This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Released on May 5, 2020
A heartwarming story of recovery, second chances, sleeping southern towns, and the quirky residents that know everything about everyone.
Butterfly Bayou starts with a tragedy that pushes the heroine to make a big move in her life but also runs away from a past she needs to confront and own. Packing up her life, Lila Daley heads to Butterfly Bayou to be closer to her youngest sister and restart her life. Getting stuck on the road because a gator won’t move, then getting a speeding ticket tops off her first day, but it forecasts the days to come. She soon learns the house she bought so cheaply is in need of major upgrades, a scruffy dog adopts her and she doesn’t have the support she expected from the local to take over the clinic as a nurse practitioner. Fitting in isn’t going to be easy, but then fitting in isn’t her goal per se.
Sheriff Armie LaVigne is a single dad trying to keep a small town peaceful. There is nothing peaceful about this town or the residents. Living in a big city came to a halt when his ex-wife is killed in an accident that has left his daughter in a wheelchair. Armie wants routine and he wants a woman to spend his life with, then he sees Lila. She’s crabby, broken, and in need of love, he wants to give her.
The author goes away with the heroine I wasn’t expecting. Lila is not a wilting angel. Her childhood was not the best, but she got through it to become a nurse. Watching her best friend die and not be able to help both wakes up Lila and causes her to run. Slowly we pull away the walls to find a solid foundation, but one that doesn’t know how to love because she had to push that away to survive. Relying on someone isn’t easy, but she learns to do so step by step with a town that is closed off, but when you become a member of their town, you become one for life.
Weaving Armie was just as tough. He’s a single father who wasn’t always the best dad until crisis hits. His law enforcement job in the big city often took up more of his time that he allowed for family. Divorced, he is forced to come home when his parent gets older and the only job he is qualified for is Sheriff. Then tragedy strikes and his ex-wife is killed and his daughter forced into a wheelchair. She is now a teenager, smart, funny, and ready to move on with her life, but her dad holds her back. He’s afraid she won’t be able to take care of herself with him. He’s a great father, just has a guilt complex that pushes his daughter to stay in place and dares anyone to tell him he is wrong.
Lila and Armie seem so wrong for each other, but in reality, they are perfect for each other. He pushes her to love while she pushes him to accept his daughter is growing up and can do more than he wants to admit. To be fair to him, his daughter does play him at times. She is a teenager, after all, being raised without a feminine influence that Lila fills a nurse if not as a future stepmom.
This wasn’t an easy story. It was tragic, heartbreaking, funny, and hard to sometimes wrap your head around. The characters are vibrant and real from the old men racing golf carts to the local restaurant and microbrewery her sister’s in-laws run. There are old families that can trace their roots far back who don’t want people putting their nose in their business. The gossip, the family feuds, business that shape the way of life all make this a good entry story for Butterfly Bayou.
Reading Challenge #5
Review Writing Challenge #23
Literary Pickers #18 – Small town
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: