This is the first installment of my Meet the Characters series for my upcoming release, Love & Ghosts. We're starting with Sean, who just may be my favorite hero that I've ever written!
Sean LeBlanc runs the most successful haunted tour company in New Orleans. He's artistic, sincere, confident, fun-loving, and incredibly sexy. He also has the ability to talk to ghosts, which might cause some problems between him and the woman of his dreams.
Here's his introductory scene in chapter one. Enjoy!
“Another beautiful party, Momma. Well done.” Sean LeBlanc kissed Madeline on the cheek and tousled the purple feathers adorning her sequined mask. Her floor-length black dress curled up in eight places on the hem—Ursula the Sea Witch’s tentacles. And every time he took a step, he nearly tripped on one and busted his ass on the dance floor. All those years of dance lessons as a kid hadn’t prepared him for waltzing with an octopus.
“Thank you. I do know how to throw a party, don’t I?” Her satisfied gaze swept the room before landing on him.
“You always have.” He twirled his mom across the dance floor, carefully avoiding her tentacles and hoping to evade the question he could tell she’d been biting back all evening. At least she was making an effort tonight.
“Tell me, Son. There are so many beautiful women here, but the only one you’ve danced with is your mother. Why?”
And there went her self-restraint. He faked a smile. “I don’t know. I guess I’m not in the mood to deal with a woman tonight.”
“When will you be?”
Grinding his teeth, he tried to quell his irritation and come up with an answer that would appease her. “I date every now and then, Momma. Nothing to worry about.”
“First dates don’t count. Unless you’ve had a second date I don’t know about?”
“You know I haven’t.” He sighed. “I know what love feels like, and I’m not going to waste my time on someone it could never happen with.” If it couldever happen again.
She narrowed her eyes. “Have you heard from Courtney lately?”
He stifled a groan. She knew the answer to that too. “It’s been almost two years since her spirit made contact. I don’t want to talk about this.”
“Sweetheart, she’s been dead for three. Even her ghost has moved on. Don’t you think it’s time you did too? She would want you to be happy.”
He pressed his hand into her back and eased her into a fast spin. “I’m dancing with the most beautiful woman at the ball. I am happy.”
She playfully swatted him on the shoulder. “Your charm won’t work on me, young man. I taught you everything you know.”
The song ended, and he led her to the bar. Madeline wouldn’t be happy until he was married with a kid or two, and he’d get there eventually. Maybe. But he wasn’t going to force it. If he ever found the right woman, he’d know. Why would he waste his time with anyone else?
His mom had done nothing but worry about him since the day his wife died. Hell, he’d worried about himself for a while, but he really was ready to move on…if the right woman came along. That’s what he told himself anyway.
Still, he had to do something to get her off his back tonight, or she’d be throwing women at him every time he turned around. “I’ll make you a deal. I’ll dance with the first person who recognizes my costume.”
“Hasn’t anyone gotten it right yet?”
“It’s a classic eighties movie. Someone will recognize it.” He picked up a Scotch on the rocks and took a sip.
His mom grinned. “It would be more convincing if you had a Buttercup.”
“Maybe I’ll find her tonight.”
“I hope you do.” Mint julep in hand, she patted his cheek and sashayed into the crowd to mingle.
The chances were slim. He’d been called Zorro seven times already, and he certainly couldn’t see himself dating a woman who didn’t recognize the main character of one of his favorite movies. His mother was right though. Courtney had only come back to console him the first year after her death. He hadn’t heard from her since, so she had obviously moved on. It was time he did too.
“Mr. Sean.” A tiny cold hand tugged on his.
He smiled at the little girl, and her blonde ringlets bounced as she giggled and pointed to a large, framed sketch hanging on the wall.
“That’s me.” She vanished and reappeared next to her brother across the room. Sean and his team had investigated this building many times. He knew all the ghosts that resided here, and most of them were friendly. The portrait of the children was his donation to the charity. This ball and every event his mom planned this year benefited the local animal shelters. A hotel the size of this one would pay thousands for a sketch of the spirits that haunted it, and he was more than happy to donate the proceeds to a good cause.
He still hadn’t figured out how or when the siblings died; they didn’t do much more than play and giggle. Her name was Alice; her brother was Jonathan, and that was the most they’d been willing—or able—to share so far. That they’d shown themselves to him tonight was a good sign, though. He’d have to get his team back for another investigation.
But now, he had a promise to keep. He scanned the crowd, searching for friendly faces. No need to waste his time on a woman who couldn’t have fun at a party like this. If the food and free-flowing alcohol weren’t enough, the band was on fire. But all these damn masks made it hard to see people’s eyes. He’d have to go for smiles.
A blonde and a redhead sat at a high table near the dance floor. The Red Queen and the White Queen from Alice in Wonderland. Nice choice. Red laughed heartily at something the blonde said. Her crimson lips curved into a smile that lit up her whole face. She was definitely having a good time.
He ambled closer to their table to get a better look, and damn, did he like what he saw. Fiery red hair flowed over her shoulders and down her back. Her creamy breasts nearly spilled out the top of her tight-laced corset, and her shiny red high heels peeked out from beneath a flowing skirt that unfortunately blocked his view of her legs. Something about all that red had him burning inside.
The Lone Ranger escorted the White Queen to the dance floor, and Red’s smile didn’t fade. She sipped on a clear drink and swirled the ice in the glass. His pulse quickened.
Maybe he was in the mood to deal with a woman tonight after all.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Sean. CLICK HERE for your chance to meet his leading lady, Emily.
And be sure to add it on Goodreads!