Friday, November 14, 2008

"Bobbie Faye's (kinda, sorta, not exactly) Family Jewels" by Toni McGee Causey

Bobbie Faye Sumrall is back, and as usual, bad luck and explosions are following her pretty much wherever she goes. The unluckiest woman in all of Louisiana is off on another adventure, and most of the same characters are along for the ride, including the two men in her life. The trouble all starts when Bobbie Faye's cousin Francesca walks in to Ce Ce's Cajun Outfitter and Feng Shui Emporium and says "We have a problem"...

The "problem" are some missing diamonds that belong to BF's Aunt Marie. Seems not only has Marie disappeared, so have the jewels. There's a cryptic message indicating that Marie gave the rocks to Bobbie Faye, but our hapless heroine has no earthly idea where the sparklies are. Francesca insists that Bobbie Faye help her out, for the sake of family, and also to avoid dealing with the wrath of her father, Emile, a sort of Cajun Mafioso.

Of course, this being Bobbie Faye, there are a lot of others out there looking for the diamonds as well. Bobbie Faye learns this when people start shooting up Ce Ce's business; she manages to escape, only to be kidnapped not once, not twice, but a total of three times. Each of the kidnappers wants to deliver a message, some telling her when she finds the diamonds, she has to turn them over to them, not to Francesca, and one actually demanding that she NOT look for the goods. All of them literally drive around the block, then dump her out unceremoniously. In the midst of all this foolishness, she also runs into her paramour from the first book, the gorgeously hot fed Trevor Cormier. Hopefully, he can help her get out of this jam just like he did last time. And hopefully, he'll stick around when the dust settles.

Complicating matters are an investigation by Bobbie Faye's ex-lover, Det. Cameron Moreau. Seems there's a videotape with footage of Bobbie Faye shooting a local jeweler in cold blood, something that Cam knows can't be possible. But the evidence is piling up as fast as he tries to hide it. Could Bobbie Faye really be out for the diamonds herself? It would mean a lot of money in her pocket, a true miracle for a woman living in a run-down trailer with a car that may not make it through its next quart of oil. Can Cam clear his woman? Better yet, does he really know "his woman" at all?

Causey's second work starring Bobbie Faye is action-packed to say the least. Perhaps a bit too action-packed at times, in my humble opinion. I found myself sort of skimming through some of the fights and explosions to get to the character interaction, namely that of Bobbie Faye and Trevor, but also BF and her family. There's a very sweet and touching scene out at BF's family home, one that I wish would have gone on longer; I'd like to know more about the family dynamics. Sadly, Causey runs over that pretty fast in favor of more mayhem. Also, there's a real romantic thing developing between Bobbie Faye and Trevor, and I'd like to be able to have that slowed down a bit and given a chance to blossom. Granted, being on the run can definitely bring two people together, but is it real? I think it is in this case, but it'll be hard to tell until things do slow down a bit. I'm not entirely sure that I want Cameron "fighting" for Bobbie Faye; I think his ship has sailed. But it's pretty common to have the heroine torn between two loves, so I understand why the author is taking that direction. Finally, there were a lot of characters on the canvas here, enough that it was hard at times to keep track of which side someone was on.

All in all, I still liked the book, but thought the author might have been trying a bit too hard to top her first foray into Bobbie Faye-land. I'm going to give it another chance if Causey puts out a third book (and I think she will); hopefully the author will give us a few more chances to really know our characters and a few less explosions.

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