Book Review: Volume Three by Julie Ann Walker

July 1, 2019 Book Reviews 2

Book Review: Volume Three by Julie Ann Walker

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Volume Three by Julie Ann Walker
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Limerence Publications LLC on July 1, 2019
Pages: 298
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon
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Also by this author: Built to Last, Wild Ride, Volume One, Volume Two

It’s coming up on Mardi Gras in this third and last installment in the In Moonlight and Memories contemporary romance series that is revolving around three friends in New Orleans who are reaffirming and re-examining their relationships.

This eARC was sent to me by the author and Limerence Publications LLC for an honest review.

My Take

It’s all about love, friendship, and sacrifice. In this third installment, we finally get to the truth of Dean’s death. And it’s not what I (nor Maggie) was expecting to hear. The truth of Cash’s Plan also comes out. I should’ve known…

The series is primarily character-driven, focusing on Maggie, Cash, and Luc, and Walker uses third person triple protagonist point-of-view with these three giving their perspectives in alternating chapters, as the three of them struggle with their feelings. Maggie wants everything sweet and light for and with Luc and Cash. Cash wants his Plan to succeed even as he hates the idea of it. Luc…Luc is finally deciding he has worth. I felt so sorry for Luc with Maggie jerking him back and forth.

And it’s this that makes me crazy as their emotions zigzag all over the place. Cash only makes things worse with his own introspection as well as the fact that…He. Never. Learns. WTF?? Yet again, he turns his back on his “dad”.

The prose is to the point, but it’s a slow pace with a lot of whining going on amongst the three. Luc’s thoughts hurt the most. Maggie’s make me want to hit her over the head. And Cash’s? He makes me angry and yet so sad.

It’s a time of peacemaking and clearing-up. Vee and Maggie. Maggie and Luc. Maggie and Cash. Cash with Luc. I did find it interesting that Cash finally realizes what Luc has been going through for so many years. And it’s a tricky line Walker threads, keeping us wondering who will get Maggie in the end or if they both will. Auntie June chimes in with some advice for Maggie, based on her own past.

I do agree with Maggie about how little we care about the men and women who fight for our country. How is it that we send people to fight to keep all of us free and safe, but we don’t care about them when they come back, torn up in limb and mind?

That funeral! Lol, it certainly was perfect…if ya gotta have one, and in New Orleans they are unique. As are a few myths Walker includes from the vampire brides shuttered into the convent to Jacques St Germain actually being Comte de Saint German. Ties right in with New Orleans being “the melting pot that other places in America only claim to be”.

I’m with Cash: quality over quantity. And the way the ending comes together will make you cry…or you ain’t right! There is so much that Walker finally lets loose, summing their lives up… I gotta find some Kleenex…

Do not skip Chapter Ninety-two. It’s beautiful with a run of paragraphs that I’m thinking of printing out and putting on my bathroom mirror.

The Story

It’s self-defense, but New Orleans isn’t known for its fairness, which leaves Maggie on her own when she discovers Cash bleeding out in his house.

The Characters

Magnolia “Maggie” May Carter thinks she’s still in love with Cash and maybe in love with Luc, her best friends. Yard is her three-legged dog. Leonard and Sheldon are her cats. Auntie June and Aunt Bea are actually Maggie’s great-aunts who took her and Violet “Vee” Carter, her sister, in when their parents died. “Good Time” Jack Goudeau had been Auntie June’s husband. Joseph Chatelain had been the love of Bea’s life.

Jean-Pierre Marchand, a musician and neighbor, is Maggie’s gay best friend while Eva Bell is her best girl friend. More friends include Lauren and her little sister, Kelsy.

Former-Master Sergeant (and Green Beret) Lucien “Luc” Dubois has been in love with Maggie since high school while Cash is closer than a brother. His very supportive mom, Helene Dubois, has her own salon in Shreveport.

Sergeant Cassius “Cash” Armstrong was wounded in Afghanistan and the pain is relentless. The corrupt and brutal Richard Armstrong is Cash’s sperm donor; Cash refuses to grant him the title of father. Big Joe Armstrong is Cash’s grandfather, the man from whom Richard learned to use his fists.

Bon Temps Rouler is…
…the bar Maggie bought with her parents’ life insurance money. Chrissy and Gus are her bartenders. “Royal Earl” Greene is one of Maggie’s regulars.

New Orleans PD
The too-totally corrupt Superintendent George Sullivan has been blackmailing people to stay in his position. Officer Florer is one of Sullivan’s lackeys.

Broussard is the district attorney. David Abelman is Luc’s lawyer. Gregory Allen Toussain, Esq, is Cash’s lawyer. Dr Beckett is Cash’s primary doctor for his head wound. Dr Sean Stevens is head of neurology at Johns Hopkins.

Braxton Academy was…
…the high school they all attended. Megan Jones threw a Halloween party. Dean Sullivan, George’s son, disappeared years ago.

Rouses is the local grocery store. The homeless Maggie knows from the soup kitchen include Shortie, Doris, and Mr and Mrs Porto. Mr Emerson is a longtime French Quarter resident. His wife doesn’t like Royal Earl. Mr and Mrs Monroe are the neighbors Maggie sometimes “borrows” from. The Fly is a park. Scarlet has her own CPA firm. Peter works at M.S. Rau Antiques, which is more of a museum than an antique store. Freddy Four Fingers is one of New Orleans’ favorite trumpeters. Jean-Pierre’s uncle Etienne does like his snipe. I never knew it was the hunt that was the joke… Harry is a mule. Mr Cormier may have a business proposition for Luc and Cash. Lucille Kidder is the biggest flirt in New Orleans, and she’s not seeing Brett Davies anymore. Jasmine and Pam are nurses. Sergeant Wiley had been Cash’s and Luc’s drill sergeant.

It’s Mardi Gras and the Krewes are out.

The Cover and Title

The cover repeats the pastel bayou at sunset with its dark silhouette of the trees in the background, purple clouds just above those trees, sliding into oranges, pale pinks, and sky blue with a patchy full moon on the left, and all of it mirrored in the water in which the silhouette of a man is standing, his arms upraised and spread, his right thumb touching the moon. It makes me think of Luc, his arms out to embrace his desires, to give thanks for what he has. All the text is in white, starting with an epigraph at the top while the series information is in an uneven script crossing the man’s body with white sparkling stars scattered on his torso. Below that is the title in a sans-serif with an info blurb below that and the author’s name at the bottom.

The title makes it easy to know where it falls in the overall book, even if it is quite unimaginative: Volume Three.

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