A killer is lurking among the ruins of Katrina-ravaged New Orleans.
A killer she knows.
Still devastated two years after the mysterious murder of her beloved David Alexander, Nicci Beauvoir surprises everyone in the Big Easy by returning to her hometown with a new admirer: the cool and contentious Dallas August. But the attractive stranger is asking a lot of questions about David’s death, making Nicci’s family and friends speculate about his true intentions. Only Nicci knows that Dallas, a high-priced corporate spy, has come to New Orleans to flush out David Alexander’s killer. Playing the part of her lover, Dallas escorts Nicci around town hoping to get closer to his possible suspects. But hiding amid the city’s elite is a jealous maniac waiting to make Nicci suffer. As the days pass and the danger grows, Nicci’s relationship with the handsome spy turns from adversarial to amorous. Desperate to unearth the identity of David’s murderer, Nicci and Dallas decide to lure the killer out of the city for one final showdown. It is a deadly decision that could cost Nicci everything. But it may be her only chance for… Recovery
Recovery by Alexandrea Weis is the second novel in the wildly sexy series featuring the enigmatic Nicci Beauvoir. A thrilling read, this character-driven book boasts a whodunit mystery, sultry seductions, and an unforgettable cliffhanging twist. Once a darling of New Orleans society, Nicci pens a novel about her departed love, the artist David Alexander. While promoting her book in the Big Apple, she’s approached by David’s former boss, Simon La Roy, who has a theory about David’s death that devastates Nicci. She learns David’s murder may be linked to someone from her past. Enter Dallas August, an elite member of Simon’s organization of corporate spies prized for his ruthless ability to get the job done. Playing the part of Nicci’s lover, Dallas returns to Katrina-ravaged New Orleans with her to flush out the killer. But everything is not what is seems in the Big Easy, and soon the couple finds themselves trapped in a psychotic’s twisted game of revenge. As the danger grows, Nicci’s relationship with the handsome spy turns from adversarial to amorous. On the run for their lives, Dallas and Nicci must confront their tormentor before it is too late. It’s a deadly decision that could cost Nicci everything, but it is her only chance for finally revealing the identity of the murderer. Just as the truth behind David’s death is discovered, another more compelling mystery is unearthed. It’s an unexpected turn of events that rocks Nicci’s world.
Tiresome carols from department store speakers extolled the dreaded news that Christmas chaos had once again taken over the country. Newspapers would soon be filled with stories of fights breaking out among stranded air travelers at destinations where too much snow, too much wind, or too much airport security had taken its toll. Once at Grandmother’s house, loving families filled with potent eggnog concoctions would turn on each other and use dinner utensils as assault weapons, until SWAT units arrived to stop the bloodshed. Every commercial, greeting card, and holiday display was pressuring us to have the perfect holiday, which we knew did not really exist. But every year in December we once again pulled out the stale-smelling ornaments from the attic, fired up the plastic Christmas tree, and prayed that maybe this year would be better than the last.
I was suffering though my own Christmas hell, stuck in New York City, in weather far below what any decent southerner considered utterly obscene, to satisfy the expectations of my publisher.
I had originally balked at the idea of coming to New York. The only place I wanted to be during the holidays was home. But the city I called home had been erased from the modern era, wiped out by water, incompetence, and apathy. The New Orleans I had loved had been forever changed by the winds of Katrina.
Gone were the places of my past. The corner grocery that had always smelled of spicy boiled shrimp, the restaurant that had served my favorite gumbo, the home where I had gathered for the holidays, the neighborhood where I had grown up but had never left behind. How do you begin to cope with the loss of everything that has been part of you, completed you? In New Orleans it is said we are where we live, but who are we when we cannot live there anymore?
By the time I had finally gotten through to FEMA and was able to restore some semblance of order back into my life, my publisher had called with last-minute plans for a holiday book signing tour.
So there I sat in a downtown Manhattan bookstore, filled with longing for home and a line of women waiting for my signature on their copy of my book Painting Jenny.
“Was David Alexander really like that?” one round-faced woman asked as she cleaved a copy of my book to her chest. “The way you described him in the book?”
“He was as he is written,” I said. I always gave that response when asked about David. I wrote what I remembered about him, the good and the bad, making the character in the book almost as real as the man I had loved. Almost.
“You were his muse,” a hunched over, gray-haired diva draped in all her Tiffany finery exclaimed. “I saw some of his portraits of you, the ones he called his Jennys, last month on display at a gallery here in the city. He was very talented and his love for you was obvious. He painted you with such reverence, such awe.” She sighed and smiled weakly. “What a waste.”
I reached for the book the woman handed me with her spindly fingers and looked up into her beady gray eyes. I wondered if she had ever known love or if the cold diamonds that enveloped her body had somehow managed to work their way into her heart. I then gave her my best-practiced smile.
“He was very talented, and at least the world still has his paintings to remember him by,” I answered, keeping my voice free of the disgust churning inside of me.
The Madison Avenue maven smiled. “And your book. The world has that too. To remember you both by.”
A twinge of pain etched its way across my heart as a memory of David began to cloud my vision. We had been sitting on the floor of his studio after a frenzied night of painting. In an instant, I could smell the mix of paint and sweat on his skin. David had expressed his hope that one day his paintings and my stories would stand side-by-side declaring to the world what we had meant to each other. He had told me that he wanted nothing more than to be remembered for eternity with me. I closed my eyes and lost myself in the past.
“You must have been so devastated by his death,” a shrill voice said, tearing me away from my memories.
“Devastated?” I smiled up at a chubby, eager-looking woman standing before me.
Is that what you call this, I thought to myself. Perhaps heartache is a word that can only be experienced, and once experienced, it becomes devoid of description.
“Yes, of course I was devastated,” I coolly explained. “He was the love of my life.”
“Then how did you go…” Her hungry brown eyes looked down for a moment. “How did you go on after…he was murdered?”
“I wrote our story,” I quickly replied. “It was my therapy,” I added as I tried to quell my growing desire to taser this overzealous fan.