Daisy Kerr’s life has reached the edge of the cliff and fallen off. Her so-called fiancé Craig Myers has embezzled millions from the investment firm where they both work and left her holding the bag. The FBI thinks she’s somehow involved, she’s been fired from her job and the condo she lives in belongs to Craig. Heartsick and depressed, she decides to use the tickets Craig had bought for their trip to Mardi Gras and see if she can “Let eh good times roll” in New Orleans. For a few days she can party and forget about her troubles. Maybe even meet a sexy Cajun man to take her mind of her troubles. A fling sounds really good to her right about now.
Leaving the airport she meets Marc Doucet, a Louisiana native now living in New York. He tells her he’s in town on business but he’d love to show her the ropes of Mardi Gras. And a whole lot more. It’s not long before he’s really putting some Cajun spice in her life and then some. Sex had never been so good or made her feel so special. Maybe they might even see each other back in New York if she can straighten out the mess her life is.
But what Daisy doesn’t know is Marc is an FBI agent sent to ferret out any knowledge she might have of Craig’s scheme. His plan was to romance her, until romance landed in their laps for real. When Daisy overhears him in a phone conversation with his boss she feels betrayed once again and can’t get out of town fast enough. It will take a grand gesture on Marc’s part to get past the new walls around her heart and convince her what they have is real.
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“Uh, excuse me, chere. Do you still want the cab?”
“What? Oh!” She realized she was standing there like an idiot. “Oh, yes.”
“Well, I heard you say you were goin’ to the Montmartre Hotel. So happens I’m goin’ there myself. Think we can share a ride?”
Maybe this was the distraction she was looking for, a ride with a man who oozed sex appeal and could take her mind off her troubles for a while. She’d wished for him, right? No sense letting Craig ruin any more of her life, at least as far as this trip went.
She gave herself a mental shake. “I’d love to share a cab with you.”
“Great. Great.” He held the cab door for her, waited for her to slide in then settled himself beside her.
God, he smelled so good. She took a surreptitious sniff. Patchouli! Wow. She hadn’t smelled that in a very long time. Nerve endings blunted by the shock of her situation suddenly snapped and sizzled to life. She took a deep breath, the fragrance of patchouli teasing her senses even more, and did her best to compose herself.
“Don’t usually see beautiful ladies heading for Mardi Gras alone.” The smooth-as-bourbon voice slid over her and snagged her attention.
She glanced over at him, which was nearly her undoing. The look in those deep-blue eyes nearly melted her panties. “Excuse me?”
He grinned, a twist of his lips that was almost lethal. “I was just remarkin’ I’m surprised that someone as gorgeous as you is hitting Mardi Gras by yourself.”
Should she tell him? Why not? She’d never see him again. And she didn’t have to give him Craig’s name. It was already in all the media but, thankfully, without hers being linked to it.
“I, um, had a fiancé who was supposed to go with me, but he’s in the wind.” She lifted her shoulders in what she hoped was a casual shrug.
He cocked an eyebrow. “I can hardly believe any man in his right man would walk out on you.”
“Yeah, well, it happened. That and a lot more.” She forced a smile. “Anyway, hasn’t anyone ever told you that pickup line is pretty outdated?”
He laughed, a deep, sensual sound. “I guess it is, but in this case, I mean it.” She could feel his gaze raking over her. “Did he run off with another woman?” Mr. Hot Stuff shook his head. “I find that even harder to believe.”
“Worse than that. I discovered— Never mind. I really don’t want to talk about it. I decided to enjoy the holiday anyway. I’m sure I can find plenty of people to celebrate with.”
Pretty bold there, Daisy girl.
Maybe it was time for some bold on her part. She’d allowed herself to be Craig’s shadow for too long and look where that had gotten her.
“I’m sure you won’t have any trouble. This your first Mardi Gras?”
“It is, and I’m going to do my best to enjoy every minute of it.”
“Well, then, let me give you a little rundown on what to expect and how to enjoy it the most.”
His voice was musical and soothing, rubbing smooth the raw edges of her anger. She was startled by the instant connection zapping between them and wondered if he felt it, too.