Book Title: His Premier
Series: Sizzling Miami Book 6
Author: Jessie G
Born into wealth and privilege, Colin Sinclair was raised on the knowledge that money could buy anything and everyone had a price. Trouble was no trouble at all, not when the money was there to sweep it under the rug. But those lessons, learned at the knee of his father, were going to be challenged in a way that would change Colin forever.
In middle class suburbia, Arnaud Dechene learned the value of hard work, focus, and dedication to a dream. He was well on his way to achieving it, the role of Premier, when he catches Colin’s eye. Rich snobs didn’t usually do it for him, but there was something about Colin that made him impossible to resist.
Despite being opposites in every way, falling into a relationship was surprisingly—and deceptively—easy, but Arnaud never lost sight of his dream and Colin had trouble accepting that he was second place to anything. When a stupid argument leads to a reckless act, the repercussions leave Arnaud fighting for his life and Colin paying with his own.
With a little meddling from an aging schemer and intentions that are more well-meaning than realistic, their paths will cross again. However, Colin and Arnaud aren’t the same men who loved with abandon. They are older and wiser, with a history that might be too big to overcome.
Fans of the series know revenge is a double-edged sword, forgiveness doesn’t always come easy, and forgetting is damn near impossible. But love…well, that may just conquer all.
When Denise asked me for an excerpt, she said she wanted a piece from when Colin sees Arnaud for the first time. Then she said ‘I don’t normally like YA, but you made me like it’ and I was like huh? YA, what? I don’t write YA! But, I guess, technically, the first four chapters of His Premier go back ten years when my MC’s were 16 and 17, making those four chapters YA. After that, it’s definitely all adult!
There was a delicate balance that came into play when writing this book. My first draft started in the present and heavily relied on flashbacks, and that just came off as confusing crap when I read it through. So I took most of the flashbacks and fleshed them out into full scenes that became the first four chapters of the book. To me, presenting them whole gives us a glimpse into the motivation behind this second chance romance. What exactly are they fighting for? I thought I knew, but having the full picture helped so much.
Colin and Arnaud’s first meeting was truly a life changing moment for both of them and I’m so glad Denise chose it as her excerpt.
So, without further nonsense from me, here’s an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 1 of His Premier.
Involuntarily, Colin’s gaze was drawn back to the dancer and his breath caught as he executed a series of flawless pirouettes across the stage. Each muscle seemed to flow into the next and the effect was stunning. The beauty he’d seen before wasn’t a trick of the light, it really did glow from within, and Colin knew that neither his family name nor their social standing would impress someone so vibrant.
His grandmother nudged him gently and teased, “Don’t look now, Colin, but I think you’ve been spotted.”
Colin hadn’t been able to stop looking, taking in every inch from the dark waves of hair all the way down to those flying feet, but he’d been trying to avoid staring at the dancer’s face. The mysteriously dark eyes, high cheekbones, and full lips came together in a way that might be considered delicate and feminine at first glance. Anyone smart enough to take a closer look would see the masculinity in the dancer’s face and form, though Colin imagined he spent most of his life being picked on for being a pretty boy by those too ignorant to see beneath the surface.
It was self-preservation that made him look anywhere else, but now he had no choice but to see that the dancer appeared to be looking right at him. There was excitement in that dark gaze, no doubt a lingering effect of the performance, but there was also interest there. Could that interest be directed at him? The room was filled with dancers, volunteers, family members, and other donors, and Colin immediately looked over his shoulder to see who he was really looking at. Most of the audience was looking in the general direction of the stage, but none really stood out as paying any more attention than the next.
“Do you think…?” Colin began as he faced forward again, the question trailing away in the wake of the obvious amusement on the dancer’s face. Normally, he didn’t like being the source of anyone’s amusement, but he was too enraptured by the hands gesturing for him to come down to the side of the stage to care.
“Me?” he mouthed, pointing to himself even though he felt foolish. He’d feel even more foolish if he went down there only to realize the dancer was gesturing to someone else.
Another amused smile and a brief nod were all the encouragement he needed to jump up and push his way out of the row. Once he was free, he forced himself to walk naturally. Appearing overeager would give the dancer power over him, something else his father warned against. Whatever might come of this little introduction, he had to maintain the upper hand.
When he reached the stage, he noticed the dancer had been stopped by someone with a clipboard. A quick hand signal asked him to wait. Though he wasn’t used to waiting on anyone, Colin shoved his hands in his pockets and leaned against the wall as casually as he could. The dancer was here for a reason and it wasn’t to meet him. Being understanding of that would only make him look good in the long term.
His patience was rewarded when the dancer jumped from the stage and crossed the distance between them, stepping closer than Colin was used to. Before he could offer his hand and a formal introduction, the dancer was demanding, “Did you love it? I mean…it’s only rehearsals, but you seemed really into the dance and I really wanted you to love it. Did you? Would you change anything? Oh man, my manners suck, don’t they? But I really, really want this, you know? For so long and…well, shit, man, I really wanted you to love it.”
The rush of words stopped abruptly as the dancer took a deep breath and Colin was completely entranced. So entranced that he forgot to play it cool. “I really, really loved it. It was perfect. You were perfect.”
Colin had never seen anyone look so happy, had never been the cause of anyone’s happiness before, and wished he knew more words to describe what he felt so he could continue to bask in that joy.
The dancer inched even closer and Colin could feel the heat coming off his vibrating body. “Really, really? You’re not just saying that cause you think I’m hot?”
“I’m not just saying that because I think you’re hot.” Too late, Colin realized the trap for what it was, but then the dancer was laughing and the sound was the sweetest thing he’d ever heard. “Fishing much?”
“I was totally fishing!” Unrepentant, the dancer laughed again and grabbed Colin up in a tight, sweaty hug. The people Colin knew shook hands, maybe offered the occasional pat on the back, but they did not hug someone within an inch of their lives. His own arms hung uselessly at his sides, uncertain what they were supposed to be doing.
Instead of being put off by Colin’s slow response, the dancer grabbed him by the wrists and guided his arms into position around an impossibly slender waist. Never in his life had anyone physically taken a hug from him, especially not a total stranger. Not even a hot one. He liked it.
No one writes emotionally damaged men in situations that are not a quick fix to alleviate quite like Jessie G. She manages quite often to take one moment in time and turn it into a lifetime of pain, loneliness, despair. Then the character likely will be just living day by day. Somehow she then manages to turn it into at least an HFN, if not my favorite, an HEA.
Colin is that type of man. He made one mistake, one many of us made at that same age without the dire consequences, and turned it into a lifetime of penance and remorse. Going from being rich and having it all, to the depths of grief, all while managing to still support the people who’ve been supportive for him since his release. He mourned his loss of love, yet felt he deserved no better.
What I enjoyed the most about this story was being allowed to read Colin’s healing, page by page. Jessie G did an amazing job with this. She didn’t allow Colin’s character to suddenly be okay with himself, with allowing himself to love again, or even his choices. Arnaud coming back into Colin’s life began the cycle of healing that Colin needed. Merely because Arnaud decided Colin had had long enough to wallow in his choices, he took the reins and pushed Colin to finally face him. The reader then watched Colin come back slowly to as healthy a human being as he could in the limited pages of the book. (I’ve already told Jessie she needs to write a follow up, which she “might” have already been planning.)
Arnaud lived his dreams, traveling, dancing for dignitaries on the grandest of stages. Yet in the end, he needed to find his way back to Miami, and Colin, to begin the next phase of his life. I loved that about him. He didn’t give up his dreams to be with the man he wanted. He lived them, waited patiently, and then pushed forward to bring new visions for himself and the life he wanted with Colin to life.
This was a beautiful love story about growing as a person, forging love despite harsh mistakes, and forgiving yourself even when it’s against what you believe you are worthy of. Their love never died, only Colin’s ability to believe he was good enough. He grew to believe that, as much as he could, therefore he allowed himself to love again. The reader can see that he has a long way to go, but with so much support and love behind him, he has a huge jumpstart.
I highly recommend you read the entire series first, although it can definitely be read as a stand alone. But your enjoyment of Colin’s transformation will be that much better. And a definite re-read! J
4.5 pieces of eye candy for me
TWO CHANCES TO WIN
Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: To be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and counting, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.
I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters and series filled with families, biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.