Hot fling or real thing" There are no Big Easy answers in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas"s sultry series.
As far as flings go, single dad Gabe Trahan is pretty sure that Addison Sloan is his best bet. Once a month, Addison comes to New Orleans and then"It. Is. On. Until Addison returns to New York, it"s just hot, happily-no-strings-attached sex. And beignets. And jazz. But lately for Gabe, it isn"t nearly enough.
Sure, maybe Addison"s gotten a bit hooked on Gabe. After all, who can resist a guy who"s so sexy, so charming, and so"available" But maybe he"s too available for her right now. Addison"s just moved to New Orleans, and relationships are definitely off the table. Besides, guys always bail when they learn her secret: she"s a single mom.
Only Gabe"s not running. Worse, he"s thrilled. But Addison never signed up for ever-after romance, and Gabe won"t settle for anything less. Now it"s a battle of wills"and when it comes to the woman he"s falling for, Gabe isn"t above playing a little dirty.Books in Series:Boys of the Big Easy Series by Erin NicholasBooks by Author:Erin Nicholas Books
My grandma had always said baking was the cure for sadness. Grammy was adorable, and she could make cookies to knock the stockings off a fireplace, but she was dead wrong. I had been pulling fresh cherry pies, pastries, croissants, bagels, and any other confectionary treats you could imagine out of the oven in my bakery for over two years now. And by my estimation, the only thing baking cured was slim waistlines and commitments to diets.
I wasn"t sad anyway. I’d just turned twenty-five, and I realized I couldn’t wait for life to come get me. Call me slow on the uptake, but I’d thought if I kept my nose down, worked hard, and acted like a good girl, everything else would follow. Instead, I just wore myself a comfortable groove in the routine of my day while time passed faster and faster. If I wasn’t careful, I’d be an eighty-year-old virgin who made a cupcake that could induce spontaneous orgasms. Great baking skills, sad life. That wasn’t exactly my dream. Deep down, I knew if I kept avoiding chances like I avoid flossing"except the day before I went to the dentist"I’d end up as the crusty, old, virginal baker.
Baking was easy. It made sense. Add this much, take out that much, bake at this temperature, let rest for so long. It was a science, and if you kept track of what you did, you knew what to expect. I liked that about baking. It was my safe place, and if my sister and Ryan, my only employee, weren’t constantly prodding me about my lack of social life, I’d probably already have retreated so deep into the baking that I’d be lost. My plans for the weekend included scouting the local farmer’s markets for fresh ingredients from my favorite locals, testing new recipes, and trying to perfect existing ones. Baking was my life. I wouldn’t be surprised if cherry filling ran through my veins. At the very least, I wore flour more often than makeup. There was baking, and there was my life. It was easy to think that someday the two would collide, that all my dreams of expanding the shop and perfecting my recipes would somehow lead me to the excitement I felt was missing. Other days, I felt like I was in a pastry-encrusted cage: tasty, but a cage is a cage.
Yes, I loved what I did, but no, Grammy, it wasn’t the cure-all.
All I had to do was look at the battered old college textbook under the leg of my oven. I"d bought the oven heavily used, and one leg was about a college textbook too short. Marine Biology and Scarce Ecosystem Dynamics. It sounded like someone had plugged a few science words into a blender and figured college kids would feel smart for carrying it around. Then they slapped a three hundred dollar price tag on it for good measure. When the school library had offered to buy it back for ten dollars, I told them they could go screw themselves and their ten dollars.
Well, technically, I thought they could go screw themselves. I might"ve actually smiled politely, said "no thank you," and then listened to some Matt Costa on the way home to calm down. I worked in customer service all my life, and I knew how unfair it was to give the person behind the desk attitude for something they couldn"t control.
So I"d put the book to work over the last six or seven years. If they weren"t going to give me three hundred dollars back, I"d find three-hundred-dollars-worth of ways to use it. First, it served as a doorstop in my college dorm while I finished out the sociology degree that was gathering dust in a filing cabinet somewhere. It"d been bumped into, tripped over, and downright degraded"I called it fat once when I stubbed my toe on it, which admittedly had been crossing the line, but I wasn"t about to apologize to a book. It also moonlighted as a spider smasher, when it wasn"t holding doors. I used it as a pillow when my cat decided to throw up on mine. I"d even doodled inside most of the margins. And now" Now, it was a cornerstone to my oven. In essence, it was a cornerstone to my business.
That was a bit of a stretch, sure. But the truth and dough were more alike than people realized. Give them a tug in the right place, a snip here, and maybe a little kneading, and viola. You had yourself a very easy to swallow pill. Or muffin.
All in all, I’d say I was at least up to twenty dollars in value after all these years. Only two-hundred and eighty to go. There was, of course, one other reason I kept that stupid book when I sold all the other overpriced textbooks for pennies. I’d doodled his name in that book with a little heart around it for the first time. It was the one I was holding when we talked the first time after class, clutched to my chest, right over my rapidly beating heart. Nathan. The boy of my dreams who turned into the creepy stalker from hell. I could thank him for my virginity, at least in part. I wasn’t sure if there was such a thing as post-traumatic creeper disorder, but if there was, Nathan had infected me with it. I’d become a master of pushing any and everybody with a penis away after him. Keeping the book was my figurative way of hanging a warning sign in the middle of my life: “Beware the penis, for danger this way lies.”