Author: Campbell Reinhardt
Series: Crescent City #1
Release Date: March 23, 2014
Genre: New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
In the medical field, the precious moments following a traumatic event in which you have the best chance of saving a life are known as the golden hour.
But being there during the golden hour doesn't mean you'll be able to save the one you love...
New Orleans native and ER nurse, Elise Dupuis knows that fact all too well. There was nothing she could do to save her fiancé, New Orleans police officer Mike Bazanac, when he was brought into her hospital with two fatal bullet wounds.
Now everyone walks around on eggshells when she comes into the room—except her brother Charlie. As Mike's partner, he bears a guilt that's spiraled him into dark pain. Charlie is lashing out, Elise is turning in, and life seems to be falling apart around them.
Caleb Warren knows what it feels like to always be on the losing end of things. A few criminal turns in his youth landed him two crap choices: mandatory service in the armed forces or jail. He chooses to enlist, and just when he finds a commander who has a little faith in him, their truck hits an IED. Caleb's training as a medic isn't enough to save the one person who's ever given a damn about him.
Now back in New Orleans as an EMT, Caleb is bound and determined to drown himself in booze and regrets. But he crosses paths with nurse Elise Dupuis and finds a woman whose passion and courage gets under his skin in a way that wakes him up and makes him want to live again.
Unfortunately, Charlie doesn't think the new EMT is good enough for his sister, and he’ll step outside the lines of the law to prove it to Elise.
Caleb has to figure out what's worth fighting for…and how far he's willing to go for the woman he loves.
Five Words to describe Golden Hour
This word means so much in its literal and figurative sense. Because this is a story about the medical field, the heart as an organ is something every character is very attuned to. But, even though Caleb and Elise are young and physically sound, overcoming extreme heartbreak is what makes them strong and attracts them to each other. And the healing of their hearts–through their love for one another–is the most gorgeous aspect of Golden Hour.
Golden Hour takes place in the muggy, sweaty rise of a New Orleans summer. You can feel the heat beating down on the characters in so many scenes. More than that, Caleb and Elise feel a blistering sexual heat for one another. It’s this chemistry that drives them into each other’s arms when they’re so sure they’re not right for each other. And that heat only gets fanned the longer they’re around each other.
Strong bonds, intrigue, complications, abandonment, blood family, family by marriage, family by love…Golden Hour lets all the intricacies, ugliness, and heartbreaking beauty of family wind together and play out.
Caleb and Elise face death and pain on a daily basis…and their job is to fix it. Stop it. Make it better. They do an amazing job at that because they’re hardwired to be strong and compassionate. That strength is ultimately what drives them together. They find in one another a person they can be vulnerable with after a long day of carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.
More than anything else, Golden Hour is a story about hope. Hope after devastating loss, hope when you’re positive there’s absolutely nothing left to hope for, hope that frees you from everything you’re too afraid to face head on. Caleb and Elise find love and transform their lives because of hope, and it’s what we most hope readers will take away from this book.
How we came up with the idea for Golden Hour (Steph)
To be honest, Liz had been suggesting we write a book with paramedics/based around the medical field for well over a year. Before I wrote full time, I worked as a medic and Liz felt like incorporating that experience would provide a really unique spin on the typical contemporary romance. But the right characters never spoke to us. Until Caleb and Elise popped into Liz’s head one night and she sent me the first chapter (which didn’t end up as the actual first chapter, but is still in the final book.) From then on, we were hooked. We wrote the book in a matter of days, unable to sleep because even though they took a long time to appear to us, once they did, we both knew Caleb and Elise inside and out and couldn’t wait to tell their story.
My ten year old son actually suggested the idea of setting the book in New Orleans. He heard me talking to Liz one day on the phone about it and caught that it had a medical theme. My husband, kids and I live in Louisiana, but we stayed in New Orleans for a couple of months when our youngest daughter, Britta was treated at Children’s Hospital of NOLA. The hospital holds such a special place in our hearts that Liam immediately associated medical stuff with NOLA. It provided uniqueness and the perfect backdrop for Elise and Caleb’s pasts and a gorgeous setting that you can’t find anywhere else. We hope we did this spectacular city justice. J
We’ll be in New Orleans next month doing tons of research for the companion book and hope to bring even more of the city into that book.
Perfect NOLA date (Caleb’s pov)
Caleb: The perfect date, huh? I guess I’m more a Mid City guy myself. Not many tourists, and a nice mix of every walk of life. I’m pretty blue collar all around, but I have unexpected polish here and there. Now, this is a deep secret I may deny up and down later, but I wasn’t always cruising with good looking girls, looking for cheap beer back in high school. I spent a fair amount of time walking City Park and poking around the NOMA.
Elise butts in: Wait a second. Are you actually trying to convince us that you, the infamous Caleb Warren, spent your deviant youth wandering around the New Orleans Museum of Art?
Caleb: Don’t look so shocked, doll. I’ve been known to get downright moony over a nice Jack Delano photograph. I’d love to take you sometime. When we’re done looking at all the respectable New Orleans photographs, there’s a few risque ones. Like a nude photo of a woman with skin that looks like velvet. Makes me think of you.
Caleb: Sorry, baby, but you know I have some wild Cajun blood running through my veins.Brassaï took pictures of the kind of women I like…sexy and sweet, just like you.
Elise’s whispered aside: Caleb Warren, we can continue this conversation later…in bed!
Elise: So it would really be all high art on your ideal date?
Caleb: Hell no. A nice walk through St. Louis Cemetery # 3, preferably when the sun is setting and the the girl you love is just a tiny bit spooked–
Elise: Ha! Nice try, Warren. I’m born and raised in this city…ghosts don’t bother me even a tiny bit.
Caleb: Couldn’t you pretend? Just to be sweet?
Elise: Sorry, babe. I’m not the shrinking violet type. So you’re ideal date is shocking photography and hauntings?
Caleb: I’d round it out with a gelato from Brocato’s, and then we could pick up an ice cold six pack, find a quiet old live oak to sit under, and drink until the stars came out.
Elise: That actually sounds pretty romantic.
Caleb: Glad you’re all in. The Canal Streetcar is leaving in a few, and I’m ready to experience it all with you. And when we’re done, I’d love to strip you down and have my way–
Elise in a whisper: Caleb, enough! For now, anyway…
Caleb’s perfect Po’ Boy
Caleb’s note: First of all, you have to clear your mind and forget what all of the TV chefs have told you. Forget the Po’ Boy you once had a restaurant that tried to make it gourmet. It’s called a Po’ Boy for Chrissake. A Po’ Boy should be “dressed,” but that doesn’t mean fancy. Keep it simple.
1- 12” piece of New Orleans Style French Bread
3 Tbsp Mayo
3 Tbsp Creole Mustard
¾ cup Shredded Lettuce
Slice the bread in half horizontally. Pop it in the oven for a minute or two. It leaves the inside chewy and the crust nice and crispy.
Spread the mayo on the inside of the bottom bread, and the mustard on the top. Add a layer of lettuce to that and then your pickles and tomato. Top that with the fried shrimp and put the bread together. Cut it in half and serve with an ice-cold Abita and some Zapp’s chips.
*Makes one Sandwich, unless you’ve got a girl like Elise, in which case, you’ll gladly fork over half of it because you’re damn lucky that woman is coming to bed with you later on and you know it.