Set in sultry, post-Katrina New Orleans amidst the non-stop revelry of Mardi Gras, THIGH HIGH is the latest book in Dodd’s contemporary romantic suspe...moreSet in sultry, post-Katrina New Orleans amidst the non-stop revelry of Mardi Gras, THIGH HIGH is the latest book in Dodd’s contemporary romantic suspense series. It’s filled with plenty of action and suspense, hot sensuality and a whole host of the quirky, offbeat characters for which New Orleans is known.
Every Mardi Gras for the past four years, the “Beaded Bandits” have robbed a New Orleans branch of Premier Central Bank. Masked and gowned, the unfailingly polite bandits ask for specific, fairly small amounts of money (less than $2,000), dispense fashion advice and never harm anyone. To the residents of the Big Easy, the bandits are deemed harmless, just two more quirky characters in a city filled with eccentrics.
Mac MacNaught is the self-made CEO of Premier Central Bank. He is arrogant, domineering and unyielding. A large, muscular man, his face and body are mapped with scars and he will never be called handsome but he oozes a raw sexuality that has women of all ages falling at his feet. He hates liars and thieves and is furious that someone would have the audacity to rob his bank. From his office in Philadelphia he obsessively watches the video screens of daily operations in his New Orleans bank and, specifically, the actions of the Assistant Manager of that bank, Miss Ionessa Dahl, the woman who fascinates him even though he suspects her of planning the Mardi Gras robberies.
Nessa Dahl was orphaned at the age of five and raised by her great aunts, Hestia and Calista Dahl, impoverished but much beloved doyennes of New Orleans society. Because of their financial straits the sisters have been forced to open their Garden District home, The Dahl House, to boarders but still reign supreme as the hostesses of the Mardi Gras party nobody in New Orleans wants to miss. Nessa Dahl is the assistant manager of the New Orleans branch of the Premier Central Bank. She is liked and admired by the people of New Orleans and the staff and customers of the bank and is primarily responsible for the bank’s success but, because of a mistake made seven years ago, has never been given the promotion she yearns for and deserves. She remains under the thumb of That Woman, otherwise known as Stephanie a/k/a Stephabeast, the bank manager who is reviled by employees and feared by customers but has the approval and support of the bank’s reclusive CEO, Mac MacNaught..
As another Mardi Gras approaches and the insurance investigator Mac sent to New Orleans to investigate Nessa returns to Philadelphia having clearly fallen under her spell, Mac decides the time has come to take matters into his own hands. Posing as an insurance investigator, he travels to New Orleans to investigate Nessa himself and put a stop to the bank robberies once and for all. The intense sexual attraction between the brash Yankee, Mac and charming Southerner, Nessa is instantaneous and he is relentless in his sexual pursuit of her as they work together to solve the mystery of the Beaded Bandits, even as he continues to investigate her and is certain she is the person behind the robberies, bless his heart.
Dodd has penned another terrific story with a hero and heroine you’ll fall in love with and littered with wonderful secondary characters and enough fast moving twists and turns and sizzling hot sensuality to keep you turning pages until the final word. As a bonus for readers, a surprise is revealed about a favorite character from Dodd’s previous books who makes an appearance in THIGH HIGH.
“They say he ran away.” Mrs. Conrad leaned close to impart this bit of gossip. (from TO TASTE TEMPTATION)
With that first sentence, I was drawn into TO...more“They say he ran away.” Mrs. Conrad leaned close to impart this bit of gossip. (from TO TASTE TEMPTATION)
With that first sentence, I was drawn into TO TASTE TEMPTATION and knew this story wouldn’t be relinquishing its hold on me anytime soon. The “he” to which Mrs. Conrad refers is Samuel Hartley, a brash, arrogant, wealthy self-made businessman from Boston who has come to London to secure a business deal with the fledgling Wedgwood pottery company. At his first London ball, Samuel contrives, no, demands an introduction to Lady Emeline Gordon, a model of haute ton propriety, and engages her services to chaperone his younger sister during their stay in England.
Samuel is a complex man, brash and bold in manner but hiding a tormented soul inside. Raised in the American wilderness, he joined the British troops as a tracker and was one of the few survivors of the massacre of the 28th Regiment, the same Indian massacre that claimed the life of Emeline’s beloved brother and so many other young men, the massacre that Samuel believes never should have happened and occurred only because someone betrayed them. And that is Samuel’s true purpose for being in London – to find the person who betrayed all those men, the men whose souls have haunted his dreams night after night, year after year, until his tortured mind is driven to the very brink of madness.
Emeline is no shy, retiring young miss but a self-sufficient widow with a rambunctious and curious young son. She is appalled by Samuel’s disregard for the rules of the ton while at the same time increasingly fascinated by the man himself. Who is this man who boldly places himself in her path at every turn, flaunts convention by wearing moccasins, of all things, to London balls, calls at her home at the ungodly hour of 8am when all of the ton knows you never call before 2pm, and runs the streets of London in the middle of the night as if the very demons of hell were nipping at his heels? Because of England’s strict separation of class and other reasons known only to Emeline, she is not free to pursue her growing attraction to Samuel yet she cannot bring herself to stay away from the only person who has ever looked beyond the face she presents to the world and seen the real person inside who longs to be set free.
Hoyt writes with such emotional intensity that I found my skin tightening, breath shortening and heart pounding as Samuel, the hunter, pursues and Emeline, the prey, evades as they continue to circle one another, growing closer and closer until that moment when desire will not be denied and they finally come together in a blazing explosion that sets the pages of this book on fire.
This story is populated with a wonderful cast of secondary characters who bring richness and complexities to the many layers within. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of them in future books in this series.
Will desire turn to love for Emeline and Samuel? Will love be enough for Emeline to turn her back on her obligations? Will Samuel find the betrayer? You’ll have to read TO TASTE TEMPTATION to discover the answers but clear your schedule first. This is a book you won’t be able to put down! (less)