The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Date of Publication: 9/1/2013
Ready to get her life back on track after ending a painful marriage, Danica Giles returns to the Creole cottage where she grew up in the New Orleans French Quarter. Danica is anxious to rekindle her friendship with a former resident from her old neighborhood, the seductive Gaston Deslonde. But Gaston isn’t exactly a normal guy.
The charming man has been dead for over a hundred and fifty years, and the childish crush Danica once had on her ghostly playmate quickly turns into something much deeper.
When a handsome new man enters Danica’s life, Gaston vows to do whatever he can to hold on to her. Danica soon discovers that the most forbidden of all desires cannot be satisfied without paying a grave price. Love can blur the lines between life and death when you are living among The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine.
Danica leaned against the doorframe and reflected on the various stages of childhood and adolescence she had gone through while occupying this room. The rainbow-painted walls her mother had painstakingly decorated for her had been replaced with posters of boy bands and television heartthrobs until her mother had died. After the funeral, Danica had come home and removed all the posters in a fit of rage, wanting to be surrounded once more by her mother’s rainbows. The last year she had spent in this room, she had felt comforted by those rainbows, as if her mother’s love had been forever sealed beneath the paintbrush strokes on her walls.
"I missed this old place," she whispered.
A sudden rush of cold air moving down the hallway caused Danica to turn away from the bedroom door and peer into the darkness behind her. She took a few steps further down the hall until the aroma of cigar smoke mixed with a hint of brandy wafted in the air around her. Danica remembered that smell. It had always filled her bedroom whenever the dark man would appear.
"Is it you?" she softly called into the hallway. "It’s me, Danica. I’ve come back. Just like I said I would."
Danica walked briskly past the entrance to the master bath to the final door at the end of the hall. Without hesitation, she pushed the cypress door open and walked inside the master bedroom. The light from the large picture window overlooking the courtyard shone into the room, accentuating the deep burgundy color of the carpet beneath her feet. She stepped into the center of the room and observed the ceiling fan above. Danica waited, straining with every breath to hear the slightest stirring.
"Welcome home," a man’s wispy voice resonated around her.
A hopeful smile curled the edges of Danica’s heart-shaped mouth. "Thank you, Gaston. It’s good to be home."
A few minutes later, Danica returned to the living room, where she found Pat scrolling through messages on her cell phone.
"Let’s sign the papers," Danica happily announced. "I want to get moved in as soon as possible."
Pat gave her a wary going-over with her brown eyes. "You positive about this, Danica? I need to make sure you’re aware that other tenants have had problems—"
"It’s fine, Pat. I know you said the place is haunted and people have had some bad experiences, but this…." Danica waved to the room around her. "Just feels right."
Pat gave a skeptical shrug. "I have the papers ready back at the office. The rent is eight hundred and fifty a month. Mr. Caruso wanted me to charge you the same rate he charged your father. He insisted I make this as appealing to you as possible. You must have made quite an impression on the old man when you were a kid. He never cuts anyone a deal."
"Please tell Mr. Caruso I appreciate it."
Pat replaced her cell phone in her front jacket pocket. "Let’s turn off all of these lights and head back to the office."
Suddenly, from the shuttered window beside them, three loud knocks reverberated across the room.
Pat grabbed at her chest. "Jesus! What in the hell was that?"
Danica smirked as she watched the color drain from Pat’s perfectly made-up face. "Just someone outside on the street banging on the wall…happened a lot when I was a kid. Drunk tourists would often bang on the shutters at all hours."
Pat regained her composure. "Of course, you’re right. I didn’t think of that."
Danica motioned to the pocket doors leading to the kitchen. "Let’s get you out of here, Pat, before you have a heart attack."
"Gladly," Pat offered and rushed to the doors. "I never liked this place. I just hope you know what you’re doing, Danica."
"I know," Danica asserted with a grin. "I’ve always known."
My Review: 4 stars
This was a very interesting read for me. It wove a lot of the traditional paranormal into the story and I enjoyed that very much. Danica and Gaston will never have what normal people have, and that's unfortunate. However, they do learn from each other and support each other in a way that friends do. I thought that the storyline was very compelling and a little heartbreaking, but very good. Paul is someone who becomes important to Danica over a short period of time in which a lot happens. Sometimes making a choice is a hard thing to do, but make it we must. This is what Danica learns she needs to do, and she chooses well I think. Some things are meant to be, some not. But we have to try to be happy with what we have been given in this life and make the best of it. I thought it was great that her friend wanted to protect her, and happiness for her, as well. Great writing, fantastic storyline and characters who were vulnerable and honest, open and truthful, hurtful and mean; as we can all be. Alexandrea will keep me coming back, that's for sure.
About the Author:
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Her first novel, To My Senses, introduced readers to the world of Nicci Beauvoir and garnered numerous awards and rave reviews.
Her popular second Nicci Beauvoir novel, Recovery, won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader’s Favorite Book Awards 2011, and was named best Romantic Suspense novel by the Spring 2011 NABE Pinnacle Book Awards. Her fourth novel, Broken Wings, won best Contemporary Romance by the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2012, was a Silver Medal winner in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards for Romance, as well as a finalist in the USA Book Awards for Romance in 2012, and a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for Contemporary Romance for 2012. Diary of a One-Night Stand, was released in August 2012 and was named a Paranormal Romance Guild’s Best Reviewed of 2012. Her last novel, Acadian Waltz was a Readers’ Favorite Book Awards finalist for Best Contemporary Romance and Best Southern Fiction.
A permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.