Saturday, February 15, 2014

Instructions for Love by June Shaw (Review)

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Rugged plantation owner DANE CANCIENNE knows how to love, but anger now fuels him. He cherished his wife and death took her. Now he’s steeled his heart against letting another woman cause him such anguish. After a fast-talking New Yorker arrives at his doorstep, he determines he must get the beautiful stranger to leave before she softens his heart enough to make him consider taking another chance on love.
LACI WESTLAKE flies down to Louisiana’s bayou country for her beloved Aunt Tilly’s funeral where someone hands her an envelope with a strange request. If Laci follows what her late aunt asks of her, she'll probably lose everything she has. And if she carries out those wishes, will it happen soon enough to discover she has arrived at the perfect place and located the perfect man for her?
  • File Size: 356 KB
  • Print Length: 178 pages
JUNE SHAWMy debut novel was published some time after I became a widow with five children. My ninth grade English teacher ignited my dream of becoming a writer, but my life was busy, my dream long deferred. How exciting it is to see my lifelong dream come to pass.
My mystery series has been compared to writing by Janet Evanovitch and Agatha Christie. It's been called suspenseful and fun. It's certainly been fun for me. Deadly Ink nominated Relative Danger for their David award for Best Mystery of the Year. I'm honored and thrilled--and love to hear from readers.
I've also written a book about my amazing mom that can help anyone getting older. And I've plunged into writing for children with HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PET GHOST. I sure hope you'll explore some of my works. Thanks! June
MY REVIEW:
June Shaw captured the true south in her book INSTRUCTIONS FOR LOVE. While the storyline was more of fairytale like than real, I found the book to be an enjoyable read.
Being from the South, June Shaw accurately captured the Southern slowness of life and the culture where so many others have attempted and failed. The moss swaying in the Oaks, the bayous and canals, the wildlife, the plantation life, the cane fields, the slave quarters, and T-Fred's Diner (perhaps by another name,) the local seafood joint are all places that exists in Southern Louisiana today.
Where some reviews have criticized  a lack of development in the story line and characters, I felt there was a story between the lines. Love can develop at quick pace when two people are right for each other. I can understand where some readers thought perhaps Dane went from grieving to being in love in a blink of an eye. Had they read at a Southerner's pace, they would have seen that Dane was a grieving man ready to move on. And Erin, as with many people thrown into the Southern bayou culture, was a fish out of water.
A culture exists in Southern Louisiana that exists nowhere else. I, myself, was a fish out of water - and still am most of the time - in a culture still deeply embedded in its past and immersed in its Cajun French Culture; something that is difficult for an outsider to understand - "Erin rushed down here and found Louisiana's southern end flat and its occupants' accents swelling around her almost as heavy as their air."
Tilly's request for Erin to spend four days before heading back to New York may sound a little farfetched at first sight, but Southern mamas always seem to know what their children need. And the trickery? Well, let's just say it's not beyond the realm of reality.
June pulled straight from her surroundings. Never is this more evident in this quote, "But you're a woman." T-Fred gave her mop of orange hair a toss to the side of her chubby face. "Yep, that's what they tell me." "But your name..." Erin's nose made a cute scrunch. "My dad was Fred. His first kid was gonna be named after him, no matter what. And I don't think you're from around here, but lots of people get the T stuck in front to make a nickname, the T meaning little."
You'd have to experience the culture to know just how true that quote is. I would be hard pressed to name one person down on the bayou that doesn't have a nickname or a "T" in front of their name. And, everyone knows everyone elses' business, or they will real soon.
There were a few drawbacks in the book, but not enough to mention. It's a fast-moving romance at a slow-moving pace (a Southern thing.) The writing was good and I liked that the area and story was depicted accurately without using the Cajun dialect that often makes a book difficult to read. I am giving INSTRUCTIONS FOR LOVE four stars.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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