Thursday, December 29, 2016

Series Review: Behind Iron Lace & Lagniappe by Mercy Celeste

Series Review: Behind Iron Lace & Lagniappe by Mercy Celeste

Behind Iron Lace


Hot and steamy in The Big Easy isn’t the life Darcy Butler wants, until he meets a smooth talking bad boy…

Darcy Butler is a fish out of water and is suffocating in the humid New Orleans heat. Dissatisfied with his career, his life, he is homesick and heartbroken. Above all Darcy is straight. Or so he believes until he meets the drop-dead gorgeous photographer he wants to revamp the art department of his e-magazine.

Caleb Mitchell, bad boy extraordinaire, lives life on the edge. He’s been around the world covering murder and mayhem. Back in New Orleans to tend his dying mother, Caleb is worn down by grief. He seeks the diversion of working at a local e-magazine to help keep him sane. He doesn’t expect the instant attraction to the bright-eyed editor/owner. That Darcy is probably straight doesn’t matter to Caleb. Because when Caleb wants something, nothing will stand in his way.

Will Darcy be his salvation or his undoing?

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Darcy Butler isn't happy in New Orleans. He's fed up with the heat and dissatisfied with his work and his relationship, if it can even be called that. Meeting Caleb Mitchell, the famous photographer that wants to work in Darcy's online magazine, throws his life into turmoil. He's straight, always has been, so why can't he stop thinking of Caleb? 

Caleb is a Pulitzer winner for his photos, a playboy and an adventure seeker. While he doesn't need the money, he needs the distraction that working for Darcy will provide, so he won't have to focus on the fact that his mother is dying. Being attracted to Darcy is just the icing on the cake and even if he knows Darcy is likely straight, he just can't resist pursuing him. 

Sparks will fly when Caleb and Darcy come together, but Caleb isn't looking for anything long-term and Darcy doesn't really know what he wants. Will they manage to get it right before it's too late? 

I loved Caleb and Darcy to bits! They're such fantastic characters and complemented each other perfectly. They were flawed, real and relatable, even if there were times that I wanted to slap some sense into one or the other. Their chemistry was just about as explosive as their relationship, and really, at some point, while reading some of the hottest scenes I've ever read, I wasn't sure which would go up in flames first, me or my Kindle (neither did, but it was a close call 😉).
The last thing I expected when I started reading Behind Iron Lace was how it would impact me. Not only did I stay awake all night reading, but I had a major book hangover after I finished. I completely fell for Caleb and Darcy and just couldn't put the book down until I was finished with it. I was blown away by the story and all that the guys went through before and after they met. I was swept away in a sea of emotions as I cried, laughed and squirmed (there might be quite a bit of fanning myself, too) while I read, totally wrapped up in this fabulous book. There's heartbreak, there's romance, there's angst, there's hotter than hot sex and the almost magical descriptions of New Orleans that just made want to be there (definitely not during summer, though and my lovely co-blogger, Tracy, can confirm you don't want to visit between April and September) and let's not forget Caleb's charm and his use of French words that made me a bit weak-kneed. All in all, definitely one of my favorite books ever, one that I know I'll read again. Highly recommendable!

Rating: 5++++ Stars!!!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not required. ***


Caleb Mitchell, bad boy extraordinaire, is ready to give up his jet-set ways to settle down with the love of his life. The restaurant is ahead of schedule, and everything is perfect.
Darcy Butler has everything he ever wanted. Home, family, career, a man who loves him, and everything is perfect.
The restaurant opening brings friends and family together from all over the country to celebrate the season and their love.
Everything should be perfect.
Unless it’s all too good to be real.
Will their perfect life together survive a visit from the ghosts of their pasts?

30,000-word Iron Lace story. Previously published with the current edition of Behind Iron Lace. Now a stand-alone.
Should be read in order

Buy Link:   Amazon

Lagniappe is the sequel to Behind Iron Lace and it should be read in order. 

Darcy and Caleb are now living in Seattle. Darcy is still giving classes at college and Caleb is about to open his restaurant. However, Darcy is running himself ragged between trying to help Caleb and classes. Still, they are together and in love. Is love enough to survive learning some secrets from their pasts? 

I love Darcy and Caleb and while in essence, they remain the same, still intense and passionate and still hot as New Orleans in the summer, there was a lot going on in this short book with the secondary arcs. The first with Caleb's cousin's husband, who had been Caleb's first boyfriend and who was now working for Caleb at the restaurant while trying to put the moves on Caleb. And the second with the return of Bailey, Darcy's ex from h*ll and a few twists and turns that I never saw coming and threw me for a loop. 

Still, it was an entertaining read, while it wasn't up to par with the first book, it was equally well-written, fast-paced and fairly faithful to the characters. It was a nice way to wrap the loose ends from Behind Iron Lace and give Darcy and Caleb the HEA they deserve. 

Rating: 4 Stars!!!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not required. *** 

About the Author:

Mercy Celeste is the pen name and super hero persona of mild mannered MJ Colbert…which is bull, I'm not mild mannered. I was, in fact, raised in a barn—or several. We even had grain silos. My motto growing up, anything a boy can do, I'm right behind him doing it just as well or better. I've broken too many bones to begin to count. Scraped, skinned or scarred pretty much everything that can be scraped, skinned or scarred. How I'm still walking and talking is a miracle.

So about the writing, well, I don't really consider myself to be a writer. I'm a storyteller, and when I have a story to tell, it won't rest until it's twisted me up and purged itself. The result is at times comical or tragic, depending on the people who live in my head and what they have to say. Most days that's not a lot of anything. Others I can't shut them up. They especially love when I'm driving, oh, yeah, a drive across town is a lesson in how not to get myself killed or be pulled over for reckless driving. And those are the good days.
Welcome to my crazy world, if it's boring now, wait five minutes, and don't blink. Things have a tendency to get interesting around me. 

Contact Mercy:

Where you can find Mercy:


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