Title: Bayou Dreams (Rougaroux Social Club #1)
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Buy Link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Paranormal M/M
Length: 181 pages
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
A guest review by Lasha
Summary Review: Hot guy thinks he’s found his mate. Only problem…he’s not gay! But maybe his werewolf side is?
Sheriff Scott Dupree’s got more problems than he can handle. He’s alpha of his small werewolf pack and coming up for re-election as sheriff in a year. On top of this, his mother is casting love spells to find Scott a mate. It’s all Scott can do to keep the town and pack under control, let alone his urges to mate.
Ted Canedo is openly gay, a disgraced ex-cop from New Orleans. His patrol partner was killed on duty and Ted took the blame for taking protection money from the store owner to save his partner’s wife and kids grief. No one knew Ted was in love with his partner, not even his partner. Having him die in Ted’s arms killed something inside Ted too.
When the moon is full and Scott’s momma works her magic, Ted’s erotic dreams and his work as a PI bring him to St. Jerome and sexy, straight Scott. Scott’s stunned to learn his wolf is gay and wants to mate with Ted. Ted refuses to become involved with a straight man, much less a werewolf, terrified to risk his heart again.
Especially if it he has to watch Scott fight to the death for his right to claim Ted as his mate.
Rougaroux Social Club Series
Scott Dupree’s life is good. He’s sheriff in a small town in Louisiana and pack leader to the werewolves residing in that town. Only problem? He doesn’t have a mate. Normally werewolves mate by age 30, but Scott at 35 is a tad behind everyone else which is utterly frustrating for his mother. You see, she wants grandkids. Lovable, interfering woman she is, she casts a love spell to bring Scott his mate…and fate does only in the form of one gorgeous (gay) ex-cop from New Orleans. Scott’s never been with a man before and he doesn’t want Ted as his mate no matter what his inner werewolf is screaming. His pack would never accept a gay pack leader. Ted, on the other hand, had been down this road before falling for the straight guy, and he too has no desire to have his heart broken again, so he tells Scott to get lost. Problem is Scott’s inner wolf doesn’t care about any of that and just wants Ted. And Ted’s head may say one thing, but his body another. Will these two confused men ever figure it out?
First, I really liked the premise of Bayou Dreams. Yes, the werewolf finding a mate and surprise it’s a man plot has been done before but Lynn Lorenz puts an added twist to the cliche by making Scott’s wolf side gay and the wolf eventually convincing Scott, the man, that loving Ted is his destiny. This unique take on the Gay-For-You trope worked in this instance.
Second, the secondary characters were hilarious. Scott’s mother, or as I call her the Cajun yenta, thinks nothing of going out in the bayou at midnight carrying a dead cat, a gris-gris bag filled with Scott’s nail clippings and hair and casting a love spell for her son. When Scott explains her spell brought him a mate, but not a female one, her reaction: “C’est la vie. He’s cute…you can adopt!” I would love Mrs. Dupree as a mother-in-law, except for the whole dead cat thing.
Third, the sexual chemistry between Ted and Scott was extremely spicy. Nothing like wanting something you’ve told yourself you can’t have, as it makes it all the more tempting. I liken it to that Ted is that double chocolate cake Scott wants, but knows isn’t good for him. Plus with as many times as Scott and Ted two make-out, jerk each other off, and in one instance oral sex happens, you think the two men would figure out they were meant to be together long before the end of the book.
Fourth, Ted’s past is intriguing. He was a New Orleans police officer who was fired from the force for taking a bribe – but that really wasn’t the case. Ted’s history with the police, his current job as a private investigator and the demons that make him try and deny Scott all combine for a complex character who is equal to Scott, the Alpha and town sheriff. There is no imbalance of power between these two…so perhaps Scott’s mother’s midnight request for a strong mate for her son was truly answered? (Sidenote: for those readers who do not like infidelity in their m/m books, this novel does have a few scenes of Ted having sex with people other than Scott. This occurs early on in the book while Ted and Scott are still fighting their attraction to one another. As a reader who despises cheating in romance novels, this action did not bother me, mainly because I knew why Ted was doing it and that the ‘cheating’ would not matter in the long run).
Lastly, we get to see into pack politics as Scott’s position as pack Alpha is threatened when everyone finds out he has a male mate. The climax of the book is Scott fighting another werewolf for control of the pack and Ted watching hoping his lover won’t die during the encounter. While you could see from a mile away what would happen during this fight, that doesn’t make it any less dramatic and interesting and that part of the plot was handled extremely well.
Overall, Bayou Dreams is a distinctive take on the werewolf genre, weaving complex and compelling characters together with ease. Lynn Lorenz’s style of writing was engaging and fun. I eagerly await the next installment so I can see who else in the wolf pack finds his mate. Recommended.