New Orleans, 1902
A killer walks the streets of New Orleans, eviscerating men and leaving them in the streets, and for madam Trula Boudreaux, it's bad for business. Trula needs help but she’s not prepared for Zeke Barnes, the charming would-be savior who darkens her doorway—or the yearning he awakens. For while Trula knows well the delights of lust, she avoids love at all costs… Investigating the killer was one thing, but Zeke can't help but be enchanted by the gorgeous mystery woman who runs an exclusive brothel. Caught between his duty to protect the city and his clear-as-day desire for Trula, Zeke sets about capturing Trula's heart—or at least a place in her bed. But with every moment Trula resists, Zeke falls into greater danger. For his investigation into the haunted city and madam doesn't just risk his heart but both their lives.
Excerpt: Trula raised her arms above her head, stretching her muscles, arching. He drank in her every movement. Her hand skimmed the sheet under the pillow and she froze. Sudden tension rolled off her body. She pulled a bit of paper out from under the pillow.
“What’s that?” he asked.
Trula studied the bit of paper. Her brows knit together and worry lines wrinkled the smooth perfection of her forehead. “Fate.” She handed him an elaborately decorated card.
He looked at a naked man and woman whose hands reached for each other.
“Granny left a message for us.” Her voice sounded distant.
“The lovers.” He laid the card on the bedside table. “It appears Granny Amzie is a wise woman.”
“Too wise.” Her eyes misted like the river at dawn. She’d wandered far away from him without taking a step.
He lifted his hand, caressed her soft cheek. “I don’t want to talk about old women.” He nuzzled against her neck, breathing in her scent.
“How…wise of you.” Her laughter sounded almost sad and the fingers she ran through his hair no longer held electricity at their tips.
He pulled her warm body to him and held her, watching as her eyes fell closed. Her breathing eased into a regular, deep pattern. She didn’t respond to the brush of his lips on her soft cheek. He’d made a tactical error. One night with Trula wasn’t near enough.
My Review: I always love a good book set in New Orleans of the past and A Haunting Desire fits that to a tee. I enjoyed the history leaping from the pages of the book along with the mystery, supernatural, and romance.
New Orleans 1902 and a killer is running wild through the streets and it seems that he may not be human. Zeke is sent to investigate and during his investigation he is led to a cemetery where he meets Trula, a madam.
The plot was suspenseful and intriguing and from the moment I began reading, I needed more. This is the first book I've read that opened in a cemetery and while it had a creepy, mystical feel to it, it was also quite intriguing how Mulhern choose to open the book. It was something new to me and I loved it.
This is the first book I read by Julie Mulhern and I have to say, I love her writing style, her way with words, and how she left me in suspense. Her characters, Zeke and Trula, are well written and Mulhern captures the simplest detail perfectly. While being a madam Trula is not mean or bitter. Instead she is sweet, caring, and patient. She watches over her girls and takes good care of them. Zeke is selfless, handsome, and realistic. The passion between Zeke and Trula is smoldering hot and the romance between them is written perfectly by Mulhern.
I enjoyed seeing how Mulhern incorporated voodoo, ghosts, and New Orleans culture into A Haunting Desire. As I said before I am a big fan of books set in New Orleans, especially those set in the past and this is one of the best I have read before.
Julie Mulhern always wanted to be a writer. She spent her childhood creating pen names and dreaming of exotic, mysterious, romantic places. To that end, she went to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (because, when you’re from the Midwest, the South is both exotic and romantic). There she earned degrees in politics and French. She even spent a year living in Paris. But the Midwest beckoned and she returned home. Now she lives with her husband, two daughters and a dastardly dog. It might not be exotic or mysterious but it is romantic.