A review by serendipity_viv
Royal Street, by Suzanne Johnson


I loved everything about this book! The plot, the setting, the characters - I couldn't get enough of them and I can't wait for the next book!
I don't normally read urban fantasy but when I realised this was set in New Orleans around the time of Hurricane Katrina, I had a gut feeling this book would be for me. I always listen to my gut feelings and yet again I was right.
Since I first heard about New Orleans when I was young, (I think it might have been while watching a James Bond movie) I became fascinated by voodoo and its birthright in New Orleans. Characters such as Marie Leveau, Jean Laffitte and Baron Samedi had been on my radar for awhile and will always attract my attention. The fact that the author brought them back from the dead to play a part in this book, alongside Louis Armstrong, was pure genius. Out of all of them Jean Lafitte was definitely my favourite, though that might have been because I kept imagining him as Jonny Depp! Ahem! Moving on.
I loved the way the book took a real event and incorporated the story around. Not to be morbid, I am well aware how devastating Hurricane Katrina was for New Orleans, yet I find myself in need of knowing more of why it happened and what occurred after the tragic event. Perhaps this is some kind of morbid fascination or just the need for clarity, I'm not sure, but as the story is placed in the hands of a New Orleans resident who has tirelessly worked to help with the clean up of New Orleans, I couldn't resist reading and enjoying this book.
Before each chapter begins, the author provides a snippet of information from the news , pinpointing the chronological events of Hurricane Katrina, so you get a feel of how the people changed their perspective of the devastating event; from the beginning they were quite blase about the effect it would have and were unprepared for the damage it finally created.
Within the story there is a love triangle which I felt worked really well, although perhaps 'love triangle' isn't the best description and 'lust triangle' would be better. It is clear from very early on, that D.J. is attracted to both Alex and his cousin, Jake. In their own way, they both have feelings for her too, but see her from different view points. Alex knows so much more about D.J., things that would seem unbelievable to Jake. It is only as the story progresses, that Jake realises D.J. isn't what she seems.
I really felt that the author captured the magical essence of New Orleans and entwined it with a thrilling well placed plot and a cast of alluring characters to create a winning combination. I am already and waiting for my next trip to New Orleans!