- Author: Alexander Lacey
Book online «FrenchQuarter.htm Alexander Lacey (romance novel chinese novels .txt) 📖». Author Alexander Lacey
An Ellora’s Cave Publication, February 2004
Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 787
Hudson, OH 44236-0787
ISBN MS Reader (LIT) ISBN # 1-84360-797-2
Other available formats (no ISBNs are assigned):
Adobe (PDF), Rocketbook (RB), Mobipocket (PRC) HTML
FRENCH QUARTER © 2004 LACEY ALEXANDER
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. They are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.
Edited by Heather Osborn.
Cover art by Dawn Seewer.
I’d like to dedicate the Hot in the City trilogy to my husband,
with fond memories of
hurricanes in New Orleans,
daiquiris in Las Vegas,
and too much wine in Key West.
A thin line of nervous perspiration trickled between Liz Marsh’s breasts and into the black lace of her bra as she stood outside the slightly battered Royal Street door. She stared at the name, Jack Wade, stenciled on the old wood in gold letters beginning to peel. Taking another glance down at her transparent black blouse and short skirt, she wondered if she could go through with this.
But she really had no choice—she had to go through with it.
Even so, when she turned the doorknob and stepped inside, the last thing she expected to find was a dark-haired god of all that was sexual. He sat behind a desk that had seen better days, but he made it look good. Leaning comfortably back in his chair, he made her think of an animal lounging in his lair. His eyes were a shade lighter than midnight and seemed to pin her in place the very moment he lifted them.
She stopped, halted by the sheer magnetism, and reached out for the back of the chair that sat across from him. Not only was she suddenly more nervous than she’d been a few seconds ago, but she was wearing new heels, bought—however crazily—just for this occasion, and just a look from him made her feel unbalanced.
“Hello there.” His voice was as rich as dark chocolate. “What can I do for you?”
What couldn’t he do for her? That quickly, she found herself mentally penning a list that started with “kiss my lips” and descended to kneading her sensitive breasts and stroking the hungry little spot between her thighs.
This wasn’t like her, not at all. Everyone knew Liz wasn’t the sexy type. They might call her pretty. On particularly good days maybe even sophisticated. And conservative—she was a woman who played by the rules. Usually, anyway. No matter how you sliced it, though, Liz wasn’t the sort of woman to experience heart-stopping lust for strange men on sight.
Maybe it was the dress. The shoes. The make-up. Maybe it was all working together to turn her into the woman she’d come here masquerading to be. Not that she’d arrived in hopes of finding a totally hot man whose very gaze colored him interested—no, that result was just an unexpected perk. She’d dressed this way because it had simply seemed important to look good—like a woman who could catch a man, keep a man—on this particular mission. The god raised his eyebrows as if to punctuate his question, which made her realize she’d never answered him.
“I want to hire you,” she said.
Given the way they were staring at each other, the question seemed all too loaded, and a slightly wicked grin tweaked the corners of his mouth, as if he knew exactly what she was thinking.
That’s when she remembered why she was here. Despite how hot he was, she hadn’t come to catch a man. She’d come to catch a man at something. “I need to find out if my fiancé is cheating on me.”
Her hot god chuckled. “Sorry, chere. I graduated from those kinds of cases a long time ago. You wanna see Manny Goodman down on Decatur.” He lifted a thumb, pointing vaguely over his shoulder.
“But I want you. Specifically.”
Only as his grin returned did she realize she’d taken the double entendre still further. “Understandable,” he replied, arrogance and sex dripping from him. “But like I said, I don’t do those jobs anymore. Go see Manny. He does decent work. He’ll find out what you wanna know.”
Yet Liz didn’t want to see Manny. It was nerve-wracking enough to actually be hiring a private investigator, and embarrassing to admit to a stranger that the man she’d planned to marry might be getting some on the side. She didn’t want to go from place to place explaining her problem. Furthermore, her friend and neighbor, Lynda, had recommended Jack Wade. Ten years earlier, Lynda had hired him to catch her cheating husband in the act, and she’d promised Jack did good, quick, discreet work. The P.I. business seemed like one that might attract some shady characters, and because Lynda said she could rely on him, Liz wanted her search for a private eye to stop here.
What Lynda hadn’t mentioned were his gorgeous-to-the-point-of-being-hypnotic eyes, his strong jaw, his broad shoulders, or the sexy hint of a Cajun accent in his speech. He was the sort of man that made her want to touch him. Already, she experienced the urge to run her hands down what she knew would be a hard, muscular chest, to unzip his jeans and see if the bulge she couldn’t help noticing was as promising as it looked from her current vantage point. Maybe it wasn’t just reliability that made her want to stay.
Resuming the persona she’d come into the office displaying, she leaned over and braced both hands on his desk, giving him an excellent view of her considerable cleavage. The bra was her own, but the blouse was borrowed, from Lynda, and the button between her breasts strained to come undone. “Look,” she said softly, “this is very difficult for me. And you’re the guy I