It’s not true that you can’t go home again, but do you want to?
Paris gallery owner Leah Bertrand returns to her historic, moss-draped Louisiana hometown to fulfill a deathbed promise to her friend and mentor. She’s been matched as a bone marrow donor to a stranger, yet the match is so close that doctors suspect a family relationship. But how? Leah’s family has always seethed with drama, but this visit home promises secrets as deep, dark, and mysterious as the water in Cypress Bayou. And then her ex arrives, and Leah realizes the feelings and secrets she buried years ago have come back to haunt her.
Dr. Jake Carmichael returns to Cypress Bayou after years away and is shocked to see Leah, his childhood sweetheart and first love, back in town and on his patient roster. The sparks still burn, but when he tries to discuss what went wrong and perhaps rebuild their relationship, Leah refuses.
Jake’s not ready to give up on their future together. But Leah fears she has even more to lose this time…
This first book in Susan Sands' Louisiana series is charming, heartwarming, and so much more. There's a multitude of layers to this story and Sands weaves them together flawlessly, strategically injecting humor, conflict, poignant emotion, romantic yearning, and more, as the story unfolds. The unexpected layers add a depth of emotion that make the characters even more relatable and had me eagerly flipping pages to discover what would happen next. There are places I laughed, others where tears flowed, and a few family scenes that are definitely cringe worthy.
The characters are all vibrantly depicted and so realistic I forgot I was reading fiction. I love that there are no easy fixes offered to the obstacles in their relationships, whether romantic or family. Keeping it real, with character growth and work, make the resolutions that much more satisfying.
Then there's the setting, really a character in itself. Southern Louisiana comes alive in this book. I felt immersed in the music, culture, food, and sultry charm of New Orleans and the bayou country.
Home to Cypress Bayou isn't the first book I've read by Susan Sands but it's my favorite. I'm already looking forward to more stories from the bayou!