JoAnn Ross, one of the fastest-rising stars in contemporary romance, begins a stunning trilogy that showcases her extraordinary storytelling ability and introduces the unforgettable, moss-draped splendor of Blue Bayou.
Danielle Dupree, daughter of a prominent judge, was the closest thing to a princess the sleepy Louisiana town of Blue Bayou ever had. Her passionate teenage love affair with Jack Callahan was cut short for reasons that were never clear to Dani -- but were all too obvious to Jack, the sexy bad-boy son of Judge Dupree's housekeeper.
Thirteen years later Dani, a widow with a son, comes home to start a new life and is surprised that Jack, too, has moved back to the Bayou. A former DEA agent who is now a bestselling author, Jack has bought Dani's childhood home, Beau Soleil. But even as their passion reignites, Dani and Jack know that secrets hang in the air...and that the past may ruin their second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love.
A woman's attempt to reunite with her ex-con father and rebuild her life after the death of her deceitful husband lies at the heart of this atmospheric contemporary romance set in Blue Bayou, La. When Danielle Dupree was a teen, her father, a high-powered judge, sent her to a home for unwed mothers after she became pregnant with the baby of her teen-lover, Jack Callahan. Ostensibly, she was then forced to give her baby girl up for adoption. Now, 13 years later, widowed and determined to make a home for her son and father, who was imprisoned years ago on trumped-up charges, Dani returns to Blue Bayou as the local librarian. In a Scarlet O'Hara moment, Dani learns that her once opulent family home, sold by her late husband to fund his political career, has been purchased and restored by Jack, now an ex-DEA agent turned bestselling novelist. It doesn't take long for the romantic sparks between Dani and Jack to rekindle, but with so many skeletons lurking in dark corners and truths waiting to be told, the future doesn't look promising for them. Ross (Legends Lake) is in fine form with this first installment in her new Callahan Brothers trilogy. Despite a few contrived elements such as a corrupt sheriff's ploy to run Dani and her father out of town there's plenty of sex and secrets to keep readers captivated. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 01, 2002
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Excerpt from Blue Bayou by JoAnn Ross
The moon hung full and low and bloodred over the bayou as Jack Callahan sat out on the gallerie of the crumbling plantation house, working on a bottle of whiskey that wasn't working on him. It had been a sweltering day, and even at midnight the air, which smelled of damp brick and night-blooming jasmine, dripped with moisture.
The old swing squeaked as he slowly swayed; an alligator glided silently across water the color of burgundy wine, its eyes gleaming in the dark like yellow headlights.
A mist that wasn't quite rain began to fall as he watched the storm gather out over the Gulf and thought back to the night when Beau Soleil had resembled a huge white wedding cake. A night when music floated on the sultry summer air, fairy lights strung through the limbs of the chinaberry trees twinkled like fireflies, and white candles anchored in fake water lilies glowed invitingly on the smooth turquoise surface of the pool water.
White jacketed waiters had circulated with trays of mint juleps and flutes of French champagne while belles in tulle and taffeta danced magnolia-scented nights away. The girls had been mouthwateringly pretty in airy flowered dresses that showed off their tanned shoulders and long slender legs. And Danielle Dupree had outshone them all.
Danielle. He lifted the bottle to his lips; flames slid down his throat. You'd think, after all these years, he'd be immune to the closest thing Blue Bayou had ever had to a princess. But the memory of that night created a rush of molten heat hotter than any the Jack Daniel's could stoke. He'd known, of course, that he had no business wanting her.