Zebra: Kensington. (Bayou Bad Boys, Bk. 1). May 2020. 386p. ISBN 9781420142082. pap. $7.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Felicité Marielle Christiane Andrews has returned to New Orleans after two years traveling the globe with the intention of introducing her English fiancé, Mayhew Rutherford, Marquess of Ainsworth, to her father, obtaining his blessing, then returning to England. Plans go awry when her brother requests her prowess to settle the books for the family shipping business during an employee’s absence. Spending time in the shipping offices means working around René Thibodeaux, the Cajun former thief who is trying to move beyond his past, whom she had hoped to avoid altogether. After all, he’s the reason she left New Orleans in the first place. As the ties between Felice and the rigid Mayhew begin to unravel, the chemistry between Felice and René reignites. They each have every reason to stay apart, but when René is framed for murder, they will risk whatever is necessary to gain a future together.
VERDICT Roth (“Those Magnificent Malverns” series) kicks off a new series set in pre-Civil War New Orleans at a galloping pace. The well-drawn setting, Felice’s verve, and a cast of bold secondary characters illuminate every page.

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