was a strange bayou joke. But the voodoo worked and Craig is spending his days as…well, a small green frog. Now he has only two weeks to find love, or his new froggy transformation becomes permanent.

When she receives the anonymous toxic water sample from Bayou Miste, research scientist Elaine Smith decides a trip to the bayou is the perfect excuse to escape the lab, and forget about her cheating ex-fiance. Then she accidentally stumbles upon Craig’s oh-so-fine naked form, and her science-nerd brain is overrun with naughty thoughts about her new gorgeous night-time bayou guide.

But there’s more to Bayou Miste than voodoo curses and sexy late-night trysts. Dark secrets threaten the delicate ecosystem, and there are those who would do anything to keep those secrets hidden. Even murder…


Review: I am delighted to know that this is the first in what looks to be a rather fun series. Just the idea of the magic of the bayou, Cajun folklore, frog princes or in this case frog lawyers, intrigue (to a point), and nerdy female scientist in a bad need of a makeover. This is a story with a twist or rather a cross between ‘The Frog Prince’ and the movie ‘Shrek’.

When I first read the line… “By day a frog, by night a man, ‘til de next full moon…” I have to admit I thought of Shrek as I had just watched it recently on TV. Also a big fan of Disney I had just seen the ‘Princess and the Frog’ also. So how do you want to know do you mix the two? Easy you have Ms. Elle James write Voodoo on the Bayou. It is a contemporary take on a classic fairytale.

Craig Thibodeaux a lawyer in New Orleans has been coming to Bayou Miste to spend the summers with his Uncle is in town for business. That is until this womanizer (who wants no commitment from anyone) ends up crossing the paths of the wrong girl. After spurning the unwanted advances of said girl she runs to her grand maw who just so happens to be Voodoo Queen Madame LeBieu. So that is where we find ourselves or should I say Craig as he is tied to a tree in the Bayou while he listen as Madame LeBieu puts a ‘Gree-Gree’/curse for non- Cajun’s on him. What is this extremely hot man to do? With the help of bayou magic Elaine Smith, a scientist in New Orleans receives an anonymous sample of the Bayou Miste water and heads down there as she needs a break from the lab and her cheating ex fiancé. When first Elaine encounters Craig he is, shall we shall in his full glory as he has just changed from frog to man. She is of course quite attracted to him. Who wouldn’t be? A handsome man/frog right up her alley… the one is anyway.

Ms. James had such a warm way of bringing this classic fairytale into the modern world. The characters were so warm and real I even enjoyed the secondary characters almost more than Craig and Elaine. The way she wrote the dialect put you write in the center of the bayou where you could imagine the local people out there frogging for a living. With the moss hanging and the alligators swimming, she actually brought the bayou to life. Even Madame LeBieu who is a legend was real. Making her someone’s grand maw made her a fierce and loving person one not to be reckoned with.

Elaine has her own transformation as she tries to solve the contamination of the bayou along with the feelings for Craig. She is helped along by some locals by changing from nerdy scientist to sexy woman. As the ever elusive Craig changes from frog to man to frog he finds himself falling fast for Elaine. Can she be the one to break this voodoo curse?

I loved the quirkiness of the people of the bayou. The warmth and loyalty of the characters made each person seem more real as if they were your neighbors. I could visualize the bayou, from the dumping of toxic waste to the frogs and alligators from the descriptions. Even the people, the buildings, the boats, the bar, the salon it was as if I were there. Such a fun infectious story that captures you and won’t let you go even at the end. I can’t wait for the next story of the Cajun Magic Series…I hope we get to follow Uncle Joe’s story.

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