Baylee Mitchell is a high school history teacher. She’s also becoming well known as a wildlife photographer. She could probably go into photography full time but she enjoys teaching. Several years ago, one of her students introduced her to his uncle, John Belvue.
John is a Choctaw Indian who lives on a Louisiana bayou. Though John is well educated and teaches part time at a university, he and his wife decided to live as their ancestors lived and do not have electricity, running water or a car. What John does have is a great deal of knowledge of the bayou and its wildlife. John has taken Baylee around the bayou to take photos and they became friends. When John is arrested for killing an alligator, his wife calls Baylee to help.
Dane Winslow is a DA in Texas but when his father ends up in the hospital, he agrees to take over his case load even though Dane usually sits on the opposite side of the court room from his father. Dane’s father is John’s public defender and with all the chaos happening, Dane misses John’s court hearing. After reading the file, he heads out to see if he can talk to John but finds Baylee and learns that there are no roads to John’s remote home.
As Baylee educates Dane on John’s life style and helps him set up a defense for him, she finds that she’s attracted to him. This is not in her plans and she doesn’t have time for any romantic interests. Dane wants to know more about Baylee but is leery. He’s had too many women that only see how much he’s worth and not take the time to really get to know him. With both of them scared to commit to a relationship, will they be able to find the love that is eluding them?
I found this book interesting and educating. Ms Crow did her research on the Choctaw Indians and the wildlife in Louisiana. She was able to present this information is such a way as to enlighten the reader and not bore them. As I did not know much about either, I found myself intrigued. I enjoyed learning some of the beliefs of the natives of this area as well as learning about some of the endangered species and some of their comebacks! Just this part of the story would make this book worth reading.
But Ms Crow’s characters are just as intriguing as her background material. They are very well developed and readers get a good idea of who they are and where they come from. She puts them into their roles with expertise and the characters develop naturally. It was fun seeing people with feet in more than one world and trying to mesh them into a life that is workable. Secondary characters, such as John’s daughter, while not as developed as the major characters added dimension to the story and seemed to give it realism.
With this kind of first book, I look forward to seeing this author develop her skills as she learns her craft. Her attention to details overall was superb with vivid descriptions. The few things I had issues with weren’t big enough to distract from the story nor were they anything major within the story line.
When Baylee Mitchell's full-blooded Choctaw Indian friend is arrested for poaching, she will do anything to help him. But she wasn't counting on being in close contact with Dane Winslow, a Texas DA. Dane has come to Louisiana to help his father build a case for John Belvue. While Dane's father is recuperating from a heart attack, Dane agrees to gather information and evidence his father can use to build a case. But a Texas history teacher, Baylee Mitchell seems to be the only one who has a good rapport with the people living along the Dorcheat bayou, and John Belvue has disappeared. It's not long before Dane not only wants to gain her trust, but her love.