This contemporary romance finds a macho New Orleans cop babysitting a Boston Brahmin socialite who, much to his dismay & amusement, enjoys the seamy nightlife of the French Quarter.
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March 01, 1999
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Excerpt from Be My Baby by Susan Andersen
Juliet Rose Astor Lowell paused in the shade of the marble columns outside the Eighth District Police Station and discreetly blotted her forehead with the back of her wrist. Drawing in a deep breath, she softly expelled it. Lord, it was hot. And so humid. just the short walk from the airconditioned limo left her feeling limp. She peeled a clinging yard of voile away from her thighs and gave her dress a delicate shake to promote air circulation. She'd been in New Orleans less than an hour, and already things were entirely different than she'd envisioned when she left Boston.
But that was mostly due to this unscheduled stop. She had thought to have the tiniest bit more freedom down here; it seemed a small enough thing to wish for. After all, she was away from Grandmother's rigid constraints, in a city whose name was synonymous with enjoyment, and whose inhabitants certainly had no preconceived expectations of her as an Astor Lowell. And it wasn't as if she'd planned a wild spree of dancing naked across tabletops, for heaven's sakeýshe'd simply wanted to loosen the ever-present restraints a bit. just enough to take a really deep breath.
But even that was to be denied her. Once again Father had arranged matters without bothering to consult her, dropping this little bombshell as a fait accompli over the limo phone. Crown Hotels had received a letter protesting the opening of the New Orleans Garden Crown. He'd read it to her over the phone, and if it had struck her as more an ardent treatise against the bastardization of a historic landmark than a threat, that simply didn't signify. Father wanted police protection for her, so here she was, all choice removed from her control. She pulled open the door and entered the building.
Her ears were still attuned to the crisp accents of New England, so the slow, soft drawls of the officers manning the counter sounded almost foreign. As she turned away from the desk and followed their directions to the captain's office, she inconspicuouslyýbut avidlyýobserved everything around her. She'd never been in a police station before, and it felt both exotic and fun of energy.
The man who rose from behind his desk when she tapped on his door was neither. He had the prosperous, well-fed look of a politicianýFather's kind of person; exactly the sort she was accustomed to dealing with. The man's brown hair was expensively barbered, his ruddy cheeks shone from a close shave, and his suit was cleverly cut to minimize the appearance of a middle that had begun to spread. Police work must pay better than she'd thought.