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Beneath the glittering facade of historic mansions and gaslit restaurants, no one tells Maureen Collins what to do. Not her father. Not the old society families of New Orleans. Not even her dead mother, who chose her groom the day her daughter was born. Refusing the husband selected for her, Maureen ventures into a world of lies, disguises and midnight rendezvous—to win the love of Ben Merritt, an intriguing stranger with something to hide. 
Merritt leads a double life. By day he’s a priggish attorney; when the moon rises, he prowls the docks tracking opium smugglers. When he meets Maureen, he suppresses his desire and thinks of her as a useful tool to aid his investigation of her father—his prime suspect.
Each tries to make sense of the other’s peculiar behavior. Maureen concludes Merritt is an opium addict, while Merritt deduces that Maureen and her father are cohorts in a vast smuggling operation. 
As the deceptions multiply, the stakes grow higher. When Maureen’s desperate plan to learn the truth turns deadly, only one man can identify the threads of conspiracy to save her life.

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Author Info

Ursula LeCoeur is the pen name of a mother-daughter writing, Mary and Helen Scully, who set their Love in New Orleans Series in America’s most romantic city. Their witty 1880s romances are best described as Queen Victoria meets the Big Easy. Mary comes to fiction after years as a journalist and editor of a NASCAR fan magazine. Helen’s first book, In the Hope of Rising Again (Penguin Press 2004, Riverhead 2005), is an historical literary novel also available on The Willing Widow, their debut novel in the Love in New Orleans Series, has been selected by the Library Journal’s curated SELF-e collection to be distributed to libraries across the United States. This unique platform will enable library patrons to read The Willing Widow as an ebook on any device, at any time, beginning in mid-2015. If you loved The Willing Widow, and their holiday novella, A Christmas Kiss, you’ll love Book III in the Love in New Orleans Series. In The Devious Debutante, Maureen Collins sets out to unravel the mystery surrounding the man she loves. To succeed, she’ll engage in any scheme, no matter how dangerous. They love to hear from readers. Email them at Visit their website,, 
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by Kristine Metoyer
THE DEVIOUS DEBUTANTE takes a modern twist to an old time drug trafficking story.  Who even knew this existed and was so prevalent in this era. The story takes place in New Orleans, in 1885.  Ingeniously, it has all the makings of life in the modern world, with old school charm.  Men still fall for married women, are using drugs, and drinking in excess. The business transactions are crooked, and people they deal with are shady.  The women are fawned over and critiqued by everyone.  The daily paper ran a society page, spilling all the gossip of the town’s events and people’s personal business.  The ladies were expected to have proper daily habits of high tea, sherry, minimal food intake and binding corsets.  To visit a person, calling cards were mandatory.  So all these factors became an issue when Ben and Maureen became smitten with one another, and her father was totally against the relationship.  He had other plans for her to marry a childhood friend.  Complex relationships left harsh decisions between love and honor.  A Murder!  Deception! Trickery!  By everyone!  These issues are all similar today. The proper society still experienced infidelity, domestic abuse, and drug trafficking. The business men had great plans to scheme and plot to make lots of money and swindle people.  Mistaken truths lead to despair and the hope things would all work out like a fairy tale in the end.  All is fair in love and war. This was a great story which took me back to the Victorian times of fine fabrics and sweet smelling flowers.  When men were gentlemen and a woman wore beautiful gowns, must sneak out to meet a suitor.  The mysterious crime ring and drug trafficking of the time era was news to me.  I had no idea New Orleans was one of the main ports for drug trade.  They were very slick in the way they smuggled drugs. I give the book four out of 5 stars.  Fun to read about the creative way women were adventurous!  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  Kris Metoyer


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