Once invited into New Orleans’ historic mansions to evaluate prized antiques, Dr. Jewell Duet held a coveted professorship at a top university. With her deep knowledge of Louisiana history and antiquities, she was the go-to person for anyone requiring professional appraisals. But, one hasty decision cost her both her reputation and possibly her freedom. Now, as she waits to discover if her future includes prison, Jewell knows that taking the job at Sugar Mill is necessary if she is to support her beloved grandmother who has advanced dementia.
Charming, sexy lawyer Beau Bienvenu's attraction to the intriguing historian vies with his distrust of her motives. Beau has one simple goal when it comes to the family that rescued him and made him part of their clan…protect them at all costs. He doesn't trust Jewell, nor her reason for taking the lowly job at Sugar Mill Plantation. What is she really up to? Is it possible Jewell and her quirky grandmother are there to try to profit from a Bienvenu family mystery? If so, both women are out of luck.
Jewell and Beau are at odds about almost everything. The only things they agree on are that family is everything…and that their mutual attraction is inconvenient.
Hope, Love and Second Chances Continue in the heart of Cajun Country
Jewell glanced at her grand-mère who was rubbing her forehead. In an abrupt movement, Mimi rolled down her window and took in a deep breath. “Smells like home.”
Jewell’s mouth went dry. The plantation her grand-mère had claimed was hers when she saw it in the movie they had watched wasn’t visible a mile down the road on the other side of the locked gate. Mimi had never called the plantation she said was hers by name. The sign for the Sugar Mill Dog Training Facility and Kennel would mean nothing to her. So, why would Mimi say this land smelled like home, when they had been near, or on, other homesteads with sugarcane nearby?
It was strange. As an American and Louisiana historian and an antiques explorer, it was her job to chase the possible trail to uncover old stories. The research she’d done on the Sugar Mill Plantation to prepare for the meeting today had not turned up any connection to Mimi’s paternal Duet family or her maternal Tassé family. Jewell had paid particular attention to that.
“Mimi,” she whispered, trying to level her emotions. She wanted logic to calm the buzz she felt from the possibilities Mimi’s long-term memory had triggered in her romantic treasure hunter’s head. She continued speaking French both as a comfort to Mimi and herself. “Is it possible you’re remembering the scents of a childhood visit to the country or here in Vacherie Parish? Or, maybe, it smells the same as you remember when the harvested cane was carried into the New Orleans French Market.”
Mimi shook her head and rolled her eyes but didn’t defend her statement any further. “This cane looks ready for harvest,” she said. “Ripe. Sweet.”
“When did my urban grand-mère turn into Farmer Brown?”
Tina DeSalvo enjoys using her imagination, humor, empathy and personal experiences to turn characters and situations into books that she hopes will entertain readers. Her first book, Elli, brought her in close contact with so many readers with whom she has loved sharing stories, laughs, tears and hugs. Tina has always been inspired by the people she meets and by hearing their personal journeys, not to mention the people she just observes along the way…so, watch out. You could be a character in her next book!
Tina is married to her handsome Cajun hero, and they live in Louisiana. They have two sons, a wonderful daughter (in-law) and four delightful grandchildren.
If you'd like to know more about Tina DeSalvo, including info on her newest work, latest contests, where she’s speaking or having a book signing, where she gets her ideas, or to see her photos from when she meets her cherished readers…please visit her website at www.tinadesalvo.com