Step #1Start off with reminding her of the sweet stuff about being with you in New Orleans. Send a basket of pralines and Magnolias. Be romantic. Do not mention dirty stuff on the card. Probably.Step #2Turn up the heat. Send her some beignets and an extra bag of powdered sugar to remind her of the night on your balcony where lots of other things ended up with sugar on them. Maybe mention the dirty stuff on the card now. Or again.Step #3Invite her on a horse-drawn carriage ride around the Quarter. Make it impossible for her to say no by sending the invite with a bottle of Pimm’s No. 1 and tell her that there’s going to be a parade at the end. She can’t resist a parade.Step #4Have your mutual friends suggest a night out on the town to her and then surprise her by joining them at Preservation Hall for the jazz show. Make sure you show up just before it starts. There’s no way she’ll yell at you when she can be listening to jazz. She’ll very likely let you stand really close and wrap your arms around her like you’ve done all the other times she’s heard a jazz trumpet. You can say some dirty things in her ear here. For sure.Step #5A few days later, send her a book about alligators. Make sure it’s something her five-year-old daughter will be interested in. A coloring book with alligator trivia would be perfect. Insert a brochure for a swamp boat tour in the book. Text her the next day and suggest you all go on the swamp boat tour together.Step #6After a day in the sun on the bayou with your kids, invite her to a masquerade ball. Be sure to mention it’s at a plantation. And that she gets to wear a ball gown. And a mask, of course. And that there will be mint juleps. She’ll be putty in your hands. This is your chance to do a few dirty things.Step #7In the end, even if some of the other stuff has failed, use the Ace up your sleeve. Show up on her doorstep with a pot of your grandma’s gumbo and tell her that you’re madly in love with her and that if she’ll let you in, she’ll be able to have that gumbo regularly for the rest of her life. No one can say no to grandma’s gumbo.
As far as flings go, single dad Gabe Trahan is pretty sure that Addison Sloan is his best bet. Once a month, Addison comes to New Orleans and then…It. Is. On. Until Addison returns to New York, it’s just hot, happily-no-strings-attached sex. And beignets. And jazz. But lately for Gabe, it isn’t nearly enough.
Sure, maybe Addison’s gotten a bit hooked on Gabe. After all, who can resist a guy who’s so sexy, so charming, and so…available? But maybe he’s too available for her right now. Addison’s just moved to New Orleans, and relationships are definitely off the table. Besides, guys always bail when they learn her secret: she’s a single mom.
Only Gabe’s not running. Worse, he’s thrilled. But Addison never signed up for ever-after romance, and Gabe won’t settle for anything less. Now it’s a battle of wills—and when it comes to the woman he’s falling for, Gabe isn’t above playing a little dirty.
Gabe had sent her flowers.
Addison stood staring at the gigantic bouquet of white flowers sitting on the desk she was using for the day.
“These are magnolias, right?” she asked Elena.
“They are. The state flower of Louisiana.” Elena stroked the petal of one of the gorgeous flowers. “Someone knows your weakness for all things New Orleans.”
He definitely did. Addison hadn’t even needed to read the card to know who the flowers were from. Gabe knew she was a sucker for anything that was traditionally associated with the city. Beignets, bourbon, masks, beads, gas lanterns, and balconies with looping wrought iron railings. For six months he’d been taking her out on the Sunday she was in town and letting her soak up the city. And now she’d gone from associating those things with New Orleans and the unique spirit of the city to associating them with him.
But why was he sending her flowers? That was new. So far, their routine was she showed up at the bar on Saturday night, they spent the weekend together, she left on Monday morning, and then thirty days later, they repeated it all over again. There was no contact in between times. No texts or calls—they didn’t have each other’s number. No letters or gifts—he didn’t have her address. And definitely no flowers.
“See you soon, Gabe,” Elena read from the card. She lifted her eyes, meeting Addison’s. “Gabe? Who’s Gabe?” Then her eyes widened. “Wait. These aren’t from Gabe Trahan, are they?”
Oh, crap. Addison took a deep breath, thought briefly about lying, and then realized there was no real reason to not tell her friend the truth. “Yes.”
Elena’s eyes widened, almost as if she hadn’t expected that answer. “Really? You’ve seen him since that first night?”
Addison rounded the desk and set the folder she was carrying on top of the nearest stack, straightening the pile of already straight files. “Yes,” she said simply. The fewer details she offered, the better, probably.
“When?” Elena asked. “I had no idea you’d seen him again.”
And then it hit Addison . . . Elena wasn’t just her friend anymore. She was Addison’s boss. Was this going to reflect badly on her? Was a just-when-she-was-in-town affair something Elena would frown upon?
“I didn’t think it was important to mention. We just . . . went out a couple of times.” They had. They’d gone out to Preservation Hall for jazz. They’d gone to Café du Monde for coffee and beignets. They’d gone to the French Market. They’d gone to Gabe’s bedroom. And his shower. And his kitchen table. And his balcony . . .
“You’re dating Gabe Trahan?” Elena asked, planting her hands on her hips.
“No,” Addison said quickly. “Not dating. We’ve had . . . drinks when I’ve been in town.” And many, many orgasms. And laughs. And fun.
“Which time?” Elena asked.
“Which time what?”
“Which time that you were in town did you have drinks?”
Addison sighed. “Each time.”
“You’ve seen him every time you’ve been in town since you met him?” Elena asked, clearly shocked.
“Yes. But,” Addison added before Elena could go on, “it’s nothing serious. It’s been . . . a fling. Just a little fun. No big deal. And”—she took a deep breath—“this weekend was the last time. Now that I’ve moved here, I won’t be seeing him anymore.”
Saying it out loud made her heart clench even harder than it had when she’d driven away from him that morning.
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.
Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).
Review of Going Down Easy
Review (4 Stars): I loved this amazing book and Gabe and Addison were such a great couple together!!! Gabe never planned to fall for Addison, she was just someone that he saw once a month until she moved to New Orleans for good. I loved Addison because she was a hard-working mom and never expected that she could have a happy ending with Gabe once he knew her secret. Going Down Easy was a sexy romance set in the Big Easy that will leave you wanting more from these wonderful characters.