Nick Gerard, a Manhattan investment banker wants to sell his ancestral home at 1113 Royal Street in New Orleans. The tenants in that building have rigged devices to scare away potential buyers with strange sounds and a frightening cold spot. Deciding to take matters into his own hands and find out exactly what they are up to, he arrives in New Orleans with pneumonia, and a cover story. He does not intend to tell the four tenants that he is their landlord as he works to uncover their trickery.
Magnolia Mayfair, owner of Mayfair Masks and resident of 1113 Royal Street, decides to work on an experiment in lust. Her decision just happens to coincide with the arrival of the new neighbor. He has all the right requirements - cute, single, against marriage and temporary. With much pushing from her three unusual neighbors, Maggie agrees that Nick will be a good candidate.
Nick sees Maggie, with her degree in home economics and love of sewing, as a wife in training. This has him running from the woman who haunts his steamy dreams. No way will he be trapped into marriage and a family, even if he does think of her as a sex kitten.
Late one night, a mysterious resident of the building makes an appearance and Nick and Maggie find themselves thrown together. Who could this resident be? Will Maggie and Nick overcome their fear of marriage? And will Nick's vivid dreams become reality?
Dixie Kane does a wonderful job describing the French Quarter of New Orleans to someone who has never been there. The residents of 1113 Royal Street and their interesting jobs intrigued me, and kept me reading to see what else they would do. The unexpected guest makes the last half of the book a quick read. Some of the dialogue seemed stilted between Maggie and Nick, but that is soon forgotten in the fantastic plotting and conclusion of the story.
Michelle Libby, March 2003