Review of Voodoo Love and the Curse of Jean Lafitte’s Treasure, by Victoria Richards

Voodoo LoveI grabbed a copy of Victotia Richard‘s Voodoo Love from the Amazon free list. It is also review number three in my Taking Care of my Own challenge.

Description from Goodreads:
Elizabeth knows what adventure is about or at least she would if her memory would ever come back to her. She’s been told that two years ago she was chased by a greedy thug, Diego Martes, who believed she knew the location to a pirate treasure cursed by voodoo and hidden deep in the sultry bayous of Louisiana. During the process of escaping, Elizabeth’s lover and assassin for hire, Juan Carlos Montoya, drowned trying to save her. Though she now lives in a government arranged marriage to a cop in the small town of Barataria Bay, Elizabeth is still trying to remember the past, remember the danger, and most of all remember Juan Carlos, the dead Latino dreamboat who dragged her into the mess in the first place.

When Elizabeth’s idyllic new life is interrupted by a ghostly visit from a still sexy Juan, she finds herself once again plunged into unwanted intrigue. With his help, her memory of the past begins to come back, along with her memories of their nights of passion. Together they must outwit an insane villain, Diego and go back to where Jean Lafitte’s cursed pirate treasure is hidden in order to lift a deadly voodoo curse that threatens to end their love forever.

Review: **slightly spoilerish**
Pirates of the Caribbean anyone?—More specifically aspects of Dead Man’s Chest and At Worlds End. Elizabeth and Juan could be modern versions of, well, Elizabeth and Will. Euralie could be Tia Dalma. Jean Laffitte makes a credible Davey Jones and The Dead Man’s Ferry could be The Flying Dutchman. There’s even a cursed treasure that enslaves it’s possessors. All we’re really missing is the monkey.

I realise some of this is a case of using the same source myths as inspiration and also probably an unavoidable case of being influenced by what’s around you. I mean, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has become huge. It was everywhere for a while. But there are A LOT of similarities. The ship is even in need of a new captain. Sound familiar? Honestly, with the exception of being set in modern times and a change of most of the names I might be tempted to call this fan fiction…fun fan fiction, but still fan fiction.

Enough about that, moving on. This is a fun romp through the Bayou. Elizabeth is a fun, strong willed heroine who manages to find herself in a whole heap of trouble. Juan is her love interest. Normally I’d call him our hero, but honestly he’s in and out and the reader never gets to know him well enough to qualify for a main character tag, in my opinion. He’s a bit of a place holder, really.

I enjoyed the read, but I was confused about a couple things. Why didn’t Eddie just shoot Diego at any of the numerous opportunities he had, for example? Why was his identity as an agent kept secret from Elizabeth? It doesn’t seem necessary. Why would Jean, or maybe Maria, ever even have made a map to their treasure in the first place? They obviously didn’t need it.

I also couldn’t quite stomach the schmaltzy ending. I appreciate a happy ending and all but this was jut a little too…too, “Oh Juan, I love you soooo much” sort of over the top, borderline cheesy, feel good, true love inspired sap that moves from HEA to…to…to schmaltz. Not a fan, me.

For the most part, I thought the writing was fine. The name Elizabeth was said far, far too often to feel natural though. This wasn’t a habit that was used for everyone, but when speaking to Elizabeth, everyone seemed to need to say her name.  I got sick of it after a while. But that was my only real complaint other than the strange episode thing.

Why was broken into episodes? I read the compilation, so it doesn’t really effect me, but I could technically review each of them separately, I read them all. But I simply I don’t understand this whole episodic trend. How does one rate three middle chapters of a book for example, without consideration for preceding or following chapters?

Final say? I enjoyed it. It was a fun read. But that’s about it. Then again, all a reader sometimes wants is a little light fluff to pass the time.

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