Rumble on the Bayou

Author: Jana Deleon

Publisher: Leisure Books

Release Date: October 3, 2006

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5

Format: PRINT

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Dorie Berenger is more than just the deputy in Gator Bait, Louisiana. She’s also the game warden. So when there’s an alligator floating in the town drunk’s swimming pool she gets the distinct pleasure of dealing with it. Only the gator isn’t just napping, it’s stoned. Life on the bayou has always been peaceful and laid back but now trouble has arrived. Dorie doesn’t know which is worse - the drugs being found in Gator Bait, or the overwhelming and condescending DEA agent who’s been sent to catch a drug trafficker.

Agent Richard Starke has invested more than eight years in trying to track down the elusive drug trafficker, Shawn Roland. He never anticipated ending up in a small backwater town in a stand off with the deputy sheriff, whom he’s dubbed the "Princess of Hicksville." Richard (or Dick, as Dorie calls him) is clueless on how to deal with Dorie or any of the rest of the residents of the town but he’d better figure out how to be a mite friendlier if he has any hope of getting anyone to talk to him.

The stoned alligator in Maylene’s pool is the first indiction that there are drugs being moved through Gator Bait. The backpack lodged in the alligator's mouth which is full of heroin and cash is the second. Unfortunately they’re all wet so Dorie and the other town deputy, Joe, have no way of getting fingerprints off any of it. As luck would have it, they get their print anyway off the one other object found in the mouth of the alligator - a finger. They run the print through the national database and right away Dorie notices a discrepancy from the normal message she would have received if there are no matching records. Going on instinct, Dorie knows that something big is going on and her little hometown is going to play a major role in whatever happens next.

The following day after verifying that everybody in town still had all their fingers Dorie opts to spend her day off "fishing." Dorie’s fishing attire is well known by her friends and acquaintances and since it makes most of them uncomfortable they leave her alone. Uptight DEA agent Starks is unaware of Dorie’s penchant for fishing/sunbathing in her underwear and arrives in town demanding to see the sheriff. The sheriff is on medical leave and he’ll have to make do with Dorie - underwear and all. From the minute they meet, they’re at each other’s throats but they’re going to have to find a way to work together if they have any hope of capturing Shawn, maybe relieving a little of their pent up sexual frustration would help.

RUMBLE ON THE BAYOU is Jana DeLeon’s first published novel and I have to say it’s one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in quite a while. From the very first page I was charmed by the characters that inhabit Gator Bait. I fell in love with deputy Joe and his shy nature, and laughed out loud at all the scenes involving the town drunk, Maylene. I loved every second of Dorie and Richard’s ongoing battle of wills and the way they interact with each other is absolutely hilarious. In addition to the humor that is present throughout this book there is also the suspense of whether they’ll capture Shawn Roland but then you also start to wonder which of the townspeople is guilty of helping him bring drugs through town. This is a wonderful novel full of many surprising elements that in my opinion would make an awesome movie. I’ll definitely be making space in my keeper shelf for this book.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne

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