Earlier this month I read a book by Hailey Edwards that stopped my Harvey book funk in its tracks. I enjoyed it so much I started looking for anything else by this author I could get my hands on. Bayou Born, the first book in her Foundling series, popped up on Goodreads as releasing in October.
Her beginning may be our end . . .
Deep in the humid Mississippi bayou, a half-wild child is dragged from the murky waters. She has no memories, no family and is covered in mysterious markings. Adopted by the policeman who rescued her, Luce Boudreau follows him onto the force, determined to prove herself in the eyes of those who are still suspicious.
However, there’s more of a battle ahead than Luce could possibly imagine. She may be an orphan without a past, but no one – including Luce herself – could ever be prepared for the truth of her dark, powerful destiny.
Brand new urban fantasy series by Hailey Edwards, bestselling author of the Gemini and Black Dog series. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Estep, Darynda Jones and Ilona Andrews.
Luce is a police officer in Canton, Mississippi and as the first few chapters unfold readers are introduced to her and learn certain mysterious details of her backstory. She was discovered in the swampy bayou when she was eleven years old; Naked, covered in strange metallic markings, and with complete amnesia. After spending a considerable amount of time in the hospital being poked, prodded and the subject of intense scrutiny, she was adopted by the police officer who rescued her and raised in a loving home. Now it is fifteen years later and she still has no idea of her life before, but she has a small support system that includes her dad, his partner and wife, per partner Rixton and his wife, and her best friend. She also has a phone call she looks forward to every year on her birthday (her found day) from a man who she knows nothing about other than that his name is Ezra.
Luce and Rixton are currently working on a missing persons case involving a young woman, Angel Claremont. When a body is found in the bayou they are called in to investigate and quickly realize this woman isn’t Angel, but she might be the key to Luce finally getting some answers about her past. Jane Doe is covered in the same strange markings as Luce and in almost an identical situation. On scene Luce also meets the members of White Horse Security. They have been hired by Angel’s family to locate the young woman, and end up helping the police rescue the mysterious woman in the water. What Luce doesn’t know is that they, along with the owner and head of the company Cole Heaton, are integral to the investigations of both women and Luce finally finding out who she is and where she comes from.
Bayou Born starts off a bit slow, it almost reads more like a mystery/suspense rather than a fantasy up until about the 50% mark. I mean I knew something was up and all kinds of weirdness was about to unleash, I just wasn’t sure what or when. I was kind of expecting some voodoo, witchiness to come into play, but NOPE. I really had no idea where this book was going until it actually got there. Seriously, no idea. Which is was nice actually. I’ve struggled with this review because I kind of feel like this is one of those books where the reader should go in completely spoiler free. Bayou Born begins with a mystery, then kind of morphs into another mystery and I spent the entire book trying to not only figure out what was up with the missing women, but who was Jane Doe and what did she have to do with Luce, and how did White Horse and Cole figure into Luce’s history. When all those mysteries started to unravel and a clear picture of the truth weave itself together I was totally surprised. I think you will be too. And this is one of those first books in a series where you just know things will only get more intricate and interesting as the series evolves.
Which is why I’m going to end my review here and just tell you guys to add Bayou Born to your TBR stack. Interesting world building, intriguing characters and an ending that leaves so many questions that I’m already looking forward to book two. Hailey Edwards is fast becoming an auto buy author for me. Final Grade- B
“Beauty is a reflection on the genetic soup we got served. It says nothing about your character or personality. Pretty is just that. Pretty. Substance is what matters. Clichéd as it sounds, it really is what’s inside that counts.” I unbuckled my seatbelt. “As long as what’s inside isn’t me in your belly, we’re cool.”