Confessions: Julien, book two in the steamy contemporary M/M/M Confessions Series from Ella Frank, is available NOW!
People are complex.
Love a double-edged sword.
And when it comes to a broken heart, there are no rules, only time…
For the past eight years, Julien Thornton has been living with a secret. One that only a handful of people know about.
To the outside world, he has it all.
A thriving career. A loving husband. And a face that the American public fell for by the millions, on a reality show that inadvertently saved his life.
But behind the shine of celebrity, behind the easygoing nature, a crippling truth fills Julien with pain and self-loathing. It’s a truth that he fights to overcome daily with the help of his husband, Joel Priestley, and now their boyfriend, Robbie Bianchi.
But unlike Priest, Robbie doesn’t know what he’s helping Julien to fight. He doesn’t know what Julien did all those years ago. And with the anniversary of his sister’s death fast approaching, the time for explanations is running out.
And thus the question: will the princess be able to forgive the prick as the priest once did?
Only time will tell.
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“WE MEET again, Mr. Thornton.”
A shiver of awareness raced up Julien Thornton’s spine as he stood in the jail cell of a downtown L.A. police station where he’d been thrown around an hour ago for public intoxication.
He didn’t need to turn to know who was on the opposite side of those steel bars. That voice was the one he’d been hoping to hear when he’d made his “one call” and left a message after a generic voicemail. That voice? It had been on his mind since the last time he’d heard it, nearly two weeks earlier when he’d met—and attempted to steal the car of—a man who called himself Priest.
Julien pivoted on his heels, and when he did, he realized that he’d grossly underestimated the impact that Joel Priestley had had on him the first time around.
Oui, he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him, that was true, and oui, he might’ve purposely provoked the police officer tonight hoping he’d end up needing a lawyer. But Dieu, he’d forgotten the way Priest made his body respond. Like an inferno was licking through his veins.
With auburn hair, stormy eyes, and a presence that Julien gravitated toward like a magnetic force, he didn’t think anything could prepare a person for the powerful energy Priest exuded. Not to mention that cool, judgmental stare of his.
But Julien had no one to blame for that judgment but himself. Maybe if they didn’t always meet at the end of one of his week-long benders, he could have the upper hand with this man for once. And wouldn’t that be délicieux, he thought, as he looked at the lawyer who’d dropped him home two weeks before, instead of at the police station like he’d originally threatened.
Priest was as put together now, at three in the morning, as he had been that afternoon in the alley. Suited up in a tailored navy number that framed his broad shoulders and emphasized the rich color of his hair, he looked sharp, controlled, and dangerous to Julien’s already unstable state of mind as he stood there sizing him up with an unreadable expression.
“I’m curious,” Priest finally said, as he clasped his hands behind his back and took a step closer to the cell where Julien had spent most of the night sobering up. “Did you not understand me the last time we spoke?”
Julien clenched his jaw and wondered if Priest realized how condescending he sounded when he spoke—or just how much it turned Julien on. “Non. I understood just fine.”
“Then what part of ‘I won’t be so lenient next time’ made you think that calling me to bail you out of here was a good idea?”
Julien was still trying to work that out himself, but thought it might have something to do with the fact that he was drawn to this man. There was something about Priest that made him feel alive, when all he’d felt for months now was dead inside.
When Julien didn’t respond, Priest cocked his head, studying him closely, the disapproval rolling off him in waves. “Are you that hard up for a date that this was the only way you could think to get one?”
Putain, the man was arrogant. But for reasons Julien couldn’t explain, that seemed to make him all the more appealing. “You’re the one who gave me your card the last time we met. Perhaps it’s you who are hard up for a date, monsieur. Giving your number out to—”
“Criminals?” Priest frowned. “No. That’s called smart business acumen, considering I’m a criminal attorney.”
Julien scoffed. “I’m hardly a criminal.”
“Really?” Priest said, and took his time examining the six-by-eight space Julien currently stood in. He then leaned forward and said in a lowered voice, “Your current situation tells a different kind of story.”
Despite his “current situation,” and the reason he’d gotten himself into it, Julien felt his lips curve, and he realized exactly why he was drawn to Priest. He possessed the one thing that Julien had been looking for—the ability to take his mind off the black hole his life had become. “Maybe it’s le destin.”
“And what does that mean? Destiny?” Priest straightened and brought his arm around to check the time. “I doubt destiny has anything to do with it. A more likely scenario is that I was your only option.”
“Even if that’s true,” Julien said as he wrapped his fingers around the bars, “you came anyway.”
“As I said before, it’s my job.”
“At three in the morning?”
“At any hour of the morning,” Priest said, and then looked down the hallway that was devoid of anything other than dreary off-white tiles and horribly bright fluorescent lighting. “I’m going to go and see if I can get you out, and then you and I are going to have a talk.”
Something about the way Priest said you and I made Julien’s pulse race, and as Priest went to walk away, Julien whispered, “J’ai vraiment hâte,” and the ever-so-serious lawyer stopped in his tracks and looked back.
This time when those eyes roamed over Julien, his breath caught. There was nothing cool about that stare now. There was heat, interest, and an intensity that made Julien’s fingers tighten around the bars before Priest cut the connection and walked away.
Julien watched him go until he disappeared around the end of the hall, and then he released his breath on a rush. Merde. He’d never been so attracted to someone in all his life, and as he stood there waiting for Priest to save him yet again, Julien knew he needed to stop what he was thinking.
There was no way in hell he deserved someone like that. Non, no way at all. That didn’t, however, stop him from counting down the minutes until Priest returned to him…
It’s never a good idea to think that Ella Frank has written the best book ever, because you’ll find out quickly that every book she puts out pretty much tops the one before it. I wasn’t sure that was going to happen with Julien’s story, but seriously—I should never doubt this author.
Just like with Robbie’s story, it is plain to see just how well the three of these men complement each other, each filling needs for the others in a way that they wouldn’t if they were just Priest and Julien, Julien and Robbie, or Robbie and Priest. Each of those matchups are great on their own, but where it all becomes magic is all three together. I’m not just talking in the physical sense, though my goodness their shared chemistry is phenomenal. It’s also the emotional fulfillment that fully completes their triumvirate.
As we start to delve into Julien’s past, especially now that an important time of year is coming up for him, we get to slowly catch glimpses into his pain, the tension surrounding it building consistently throughout the story until it all comes to a head. Personally, I share Priest and Robbie’s sentiment that Julien should not be shouldering the blame for what happened, and I loved how Robbie was able to do and say exactly what was needed at just the right times—not just at the climax point (not that kind of climax, keep your minds out of the gutter people!), but all throughout the story. Robbie is quite perceptive and empathetic, and that’s part of what makes him the perfect match to Priest and Julien.
You should read Robbie’s story before Julien’s since it’s the start of the threesome’s relationship, and this second book in the trilogy picks up where the first one leaves off. You’ll find just as much erotically scintillating scenes this time around, interspersed with flashes into Julien’s past as the story builds to the full reveal of his pain—and the beginning of his healing. And just to keep interest piqued for Priest’s tale, the troubling glimpses into his past we saw in Robbie’s story begin to be expanded upon here as well, drumming up anticipation for the final piece of their puzzle.
Confessions: Julien was a 5-star read for me, and is another added to my Top Recommendations list. I am so psyched for Priest’s story, and can’t wait to see how this all comes together in the end. Again, remember you need to read these books in order to truly enjoy and appreciate their lives and relationship. This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and erotic sexual content.
Start the series with Confessions: Robbie today!
Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”
Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.
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