Book: Confessions of a City Girl LA
Author: Juliette Sobanet
Tour Organized by: Indie Sage, LLC
In their efforts to start a family, talented DC photographer Natasha Taylor and her professor husband have plunged headfirst into the stressful world of fertility treatments, scheduled sex, and IVF-induced debt. When an opportunity arises to sell a gallery left to Natasha by her late mother, Natasha hopes the sale could dig the couple out of financial ruin, give them one last shot at a baby, and save their crumbling marriage.
But when her husband walks out on her and doesn’t show up to her most important exhibit, an intense encounter with the alluring Nicholas Reyes—a once-famous photographer turned investor—leaves Natasha questioning everything she believed she wanted for her life.
Nicholas offers to buy the gallery…on one condition: Natasha must join him for a decadent weekend in Los Angeles, where he will give her the career opportunity of a lifetime and one unforgettable Hollywood night.
How harmless could one night be?
As it turns out, one night with the disarming Nicholas Reyes has the power to unravel Natasha’s tightly-wound world and awaken her in ways she never could have imagined.
Chapter 5 Excerpt:
An hour and a half later, I am feeling more vibrant, alive, and excited about life than I have felt in years. I’ve showered alone in Nicholas’ stylish penthouse suite at the W Hotel, put on a splash of make-up—okay, perhaps more than a splash—and slipped on a slinky black cocktail dress and tall pink stilettos.
As I ride the chic elevator down to the lobby where I’m meeting Nicholas before our night out on the town, I steal a quick glance in the mirror, not recognizing the woman staring back at me.
She certainly doesn’t look like a woman who has just lived through her third failed IVF attempt, a woman who has spent hours crying alone on the bathroom floor over the loss of a child who has yet to exist, or a woman whose husband hasn’t taken her out on a real date in over two years.
No, this woman looks confident, strong, sexy…happy even.
Like a woman who knows what she wants.
I bottle up the confidence I haven’t felt in so long and carry it with me as I strut through the glitzy lobby, past a crew of photographers and wannabe stars, and down a set of red velvet stairs. Nicholas is standing beneath a dazzling crystal chandelier, tilting his head to the side and shooting me a bold, deadly grin—the kind of grin that makes a woman want to do things she’s never done before.
He slides a hand around my waist, and I know the minute he’s touched me that the damaged, lost soul who lives underneath this dolled-up exterior is a long way away. Perhaps just for tonight, I won’t even acknowledge her existence.
Nicholas leans into my ear, whispering, “I’m going to have to keep you close tonight; otherwise, you’ll be stolen away from me in seconds. You look ravishing, Natasha.” Then he steps back to take me in once more, shaking his head. “My God.”
Nicholas has surely been out with women who are younger, more glamorous, and hotter than me. Women who are much more comfortable in their skin than I am. But I stop myself from saying as much, because what he has just said to me—no matter how overtly bold it may have been—is the nicest thing a man has said to me in years.
And by the way he cannot take his eyes off me, I can tell that he actually means it. None of the budding actresses with legs for miles and four-inch heels strutting past are even getting a sideways glance from this man.
A girl could get used to this.
I suppress the nervous giggle that wants to escape and instead place a smooth hand on his arm. “Where are you taking me tonight, Casanova?”
“Dinner first, then cocktails, dancing, and a little burlesque. Sound good?”
I can hardly contain my excitement at the thought of a real night out on the town—or over the fact that Nicholas has planned all of this in advance just for me. I’m tempted to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming, but instead I smile and say, “Perfect.”
With a hand on my back, he escorts me out of the hotel, into the warm Los Angeles evening. Two stretch limos line the driveway of the W while a group of twenty-something blondes in absurdly tight dresses smoke cigarettes and let out obnoxious high-pitched laughs. The typical Hollywood vibe of trashy meets money hasn’t changed since I was a young girl, following my own celebrity mother around town. But I am unfazed by it all tonight, simply happy to be with Nicholas, no matter where we are.
Raoul is waiting for us with the black town car, and just as I am about to slip into the backseat with Nicholas, the lamplight above catches on my wedding ring. The diamond which has been a permanent fixture on my left ring finger for the past ten years glints and sparkles, making me remember Ethan and the days when we were so in love.
It feels so far away, a distant memory that has been covered up by years of heartbreak.
Nicolas slides up behind me, placing a soft hand on my shoulder. “Everything okay?”
I glance back, finding a genuine look of concern in those gorgeous eyes of his.
This would be the moment to call it off. To tell him I can’t take the night any further. That I’m still technically married, and while I’m almost positive my husband has been seeking pleasure elsewhere, that doesn’t mean I should spend the night with another man…even if it means losing the sale of the gallery, and the financial relief that this could provide.
But with the heat of Nicholas’ chest pressing into my back, the warmth of his breath on my skin…I realize that while I know logically how wrong this is, something about tonight—something about him—feels so right. More right than anything in my life has felt in a long, long time.
I smile boldly at Nicholas. “Yes, everything’s fine.”
I slide into the car, knowing that I am taking a step in a dangerous direction.
But I also know that I won’t turn back now; I want to go wherever Nicholas is taking me.
my review 4 stars ****
I have to admit I really did like this short story. Natasha had a promising dance career until a stupid act turns the dance world against her. She goes to college and takes up photography. She has been married to Ethan for ten years. They have unsuccessfully been trying for a child, however Ethan really doesn’t want any children. Natasha’s mother was a very famous actress and dancer and she is very ill now and dying. Natasha’s mother gives her a art gallery with the stipulation that she has to have a show of all the pictures she has taken of her mother over the years. She agrees to her terms. She has the show and it is a success, but she also decides she needs to sell the gallery to pay off her fertility bills and her home. After the show is over a man approaches her about buying the gallery. He will with the stipulation that she comes to LA and stays with him so he can take her out on the town. His name is Nicholas and he is good looking and charming. Ethan has been cheating on her for years, so she takes him up on this deal. They both wind up getting more in the deal than they bargained for. This is a good read
About the Author
Juliette Sobanet earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. from New York University in France, living and studying in both Lyon and Paris. She worked as a French professor before turning a new page in her career, penning romantic women’s fiction with a French twist. Today she lives in San Diego, where she devotes her time to writing, eating chocolate, and dreaming about her next trip to France. Visit Juliette’s website at http://www.juliettesobanet.com
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