Blood on the Bayou (Annabelle Lee #2)

   
Blood on the Bayou (Annabelle Lee, #2)

     It's only been three weeks since Annabelle helped solve the murder of Grace Beauchamp, and in the process, she discovered a secret world of invisible, magic-working people who have decided she might have what it takes to join their ranks.
     As best as she can determine, Annabelle’s attack by a group of fairies has infected her with paranormal ability she did not previously possess, including being able to mentally move objects and heal wounds. Her new abilities appear to have few negative side effects, aside from creepy dreams. But would that change if she stopped injecting herself with the mystery drug delivered to her by the even more mysterious Tucker, one of the Invisibles? Leery of trusting criminals with her health, Annabelle wishes she had someone she could talk to about the changes in her life. Enter Hitch, FBI agent and Annabelle's ex, who's back in Donaldsonville on an off-the-books investigation. Hitch suspects that there's a government-funded illegal lab that’s developing a controversial fairy-killing spray that could adversely affect the existence of every living thing in the delta—including humans. And Hitch and Annabelle will have to find a way to work together if they're going to find a way to shut it down.

  Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The emotional tornado that is Annabelle's life continues in Blood on the Bayou. This book was just as painful and gut-wrenching to read as the first one, Dead on the Delta, and even more so because I was already familiar with Annabelle and felt her more strongly this time around.

Without a doubt, the best (and at times, worst) part of this series is Annabelle's character. The one word that most adequately describes her is "complex". You can't simply hate or love her; there's a world of gray between those two black and white extremes. Annabelle visibly shows a significant amount of character development in Blood on the Bayou, especially with respect to her self-esteem. While she does let too many people insult her, often to her face, she still generally has a pretty good perception on relationships. I never felt she was acting meek; depressed, yes, but submissive? Never.

I didn’t deserve what Gerald tried to do. I didn’t deserve what Anton did all those years ago. I didn’t deserve a boyfriend who thought so little of me that he didn’t stop to consider I might be innocent.

True. True. And true.

This quote best shows what a long way Annabelle's come from the person she was in Dead on the Delta. Not only has she accepted what happened, she admits that it wasn't her fault, that she deserved better. And that it's time to move on and let the past go. Watching Annabelle develop into a woman who can stand up for herself and doesn't take crap from anyone has been the one thing that has made reading this raw series bearable. I believe Annabelle's worth the emotional investment.

Now, onto the love interests:

My feelings for Hitch were a tangled mess throughout most of this novel and the previous one. But thanks to what an awesome human being he was towards the end of Blood on the Bayou (I'm being sarcastic, since you probably can't tell), I've firmly taken him out of the running for Annabelle's love. The dumbass doesn't deserve to even breathe same air as her. He comes with way too much emotional baggage, and that's one thing Annabelle really doesn't need more of.

I'm completely divided over Cane. He seems to genuinely care for Annabelle, but I doubt he'd be good for her in the long run. And her observation that he only wants her in order to have kids and a family seems pretty accurate given his behavior. So while I don't hate him, I certainly don't want Annabelle to end up with him either. He's too selfish for a lasting relationship. But some of his actions were so sweet and considerate, I'm really not sure. The jury's still out on him.

And finally, saving the best for last, Tucker. He's the one I'm ultimately rooting for, the one I adore to bits, the one that had better end up with Annabelle. He's smart, funny, understanding, and oh-so-sexy. His attitude was never condescending towards Annabelle and he seems to accept, and even love, who she is, including all the bad and messed-up parts, which is something that really can't be said for the other two.

Overall, Blood on the Bayou is just as intense and compelling as Dead on the Delta, with unexpected bits of humor thrown in. If you enjoyed the latter, then you'll love this one. I'm really, really looking forward to the sequel. Only if Annabelle will end up with Tucker though, obviously.

Favorite quotes:
I smile. Just a little. He’s a mess, but I have a soft spot for messes.
I have to. My self-image depends upon it.

”Life is disturbing. Love makes it worth it. I’d give anything to hug my kid again.”

“I’ll call you Tucker,” I whisper. “I’ll call you baby. I’ll call you He-Man Master of My Vagina. But you’ve got to get up and move. Now.”


The cast:

DISCLAIMER: The physical descriptions might not match; this is just how they appear in MY imagination.
Annabelle:

Hitch:

Cane:

Tucker:

View all my reviews

 

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