Mary Jane has given up on men when she reluctantly travels to New Orleans for a weekend getaway with girlfriends. Stubborn and determined to steer clear of trouble, she’s sealed her sensuality under lock and key. Fate intervenes, however, with a chance to rediscover her sexual self. She will encounter three spirits – each one with an erotic test that will compel her to confront deeply held inhibitions and fears. She accepts the challenge and embarks on a decadent, daring, and unforgettable journey into paranormal pleasure.
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Mary Jane gulped. Placing the strap of her purse firmly over her shoulder, she inhaled a hefty draft of cool air into her lungs. Here goes nothing. Then she walked up the sidewalk, toward the front door of the book shop.
An unseen bell jangled as she opened the door and quickly looked around. The shop was jammed with shelves, but there wasn’t another person in sight. Not even an employee came forward as she stepped inside and strolled cautiously down an aisle. The air welcomed her, though, with the deliciously familiar scent of paper and ink.
The smell was comfortingly consistent; just like the public library or the Barnes and Noble near her house, and to Mary Jane’s nose, more enticing than freshly baked cookies. She let her fingers trail down a neatly arranged row of novels, the perfectly straight spines smooth to her touch. Passing a display of cookbooks, she turned down another aisle.
Ghosts of New Orleans read the spidery silver script on an oval-shaped purple cardboard sign. She stopped, glancing at the titles. Glossy and unspoiled, the book jackets begged to be picked up and read. She stroked one cover, a black and white photograph of the French Quarter from the 1920s, but she didn’t remove it from the shelf. She read the words Historical Hauntings from another, the bold crimson printing catching her eyes. Then she saw a small black clothbound book, jacketless. Ghost Lover, the ornate embossed gold lettering in the worn cover proclaimed. She reached out her right hand, intending flip through a few pages.
“Excellent taste, young lady,” The voice made Mary Jane jump. She dropped her hand and whirled around.
He was tall and sandy-haired, with hawk-like eyebrows that dominated his almond-shaped brown eyes, tiny crows’ feet fanning out from the corners. Well-shaped lips curled in amusement at her shock. “Did I surprise you?” he asked in a flawlessly articulated English accent, sounding rather like the headmaster of an expensive private school.
“Yes,” Mary Jane answered defensively, her fingers itching as if the impulse to touch the book had burned her.
“Go ahead,” the man urged. “Pick it up, it’s an intriguing story.”
Mary Jane glanced back at the book, small and faded, so nondescript. Yet she had an overwhelming desire to shove it in her purse and run out of the bookshop.
“Books have that effect on people, don’t they? The urge to escape into fiction can be rather overwhelming.” His voice was rich, like a heavy drizzle of caramel, and Mary Jane couldn’t help but look up at him again. He narrowed his eyes even as he smiled, and proffered his hand. “Barrett Stone, at your service.”
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Stone.”
His eyes flickered as he looked her up and down. “No need to be so formal, Mary Jane. You can call me Barrett.”
Oh shit. “Are you…? Are you one of the…?” She let her voice trail into a whisper, to his very visible amusement. “Are you one of the spirits?”
He nodded slowly and with one large hand, he plucked the book from the shelf and handed it to Mary Jane. “Here, this is yours to keep. Now,” he offered her his elbow, “I hope you’ll do me the honor of accompanying me.” It was not a question.
Mary Jane accepted the book and slid it inside her purse before placing her hand on his arm, deceptively strong beneath the elegant tailoring of his suit coat. “Where are we going?” She was almost afraid to ask, but Driver’s words reverberated in her head. Don’t be afraid to be scared.
She hoped his advice was right.
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About the Author:
Lush Jones is a Texas writer of erotica, fantasy, and anything in between. She wrote her first racy story at the tender age of 14, although the details were somewhat lacking. Fortunately, her imagination has improved since then. She loves New Orleans, red wine, and men who love ballsy women.
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Enter to win one of three $25 Amazon gift cards on the New Orleans Lover Tour & Giveaway! Open WW, this giveaway will run 11/26/14 – 12/24/14.a Rafflecopter giveaway