The only thing crazier than New Orleans during Mardi Gras is this novel. I'm usually a huge fan of Christina Dodd, but this book fell flat.
Jeremiah MacNaught is an ex-gigolo turned billionaire northern bank owner who will stop at nothing to catch the beaded bandits robbing his New Orlean's banks. Every Mardi Gras they strike once and no one can seem to catch them. They leave notes with dating advice with the bank tellers they rob and steal less money per heist than McNaught probably pays for cable each month. However, McNaught is determined to fly down to New Orleans first hand and catch these criminals. His main suspect: the pretty little bank teller, Nessa Dahl.
Nessa Dahl is a grown woman who has been working at the same job forever without a raise and still lives at home with her two old aunts and a bunch of odd boarders. She is constantly beat down at work by an evil boss who is so bad it's comical, and never seems to stand up for herself. At least she doesn't have six cats.
Once he arrives in New Orleans, McNaught will do whatever it takes to bring the culprits to justice and to make Nessa his. This scarred hero can take a bullet in the afternoon and then lead an all-night dancing event with old ladies; he can convince a cop to borrow their gun and then sneak into a bank in the middle of a bank robbery; he can believe the worst in people including his own mother; but he can't seem to make Nessa want to be his girl even with a billion dollar ring.
What should be a romance, is a hot and steamy mess. McNaught knows no limits in his desire to claim what he wants. His arrogance and pushy behavior are difficult to digest. He results to threats against Nessa and her family to make her agree to do his bidding. With his rough childhood, Nessa is inclined to overlook the fact that he grew up to be a cruel jerk. The characters are flat - from the bank director the author calls "Steph-a-beast" to the childhood arch nemesis of McNaught who are both just bad bad bad. Even the bad characters should have a few redeeming qualities and a little depth.
The narration by Natalie Ross was passable. She did an excellent job portraying Nessa, but a little less so with some of the side characters. Her laugh is glass shattering, and not in a positive way.
Overall, I would prefer to have the ten hours I spent listening to this back to do something more worthwhile ... like forming origami swans or reading a dictionary.
LENGTH: 10 HRS AND 14 MINUTES
SERIES: FORTUNE HUNTER, BOOK 3
RELEASE DATE: 10/06/10
PUBLISHER: BRILLIANCE AUDIO