Former model Chalise Boudreau returns to Louisiana after ten years and faces an uncertain future. Watching her budget, she’s living with her mother and plans to open a luxury salon, but she fears the community sees her homecoming as a failing, and she knows any malicious gossip will jeopardize her success.
Once bad-boy, now entrepreneur Chaz Riboucheaux is home and trying to rebuild his old reputation. He believes one of his companies, the Magnolia May, a pirate ship, can make Ascension a tourist destination, but the mayor refuses to grant him a lease at the city’s dock.
Chalise and Chaz come face to face at a Twelfth Night party. Years ago, he stood her up and left her brokenhearted. Now her brain is at war with her heart, but her body has a mind of its own. As Chaz leads her across the dance floor, he knows when the music stops it won’t be the end of their waltz. He has questions only she can answer, and he won’t stop until he gets what he wants.
“Forget him,” her adoring father had said at graduation when he spoiled her by replacing her Mazda with a Mercedes. Then he sent her off to modeling school in New York where luck found her. She quickly signed with an agent. Her career took off in a flash, and the thrill of modeling turned into a drug for a year.
But like a catfish flopping around in a boat, her life flip-flopped when her father died suddenly of a heart attack. When she and her mother discovered the estate was nearly bankrupt, Chalise made a new plan. That fall, she started college in New York City and continued modeling. Often when studying, her thoughts would drift. Though they were miles apart, she dreamed of what could have been with Chaz. She hadn’t wanted to believe the worst of him, but her pain poked her imagination in the most antagonistic ways.
Now he was back. She was home.
The pain of the past stabbed at her. Her chest tightened. He could live anywhere. Why had he picked Ascension? His nearness created a tension she couldn’t avoid. She would die of a thousand little cuts. No one need ever know how much she still cared for Chaz. Including her mother.
He was an enigma. An aloofness replaced his tough outer shell. He moved with confident masculine grace—much more appealing than any male model she’d ever dated. He looked way too sexy in a pirate costume. And then there were his business connections. The boy had savvy and brains.
Linda Joyce is an award-winning and Amazon best selling author who writes about assertive females and the men who can’t resist them in her Fleur de Lis series and Fleur de Lis Brides series. Linda’s a big fan of jazz and blues. She attributes her love of those musical genres to her southern roots, which run deep in Louisiana. If you walk-through several New Orleans cemeteries you’ll find many of her people buried there. She penned her first manuscript while living in Japan, the country where her mother was born and raised. Now she lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and four-legged boys—Beau, Jack, and Renior—who think she’s their pet. www.linda-joyce.com
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