It’s Mardi Gras time in New Orleans. Attending a masquerade ball, wealthy fashion designer Caterine Doucette, dressed as a shimmering ice princess, has her cool façade shattered when she encounters Bayou-born ex-cop Remi Michaud, disguised as the darkly handsome pirate Jean Lafitte. Their true identities hidden, the princess and the pirate come together in an explosion of passion and desire. But when fantasy turns to cold reality, Caterine panics and disappears into the night, unaware this man will soon be sent to rescue her from a killer and will capture her heart.
Orphaned at a young age, Caterine grew up in the home of her beloved grandmother, Miss Dauphine Doucette. Despised by her Doucette relatives for the devotion she received from her grandmère, Caterine suffered years of envy and disdain. The young Caterine learned quickly how easily the love she had to give could be thrown back in her face.
After Miss Dauphine turns over ownership of the century-old fashion house, Ma Chérie, to Caterine, an attempt is made on her life, for there are those in the Doucette family who will stop at nothing to possess what they feel is their rightful inheritance.
Not knowing whom to trust, Caterine goes into hiding. Miss Dauphine, convinced someone in her own family is behind the attack, hires Remi, now working for a private security company, to track her down and unmask her would-be assassin.
Learning that the affluent Caterine Doucette is the beautiful princess he held in his arms at the ball, Remi is torn between his growing desire for her and painful memories of another rich socialite’s betrayal. Caterine finds herself falling in love with Remi, but old embedded pain leaves her afraid to open her heart.
Down in the Big Easy, Caterine and Remi must learn to trust one another if they are to survive in a world of family greed and ruthless revenge.
It was just like a fairy tale, a princess meets a pirate in a masquerade ball which includes mystery and romance. This being my first Debbie Grahl book, I found the dialogue somewhat dragging, and Caterine’s personality confused me a little. But I do give her credit for trying to breakaway from the preconceived stereotype of other people about her.Between her and Remi, it is Remi’s character that I liked the most. His problems and insecurities caused by his past was well developed, and to me, he was more consistent up until the end. I worried more for him and the fear of Caterine’s rejection of him.
What I really liked in the book was the mystery. Grahl filled the book with a buffet of antagonists (jealous relatives, an ex boyfriend, unknown stalker) who would want to hurt Caterine and she was able to hide the truth up until the end.
Rue Toulouse is a good read. Despite my only complaint, the romance was sexy, and lovingly tender at the same time. Grahl’s writing of the mystery was well done, keeping the reader in the dark, burying motives under motives until the truth spills out at the final chapter.
-Received an ARC via Netgalley for an honest review