Nola Dutrey is as dedicated to her jazz singing career as she is to her kids' community band in New Orleans. When she meets her best friend’s brother, her heart beats with a newfound passion. But falling in love with someone whose life is in New York has no future.
Restaurateur and music enthusiast Rex Arceneau is in town to settle his father’s estate. He must get the financials into the black before handing over the family restaurant to his sister. To reduce expenses—the weekend singer must go. However, he meets Nola, and their connection sizzles. When he hears her sing, he’s hooked.
Nola’s torn between powerful attraction and life in New Orleans. Rex is determined to use music as a secret weapon to entice Nola north. Will she ever be a bride at Fleur de Lis or will life’s dissonant notes ruin their harmony and once-in-a-lifetime love?
Biloxi shook her head. “Don’t involve me in your lies. I won’t be a party to your deceptions. Now get—” She walked to the window and stood to the side, out of view. She pointed to the black limo pulling in front of the house by the fountain. “Wonder who that could be. The limo companies participating in the show are already here.” After puffing out a soft whistle, she said, “Look at that.”
Amused by her sister’s gawking, Nola sank down on the bench, flipping her waist-length hair over her shoulder. Framed by the bedroom window, a man in a well-fitted, dark peacock-blue suit exited the limo after the driver—she recognized her neighbor—opened the door. He stood inches above the driver, making him taller than six feet. Several women mingling near the fountain cast long appreciative looks in his direction—they practically drooled. Nodding slightly, he smiled and then adjusted his pink striped tie, taking a moment to flirt with the women. The fact that he wore a pocket square caught Nola’s interest, a man who paid attention to small details. Nice.
Or had someone dressed him that morning? Like a girlfriend or wife.
Sauntering in the direction of the house, he radiated relaxed ease. His smooth stride reminded her of the majesty of a fine stallion. Male grace and full of strength. Light shone on his blue-black hair. “Fine looking,” she murmured as a warmth ignited in her chest. Maybe he’d be interested in helping her out of her mess. After one look at him, anyone in her family would believe love had—at first sight—caught her in a cast net. For a second, she considered shouting for her father to grab his gun for a shotgun wedding. Yes, the man was that hot. Could give a girl the vapors.
She stretched and leaned out the window to catch the last glimpse of him as he began climbing the front steps of Fleur de Lis.
He paused and looked up.
Their gazes locked.
His mesmerizing blue-gray eyes drew her farther through the open window. A sensual smile slowly rose on his lips. He winked.
A bluesy 12/8 beat thumped in Nola’s chest. The entire world melted away. A daydream took over. Just the two of them promenading down the long drive, like it was in antebellum days. He, in cutaway tails, and she, twirling a parasol and coyly giggling at something clever he said.
The illusion was abruptly shattered. Her sister grabbed the back of her shirt and yanked her inside the room. “What!” Her daydream had popped like a string on an overplayed guitar.
“Get in here.”
“Why?” Her perfectly wonderful dream had been cut short.
“You were about to fall on your head. I gotta go.” Biloxi headed for the door. “I want to meet this guest.”
“You’re a married woman. A mother of three,” Nola hollered at her. “Hussy! Strumpet! What will I tell my nephews and niece?”
“Darlin’, a woman can look. Come with me? You’re single. You can touch,” she teased.
Touch him? No. He was too…vivid, too real. Virile. Oozed with sensuality. Just too male.
The man made her hear the blues. In the best possible way.