4.5 “Ghosts & Voodoo” Stars!
Villere House is an enthralling ghost story written collaboratively by Leslie Fear and C.D. Hussey and also the first installment in their Blood of My Blood series. This is a tale that traverses between the past and the present, stretching beyond our earthly realm and set in the beautiful, culturally diverse and historical locale of New Orleans. A lovely romantic story laced with voodoo, ghosts, evil spirits, revenge and vampires. It is delectably spooky and creepy and yet my heart still got deeply invested in the love story. This book was like a big puzzle, where each piece fits being expertly revealed cautiously and slowly until everything comes together. As the mystery unravels, what truly is at stake for our heroine and hero?
Lottie Boyd is a college senior in New Orleans with a couple friends for Spring Break. Having lost her parents at a young age and having taken on too much responsibility, Lottie is not one to go crazy and party hard. Yes, she intends to enjoy herself in the historically rich city; but, she is definitely not as hardcore as her two crazy friends. Almost immediately upon her arrival, Lottie begins having dreams about a 19th century widow who seems eerily familiar. Soon she realizes that she is being haunted by the ghost of Élise Cantrelle, a young widow determined to save her ailing daughter and who also finds herself in a forbidden romance. Sightings of Élise Cantrelle’s ghost, unending dreams that seem so authentic, voices she keeps hearing and an inexplicable knowledge of facts that she should not know all lead Lottie to The Villere House of Voodoo. There she meets a beautiful creole man, Xavier Villere. Do the voodoo shop and Xavier hold the answers that Lottie is seeking?
Xavier Villere owns and operates The Villere House of Voodoo along with his family. While he is proud of his family history, he most definitely is a skeptic when it comes to all matters that involve voodoo and the paranormal. When he meets Lottie, a beautiful tourist, and discovers that she is being haunted, Xavier is no longer sure what to believe. Lottie’s desperate pleas for help and her sincerity are hard to ignore. Further, he can’t help being attracted to the lovely blonde. Despite his inability to come to terms with his family history and all that they believe in, Xavier is determined to help Lottie solve the mystery surrounding the young widow who won’t disappear.
As the mystery surrounding Élise Cantrelle and her connection to the Villere family is slowly revealed, Lottie and Xavier begin to realize that they are deeply drawn to one another despite being unable to explain such a profound connection. Xavier seems to be someone who fills the void in Lottie’s life with his caring ways and fierce protection of her. As each piece of the puzzle is uncovered and further clues present themselves, Lottie and Xavier discover that there is more to the fascinating story and that there are malevolent forces who pose a danger to Lottie. Faced with danger, secrets and betrayal – Lottie and Xavier grow closer in their quest to solve what exactly is occurring. Will they uncover the truth before it is too late? Will they find a true love in one another?
The romance between Xavier and Lottie is quite beautiful, slow growing and organic. They both get caught up in Élise Cantrelle’s forbidden romance with one of Xavier’s ancestors. Both Lottie and Xavier must determine whether their feelings simply stem from the fact that their pasts are connected or is what they are feeling for one another much deeper. The pair share some incredibly erotic moments that had me sighing and fanning myself.
All in all, Villere House is a well written novel that had me engrossed right from the beginning. The authors did a wonderful job capturing the feel of New Orleans, both past and present, and interwove a compelling story that flowed seamlessly. There is no cliffhanger to deal with. I am most definitely looking forward to the next installment in this series.
***A copy of Villere House by Leslie Fear was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.