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Reading is my addiction... I read paranormal romance, urban fantasy, science fiction and fantasy, young adult, romance and historical romance. I am part of the blogging team over at Badass Book Reviews: http://badassbookreviews.com 

Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans Series #1)

Royal Street - Suzanne  Johnson “A secluded Louisiana bayou. A sexy pirate. Seduction and deceit. My Friday afternoon had the makings of a great romantic adventure, at least in theory.”Now that is a promising start to a novel. Set in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, Royal Street has the makings of a really good story. The basic premise is that the Hurricane’s change of barometric pressure allowed energy fields that protect our world from the Beyond to weaken, thereby allowing preternaturals to come through and create havoc in our world. The aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina are respectfully detailed. The devastation, the chaos, and the disorder form the backdrop of this story. Our heroine Drusilla Jaco (DJ) is the deputy sentinel for New Orleans. DJ and her mentor sentinel Gerry St. Simon are responsible for keeping New Orleans safe from these monsters. DJ has been sent north to her grandmother’s to ride out the storm in safety while Gerry stayed in New Orleans. In the aftermath of the storm, Gerry vanishes and DJ returns to find strange symbols painted in front of his home. DJ begins her search for Gerry but is interrupted by the pirate Jean Lafitte, a historical undead. She is rescued by Alex Warin, an enforcer with ties to local law enforcement. I liked DJ’s character. She’s all insecure with her magical abilities and describes herself as a nerdy wizard. DJ thinks fast and is not afraid to use unconventional means when necessary. She has a touch of badass about her. Her empathy skills seem to hinder her at times. There is something special about DJ, and Gerry goes to great lengths to protect her.I saw Alex as just an enforcer until his special talent was revealed. He has a good sense of humor. I had to chuckle at DJ’s assessment of Alex: “Body of Adonis, brains of an anchovy.” Ouch. Alex is attracted to DJ, but she seems to be attracted to his cousin Jake. Not a horrible love triangle, kind of mild, but there nonetheless. Alex and DJ work together to find Gerry. They also investigate several grisly murders involving voodoo. Baron Samedi, Marie Leveau, Louis Armstrong and the Pirate Jean Lafitte make appearances. Some of the supporting characters were intriguing. I loved Jean Lafitte. The historical undead pirate added a comedic and swashbuckling touch to the story. Here is where I would have loved to have had more information about the historical undead. They are not zombies and not ghosts and are warm-blooded. I would have liked to have known where and how they came to be. Therein lies my problem with this book. There really is a lot going on. There are so many different types of supernatural creatures: werewolves, shifters, vampires, fae, elves, ghosts, pixies, historical undead, merpeople, etc. Combine these with the voodoo and Baron Samedi, Marie Leveau – just a little too much to keep track of. The world was interesting, full of magic. The wizard hierarchy with its Elders and colored congresses was fascinating. I liked that the Beyond had its own parallel New Orleans called Old Orleans where the preternatural beings lived. When I checked the author’s website, I noticed that there was a free story called Pirate’s Alley available. This story tells how the Pirate Jean Lafitte was summoned to New Orleans and introduces the sentinel Gerry St. Simon. There is another free story available called Chenoire and it takes place between this book and the sequel River Road. River Road will be published in the fall of 2012. I’ll be looking forward to reading that book when it comes out. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book.Review posted on Badass Book Reviews.