But God, in his infinite wisdom, wanted to make sure that we were always reminded of our heavy feelings of culpability. That was why he created the great guilt-making machine of them all — the mother.
(from Acadian Waltz, page 7)
Alexandrea Weis’ latest novel, Acadian Waltz, follows Nora Kehoe, a 30-year-old physical therapist whose overbearing mother, Claire, constantly pressures her to get married and have children. When she meets Dr. John Blessing, she thinks he might be the answer to her mother’s prayers, but she doesn’t know what to make of the fact that he has their relationship on a schedule and has mapped out their future. She’s even more confused when forced to confront her feelings for Jean Marc Gaspard, a childhood friend turned adversary.
John is the practical choice and everything her mother has ever wanted for her in a husband, while Jean Marc is spontaneous and mysterious…and a member of the family her mother has hated since her doomed marriage to Jean Marc’s uncle. As owner of Gaspard Fisheries, has Jean Marc continued his family’s history of smuggling goods through the swamps? Does his past even matter if she’s in love with another man?
Acadian Waltz drew me in from the first page with Nora’s first-person narrative. She’s a very strong, opinionated woman who can go toe-to-toe with her mother, and Weis does a great job showing how she loses herself in other people’s expectations. Although Nora infuriated me at times, her behavior made sense given the pressure she was under. But Nora wasn’t the only character to elicit strong reactions; I just loved Nora’s Uncle Jack, a gruff fisherman who was quite observant despite being an alcoholic, Steve, Nora’s gay secretary, and Jean Marc, because who doesn’t love a sexy bad boy?
Weis brings to life the Louisiana bayous and the people whose livelihoods depend on them in Acadian Waltz. Her characters are fascinating and well developed, and my only complaint would be that I wanted more of them, particularly Henri, Jean Marc’s shady twin. Acadian Waltz is a fast-paced romance with some steamy sex scenes and a little mystery, danger, and humor thrown in. For someone who says she’s not a big fan of romance novels, I gobbled this one up in about a day.
Disclosure: I received Acadian Waltz from the author for review.
© 2013 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.