Butterfly Bayou #1
By Lexi Blake
Author’s Website: LexiBlake.net
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Life in Dallas took a tragic turn for nurse practitioner Lila Daley. In need of a fresh start, she retreats to Papillon, Louisiana, a tiny town on the bayou. Sure she’s greeted by a gator, finds herself in the middle of golf cart wars, and unwittingly adopts a scruffy dog, but Lila remains undaunted. She’s focused on running the town’s medical clinic, but fitting into the quirky community is harder than she imagined.
As a single dad, Sheriff Armie LaVigne embraces routine. But there is nothing routine about the town’s newest resident. Lila is a gorgeous fish out of water and he’s ready to catch her. In fact, in no time at all, Armie knows Lila is the woman for him and he plans to win her heart. But when the past threatens their happiness, Armie will have to decide if he has the courage to trust Lila enough to find a true happily ever after.
Butterfly Bayou is the first novel I have read by author Lexi Blake. Take note that it will most likely not be my last, which is good as there are more books in this series. There were interesting main characters with some depth to their personalities. The setting was described in such detail, I felt like I was living in Papillon, Louisiana myself.
The story begins with Lila Daley (nurse practitioner) moving to Papillon Bayou, Louisiana to start over (and be close to her sister Lisa) after her best friend and fellow nurse practitioner, Maryanne, was shot by her husband while at work in the hospital in Dallas – with Lila watching.
On the drive into the town of Papillon, Lila is waylaid by a gator in the middle of the road. Yup…you read correctly – a gator! And what does Lila’s sister Lisa say about Otis (the gator):
“He’s a sweetheart,” Lisa said breezily. “Don’t worry about him. He’s sunning himself, that’s all. …. It’s fine. Just get out and shoo Otis off.”
After I laughed very heartily, I realized with humour such as this, I was definitely going to enjoy this book.
As Lila drives off in a hurry (she is speeding away as quickly as possible), Lila gets pulled over for speeding by the very hunky local sheriff Armie LaVigne. The same man that she had met at her sister’s wedding the previous year, the one with the sensual smile. An auspicious beginning to her new life in Papillon, Lila is not deterred, even when she finally sees the “gem” of a home she bought for a “steal”. Needless to say, the transition to small town living is bumpy. But the ride is worth it – at least for this reader.
Not surprisingly, a romance evolved between Armie and Lila. Their road to happiness was cyclical (read tedious) and a tad bit boring at times. It seemed that they would go strong and when a conflict arose – they would just back off – not even try to work it out. What the heck!!!
I liked the progression of coming out, if you will, of Lila. She was a no nonsense woman with a narrow vision of how her life should play out. Most likely as a result of her childhood and what she had experienced in Dallas. As the town started to accept Lila for Lila, so did she. Her growth into the openly loving individual that she became was nice to watch. This most decidedly warmed my heart.
How Lila handled the physical therapy sessions with Armie’s daughter, Noelle, was interesting – as were many of the myriad of medical issues that Lila had to handle throughout her work day. I must say, that this aspect of the storyline is what got me to enjoy the book so much. Those issues were covered with professionalism and efficiency as well as a very buried heart. You could tell that Lila loved her work and truly cared about people, regardless of her stilted people skills (in the beginning).
Many chuckles abounded from various antics of the Papillon townsfolks. But what I liked best was how they stuck up for each other. A true sense of community. I enjoyed the many facets and layers of this book and cannot wait to get started with the second book in the series, Bayou Baby.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*