The celebration of New Orleans continues and the heat is turned up when Claire Boudreaux returns home from college and finds herself torn between her father’s best friend, Baxter, with whom she has a mutual love for New Orleans heritage and has known all of her life, and a co-worker, Jared, an accomplished investigative reporter who mentors her as she embarks on a career as a television news reporter. She loves them both, and struggles to make her own decision despite external influences. Will Claire and Baxter’s age difference and disapproving family members cause her to choose Jared? When Baxter, Captain of the Krewe of Sancus, becomes embroiled in a scandal involving corrupt city officials, will Claire wash her hands forever of him and his Carnival activities and political machinations, or will he become the captain of her heart? Come back to The Big Easy where the good times continue to roll.
“I see that you have Mr. Crawfish over your shoulder, and a spacewalk the kids seem to be enjoying.”
Milton danced and waved before patting Claire and Baxter on the back.
“That’s correct. He’d better watch out or he’ll end up in that pot over there.”
Baxter did his best to provide levity, but the tension in the air was palatable. Milton put his claws to his face, and then scurried out of camera range.
“Later we’ll have games for the kids.” Baxter paused, seeming to lose his train of thought, having become entranced by Claire’s beautiful blue eyes. Fleeting memories of the intimate dances they’d shared flashed through his mind. “Uh, our members feel blessed that their children are in good health. This is their way of giving thanks while helping others who aren’t as fortunate.”
“Well, you have great weather for the event. We wish you much success.” Claire faced the camera for the sign-off. “This is Claire Boudreaux reporting from City Park.”
“I’ll get footage of the kids and the cooks,” Dillon said as he removed the camera from its stand.
“Good. Thank you.” She kept her back to Baxter, wishing he’d leave before she turned around.
“Claire, can we talk?”
“We need to leave. He has to shoot footage of the Causeway,” she retorted while winding the cable around the microphone.
“I do miss you, Claire. You can’t imagine how many times I’ve wanted to call you.”
“Really?” Her whole body trembled.
“Yes,” he admitted, moving closer to her. “Things changed after you returned to school. I went back to work at the firm, and you were busy with your last semester. I didn’t want to mess up your future.”
Anger and hurt warred in her heart. “That’s my mother talking—and your daughter.” She folded her arms and looked at the face she’d seen so often in her dreams. “Their concern about our age difference isn’t genuine. You should have seen through that.”
“You’re right, I—” Baxter pushed his hand through his hair.
Claire didn’t wait for him to finish. She blurted out the words. “Let me tell you what happened, Baxter. You got caught up in the romance of my being queen and you being the big shot of this organization, which, by the way, is all you care about.”
“No, I care for you, Claire. I do.” He touched her arm, but she jerked away. “May I see you again?”
She noticed that Dillon had obtained the extra video and was packing up the camera and its stand. “I have to leave, Baxter. If it counts for anything, I’m glad to see you had a nice turnout. You picked a worthy cause to support.” She swallowed hard. Some things just weren’t meant to be.
Baxter stood watching as the young reporter and the burly cameraman returned to the van. Suddenly he found himself alone, and even though he was surrounded by all of his friends, he was lonely.
Click here to purchase The Captain of Her Heart
Frane Borne has authored numerous non-fiction books and short essays concerning Jefferson Parish history and politics, and served as editor of The West Beacon, a good=news community newspaper, for three and a half years. In 2012, he self-published his first novel. But for the Grace of God, and in 2013, Astraea Press released his novel Fame and Misfotune. Borne serves as Chief Deputy Clerk of Court with the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court's Office in Gretna, Louisiana, where he has been employed since 1994. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a bachelor's degree in government and a minor in history. Borne lives in Harvey, Louisiana, with his wife Schlise.
Social Media Information