Note: We use Amazon Associate links to help support this site.

I Like Em’ Pretty – N’awlins Exotica Book One

I Like Em Pretty

by Michael Mandrake

Blurb: New Orleans is supposed to be the big easy. One night changes everything for Frankie Choteau.

New Orleans. A city rich in tradition, diversity, and on the comeback trail from hurricane Katrina. Francois “Frankie” Choteau, a resident of this town, a cop with a hot temper and low tolerance for bs. Kajika Fortier, a transplant from Oklahoma came here looking for a dream and unfortunately it’s turned into a nightmare. On a hot summer night, they meet and cross paths during a very difficult situation. Despite this, the attraction between them is evident and loneliness for both men is a fate worse than death. They’d both like a chance at happiness but will the circumstances and Frankie’s uneasiness prevent their happy ever after?
Cover Artists:
Pairings: MM
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Age Difference, Find Love and Come Out, Interracial Relationship, May/December
Word Count: 68460
Setting: New Orleans, LA USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

Shots rang out in the darkness, causing dogs in this normally quiet part of the Garden District to howl. Within this small community inside of New Orleans, violence was truly a rarity.

“Bob… ohh, shi—” Kajika Fortier stared at the slumped, pale body in front of him and tears fell from his eyes. Clothed in only a white robe, he backed up and leaned against the wall to keep from fainting. A chill shot up his back, making his teeth chatter. He slid downward, still mesmerized by the sight of his lover with the gun in his hand and the single gunshot wound to the head. “I could’ve helped you, Bob! H−how could you? I thought you—” Tightness increased in his chest and he punched it once to calm himself. His clammy hands stuck to the floor and dry mouth prevented him from thinking coherently. Beads of sweat trickled down the side of his head.

What next?


“What the—oh shit, I need to call the fucking cops!” Kajika fumbled inside the housecoat pocket, searching for his cell. His eyes were still affixed to the wound, to the blood seeping from Bob’s head, staining his silver hair. “Jesus Bob, what the hell? I swear—” He feverishly punched the digits on the phone —911. “Um, uh, hello? Yeah, um, I… my… oh shit, please help! My fucking boyfriend… uh fiancée… is dead! Yeah, um, we had a fight and damn, he pulled the trigger! I swear I did nothing wrong, ma’am! Can you hurry over here, puleeze? This shit’s freaking me out!” Kajika’s hands shook and he bit his lip while he waited for the operator to say she’d dispatch an ambulance and the police. “Yeah, it sure looks like he’s dead. With a single bullet to the head? Well, I don’t know, what do you think? I’m pretty sure he’s singing with the angels right now, honey!”

Is he dead? Well shit, looks that way to me!

“Can you just send help, please? He’s dead and I can’t be in here with him right now. It’s just creepy…his eyes are open and ughh… just hurry!” Kajika pulled the receiver away from his ear and brought his knees up to his chest. “Yes, 613 Garden Way—in the District! Uh huh, I won’t touch anything, and tell them just to bust in. I’m not sure I can move right now!”

“Do you need medical attention?” The voice on the other end spoke and attempted to calm Kajika’s nerves.

“I don’t think so. Just get the police here. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep a wink after tonight. Yeah, all right! Hurry!” Kajika dropped the phone, not bothering to push the disconnect button. His heart continually thumped in his chest as he watched Bob, his lover, slumped over in the chair, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the temple. What the hell would he do now? No one to love and care for him with Bob gone. Going back home to the small town of Gore, Oklahoma—where being gay wasn’t accepted— was out of the question.

If I leave, they’ll think I did it. If I stay, they’ll still think I did it. Either way I’m screwed.

Kajika wiped his face of sweat and tears, attempting to plan his next move. What would that be with no Bob there to be his voice of reason? The old man had a positive thought for just about every damn thing, and a propensity to play with weapons. At times, he liked to pretend he was raping Kajika at gunpoint and, in order to keep him happy, Kajika went along with it. After all, he loved Bob Kales because he took care of him like the father he’d never had. No one else was around to do that, anyhow.

Reviews:Pat W. on Amazon wrote:

First book that I have read from Michael Mandrake and his book "I Like 'Em Pretty" did not disappoint me! I loved the characters, Frankie and Kajika and the storyline seemed to flow effortlessly. I look forward to reading more from this author.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

Lisa P on MM Good Book Reviews wrote:

I have always loved men with accents and you can just imagine the way Frankie and Kajika talk. The little french words that they share sometimes just makes it even hotter. Frankie is a detective and heads to a crime scene where he meets Kajika. Kajika's lover had wanted to kill him and ended up killing himself, but it left Kajika being looked at as a suspect. It doesn't help Frankie that his pretend girlfriend and coworker is bringing up every little dirty thing Kajika has done. Talk about one cold heart bitch to me though. Frankie is a bit older then Kajika and his major fear is that Kaj will find someone younger than him and leave him alone for the rest of his life.

Kajika knew the moment Frankie showed up at the crime scene that he wanted this man forever, the only problem is that his dead lover was at his feat. He screwed up by flirting with the detective at the scene, but he just couldn't help it. He had loved Bob, thought of him as his father, brother and lover. Although he had not been attracted to Bob as a lover, he had became it anyway. Now here was his dead lover at his feet, and his future staring at him.

Frankie wanted to take it slow, but Kaj wanted it faster and that seemed to cause a lot of problems between them. Although when they finally have sex it is amazingly hot and full of passion and fire. The fact that they switch when it comes to sex makes it even hotter. At first I thought Kaj might just be a bottom but it comes out that he definitly can do both.

I loved this story, the way they speak, two sexy men who want each other and the hot sex. I also love the fact that you have danger at all angles and crazy detectives that just can't seem to be anything but hot. I don't much care for Kenina. She comes off as a crazy woman, with too much jealousy and anger. I don't like the way they at first act like they are a couple and can see how one might get the wrong idea, but the fact that he had to tel her more than a handful that he was gay just makes her seem off. I also didn't much care for Kaj's attitude in some parts of the story, he came off as a bit mental. I hope that they get better at being a couple but I will have to read the next book to find out for sure.

I would recommend this story to anyone who loves hot men, detectives, danger, mixed signals and crazy people. Not to mention the hot sex scenes that the characters have. I can't wait to start book two.

About the Author

Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Thorough these, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media.