JoAnn Ross's breathtaking novels have made her one of the most popular authors of contemporary romantic fiction. Here, set amid the sultry grandeur of Blue Bayou, is the eagerly awaited conclusion to her captivating Callahan Brothers trilogy.
L.A. homicide detective Regan Hart's life is turned upside down with the discovery that she was adopted. Following a trail left in her birth mother's journal, she lands in Louisiana's Blue Bayou, where she's determined not to let Nate Callahan, the town's handsome, sweet-talking mayor, distract her from her search.
Nate Callahan loves women -- and they've always loved him right back. No-nonsense Regan couldn't be more different from his usual type, but as they spend time together, unlocking the puzzles of Regan's past, neither can deny the attraction sizzling between them -- and both come to realize that family bonds are forged not through blood ties, but through choices of the heart.
Readers seduced by the first two books in JoAnn Ross's Callahan Brothers trilogy (Blue Bayou; River Road) will be equally charmed by Magnolia Moon. When charismatic Nate Callahan, the mayor of Blue Bayou, La., tracks down Los Angeles homicide detective Regan Hart to deliver a journal and a tidy sum in stock certificates left to her by her birth mother, Nate is surprised by Regan's reaction. She isn't interested in her inheritance, but she's stunned to learn that she's adopted. To uncover the truth about her past, Regan returns to Blue Bayou, where she delves into the mystery behind her mother's death and becomes intimately involved with Nate. Meanwhile, Nate receives temporary custody of an abused 12-year-old runaway. Ross focuses heavily on the topic of domestic violence, and her frequent moralizing may put off some readers. Others, however, will be sufficiently beguiled by the book's Southern ambiance and pleasing, if predictable, romance. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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February 28, 2003
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Excerpt from Magnolia Moon by JoAnn Ross
New Orleans, Louisiana
I've always adored a Libra man," the blond purred.
"Have you now?" Nate Callahan grinned and drew her closer. There were few things in life more enjoyable than making love to a beautiful woman.
"Oh, absolutely." Cuddling up against him, she fluttered her lashes in a way only a true southern belle could pull off. "Why, a Libra man can charm the birds out of the trees and flatter a girl right out of her lace panties."
"It wasn't flattery, ch?re." He refilled her crystal champagne flute. "It was the absolute truth."
Nate had always enjoyed females -- he liked the way they moved, the way they smelled, their soft skin and slender ladies' hands. From the first time he'd filched one of his older brother Finn's Playboy magazines, he'd flat-out liked everything about women. Fortunately, they'd always liked him right back.
He toyed with a blond curl trailing down her neck. It was a little stiff and hadn't deflated much during their session of hot, steamy sex, but Nate was used to that, since most of the women he dated favored big hair. Big hair, big breasts, and, he thought with a pleasant twinge of lust, big appetites for sex.
"Your moon is in the seventh house." She trailed a glossy coral nail down his chest.
"Is that good?" He skimmed his palm down her back; she arched against the caress like a sleek, pampered cat.
Outside her bedroom, a full moon rose in a star-studded sky; inside, flames crackled cozily in the fireplace and gardenia-scented candles glowed.
"It certainly is. You're ruled by Venus, goddess of beauty."
"Seems that'd fit you better than me, sugar." He nuzzled the smooth curve of her shoulder. His accent, always more pronounced when romancing a woman, turned thick as Cajun gumbo. "Bein' how you've gotten more beautiful every year since you won that Miss Louisiana crown."
"I was only first runner-up." She pouted prettily.
"Officially," he allowed. "But everyone in the state knew the judges were obviously blind as swamp bats."
"You are so sweet." Her laugh was rich and pleased.."