Bayou Baby, an all-new steamy contemporary romance that will warm your heart from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake, is out now!
Seraphina Guidry loves Butterfly Bayou. A young, single mom, she’s trying to find a place for herself in the town she cherishes, but past mistakes have made her wary. She adores her son but has sworn off men. She’s dedicated herself to restoring an historic house and building her own business. A quiet life is all she wants.
Harrison Jefferys never expected to find himself in small-town Louisiana, but he has a job to do and a family to reconnect with. After years in the Army, he’s happy to spend time with his Aunt Celeste and his cousins in such an idyllic spot. When he meets Seraphina, he starts to think Papillion might be a great place to call home. But a secret from Sera’s past rears its head and threatens to tear the community apart.
Caught between the woman he’s coming to love and the only family he has left, Harry knows he has to follow his heart and with the help of the crazy, loving, meddling locals find a way to keep them both.
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Harry found himself standing in the doorway of the church reception hall. There were a bunch of people milling about, most with red cups in their hands. “For a crazy old lady she drew quite a crowd.”
“Oh, everyone comes out for funerals in these parts,” Cal admitted as he made his way to the big crystal punch bowl and got himself a cup. “There’s not a lot else to do so weddings and funerals are big social events.” He took a long drink. “And, damn, but Zep’s got a heavy hand with the rum. There’s way more rum than punch. The Guidrys might be trash, but trash around here usually knows how to party.”
He wasn’t sure he liked his cousin referring to anyone as trash, but he didn’t know the family well. He did know he’d heard the name Guidry from his aunt’s mouth and it was obvious she didn’t think much of them. “I think I’ll try the lemonade.”
“Suit yourself.” Cal refilled and looked around the crowd. “Introduce yourself around. I’m going to see what Josette has going on. Now there’s a woman I could spend some time with. Some fun time.”
His cousin winked and walked off toward a slender blonde.
He was rapidly discovering his cousin was a bit of a douchebag.
“You’re the new guy.”
He turned to find his own pretty blonde staring up at him. She was petite, barely coming up to his shoulders, and he would bet half her weight was in that hair. It flowed past her shoulders almost to her waist, and there was so much of it. Thick, honey-colored silk. Sky blue eyes found his own and held him there. Her arms were crossed over her chest and he noted that she was drinking the lemonade.
“How do you know that? Maybe I’ve been here all along and no one’s noticed me.”
Her nose wrinkled sweetly. “Oh, they all notice you. That’s how I know you’re the new guy. Welcome to Papillon. I came over to give you fair warning. I think single people need to stick together in an effort to stay single despite the societal pressure to give in to the patriarchy. If my mother tries to convince you to let me show you around, she’s really trying to find me a husband.”
Oh, but he might not mind her showing him the town. Beyond being gorgeous, he liked the sass she was throwing his way. He was self-aware enough to admit that women had come easy to him. He wasn’t hard on the eyes, but finding one who got him was a different story. “That seems to be a theme. The church secretary already tried to have her granddaughter show me around.”
A single brow rose over those heavenly eyes of hers. “Debra? Yeah, you have to be careful with her.”
“I’ve heard she’s handsy.” He nodded. “And she talks a lot.”
“Yeah, she also drinks a lot more than Helena will admit, and she’s started a couple of spectacular bar fights. She likes to pit her suitors against each other and make them fight for her.”
“Good to know.” He glanced around and sure enough, every eye was on him. “Well, I don’t suppose you would show me around. Maybe if you showed me around, people would stop offering up their daughters. I noticed no one has asked me if their sons could show me the town. Do the men of Papillon not know their way around?”
“Well, you could say that about a lot of them. But no, it’s because there aren’t many available men and when a new one comes to town it’s like a medieval parade of who has the best dowry. You need to remember that whatever my momma tells you, I’ve got no dowry whatsoever. I come with a lot of baggage. Tons of baggage.” She gasped as though she’d just had a thought. “Unless you would rather have a nice man show you around our town. I hadn’t considered that and it was awfully backward thinking of me. I know a great guy. His name is Michael Hendricks and he’s such a doll. You would get along so well.”
Whoa. That had taken a turn. She was smiling, and that smile took her from beautiful to gorgeous. That smile kind of lit up his world, but she was working under a big misconception. “I’m comfortable with women showing me the sights. Did you get excited about setting me up with your friend?”
A hand cupped her hip, and the sass factor went sky high. “Is there a reason you wouldn’t like my friend?”
He had to chuckle. This one was obviously a fierce warrior. “I’m sure I would like him but I would only like him, not like like him because I like women. Like like them.”
The cutest frown came over her face. “You’re a confusing man.”
“So I’ve been told.” Oh, he liked her. A lot. She would be a ton of fun, and not in the way Cal meant it. He would very much enjoy getting to know this woman. “How about tomorrow? It’s Sunday. I can take the afternoon off.”
Her eyes widened. “Are you hitting on me at my great-aunt’s funeral?”
He had probably gone a nice shade of red. He hadn’t thought this through, and he definitely hadn’t realized she was related to the deceased. He thought she was one of those people who’d come for the gumbo. “Well, that would be rude of me so no, I am not.”
She looked him up and down. “It would be rude, and I was only coming over to warn you that my mom will likely try to trick you into dating me. Don’t fall for it.”
She turned on her heels and started to walk away.
“Hey, you didn’t even tell me your name. How will I know who to avoid if you don’t tell me your name?”
She glanced back, that blonde hair swaying. “Seraphina Guidry. Remember it so we don’t have to go through all of this again. Welcome to Papillon, Mr. Jefferys. I hope you enjoy your stay.”
About Lexi Blake
New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. Since starting her publishing journey in 2010, she’s sold over three million copies of her books. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings.
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