Note: This ARC was provided by RockStar Lit PR in exchange for an honest review.
It didn’t matter that her French was Parisian and his was Cajun or that she was twenty-seven to his thirty-two. It didn’t even matter that he had no plans for this love that already started to take root inside of him. All that mattered was that in a moment when she could have done or said a million different things, Jacqueline Rousseau had somehow managed to choose a response that allowed him to keep his pride, his dignity, and his hope.
Oh Lord, he was going to fall.
And he was going to fall hard.
Jonquils for Jax is the first book in bestselling author Katy Regnery’s Rousseaus series, which is the third in her immensely popular and well-loved Blueberry Lane umbrella series, composed of collections of stories about five families who love along Blueberry Lane—the Englishes, the Winslows, the Rousseaus, the Storys, and the Amblers. Prior to this new series, I had only read the Winslow Brothers series and Marrying Mr. English from the English Brothers series, and while all the families are tied together, each sub-series can stand on its own. With the Rousseaus, there are four siblings—Étienne, Jean-Christian, and fraternal twins Jacqueline and Madeline, with Étienne recently married to Kate English (their story is told in Kiss Me Kate, the sixth book in the English Brothers series). The Rousseaus series starter is about twenty-seven-year-old Jacqueline Rousseau, fondly called Jax and an Oscar-winning film producer, and thirty-two-year-old New Orleans native turned Philadelphia transplant Gardener Thibodeaux, a former police detective from the city forced into retirement and who’s now a part-time gardener.
Being back in the home she loves has given Jax Rousseau a feeling of peace she hasn’t enjoyed in a while. She may be passionate about being a producer but the pitfalls of celebrity—being hounded by the paparazzi and not knowing who she can trust to not invade her fragile hold on privacy—had her returning to the solace of Le Chateau along Blueberry Lane. Just as she’s being pursued by yet another hanger-on, she’s rescued by the neighboring family’s new gardener who just happens to be named Gardener. There’s something about the man that calls to Jax and getting to know him isn’t exactly as easy as it may seem, and Gardener Thibodeaux certainly prefers it that way. He lost his best friend and a job he loved and he’s still trying to decide of gardening and landscaping—both of which run deeply in his blood—are part of his new career path. He may also speak French but that isn’t enough to mean he has anything in common with the woman he’s nicknamed Duchess. His Cajun inflections compared to her Parisian ones highlight how different their worlds are. But he’s falling, and falling fast. The question is: Is she?
I absolutely adored this series starter because it really and truly was about Jax and Gard and how they became friends who were meant to be much more and yet gave me enough of a glimpse at the two other Rousseaus who will get their stories told in the series—Mad and J.C.—to make me curious about them. I’ve also come across the English couples enough times that I feel this need to read all their stories as well because that’s the only way I’m going to have the complete Blueberry Lane experience. Jax and Gard’s love story was beautifully told and these two proved to be quite an endearing pair. I totally understood Jax’s attachment to her family home because I share the same affection for mine. Gard may have had his physical limitations, but goodness, the lengths this man would go to for the woman he loved had me swooning. Their situation may seem complex but at the end of the day, it all boils down to one simple thing for these two: they loved each other and they were committed to that love. The bar’s been set high for the next two stories in the series, and I cannot wait to see how they fare. Five-plus stars for Jonquils for Jax. ♥
Date Read: 06 August 2016
Learn more about Katy Regnery.