French Quarter: Hot in the City, Book 1
Click on image to enlarge.
by Lacey Alexander
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: The decadence of Bourbon Street is beckoning? Hot in the City, Book 1 When prim, proper Liz Marsh suspects her fiancé is cheating on her, she's almost too embarrassed to hire a P.I. to prove it. And when she gathers her courage and walks into Jack Wade's office, she has no idea he'll be the sexiest man she's ever encountered, nor that his light Cajun accent will make her tingle in all the wrong--or is that right?--places. After Jack brings her questionable yet undeniably arousing evidence, the only solution is for Liz to get a closer look with her own eyes. And Jack is more than happy to show her everything she's been missing. One night in the French Quarter's entrancing red light district, and Liz finds herself caught up in the provocative allure of an erotic new atmosphere and the sudden, urgent need to experience it for herself--with Jack. Jack's normally a keep-it-casual guy, but as nights with Liz get hotter, so do Jack's feelings for the seductive woman in his arms. Bourbon Street decadence beckons and Liz embarks on a sizzling journey of sexual awakening that has her more willing to shed her inhibitions minute by carnal minute. But someone else has noticed her insatiable appetite for sensual adventure, someone who's just beginning to realize what he's lost--and who's determined to tear Jack and Liz apart? This book has been previously published. Warning: Contains sizzling hot sex any way she wants it--and a man (or two) more than willing to show her the ropes. Let the good times roll, baby!
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2010 2010
eBookwise Release Date: October 2010
20 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [355 KB]
Reading time: 236-331 min.
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, she 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 fiance 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 want for the job. If it makes any difference, money is no object." She leaned even farther, giving him a still better view, her own seductive moves making her breasts feel swollen and sensitive within the cups of her snug bra. "Now, what will it take to get you to help me?" Peering down at him, she bit her lip slightly and felt a surge of wetness in her panties. She was struck once more by how unlike her this was--not only was she filled with uncharacteristic heat for him, but now she was using her body to manipulate him. It made her feel sexy and powerful.
"Why me?" His voice came low; his eyes turned glassy with want.
"Because I heard you're good. And I need somebody good, somebody who can do this job well, and quickly."
Just then, the door opened behind her.
"Hey, I just--hell, sorry, man. I thought you were alone."
Liz spent a split second wondering just how tight her skirt stretched across her ass, just how high it rose on the backs of her thighs, before turning to see the man who'd come in. Tall, blondish, a bit lankier than Jack Wade, he was tan and classically handsome. A neater haircut would have made him a perfect Malibu Ken doll, but she instantly liked the rough edges she saw. Like Jack Wade, this guy hadn't shaved today. But whereas the P.I. wore a simple polo shirt, his friend sported shorts and a tee that made him look laid back and comfortable in his own body. Despite his loose-fitting clothes, she could see the sinewy muscles in his arms and legs and couldn't help wondering what it would feel like to have them wrapped around her. Liz couldn't remember a time she'd ever been aroused by two men at once, so as her body ached, almost painfully, she counted this as another new, unlikely experience.
"Hi," he said to her, a smile playing about his lips. "Sorry if I interrupted something."
"No. I mean..." She glanced between the two guys who were currently filling the room with more testosterone than she'd ever felt before. "I'm a client of Mr. Wade's, that's all."
The blond tilted his head back with an, "Ah," but his amused expression said he wasn't sure he believed her.
Jack Wade chuckled again. "You're makin' quite a presumption there, chere."
Liz bristled at his words. Something inside told her she'd come too far to turn back. To walk out of his office now without "winning" would feel like a huge defeat. Because this wasn't just about business any longer--it had definitely become sexual; it had invisibly turned into an issue of something like...conquest. She'd dressed provocatively because telling a guy your fiance was probably cheating seemed like the ultimate embarrassment, and she'd thought she could handle it better if she made the P.I. think her fiance was a total idiot to look elsewhere for gratification. To walk out now would make her feel she'd failed at that, too.
"Maybe I am," she said. Then she leaned back over the desk again, not caring what kind of view she gave the Ken doll if it meant seducing Jack Wade into taking her case. She licked her lips and gazed into those dark eyes of his, letting her voice go husky. "But I don't think so. I think you're too curious to turn me down." About what, she didn't say, but she wasn't talking about the case.
"Is that so?" His voice was just as gravelly.
"Yes, that's so." She rose back up and turned to the Ken doll. "Don't you agree? Don't you think Mr. Wade should give me what I want?"
The blond man looked as aroused by her as she was by her own boldness. "Oh yeah. I think he should give you whatever your pretty little heart desires." Then he looked past her to the P.I. "Quit giving the lady a hard time, Jack."
Jack Wade looked back and forth between the two of them, appearing half-annoyed, half-amused. Finally, his gaze settled on Liz, turning her warm and a little wetter than she already was. "Darlin', I'm findin' it hard to believe a guy would cheat on a jolie fille like you."
A rush of gratification washed through her at the compliment--she knew little French but was fairly certain he'd just called her a pretty girl, and his sexy tone alone turned the words more suggestive.
"So why do you think he's steppin' out?" he added.
Of course, this brought Liz back to reality, back to the reason she was here, and it bit sharply into her excitement. "The usual signs, I suppose. Repeated claims of working late, very late, and coming home looking more rumpled than a man should get at the office. Little to no explanation when I ask why he has to work so much, and he acts like I'm nagging him when I express concern." She paused, thinking how thin her suspicions sounded. "Maybe it seems as if I'm jumping to conclusions, but it's just a feeling I have, and I need to find out if he's really working or if he's going someplace else."
As the Ken doll stretched out quietly in a chair in the corner, Jack Wade took notes on a small pad of paper. "How often does this happen?"
"Lately, nearly every night of the week."
Jack nodded, made another note, and then asked for a few more specifics centering on her fiance's place of business, normal working hours, and route to work.
Then he looked up at her. "Just so you know, nine times out of ten, if you think they're cheatin' on you, they are. Might save you some time and money to just go with your gut and turn the guy loose."
But Liz only shook her head. "I need to know for sure."
"All right then. I'll need your name, and a number where I can reach you discreetly."
"Liz," she said. "Liz Marsh." She recited her cell number, watching him jot it down.
"Liz," he repeated, letting the "z" sound roll off his tongue. "I'll be in touch with you very soon, Liz," he promised, but his eyes said more, like he was talking dirty to her, and she felt more desirable than she had in a very long time as she thanked him for his help and exited out onto Royal Street.
The day felt balmier than usual for March. Or maybe, she thought, it wasn't balmy out here at all. Maybe it was just the fresh and unexpected heat running thick through her veins.