ABOUT: Dixie Covington is a redheaded spitfire with a sultry southern drawl. She loves her family, her small piece of the world and her art. But what Dixie desires more than anything is the freedom to fall in love with a man of her own choosing. So when her parents announce her engagement to a man she’s not even dating, Dixie and her closest friends pack their bags and head to The Big Easy for summer of fun and who knows what else.
Taz Nicorescu is another born and bred in New Orleans artist. With his exotic good looks and skills with a tattoo gun, he has no trouble finding female companionship when he wants it. Taz loves his life just the way it is, living with his best friend and running his well known Ink by Taz tattoo shop. He couldn’t have known a simple neighborly request would change everything he thought he knew about love and attraction.
What starts out as summer romance just might be true love!
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“I’m spendin’ the summer in New Orleans.” Dixie sat at one of her delicate wooden chairs with the yellow, pink and green striped cushions and smiled at her one of her best friends and cousin Pepper.
“What? You can’t go away for the summer, Mama’s countin’ on you,” Pepper pouted. She was a beautiful woman, with dark brown skin and eyes so light brown they were almost golden. Her mama had married one of Dixie’s uncles and ran the only art gallery in Rock Hill.
Dixie waved a dismissive hand at Pepper. “I’ve already talked to Aunt Sarah about it and she urged me to go. Her only condition was that I send her one painting each week to make sure I’m still focused.” She smiled and lifted her bare shoulders in a shrug. “So, who wants to go with me?”
Marilyn chose that moment to breeze through the front door, arms full with two cloth sacks and her giant designer handbag. “Alright, I’ve got bourbon and mint, water, ice and tequila.” She kicked the door shut with one killer red stiletto and rushed to set the bags down. “I also brought butter pecan ice cream, shortbread cookies and a rib dinner from Dante’s.”
“Jeez girl, did you leave anything for the rest of Rock Hill?” Pepper teased her and plucked the tequila bottle from the bag. “But I approve and that’s why you’re my favorite cousin.”
Marilyn ignored Pepper’s phony smile and dropped into the seat in front of her. “You’re full of it, Pepper but I’ll take it. I could use it.”
Dixie sat on her cousin’s lap and wrapped her arms around Marilyn’s shoulders. “What’s wrong sugar?”
“I’m just tired and frustrated.” It was more than that but she didn’t want to get into it.
Dixie’s blue eyes widened and she stood, walking around the table until she faced her best friends. “I’ve got it! You should come with me to New Orleans, both of you! We can have a fun summer away from our stuffy, controlling parents, no offense Pepper, and enjoy being ourselves!” Before either woman could answer, Dixie turned and took advantage of the open floor plan, grabbing her cocktail shaker, muddler and ice. She didn’t notice the wide eyed stares until she began to muddle the mint and sugar. “What?”
“Are you out of your mind, Dixie Mae Covington?” Marilyn removed her blond locks from the loose bun at the base of her neck. “I can’t just pick up and leave for three months.”
Her auburn brows crinkled in confusion. “Why not? You can write anywhere there’s a power outlet and Wi-Fi.”
“Well I’m in,” Pepper said, grabbing the cocktail shaker and adding a few glugs of tequila. “Texas style,” she grinned and filled three tall glasses.
“Not that I’m not happy you’re comin’ sugar, but why?”
She shrugged and took a long, satisfying sip. “Duvall is a lying, cheating, no good son of a bitch?” Her harsh words were contradicted by her casual tone.
Dixie wrapped an arm around Pepper, “I always thought you were too good for him, doll. Good riddance.”
Marilyn glared, green eyes glittering outrage. “And what about your plans to find a job?”
“I’ve decided I’m going to do it. I’m going to design my own video game.”
Both women squealed and swallowed her up in a heap of enthusiastic hugs and kisses. “That’s so fantastic, Pepper! I’m so happy for you.”
Two pleading gazes turn on Marilyn. “Dang, don’t put it all on me.” They said nothing, just looked at her with stares that grew more pitiful by the second. “Oh fine, looks like we’re all going to the Big Easy this summer.”