It was the book cover. I kept seeing it in the bookstore, and finally had to buy The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc, and start reading. I was pleased that from the start, her story was as captivating as the cover.
Then I read The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell. Just as captivating.
Then I passed the books on to my mom, who also enjoyed them. Then she passed them on. This was about 12 years ago, and I’ve just requested them from our library so I can read them again.
Sissy LeBlanc would have been about 5 years older than my mom. The author’s summary sets the stage:
“It’s a steamy June afternoon in Louisiana, circa 1956, and Sissy LeBlanc is sitting on her front porch…. She’s been living in stifling old Gentry since the day she was born and trapped in a sham of a marriage to PeeWee LeBlanc since she was only seventeen. In short, she’s fed up, restless, and ready for an adventure. Sissy just never imagined temptation would come into her life that breathless summer day as she sat smoking on her porch swing. For although she may have been fixated on the taut muscles of the lineman shimmying down the telephone pole across the street, she hadn’t allowed herself to imagine that he’d be none other than her high school sweetheart, Parker Davidson, who left town fourteen years before without so much as a wave good-bye. But suddenly, here he is, leaning in for a kiss that will stir up more excitement than Sissy could ever have imagined…” (From Goodreads)
In June 1956, when Sissy’s story opened, Elvis Presley’s first studio album would have been released just three months earlier.
“Welcome to the world of beautiful, irrepressible Belle Cantrell, years before she becomes grandmother to Sissy LeBlanc….. It is 1920, prohibition is in full swing, women are clamoring for the vote — and in the little town of Gentry, Louisiana, narrow-minded intolerance is on the rise. Sent to jail for swimming in an indecent bathing costume with a group of suffragists, Belle Cantrell knows her behavior broke the rules. But sometimes — most of the time — she has to twist the rules a little, because they all say the same thing: “Don’t.”
A sexy, sassy story of murder, adultery, romance, bigotry, and regular church attendance, with laugh-out-loud humor and a cast of zany, endearing characters you won’t forget, The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell is a big comic love story . . . and much more.” (From Goodreads.)