Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Source: purchased copy
Cerise Mar and her clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands. When her parents vanish, her clan's long-time rivals are suspect. But all is not as it seems.
Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge-and Cerise's life.
This is the 2nd book in Ilona Andrew's The Edge paranormal romance series. I must admit that I wasn't all that enamored with the 1st book, On the Edge. It did not engage & excite me as much as I had hoped it would, especially considering how much I totally adore the Kate Daniels series. Fortunately, this followup installment improved upon its predecessor and reminded me why I'm such a huge fan of Ilona Andrew's writing.
Bayou Moon was fairly well paced, and I did not think there were any moments when the plot dragged. In fact, there was always something interesting going on, with emotional & physical conflict present at every turn. There were also some fight scenes dispersed throughout the story. For the most part, they were well written, but I felt that they were a bit too short and too easily resolved for my liking. I'm an action junkie, so I love elaborate fight sequences.
The standout aspect of this book is by far our protagonist duo. I will admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for love-hate (or rather hate-love) romantic relationships. I think it's a fun ride to see the main leads go from pushing each other's buttons to slowly (and a bit reluctantly) falling in love with one another. Cerise and William have sizzling chemistry practically from the very first instant they meet. I thoroughly enjoyed the way they got under each other's skin, how they bantered, and the way they tried to resist their perpetually growing mutual attraction.
Both William and Cerise's characters were well-developed and easy to connect with. What I really loved about them was the fact that despite having supernatural abilities, they are both very real. They have flaws, insecurities, secrets, fears, dreams, vulnerabilities, and plenty of emotional baggage. They make poor choices and sometimes follow their hearts when they should be following their heads. And as their relationship evolves, so do they. The love that develops between Cerise and William is entirely believable and makes sense. They have a lot in common, and their romance grows in stages, rather than jumping from point A straight to point Z. There was a fun push-pull dynamic between them and some truly titillating tension that had me glued to my seat.
I only had two real problems with this book. My first issue has to do with the other characters. I found the two primary villains of the story to be underdeveloped and somewhat caricature-like. Also, the side characters, despite being unique, were not as well defined as I would have liked them to be. Some of them popped in and popped out of the story very abruptly and made me question their purpose.
My other issue was with the changing perspective. I liked reading the story through Cerise and William's alternating points of view. I even appreciated getting more direct insight into the main villain's thoughts & machinations. However, at rather random moments in the second half of the book, certain chapters would switch perspectives to that of a couple of the supporting characters. I found this to be a bit disorienting, and I did not feel like it contributed in any significant way to the development of the story.