"For every soul there is one true mate."
So says Sebastien Valentin, a former privateer destined to spend eternity bringing soul mates together. Hexed by a voodoo priestess nearly two centuries ago, he is summoned by anyone who unsheathes the Sword of Hearts....
Former powerboat racing champion Jamie Sullivan has seen enough of the world that she doesn't believe in happy endings. And she certainly doesn't believe in the costumed pirate who appears after she draws the antique sword she discovers in her attic--or his claim that he will match three people with their soul mates. And the third will be Jamie herself...
.A notorious rake whose resistance to love sealed his fate, Sebastien has a surprising gift for pairing lovers for a lifetime. He introduces Jamie's two closest friends to the happiness only true love brings. But when it comes time to find a union for the unique spirit he has discovered in Jamie Sullivan, Sebastien cannot imagine this fiery woman with anyone ... but himself.
Can he break the curse that binds him? Or will he at long last lose his heart ... only to lose the woman he loves?
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January 29, 2001
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Excerpt from Your Wish Is My Command by Donna Kauffman
The last thing Jamie Sullivan was looking for when she climbed the staircase to the third-floor attic was true love. She was looking for an extension cord. One thing she actually had a chance in hell of finding. The air-conditioning system had died less than thirty minutes ago, and it was already muggy and musty-smelling. Ah, the French Quarter in the springtime. And it was bound to get a whole lot worse, she thought, praying that Marta's managerial skills extended to sweet-talking a repairman out early tomorrow morning. At least the damn thing hadn't conked out until their grand-opening weekend was over. She pushed several boxes out of her way and ducked under the Y-beams as she stumbled toward the tool bench she recalled seeing on her last foray into the attic. "What a mess." She'd spent all of her waking hours for the last two months getting the ground-level bookstore and cafe ready to open on schedule. She'd taken only enough time to convert the corner room on the second floor to a somewhat livable bedroom. However, her Martha Stewart skills had failed at that point. The remainder of the nineteenth-century Creole town house still looked like the neglected piece of real estate the place had been for the past couple of years. But it was her home now. Not exactly home-y. Not yet. But it would be someday. She'd see to that. She was nothing if not determined. Determined to lean on the A/C repairman herself, she thought grimly, as a line of sweat formed at the base of her throat and trickled down to form a small pool in her bra. She was still getting used to the idea that she had a fixed address for the first time in over ten years. Well, longer than that, really. She couldn't count the apartment her father had rented when she was a kid, since the two of them had spent next to no time there. And boats didn't count as fixed addresses, being as they didn't stay ... well, fixed. There was the time spent here in New Orleans, in college. But a dorm wasn't really a home. This, she thought, staring up at the steeply pitched roof, was a real home. Or would be. She had to admit, it was growing on her. She sneezed suddenly, then laughed as she rubbed her itchy nose. Yeah, New Orleans did grow on a person. Literally. She stepped over a large box heaped with stuff, then stopped mid-straddle and looked down to her right. "What have we here?" It wasn't a box. She tossed aside a stack of old newspapers. "Whoa." A trunk. A very old one, if the worn leather trim and tarnished brass finishings were any indication. She could feel the newly designed store logo printed on the back of her polo shirt sticking to her skin. Find the extension cord. You can come back and play treasure hunter later. But her gaze lingered on the chest, even as sweat dripped off the end of her nose. This was buried treasure, matey, and she had to know what was inside. She tugged at the latch on the front, wincing at the grinding squeal it made, then hooting triumphantly when it flipped up. It took another minute or two of tugging to get the lid open. Her shoulders slumped when she spied the contents. Beads. Strands of green, purple, and gold beads, and tons of other Mardi Gras foo-foo stuff. Like she hadn't seen enough of them at the endless parades this past season. Shoot. So much for hidden treasure. Just then an image of her father's smiling face danced through her mind. Playing pirate queen again, Jamie, me luv? She heard the words as clearly as if he were standing next to her. She was five years old again, standing defiantly on the prow of her father's offshore racing boat with a cardboard sword in her hand and a red rag tied around her head. She commandeered the sleek vessel as would any good pirate queen worth her gold doubloons. Jamie bent down and sifted her hands through the silk masks, feathers, and beads. "No pirate queens here,"