**I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Published by Story Vault on October 17, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
AMAZON • B&N • Goodreads
A woman who spent years escaping her rural past learns that Dogtown, Louisiana, hides more family secrets than just the recipe for boudin blanc…..
Resa Madere’s on the verge of losing it all. The boyfriend’s gone. The job’s history. Her beloved house is on the brink of foreclosure. She’ll do anything to save it—even spend a long Christmas holiday working in St. James Parish, Louisiana, helping her uncle run the family meat business. But the community of Dogtown, which has been home for seven generations of the Madere and Caillou families, has deep roots and deeper secrets. For Resa, going home is one thing.
Getting out might not be so easy.
Suzanne Johnson’s Christmas in Dogtown is a real treat. Johnson is one of my favorite writers and this short story highlights all the things I’ve come to love about her work – atmosphere, characters, and the paranormal.
Johnson sets her story in rural Louisiana in a small community called Dogtown. Johnson lays out the setting perfectly – the feel of it, the smell, the heat, the people. A chapter or two into the story, I felt like I could picture this town perfectly. Everything feels so alive in Johnson’s hands and she never fails to draw me into her world.
Resa Madere returns home to Dogtown to help out the family meat business for the holidays. She’s fallen on some hard times — lost job, a mortgage, and a broken heart. Having lived in New Orleans for years she refuses to see this as a permanent move. I felt for Resa as she struggles with expectations, both her family’s and her own, versus what she feels when she’s in Dogtown. There’s a sense of belonging and not belonging. I think anyone who has been away from their hometown for an extended period of time understands this push and pull and Resa’s struggle, on that level, is very relatable. Throw in a sexy old friend, Chan, who everyone assumes she will marry, and the romance factor raises the stakes for Resa. Chan is sensitive, smart, and sexy. He has his own desires that he refuses to burden Resa with and I loved his determination to allow her the space to make her own decisions free of obligations. It’s a subtle and sweet romance that adds to the atmospheric writing of the story.
I don’t think it would be a Suzanne Johnson story if there wasn’t a paranormal element in there somewhere. Dogtown’s paranormal twist had a touch of the unexpected. I think Resa’s ready acceptance was a bit unrealistic but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the story. It did, however, leave me wanting to know a little more about this secretive community in rural Louisiana.
Christmas in Dogtown is a sweet, romantic tale of family and love with a nice paranormal touch and an edge of mystery. At 30 pages, it’s a quick read for the holidays that will make you want to pay a visit back home. 4 howls!
Please check out the other stops on the BBT tour of Christmas in Dogtown!