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Tall, Dark and Cajun    by Sandra Hill order for
Tall, Dark and Cajun
by Sandra Hill
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

Disfigured by a war injury, pilot Remy LeDeux is now busy struggling to establish his fledgling charter flight business in Louisiana, while living on a houseboat on the bayou. Thanks to his promiscuous father, Remy has many legitimate and illegitimate brothers and sisters, and they're such a close family that interfering in each other's lives is a given. This is especially true for their great-aunt, Tante Lulu, who has ever-changing hair color, an outrageous appearance, and is a noted swamplands healer. Hoping to land a big government project, Remy is anxious to expand his heli-pad but his neighbor, crusty old Gizelle Fortier, is a force to be reckoned with, not just because of her general dislike of the LeDeux clan, but also because she's known as a witch who dabbles in voodoo.

Though she utterly hated it (loathed it in fact), Rachel Fortier literally exercised her butt off, all because of her fianc9's extreme dislike of her curvaceous figure. But when she discovers that he performed a devastating deed without consulting her, she decides that it's time for them to part. Right before driving down to Louisiana to her grandmother Gizelle's home, as a symbolic parting gesture Rachel burns all the expensive exercise equipment. When Remy and Rachel first meet, practically living next to each other, the thunderbolt strikes. The Cajun knight in shining helicopter, and the decorator cum Feng Shui expert of a damsel fall in love at first sight. Before you know it, and against dire warnings, they embark on a wild roller coaster of eroticism. In bed, it's perfection. But they know very little about each other. When the truth comes out, will they be able to forgive each other? And, as Rachel soon discovers and much to Remy's agitation, alligators are the least of the deadly beings that roam the swamp.

Sandra Hill's Tall, Dark and Cajun is sure to delight with its explosive combination of love, lust, and hilarity (St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes, plays an important role in the latter). The main attraction lies in a variety of alluring characters. From senior-citizen diva Tante Lulu to local witch Gizelle, each is outrageously entertaining. And is the romance between Rachel and Remy (initially a bed of roses) real or is there magic at work? The fire between them leaps from the pages to scorch the reader! They face serious problems, and only true understanding will pave the way to a happy ending. The heat and dampness of the bayou atmosphere can almost be felt. Creole people, their customs, their language, culture, art, and many other fascinating aspects of their lives are energetically brought to life. Sandra Hill celebrates life itself in this effervescent story, which readers are advised not to miss.

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