Author: Peyton Sloane
Series: The Potential Trilogy, #1
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: June 19, 2013
Genres: Erotic Romance
Page Count: 332
Being with the same man since she was 18, 26 year old widow Jazz Mickelson is hoping to catch up on all the life experiences that could have been hers had she not leapt into a committed relationship so young.
Julian St. Sauveur is looking for three things: romance, comfort and trust. He mistakenly thought he had them once many years ago. He sees potential for him and Jazz but knows it is too soon for her.
Will she accept his unusual proposition, one that allows him to hold on to her while she catches up on life?...and will she choose him after experiencing all the wonders that await her?
Find out as Jazz and Julian explore their potential.
Imagine you meet a tall, handsome stranger on a plane, and I’ll be damned if he’s not seated right next to you. You’re recently widowed & not really looking to start anything, but you can’t help but be curious. Especially when he takes you to the airplane lavatory & puts your hand on his dick (& it’s a good one). So then you do something so very unlike you…very naughty. Can’t tell you what, though, because it’s a secret (& it’s a good one).
Jazz meets Julian on a plane headed to France. They quickly have a connection. A physical one, as well as an emotional one (well, that comes later). Jazz is sexually repressed. She played nurse to her boyfriend/husband & then is widowed young-in her 20s! Julian is a bazillionaire hot shot architect, & sexy as fuck (happy sigh). She makes him happy & he teaches her how to live again.
Ok, let me start by saying that I enjoyed this book. It had some sexy scenes (hot enough that if I’d let hubs into the room when I’m reading, I might have done stuff to him. Poor hubs. Or poor me. I haven’t decided who I feel worse for yet.). It was a good story. And I liked how Jazz was starting to grow & be freer (I kind of want to be her when I grow up or in my next life). & I’m pretty sure I could pick Julian’s dick out of a line-up. My imagination is just that good.
There were 3 things I didn’t like (because I’m the Simon):
1. *smirk*-A few times is fine, but I went on a short rant after the 10th time, had some problems seeing the word “smirk” everywhere, then was finally able to come back & finish…
2. Spoiler? There is no actual ending. It’s left open for the next book. WIDE FUCKING OPEN!!!!!
3. It’s not necessarily that I didn’t like situation at the “end” (I’m not telling you-ha! I just sang that to y’all), it’s that I don’t understand it. It threw me a bit. But that is just personal preference. Call me a prude. I’m ok with that.
Obviously this book made me think. I don’t know if I was supposed to get all deep with it, but I did. Thinking makes my brain hurt, but I think it may be a good thing. And I may have made people nuts trying to get them to explain stuff to me. I’m ok with that, too.
So now I’m begging you…Read it. Then talk to me. Call me a prude or just plain explain it to me. Please?!
Up at two in the morning to drive into the city, catching the red eye to New York to spend the time in the Big Apple may not have been the best laid plan. Shit—it had been a long day. Never had anyone been so grateful for a boarding call. Jazz had been watching the attendants at the desk for fifteen minutes as they diddled around. In her desperation to stay awake and not miss her flight she drank a quadruple Caramel Macchiato. Toothpicks for her eyeballs would still have been a good idea.
Finally, a disembodied voice announced pre-boarding for biz seating. She grabbed her bag, which felt like it weighed fifty pounds after dragging it around since six in the morning. But, as often happens when the moment arrives, by the time her boarding pass had been scanned, she had walked the tunnel and got an eyeball full of her assigned seat, adrenaline pumped and she was giddy as a ten year old on her way to Disney World.
Still, next time, should this circumstance re-occur, she would do the smart thing and spend a couple of days in New York, not a frantic twelve hours being a complete, desperate tourist. She stowed her bag in the overhead after removing her Ipad and got settled into the huge, cushy seat. Epic Airways biz seating was exorbitantly expensive, this was a once in a lifetime event warranted blowing the budget.
Never flying so exclusively before, she fidgeted and looked around nervously. She hoped to bury herself in her book. Something…someone caught her attention. She looked up, her eyes involuntarily widened as she glanced the man evidently taking up residence next to her. Über tall, he was dark and delicious but not swarthy—and obviously familiar with the sumptuous surroundings. He chatted amicably—like old friends with one of the flight attendants. His responding laughter to her last comment resonated baritone and melodic. There was a trace of an accent in his speech she couldn’t place…she didn’t realize she was staring.
“Good morning. Guess we’re seat mates. Julian St. Sauveur,” he said extending a long fingered hand.
His quick appraisal included her casual, comfortable dress— black yoga pants with a yellow strip inset on the side seams, a V-necked matching shirt, highlighting a scrumptious set of tits. No noticeable makeup. A black hoodie with non-descript white graphics hung haphazardly over the back of her seat.
Her hair was…interesting?…Unusual?… Her head was covered in tiny braids gathered in a high ponytail. The ponytail’s end hung over her left shoulder and into the v of her shirt, not completely obscuring his view of her tempting cleavage. Maybe she had just returned from a Caribbean vacation? But she wasn’t overly tanned and tourist season in Jamaica was over—the current temperature in that part of the world was probably close to a hundred degrees, at six in the morning no less. She had a set of tasteful jewelled studs in her ears, and a single one in her right ear’s helix. A small tattoo of a dainty set of angels’ wings cradling a halo showed just behind this same ear. Her nose also held a tasteful, tiny stud. Impossible to miss was the set of wedding rings with an obscenely huge yellow diamond sitting on her left hand.
So, bohemian and eclectic, or just flaky?—he didn’t care. She looked more human than the usual superficial, insipid creatures—victims or either too much or bad plastic surgery he usually encountered on these flights. And truth be told, with those rings it really didn’t matter. Julian had few boundaries with anything. He did, however, draw the line at deliberately messing with married women. Nevertheless he could be intrigued…and he was.
Her attempt at a firm and assertive handshake failed miserably. She felt more than overwhelmed by this guy’s formidable presence. He clasped her hand delicately, almost stroking her fingers as he enclosed it in his.
The flight attendant said something else to him Jazz didn’t quite catch. He released her hand, momentarily refocused his attention away from her, deep, musical laugh resounded through the cabin once more.
“We’ll chat later, yes?” he asked and proceeded to fold himself into the neighbouring seat.
He turned back to Jazz who had resumed reading.
“Please, feel free to tell me to eff off and leave you alone. I don’t want to disturb you—I spend so much time flying I’ve made it my mission to socialize whenever I can…or am allowed to…” he added with a small smirk on his lips.
“It’s okay. I should probably take a breather anyway. I’ve been engrossed for hours—a little human conversation wouldn’t hurt.”
“What are you reading?”
“The Girl Who Played with Fire—it’s the second in a trilogy.”
“Ah, yes. Stieg Larsson, the Millennium Trilogy.”
“Read the books a few years ago when they were originally published—fascinating characters.”
“It’s a re-read for me. My first time through I was distracted and missed a lot. This read is proving a much more worthwhile experience.”
“There is no doubt the story requires the reader to be open minded and willing to go to dark and deviant places—on many levels.”
“That’s what I like…there’s some scary shit and even scarier plot twists. It’s quit unique.”
“Scary shit—that’s one way to put it.” Julian smiled and chuckled softly while powering up his Ipad.
“So is Paris your final destination?”
“Going to or from?”
“Pleasure or business?”
“Strictly pleasure…vacationing pleasure.” She felt the color rising in her cheeks.
His smirk grew a little. “Flying solo?”
“Yeah—I visited France with my parents when I was a kid. I want to refresh and expand on the original experience.”
“Meeting up with your husband?— I couldn’t help noticing your rings…”
“No, I’m recently widowed.” Jazz looked down at her hand and tilted her head. “I just haven’t decided what to do with these yet…feels like they still belong here.”
“I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine going through an event so shattering at such a young age,” he replied, his voice trailing off.
“Thank you. But please, I’ve had enough sympathy to last me for a lifetime I’m sure. One of the reasons I decided to take this trip. My husband illness was prolonged and the fall-out seems to be endless. I’m only twenty-six. I can’t mourn for a life time when I have barely started to live mine.”
“Certainly the right perspective—although it must be difficult.”
“I came to grips with the inevitable years ago.”
Julian blinked hard, not knowing how to respond to this revelation.
Jazz looked away, embarrassed. She had not wanted to get into this with anyone. It was one of the reasons she had left the rings on, so she could avoid personal conversations and curiosity. Provide a curt yes, I’m meeting my husband and we’re vacationing if asked. Why had she divulged so much to this stranger?
When she turned back to him, she knew why. He didn’t have the androgynous features that so often signified male model handsome. His face was striking and commanding. Along with his remarkable height he had dark tousled curly longish hair, shockingly green eyes and wide shoulders. From the way his suit fit, this man was the whole package. She thought it fortuitous he had no wedding ring, even though she knew that not all married men wore one.
“What happened?” he softly asked.
“I had graduated from college. Ryan was taking his medical residency—starting his residency when he was diagnosed with cancer. We had never discussed marriage seriously. Everything seemed natural with us from our meeting the first day of college orientation. We clicked, you know… When we met he was a wonderful, caring guy. After his diagnosis, he said I should go and live my life—like after four years together I would walk out on him. When he started chemo the first time, got so sick and I stayed, he realized I was in it for the long haul and asked me to marry him. We were together, I didn’t understand why he was asking. As he got sicker and we both realized that his time was finite, or, as he said nearing his expiry date…like on a quart of milk, he begged me to grant him this last wish for whatever time he had left. We were married fourteen months.”
“Wow. That’s some commitment. You must have loved him very much—it must have been a great romance.”
“I did love him, no doubt, but I wouldn’t characterize our relationship as a great romance. More like two kids becoming adults together. Being comfortable and trusting each other. I don’t know if you can actually find comfort and trust in great romances”.
Julian chuckled again. “Well, I’m still optimistic, for all three, the romance, the comfort and the trust, so please don’t burst my bubble with any cynicism.” He looked at Jazz intensely, leaning close to her, his breath on her skin and his mouth beside her ear. “I bet you still hope for them too.”
Jazz blushed at not only at his comment, but his proximity. Still being dazzled by his sheer physicality, she needed to get off this topic quickly. “So you’re travelling for?…”
“Business. Like I said, I spend a lot of time in the air, and not for pleasure—although I do enjoy my work.”
“What do you do?”
“I build things.”
“What kind of things?”
“All kinds of things—I’m an architect.”
“So you’re on your way to a project?”
“Yes. Modernizing and restoring a crumbling seventeenth century chateau in Ile de France—just outside Paris. I’ve been working on this for two years. I wish I it was a labor of love, but mostly it’s been a travail of turmoil.” He sighed and shook his head.
There was that subtle hint of accent again—French but not quite. Jazz couldn’t put her finger on it. “Are you originally from France?”
“Mais non. Je suis né et j’ai grandi en Louisiane ma Chère…born and raised in Louisiana.”
Oh, the way he enunciated Chère…it made her tingly all over. Hmmm…Dennis Quaid, the scene where he’s seducing Ellen Barkin in The Big Easy. Julian could have been a troll and she would have melted…that hint of accent, caressing that word, with that voice? Jazz blushed again and squirmed in her seat. Julian watched her quizzically.
“What? Crazy Cajuns embarrass you?” he asked, his indescribable green eyes still gazing intently at her.
“Well, I hadn’t thought so…” She turned tomato red and couldn’t break eye contact.
The captain came on with safety instructions allowing Jazz to catch her breath and recover. They were quiet as the usual information was imparted and the plane taxied for takeoff. Julian appeared to be opening up his own book.
“More later, when we’re safely off the ground and the possibility of disruption has passed.” He winked and turned his attention to his Ipad. Jazz also returned to her reading but couldn’t quite remember the last several pages…
Thirty minutes later they were in the air and damn if she didn’t need to pee—that’s what you got for boarding so early and ordering your Starbuck’s venti-size.
She excused herself past Julian, peaking at his screen surreptitiously to see what he was reading. With the spacious seating, he wouldn’t have needed to get up. Being so tall, maybe he found it easier, or maybe he was well mannered. She couldn’t believe the title showing on the top of the page and tried hard not to giggle out loud. The flights attendants were coming starting in flight service. As Jazz brushed past Julian, her head down in case she lost it, he asked if he could order her a drink.
“I shouldn’t. I’ll have to pee again, but I’m going to take advantage of this expensive flight and get everything I can. You seem accustomed to all this.” She waved her hands generally around the cabin. “Would you choose something for me?” She still didn’t dare look him in the eye.
“Anything you don’t like?”
“I detest Scotch and adore a good martini. I read somewhere in my research they have full bar service on these kinds of flights. I have also been known to drink copious amounts of red wine—sometimes very bad red wine.”
“They do make a good martini—Gin?”
“Yes. Very dry. Shaken not stirred,” Jazz replied doing her best James Bond. “And a little dirty”. Now she giggled, the 007 reference covering her amusement at his reading choice.
“Only a little?” he asked with a wicked glint.
“For the first one anyway.” Whew—in addition to the blush she felt overheated. She turned and headed for the lavatory.
Julian liked what he saw. He had tried to take a good look at her body without being obvious when he got up to let her by, but there was no possibility—any attempt would be conspicuous. She certainly wasn’t plasticized though. He did manage to get a better glimpse at her cleavage and the hint of nipple outlined through her shirt when she brushed her ponytail aside. As he leaned over to whisper to her, not only had he confirmed those breasts weren’t after-market, he became quite intoxicated by her scent. She was more tall than average, had amazingly full lips and beyond dazzling hazel eyes. Their green surrounded a vibrant gold, rather than the usual brown. Admittedly, the multi-coloured braids had quite taken him aback at first. Now curiosity replaced any scepticism regarding her and her unusual hairstyle.
So far she had been receptive to conversation and had an interesting, if somewhat sorrowful story. She seemed ashamed of her situation and ill at east flying luxury business class. He hadn’t missed the couple of innuendos she’d already thrown out. He was fascinated and preparing a multitude of questions. Julian’s mind went to work devising a plan—would she play?
He licked his lips watching her walk away—nice, firm ass, slightly curvy hips, toned thighs. She walked with a smooth, natural sway…sweet! Single and travelling alone no less. He didn’t want to come on like a lech but he couldn’t help the responsive stirring resulting from his indecent thoughts combined with the teasing tone of her last comment.
He ordered their drinks, then followed her to the lavatory. He leaned against the wall across from the door and crossed his arms. Hearing the latch open he positioned himself so she had no option. When she opened the door he stood directly in front of her, filling up the space. She started to excuse herself and attempt to get by. He put his finger to his lips with a Sssh, then put that same finger to her mouth. He moved her back into the bathroom with a full body press. He felt the small, soft swell of her belly against the tops of his thighs. Her eyes widened as she started to blurt out something but he put his finger back to her lips, all the while moving forward with his hips against her.
“Don’t be scared, I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Humph! That goes without saying—unless you’re a complete idiot. After all, we are in an airplane and you have no escape. What, exactly, requires this action?”
He reached around and with one hand latched the door to the “occupied” position while using the index finger of the other on her mouth again, grazing her lower lip.
“I am intrigued by you—I want to get to know you better.”
“And you need to do this in a bathroom?” Her tone was mocking.
“No.”—he chuckled again. “But a bit of privacy is preferable to establish potential.”
“The potential of what?”
“This…” Placing his index finger under her chin, he tilted her face up and bent down, putting his lips softly against hers.
He released her. “I had to follow-up on my theory you tasted as good as you smell, both of which are divine by the way…especially your taste…”
“I’m glad your hypothesis has been confirmed. What now?”
“Well I am going to occupy the bathroom for a bit longer. You will go back to our seats—our drinks should be arriving. While you take the first sip of your dirty martini I will leave you with some potential.” He placed her hand on his groin where his erection strained against his suit pants. She gasped and tried to pull back but he held her.
“I think you know what I’ll be doing while I’m in here…I’ll be thinking of your fragrance and your sweet, soft mouth while I relieve myself.”
His lips brushed her forehead. He released her hand, stepped to the side and opened the door smirking the whole time. Jazz looked at her hand, giggled nervously, and peeked out the door praying no one was paying attention. She gave Julian a look that said I can’t believe you just said and did that and walked towards their seats.