by Tina DeSalvo
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Once invited into New Orleans’ historic mansions to evaluate prized antiques, Dr. Jewell Duet held a coveted professorship at a top university. With her deep knowledge of Louisiana history and antiquities, she was the go-to person for anyone requiring professional appraisals. But, one hasty decision cost her both her reputation and possibly her freedom. Now, as she waits to discover if her future includes prison, Jewell knows that taking the job at Sugar Mill is necessary if she is to support her beloved grandmother who has advanced dementia.
Charming, sexy lawyer Beau Bienvenu's attraction to the intriguing historian vies with his distrust of her motives. Beau has one simple goal when it comes to the family that rescued him and made him part of their clan…protect them at all costs. He doesn't trust Jewell, nor her reason for taking the lowly job at Sugar Mill Plantation. What is she really up to? Is it possible Jewell and her quirky grandmother are there to try to profit from a Bienvenu family mystery? If so, both women are out of luck.
Jewell and Beau are at odds about almost everything. The only things they agree on are that family is everything…and that their mutual attraction is inconvenient.
Hope, Love and Second Chances Continue in the heart of Cajun Country
Jewell touched his arm briefly as a sign of understanding, then dropped her hand to her lap.
“Oh, hell.” He frowned, his head dropped forward. “I can’t like you, Jewell. I can’t be softened by how nice you appear. By the way you care for your grandmother.” He turned his head to look at her. “I can’t.”
“We don’t have to be enemies, Beau.”
“Friends?” He blew out a breath. “Merde.” He cursed again in Cajun French. “We can only be adversaries, Boots. I have to protect my family. I can’t make any mistakes where they’re concerned.” He shook his head. “No. We definitely can’t be friends. Friends need to trust one another.”
He looked at her; his rich green eyes looked so honest, so vulnerable and yet, so determined. It frightened her. He frightened her. How he made her feel when he looked at her frightened her.
“You will not blindside me because I want to believe you,” he said, his voice strong, determined. “Hell, I do want to believe you, but I don’t. God, that would make life a lot less problematic. You weave a good tale, chère. I’ll give you that.”
His words stung. Bruised her pride. Yet, she wouldn’t let her personal feelings detour her mission. She was fighting for Mimi—the dear woman whom Jewell shared nearly every part of her history with, the woman who heartbreakingly would soon not remember her, or that history. That thought was impossible enough to deal with every day. She didn’t need to add any useless emotions to the mix.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Tina DeSalvo enjoys using her imagination, humor, empathy and personal experiences to turn characters and situations into books that she hopes will entertain readers. Her first book, Elli, brought her in close contact with so many readers with whom she has loved sharing stories, laughs, tears and hugs. Tina has always been inspired by the people she meets and by hearing their personal journeys, not to mention the people she just observes along the way…so, watch out. You could be a character in her next book!
Tina is married to her handsome Cajun hero, and they live in Louisiana. They have two sons, a wonderful daughter (in-law) and four delightful grandchildren.
If you'd like to know more about Tina DeSalvo, including info on her newest work, latest contests, where she’s speaking or having a book signing, where she gets her ideas, or to see her photos from when she meets her cherished readers…please visit her website at www.tinadesalvo.com
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4 out of 5 stars
Jewell by Tina DeSalvo is part of the ‘Second Chance’ series and centers around Dr. Jewell Duet as she tries to cope with a pending lawsuit, her beloved grandmother’s deteriorating memory and the downward spiral of her career. A new job provides her a much-needed lifeline but the mysterious connection that her grandmother has for the house Jewell is working in raises suspicion in the owner’s cousin, Beau Bienvenu. Unfortunately for Beau, the rest of his extended family seems to be warmly welcoming the attractive antiquities expert but he can’t reconcile what he sees with what he’s heard about her and it’s tough to trust his heart, given his past. The two must learn to work together to solve the various mysteries they are faced with, but it may become a moot point since time is quickly running out for Jewell.
This contemporary romance provides an entertaining glimpse of Southern society and some of the regional customs. It was fun to see the interactions between the various generations and the glimpses of events from a past life are nicely interspersed with the unfolding of a present-day mystery. The poignant depiction of the impact of age-related mental deterioration is thought-provoking and one cannot help but be fascinated by the quirky secondary characters who provide spice and local color. I would like a little more insight into the main characters because for some reason, even though pieces of their pasts are gradually revealed, I don’t seem to have a strong rapport with either of them. I enjoyed the gradual deepening of their relationship and I suspect that it would have helped to have read the first book in the series to get a better feel for some of the characters who suddenly pop up but there is no problem reading this as a stand-alone story. This was an entertaining gentle romance and I will be interested to see what other stories are added to this series.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review