New Orleans Rush
by Kelly Siskind
Genre: Contemporary Romance
“A fun mixture of magic, sensuality, and iconic pin-up girl style. The romance in New Orleans Rush will leave you smiling and filled with optimism.” - Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient
Falling for your surly boss is a rotten idea.
Letting him saw you in half is even worse...
Beatrice Baker may be a struggling artist, but she believes all hardships have silver linings...until she follows her boyfriend to New Orleans and finds him with another woman. Instead of turning those lemons into lemonade, she drinks lemon drop martinis and keys the wrong man's car.
Now she works for Huxley Marlow of the Marvelous Marlow Boys, getting shoved in boxes as an on-stage magician's assistant. A cool job for some, but Bea's been coerced into the role to cover her debt. She also maybe fantasizes about her boss's adept hands and what else they can do.
She absolutely will not fall for him, or kiss him senseless. Until she does. The scarred, enigmatic Huxley has unwittingly become her muse, unlocking her artistic dry spell, but his vague nightly activities are highly suspect. The last time Beatrice trusted a man, her bank account got drained and she almost got arrested. Surely this can't end that badly...right?
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Move with me to the Mardi Gras City, Nick had begged. We’ll work the bar scene at night. You can paint all day. We’ll live each minute like it’s our last!
Her boyfriend—now of the ex persuasion—had neglected to mention that four days into their adventure he’d change the rules, leaving Bea homeless and jobless in the birthplace of jazz. She also hadn’t painted anything but artless amoebas the past month.
Sinking lower on her stool, she cupped her drink with both hands. She didn’t sip it right away, letting her tipsiness linger instead. Then a guy in a top hat and cape appeared.
Yep. That just happened.
She looked into her full glass, then back at the mirage, wondering if she was drunker than she’d realized. She had consumed her first drink faster than usual, and mixing cold medicine and alcohol wasn’t the best idea. She squinted harder at the man. The top hat was still there, making its already tall owner stupendously taller. The cape was still there, too.
Not just any cape. A midnight velvet cape with stars stitched through the material.
It was a galaxy far, far away. Right here. In a New Orleans bar.
The cape looked soft and plush. If Bea could rub her face in the fleecy fabric and roll into a cocooned bundle, she was sure she could sleep for a week and wake up in a different life. One that didn’t resemble a fifty car pile up.
The top hat man focused on her, as though sensing the longing in her stare. Or maybe he’d heard her say, “I’d love to nuzzle your cape.”
A thought she’d accidentally unmuted.
He walked toward her like she was the only person in the jazzy room and stopped in front of her barstool. “You can touch it, if you’d like.”
The fabric looked even softer up close, but the sensual timbre of his low voice had her sitting straighter. “If you’re not referring to your cape, things might get ugly.”
She wasn’t above tossing her drink in his face.
His lips twitched. “I do mean the cape. Unless you’d like to try on my hat.” He tipped up the felt brim.
She loosened her grip on her glass, pleased she wouldn’t have to waste a perfectly good martini. But the way her day was going, the hat would probably give her lice. “I don’t accept hats from strangers. Or capes.”
“I believe that applies to candy, not capes.”
“What if it carries an ancient spell and whisks me away to some dark castle where I’ll be imprisoned and tortured until they learn I can’t command the cape’s magic?”
The edges of his eyes crinkled. “A valid point.”
His languid gaze slid down her body and up again. He studied her so long she finally sipped her drink, then he extended his hand. “I’m Huxley.”
The second her fingers—cold and damp from the chilled glass—slid into Huxley’s large grasp, heat shot up her arm. The cape most definitely had hidden powers. “Bea,” she said. “Fascinating to meet you.”
The most fascinating moment of her gray day.
A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—gummy bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.
2015 Golden Heart® Finalist
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