Bayou With Benefits; Badges of Bayou #2
(Standalone within an interconnected series)
Publication Date: October 18, 2022
Genre/Tropes: Small Town/Friends-to-Lovers/Heroes Romance
Author: Erin Nicholas
Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars
Bayou With Benefits is a small town romance WITH all the benefits of a super sweet love story that stole my heart and wrapped it up in all the feels.
Michael LeClaire and Amelia Landry have grown up together, or more like their families have. Michael is five years older and when you are younger that age gap can feel like twenty years, but for both Michael and Amelia the moment they hit that magic age of noticing the opposite sex, let’s just say they noticed each other. However, several obstacles always stood in their way and those secret crushes stayed just that…secret, until…I’m just going to say…until.
Bayou With Benefits is sweet, steamy, and also pretty emotional with this completely endearing couple. It’s written a bit differently than Erin’s past Bayou books, where she’s woven the past, present and of course that always anticipated future epilogue, giving us a timeline that weaves together beautifully and we get to know Michael and Amelia in a different way, but it fit them perfectly as the story progressed.
While they seem to come from different worlds they are more alike than they both realize. He’s a firefighter saving lives, along with being a single father. Whereas, Ami is a social influencer/model, and through her influence she has a powerful voice that has a way of helping people and there is one person who looks up to her that means more than anyone in the world, Michael’s son, Andre. He’s super sweet and their time together is amazing. I love anytime he’s on the page, it’s powerful.
The LeClaire and Landry families all make appearances throughout the book, which is wonderful. I love the big family feel within the small town atmosphere. It’s always great to return home with characters that feel like family.
They are friends. Without benefits. Unfortunately.
Michael LeClaire is small-town Louisiana. A firefighter. A single dad.
And Amelia Landry is New York City. A social media influencer. A model.
Sure, she’s his son’s favorite person on the planet.
And yeah, their families spend so much time together it’s hard to remember who shares DNA and who just shares secrets, inside jokes, and a sincere lack of boundaries.
And okay, he’s seen her nerdy side. Her sweet side. Her funny, self-deprecating side.
Fine, yes, resisting this woman has taken a saint’s share of willpower.
But he has to. He just cannot do long-distance. And he can’t have a casual fling with someone he’s known–and will know–forever.
Thankfully, he only has to hide his feelings a few times a year when she visits.
And then, he slips. One time. One spontaneous I-knew-it-would-be-everything kiss and he’s a goner.
Now every time they see each other it’s harder and harder to ignore the heat.
And when she shows up on his doorstep after a car accident changes her entire life, there’s no way he can resist the chance to see if this can last…or if they’ll finally flame out.