A Little Gumbo in Her Face by Arleen Faustina
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After the deaths of her parents and a nasty break up with her fiancé, Manon Benoit, a psychiatrist specializing in PTSD, makes the move from New York to New Orleans, carrying with her not only her grief but also the mystery of her famous mother’s hidden past. One evening while dancing Argentine tango, she encounters a handsome Creole FBI Agent, Andy St. Julien, a New Orleans native recently returned to the Big Easy to investigate an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.
Andy’s suspicions about Manon’s real ties to New Orleans (Is she merely French or something else?), an Australian psychic’s predictions, the interference of old lovers, unexpected twists in the FBI’s case, and the heady atmosphere of New Orleans herself all conspire to make the lovers’ journey a rocky one and threaten to expose the past that Manon’s mother sought to keep hidden.
The Creoles are alive and well in New Orleans, and we all recognize one another. We got a little gumbo in our faces.
Set in New Orleans, the melting pot of French, African, Spanish, and American cultures, the story includes references to great food, locations, and an explanation of the Creole culture.
Manon is the director of the PTSD Center for Research and Treatment at University Medical Center, an Argentine tango dancer, a singer, and an independent woman who has sworn off men…until Andy walks into her life.
Andy is an FBI agent investigating potential terrorist targets in the Gulf region, a tango dancer, and a widower who has not been serious about a woman since his wife’s death…until he meets Manon.
The characters are thoughtful and articulate, and they convey their ideas and beliefs strongly. My favorite is Manon’s long-time friend, Beatrice. An Aussie psychic and medicine woman who often predicts Manon’s future including her inevitable meeting with Andy.
The story is a love story and mystery filled with suspense, danger, misunderstandings, and spiritual guidance. If you are a sucker for love stories with a bit of mystery and revealed family secrets, give this novel a try.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Arleen Cerbone Faustina earned a Ph.D. in psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans where she spent many happy years living in and loving the Big Easy. Her specialization in PTSD lends her writing authenticity and her love of New Orleans pervades the story. A Little Gumbo in Her Face is her debut novel. Arleen lives in Virginia.