Thursday, February 29, 2024

Quake Tour and Giveaway

 


 The secrets of the bayou dance to the rhythm of jazz!  

Quake

Jazz Sessions Book 1

by Maya Alden

Genre: Romantic Suspense  


The secrets of the bayou dance to the rhythm of jazz!

She was the princess of Bayou Belle, sleeping with me, a bayou rat born on the wrong sides of the sheets.

Gaia Doucet was my first love, the one who had me body and soul…until she accused me of something terrible; and I was sent into cruel exile by her mother. But now, ten years later, I'm back. Her grandfather has left me controlling interest of the Doucet empire and I'm ready to enjoy my revenge. I'll start with her mother and end with her.


While I made a fortune in New York, she's slinging drinks at Jazz Sessions, her brothers' bar in the pulsing heart of the French Quarter. I have achieved all my dreams and she's a failure.

I'm ready to crush her into the ground even though I want her with the same desperation as I did a decade ago.

But when someone hires a hitman to kill her, it sets off a tumultuous QUAKE that shakes the very foundations of our lives. Hate her, I may, but I won't be able to live in a world where she's not there.

In the steamy, seductive streets of New Orleans, where secrets and scandals are as common as the sultry jazz rhythms, Quake is the first book in the Jazz Sessions series. Please note, each novel in this series is a standalone romance, complete with its own satisfying happily ever after. Yet, the shadow of a sinister family mystery stretches across the arc of the first three books.

Perfect for fans of LJ Shen and Shain Rose.

Note: This book contains mature themes, including violence, strong language, & sexual content, for full content warnings, please see Content Warnings page on Maya's website


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Chapter 1

Gaia

I knew he was back when I saw the single calla lily left at the doorstep. The prodigal son had returned. My first lover, my only love, had left his calling card. 

I'd have thought it was a romantic gesture when I was younger, but now I knew it was a threat. Rome Decuir didn't do romantic gestures. Even ten years ago, when I'd first fallen into bed with him, he told me what we had was just sex. 

I'd been seventeen, silly in love. 

I picked up the calla lily and walked out to the front porch of the Bayou Belle Mansion: my childhood home, my prison, my source of joy and pain, all wrapped into one.

This is where Rome and I had begun. I was so much in love that I'd done what I could to protect him, which included staying away from him. He'd been exiled from Bayou Belle for his sin of fucking Gaia Doucet, granddaughter of Lucien Doucet. Rome may have been banished from Bayou Belle, but I had been discarded.

I knew he'd come to New Orleans. 

My grandfather had told me what was in his will before he died. I'd told no one, not even my brothers, because Grandpère had asked me not to. He'd wanted to warn me that Rome Decuir would be the first non-Doucet to own fifty-five percent of Bayou Belle Holdings and the beautiful prison I had grown up in, the house that was more palace than home. 

But what was in a name? Rome was more Doucet, more like my grandfather Lucien when it came to business acumen, than my mother, siblings, and cousins all put together, even if he was born on the wrong side of the sheets and had no Doucet blood flowing in his veins.

My mother and cousins all owned shares of Bayou Belle Holdings—but Rome would have the deciding vote as soon as Lucien Doucet's will was read. Grandpère had done this to make right what had been done wrong ten years ago. He'd done it to punish my mother for her crimes against Rome and to punish me for being weak.

I had lived for ten years without Rome, knowing he hated me, wasn't that punishment enough? 

"The whole family will be out for blood," Grandpère had chuckled. 

For Rome's blood. 

Well, good luck with that. The boy he used to be had been tough, but the man he'd become, from all accounts, was more formidable. He'd made a lot of money, like he'd wanted. He'd become the corporate juggernaut he'd promised he'd be. And now he'd own Bayou Belle and have more power than any Doucet. A big fuck you to all of us, Doucets. 

I was happy for him. I had wanted this for him. Had made sure he'd have it. I had given up Bayou Belle, relinquished my inheritance, and invested in Rome's future. 

I knew that my brothers wouldn't mind what Grandpère had done; in fact, they'd celebrate. My oldest brother, Blaze, had jazz and traveled the world with his saxophone and band. Sure, he got a law degree from Duke, but he ditched that. He had no interest in the law, Bayou Belle or being a Doucet. My middle brother, Zephyr, co-owned Jazz Sessions with Blaze, a jazz club in the French Quarter where I managed the bar and kitchen, and he the jazz. 

I didn't have any of the Bayou Belle fortune; instead, I was free of my mother and of being that Doucet. 

My brothers still had plenty of Doucet money in their bank accounts after selling their shares of Bayou Belle to Grandpère and buying Jazz Sessions. They'd given me a job at the bar and a place to stay in the apartment upstairs. They'd tried to make me an equal partner, but I'd resisted. I couldn't take something I hadn't earned. 

I had changed ten years ago; they saw it and correctly associated it with Rome and me breaking up.

Zephyr had begged me to tell him what had happened when Rome was exiled. I didn't. Couldn't. Then, it had been perilous in case Rome returned. Now, it didn't matter. The statute of limitations for rape was only five years in Louisiana. 

Chapter 2

Rome

I watched her twirl the calla lily in her hands as she stood on the porch.

I knew she'd find the flower. I'd make sure of it. It was petty, but I'd earned my right to torment.

I snuck into the estate as I used to when I was a half-breed bayou rat, fucking the heiress. The rat who had to use the servant's entrance even though I was friends with Zephyr. Even though I was under the wing of Lucien Doucet. But Camille Doucet ran the household, and she'd made it clear that a servant's bastard son should know his place. 

Gaia closed her eyes and let the calla lily stroke her skin, down her cheek, down, down, down to her cleavage. Her breasts were larger. She'd been a girl then. Just seventeen. Now, she was a woman. She'd cut her long hair. It was a sleek bob. It suited her. Sharpened her angular Doucet features. She was still beautiful. She walked into a room, and you couldn't look away, or maybe, it was just I who couldn't look away. She'd always had a hold on me.

She'd been a virgin then. Not like me. I'd been fucking girls since I was fifteen. Gaia had been pristine. Innocent. I still remembered her milky white skin that I put marks on. The way she'd whimpered when I'd hurt her that first time. The way she'd held on, telling me she wanted me, only me. 

She'd come to the small stilt house I'd lived in with my mother until she died, and then alone. The Bayou Belle servants lived there. My mother's stilt house was separate so that the master of the house could come and go unnoticed. Mama died when I was fifteen, and no one cared that I lived alone. I was relieved that I'd been allowed to stay at Bayou Belle. The estate had been my home since birth, a bastard with no blood relation to the Doucet, an illegitimate rat borne off Lucien's daughter, Korina's husband Shawn, and my beautiful and kind mother, Arcadia Decuir, a Bayou Belle servant.

The heiress had dirtied herself with me.

I love you, Rome. 

Yeah, well, love hadn't lasted, had it? She sold me out. I'd been made to leave Bayou Belle and New Orleans, exiled with the sword of a rape conviction hanging over me. 

Once her mother knew we were fucking, Gaia changed her tune. She told Camille I raped her. 

I'd been given a choice. Leave or go to prison. My twenty-year-old ass couldn't believe Gaia, my Calla Lily, would do this. I'd demanded Camille that Gaia tell me herself. And she had. She'd told me I'd raped her, and I should go. Her eyes had been red-rimmed, her face pale, and her lips trembling. But the words…they were clear.

But now I was back. Soon to be the King of Bayou Belle. 

Lucien Doucet had told me he was making amends. He told me he was giving me what I needed to get revenge, if that was what I wanted. In return, he wanted me to save the Doucet family business and the family name because his heirs were destroying it. 

I didn't want Bayou Belle for the money. I'd made plenty. I wanted it for the prestige and, more importantly, for revenge. 

Oui! I'd start with Camille, work my way through that bastard second husband of hers, Rufus Stark, the other Doucets who owed me, and then and only then, I'd go for Gaia. 

"Try to forgive her even though what she did is unforgivable," Lucien told me when he came to see me in New York. 

"I can't," I'd told him honestly.

"Rome, when you love someone, you hurt when they hurt," he'd warned me.

"I don't love her. I never loved her," I'd assured him.

"Then so be it. They've all made their beds, and they'll have to sleep in them. As will you."

I certainly intended to sleep in my bed once I cleared out the Doucets from my new house. The Bayou Belle Mansion was going to be mine, I thought with satisfaction. 

She didn't live here. Zephyr told me she lived in an apartment atop the jazz bar he owned. 

Gaia had aspired to do great things. She'd been ambitious. It gave me satisfaction that she'd not achieved any of her desires and had ended up running a fucking saloon while I had made every dream of mine come true.

"You don't know everything," Zephyr had told me once when he was in New York, and we'd gotten drunk after my company had made its first big investment.

"Really?" I'd taunted. 

"She's my sister, man."

"I know. Trust me, I know."

He shook his head. "I wish you'd…I wish she'd…."

"What?"

"Nothing." Zephyr raised his shot glass. "To ICeR Capital. Congratulations, Rome."

"Thanks, Z. Couldn't have done it without your help." I clinked my glass with his. Zephyr had invested in my company and believed in me. I'd kept my friendship with him, even though his sister had tried to ruin my life. 

J'emmerde cette salope! Fuck the bitch!

"It is my pleasure. I'm happy to see you succeed," Zephyr had said sincerely.

And he had been. He was my oldest friend. One of my closest friends. That he loved his sister as much as I hated her was an irony that wasn't



Maya has a passion for weaving tales of love and desire.

With a background in literature and a heart filled with hope, Maya pours her emotions onto the pages of her novels, capturing the essence of true love and the power it holds to transform lives. Combining unforgettable characters, sizzling chemistry, and heartfelt emotions, Maya's stories will whisk you into a world of passion and enchantment.

Maya invites you to join her on a journey of love, laughter, and happily-ever-afters that will leave you with a sigh and a smile.


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