“One Night in Paris” by Juliette Sobanet
Synopsis: From bestselling author Juliette Sobanet, One Night in Paris is a heartwarming and enchanting journey back to Jazz Age Paris.
When Manhattan attorney Ella Carlyle gets a call that her beloved grandmother is dying, she rushes to Paris to be by her side, against the wishes of her overbearing boyfriend. Ella would do anything for her grandmother and jumps at the chance to fulfill her dying wish. But things take a mystical turn when Ella is transported to a swinging Parisian jazz club full of alluring strangers…in the year 1927! As the clock runs out on her one night in the City of Lights, Ella will attempt to rewrite the past—and perhaps her own destiny as well.
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One Night in Paris
by Juliette Sobanet
Excerpt from Chapter 4, after Ella has traveled back in time to a jazz club in 1920s Paris…
“You look lost.”
A deep male voice travels over the lively jazz music and snaps me out of my daze. A young man with dusty-blond hair and boyish blue eyes is leaning against the bar right next to me and shooting me a curious grin. The top button of his white collared shirt is open, and the gray vest he’s wearing is a little snug around his chest.
He waits patiently for me to pull my eyes from his chest.
“Lost? You could say that,” I respond, embarrassed, before taking a long sip of champagne.
When I resurface for air, his hand is outstretched.
“Let me help you find your way,” he says. “I’m Leo Knight. American, a writer . . . well, aspiring writer. You?”
I slip my hand into his, noticing how warm it feels. How comfortable.
“Ella Carlyle, and I . . . I’m . . .” I pause, realizing I can’t tell this guy who I really am. So instead, I tell him what I always wanted to be when I was growing up, what I trained to be before my lawyer parents told me they wouldn’t support such an impractical career. “A ballet dancer,” I finish. “And I’m American too.”
I catch those inquisitive blue eyes of his running up and down my legs. “You’ve certainly got the gams for the ballet, if you don’t mine me saying so, miss.” He twirls his gray cap around on one finger, his warm grin revealing a dimple in his left cheek. “And the face for it too. Ballet dancers have the prettiest faces. But yours . . . well, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”
A flush that starts at my toes creeps all the way up to my cheeks, surely turning them the color of a strawberry in summer. I’m not usually this susceptible to pickup lines, but this guy is such a breath of fresh air compared to the hard-edged Manhattan types back home—he’s got charm and charisma, and to be honest, I’ve never seen anything quite like him either.
How did the women of this era get anything done with all of these gorgeous men popping up around every corner?
Catching a glimpse of Lucie and Jean-Philippe bopping around on the dance floor like two lovesick teenagers, I remind myself that this isn’t the time to get wrapped up in my own schoolgirl crush. I’ve got two important tasks to accomplish. And although I’m not 100 percent certain what exactly those tasks entail other than protecting Lucie and hoping that in doing so, I will find a way back to my grandmother’s bedside, I am certain that flirting with this handsome stranger isn’t going to get me closer to either.
Leo pushes off the bar, then fastens his cap atop his head. “Care to let me take you for a twirl out on that dance floor, Ella Carlyle?”
“No, really, I can’t,” I say, but Leo takes a step closer to me, the scent of his cologne and the proximity of his tall, firm body making me regret my answer.
“Oh, I see what’s going on,” he says with a sly grin.
He’s so close now that his warm breath is tickling my lips. I should turn and walk away. I need to watch out for Lucie. But a tiny part of me—the part that has been yearning for something new, something different, something exciting to happen in my life—speaks up.
“What’s that?” I ask, shooting him my own flirtatious smile.
“The ballerina doesn’t think a writer from Saint Louis has any moves.” He offers me his hand once more. “Let me prove you wrong, Mademoiselle Ella.”
Peering over my shoulder at Lucie, who is now wrapped tightly in Jean-Philippe’s arms, I figure just one dance won’t hurt anything. It will buy me a few minutes to think, to figure out my next move.
“Deal,” I say, giving Leo my hand.
Just before we reach the dance floor, I lean into Leo’s ear and whisper. “I have a confession to make. I don’t know how to do the Charleston.”
“A ballet dancer who doesn’t do the Charleston,” he says, his eyes lighting up with the challenge. “Well, I never.”
“I don’t get out much,” I admit. “Not to places like this, anyway.” If he only knew.
“Well, Miss Ella Carlyle, tonight is your lucky night.” Leo winks at me as he ushers me onto the dance floor.
With his hand around my waist and his body pressed closely to mine, I realize it’s not likely I’ll get much thinking done during this dance.
***Excerpted from ONE NIGHT IN PARIS by Juliette Sobanet (January 2014). Reprinted with permission from Amazon StoryFront.
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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. She is the author of six Paris-based romances, including the bestselling Sleeping with Paris. Her upcoming Confessions of a City Girl series will release in 2014. Today she lives in San Diego, where she devotes her time to writing, eating chocolate, and dreaming about her next trip to France.
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