New Release: Passion’s Fire
What do you do when the one you choose isn’t the one you need?
Billionaire Julian St. Christopher’s Passion formula – the libido-boosting ingredient in his designer wine Passion’s Nectar and candy Passion’s Kiss – has earned him new millions. But for some people, the Passion formula has a stunning side effect. For some, the wine and candy generate a burning desire, a need that can only be relieved by the person who is the object of their yearning. The creators of the formula call the desire the Soul Mate Effect.
Julian’s scientists tell him that the only a very small percentage of people who consume the wine or candy experience the effect. They tell him that the odds of an affected person meeting their sexual soul mate are even less likely, and so his product is safe to sell.
Julian is confident that his product is safe. He drinks Passion’s Nectar. It’s a designer wine, a rich man’s hobby, and his new toy. But when he shares the wine with someone close to him, the passion is ignited, and Julian discovers that when you play with fire, you might get burned.
The flames of desire burn as hot as the sun, and Julian is drawn toward the heat. Now he’s in the battle of his life as he struggles to choose between doing what he believes is right or being with the woman he might not have the will to resist. But the flesh is weak, and it’s on fire.
In the fourth sizzling episode in the Passion Series, Julian learns that when desire becomes need, nothing and no one is off limits.
AN EXCERPT FROM PASSION’S FIRE
Excerpt from Passion’s Nectar
Julian hung up the STU III phone and downed the rest of his wine. He slouched in his easy chair. Maybe he’d stay home tonight, just eat something, chill for a while and go to bed.
Grace appeared in the doorway of his study. “Would you like more wine?” she asked.
“No thanks, Grace.” She’d taken her apron off. Julian looked at her, appreciated how her uniform dress hugged her curves.
“The staff is relieved for the night,” she said. “There’s grilled salmon with lemon-hazelnut sauce in the warmer if you get hungry. Is there anything else you need before I leave?”
Grace was truly amazing. She knew he’d be hungry. She always knew what he needed before he did. And she looked so good right now, in that dress. Her body made even a simple work dress look sexy. Julian wondered what she might look like without it.
She stood in the study doorway, watching him watching her. She’s very attractive, Julian thought, even without makeup.
Julian tried to ignore his body’s reaction to the wine. But he couldn’t push away the question of what Grace’s curvy brown body might look like…might feel like in his arms.
She looked at him, looking at her.
She stepped into the room, reaching and pulling the pin out of the bun in her hair as she came across the carpet.
Grace shook her head and the bun came loose. Her hair fell over her shoulders.
She stood over him, took his glass and poured more Passion’s Nectar.
Gazing down at him, she took a sip.
She always knew what he needed.
Newark, New Jersey
Twenty-Six Years Ago
Julius St. Christopher stood in front of the ninth grade class, scanning the student’s faces. Most of them looked away when his eyes found theirs. A couple of boys in the back of the room who sported matching Jheri curls slouched in their chairs and gave him hard, challenging glares; boys wanting to be men while not having a clue.
No one raised their hand. Not a single student.
Julius looked over at the teacher and the guidance counselor, who stood on the other side of the teacher’s desk. The teacher gave him a weak, apologetic smile, as if to say, I don’t have any luck, either.
He felt bad for her, that she took it as a personal indictment that not even one of her students was willing to take advantage of this opportunity.
Julius looked down at his nine-year-old son Julian, who he’d kept out of his own school today so that he could experience this life lesson on giving to those not as fortunate as he. He could read the question in his son’s eyes: Why don’t they want to go to college?
“I’m so sorry,” the teacher said when they were out in the hall. “Most of these kids, they come from difficult home situations. They don’t see higher education as a part of their existence, not in the neighborhoods they come from. Many won’t even finish high school.”
“It’s a shame,” Julius said. “It seems that hope has died for many of us in less than a couple of decades. But I’m not giving up. This is a new endeavor for me. I’ll work on improving my presentation, and then I’ll come back. You can count on that –”
From the classroom came the sound of one of the students singing the gospel hymn Amazing Grace. Julius heard other kids start snickering. A girl’s mocking voice said, “Why don’t you ask him to buy you a straightening comb or some S-Curl?” and the class broke out in laughter.
A girl stepped out of the classroom into the corridor. She spotted them and headed their way.
She was a sepia-complexioned young lady wearing frayed cornrows. Julius noticed that her skirt and blouse were a bit snug on her stout frame, as if they were hand-me-downs or clothing that she’d outgrown.
When the girl reached them the teacher asked, “What is it, Grace?”
The girl didn’t acknowledge the teacher. She looked up at Julius, directly into his eyes. She didn’t smile, but she didn’t look hostile or hesitant, either. Looking at her, Julius felt that her eyes were those of someone much more mature than her fourteen or fifteen years. And he noted that in spite of the fact that she wore the trappings of poverty, there was nothing pitiable about her carriage. Rather, there was a dignity in the girl’s bearing.
She said, “Mr. St. Christopher…Sir, may I ask you a question?”
“Are there colleges that teach cooking?”
“Yes, there are many schools that offer courses in culinary arts. In fact there’s one not far from here, right across the bridge in New York.”
“If I do what you say, sir – if I maintain a B in every class – will you send me to a school like that?”
Julius noted that the girl spoke with a slight accent. If he’d had to guess he’d say she was originally from the West Indies. “So you want to be a cook, young lady?”
The teacher said, “Grace, you do understand that the grade requirement isn’t for a semester or a year, don’t you? You have to maintain no less than a B in every class until you graduate high school.”
Now the girl looked at her teacher. Still unsmiling she said, “I understand.” She looked back up at Julius. “No sir, Mr. St. Christopher. I don’t want to be a cook. I can cook now. I want to be a chef. A master chef.”
He smiled at the girl. She didn’t smile back. He said, “I see. Well Grace, if you fulfill the terms of the contract and hold up your end of the bargain, then I’ll hold up mine. I’ll pay for your education at the culinary school of your choice.” He held out his hand. “Do we have a deal?”
Grace took his hand and shook it. “Yes sir.”
“Good. It’s very nice to meet you, Grace.”
“It’s nice to meet you, sir.”
“Oh, and this is my son, Julian. Julian, say hello to Miss Grace…I’m sorry, what’s your last name?”
Julius said, “Julian, say hello to Miss Grace Trouillot.”
His son held out his hand, the way Julius taught him to do when meeting someone formally. He said, “Hello, Miss Trouillot.”
The girl looked down at him. Now, for the first time, she smiled. She took nine-year-old Julian’s hand, shook it and said, “Hello, Mr. St. Christopher.”
Don’t forget to check out the first three episodes in the Passion Series: