Series: The Fetish Queen #1
Author: Nicole Camden
Release Date:April 21, 2014
Publisher: Pocket Star
Newly single and loving every minute, Lille—a.k.a. the Fetish Queen—is unleashed and ready to dominate in the first chapter of the sexy, enticing Fetish Queen series.
Blond, buxom, and bold, pin-up girl Lillehammer Marceaux can get any man she wants, but she leaves her fiancé to move to Florida and run a sex shop called The Fetish Box, owned by her best friend. She immediately clashes with Max Jobman, the rough-hewn tattooed Irishman who owns the local pub. Not a very trusting man, Max is convinced she’s a spoiled beauty who’ll stay just long enough to find a rich husband. He quickly learns that Lille isn’t interested in a husband; she’s focused on making the business a success—but that doesn’t stop her from thinking about what an excellent lover Max will make…
What neither Max nor Lille realizes is that her efforts to become the Fetish Queen, which include making a type of reality show, have caught the attention of a dangerous figure from Lille’s past. Will her troubled past come back and drag her down, or will the Fetish Queen get her way?
Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, and Katharine Hepburn had been Sarah Wells’s babysitters when she was growing up—which explained a lot about how she turned out. She’d go to her neighbor Miss Gloria’s apartment in the afternoons and watch old movies while her mother entertained one of her “guests.” Mom’s guests could get violent sometimes; a couple of them had even suggested they preferred Sarah’s undeveloped body over her mother’s, so Sarah had learned to stay gone most of the time. Miss Gloria, an eighty-year-old black woman who’d grown up in Brooklyn, liked to drink black coffee wearing a muumuu and house slippers and watch the classics until she fell asleep on the couch. Sarah felt safe surrounded by the floral wallpaper and the old-fashioned images on the tiny black-and-white screen Miss Gloria wiped down with Windex every morning.
“That was true beauty,” the old woman would croon every now and then when she’d wake up and see Marilyn or Greta on the screen.
Sarah figured that if Miss Gloria was right, her mother qualified as truly beautiful. She had big eyes, big, pouty lips, and clear, flawless skin. Even after years of smoking, Sarah’s mother was still beautiful; but that didn’t stop her from getting pushed around by her clients every now and then, or drinking herself into oblivion. Those were the worst nights, the nights when her mother would get drunk and talk about Sarah’s father, about how he’d kill them both if he ever got out of prison. She’d made Sarah promise, over and over again, that if he ever got out, Sarah would run away, as far and as fast as she could. Sarah didn’t understand why her mother was so certain he’d come after them or why he was even in prison in the first place, but she knew well enough that if her mother considered him dangerous, he was someone to avoid.
Bad things happened all the time in their neighborhood; women and girls were snatched off the streets, stores were robbed, people were killed. Sarah was certain that the Desert Palms apartments had always been dingy and nondescript since they were first built in the fifties, but by the early nineties, things had gotten even worse. Graffiti covered most of the walls and the sign outside. The palms that had been planted around the buildings had long since died. Only one
lone cactus remained, which she admired for its sheer stubbornness. Even spray-painted with crude lettering, it somehow managed to look defiant.
When Miss Gloria was transferred to a nursing home, Sarah stayed at the library during the afternoons, and in the evenings her mother would take her to the club she worked most nights, a place with a large black man guarding the door, lots of bright purple lights, and women dressed in sparkles. The club, Dominoes, hidden pretty deep in the middle of nowhere, had always been a popular destination for wealthy foreigners. Sarah had loved the clothes the women wore there; she had wanted to wear feathers and diamonds and high-heeled shoes, too. Sometimes the strippers would dress her up and tell her that someday she would be a heartbreaker.
“Probably,” Sarah usually agreed, although she didn’t see how being beautiful had helped her mother, or any of the other strippers.
Some of them thought they had power when they danced. Sarah heard them talking about how all the men in the audience had been begging for it, and how much the strippers liked keeping it from them. Sarah could understand that. She supposed that if she were at the mercy of the vicious men who ran the club, she’d be looking for power any way she could find it, but she wasn’t about to spend her life taking her clothes off for money.
One night, just after she turned fourteen, she was doing her homework in the dressing room of the club when she realized that a couple of the dancers were looking at her and whispering. Sarah was used to this kind of behavior at school, where her rather large breasts and pretty porcelain skin were the subject of many hushed conversations, but the girls at the club rarely bothered to notice her.
“What’s up?” she asked, curious.
Colleen, a frowsy redhead, looked a little worried, chewing on her lower lip with her teeth.
“Nothing, honey. We just can’t find your mom.”
“What do you mean?” Sarah demanded. “She’s dancing.” She set her schoolbooks aside and stood. “Show me where she’s supposed to be.” Even though Sarah was only fourteen, people tended to do what she asked of them.
The girls, Megan and Colleen, led her out of the dressing room into the curtained-off area where the dancers waited for their cues.
Feathers were floating cheerfully in the air, the liberated plumage of a boa that had been used in one of the acts before a dancer had accidently ripped it in half onstage.
Colleen pulled her away from the center of the curtains where the girls stalked out onto a type of runway and led her down the side of the crescent-shaped waiting area to another opening in the curtain. Her long nails dug into Sarah’s arm.
“She’s supposed to be over there,” Colleen whispered, and pointed to the far corner. “She never misses a dance.”
Sarah knew that—that’s why she was worried.
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