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Thou shalt not attack thy Dom—especially not with his own cane.
She’s committed the cardinal sin, broken the eleventh commandment for submissives. No wonder the Dom she adores wants nothing more to do with her.
Eugenie believes her luck has turned when she lands an interview for her dream job—Events Organizer at Totally Five Star’s flagship hotel in Paris. This is her chance to return to the city, which holds cherished memories for her, and pursue a career she loves. Most of all it’s a golden opportunity to leave behind the bitter taste of her disastrous breakup with Aaron, the one Dom who can make her melt with a look, a word, a lift of his finger.
Her dream crumbles when she comes face to face with her nemesis, now Director of Security at Totally Five Star Paris, the one man who can wreck her dreams with just a few words.
Aaron has never forgotten the lovely little submissive who broke all the rules. He can do without the hassle of such a high-maintenance sub, but his sexy new colleague proves hard to resist. It’s not long before he finds it hard to remember just what his objections were.
Determined not to dwell on the past, Eugenie throws herself into her wonderful new job. If she can only convince Aaron to give her another chance, her life will be perfect. A natural in her new role, against the glamorous backdrop of one of the world’s finest hotel chains, Eugenie is in her element arranging a high-profile celebrity wedding. But when things start to go wrong, Eugenie finds herself at the heart of a series of inexplicable accidents.
Aaron doesn’t believe in coincidences. Is someone else, apart from him, out to hurt his little Genie? And why? He is determined to protect Eugenie—and get to the bottom of who might want to harm her.
Shrugging such misplaced reminiscences aside, Eugenie allowed the bubble of anticipation in her stomach to swell. The tingle of nerves would sharpen her performance now, the adrenaline flowing to hone her instincts. She welcomed it as she stepped forward, her hand outstretched to greet the couple now ascending the short flight of steps.
Lucas was the first to shake her hand, his broad smile softening his otherwise sharp features. He was a handsome man, quite stunning in fact, and from his first emergence as a center forward in the Premier Division had been much courted by the paparazzi. His blond good looks were perhaps a little too classical for Eugenie’s taste, but even so, the prickle of attraction was undeniable. She defied any woman with a pulse not to experience it.
Her attention shifted to the darker, smaller presence beside him—Farah Ajram, Arab princess and heiress to an oil fortune worth billions, it was rumored. And Eugenie’s true target.
She smiled and bowed her head. “My name is Eugenie d’André. I am in charge of corporate and social events at Totally Five Star Paris. I will be your hostess for this visit. I will take care of you and show you all the facilities we have to offer here. I will deal with any questions you may have and make sure your stay is as comfortable and fulfilling as possible. So, welcome to Paris, sir, madam.”
“Thank you. We’ve been looking forward to coming back here.” Lucas’ polite reply was noncommittal.
“I will show you to your suite. Monsieur Dubain will see to it that your luggage is unloaded and taken to your rooms. Would you like some refreshment after your journey?” Eugenie gestured them to precede her through the doors into the reception area, where the atmosphere was one of comfort and calm. A couple of guests, carefully vetted by Aaron, lounged on the couches, served with drinks by silent, efficient staff. The lighting was set up to accentuate a display of antique Moroccan vases, but without detracting from the businesslike efficiency of this central hub. This was the core of the Paris hotel, the first impression, the nerve center. Eugenie knew this moment could make or break her campaign.
Farah gazed around her, assessing. Eugenie saw this and realized she was holding her breath.
“Perhaps a glass of water, before we go up. Sparkling if you have it. It has been a long journey, and quite hot.” Farah’s tone was quiet, her words undemanding on the face of it. Eugenie knew better. This was their first test.
She ushered the couple to an unoccupied bank of sofas, her unobtrusive gesture summoning a server instantly. A bottle of sparkling water materialized with two glasses. The waiter snapped the top and poured as Eugenie perched on the couch opposite. She had chosen a modest but smart business suit, knee-length straight skirt in a shade just short of navy blue, and a soft cream-colored top. The neckline draped in soft folds, sensuous without being overtly sexy. As she surveyed the pair opposite, Eugenie was pleased. She felt she’d judged her choice of outfit just right.
Lucas wore a sharp suit in a pale gray, the jacket open to reveal a pristine white shirt. The neck was open and he wore no tie. Farah also wore trousers, but in the form of a feminine and loosely flowing pantsuit in muted purples and yellows. She arranged the kimono-style jacket around her as she reached for her glass. As she sipped her water, Eugenie was aware that Farah was scanning her surroundings, taking in every detail. In contrast, Lucas appeared utterly relaxed. He leaned back, extending his arm along the backrest to drape across Farah’s shoulders.
Farah glanced briefly at her fiancé before turning her attention fully on Eugenie.
“We were very interested in what we saw on our last visit here, but we do have one or two remaining issues still to resolve. We have not yet made our final decision, you understand.” Her voice was quiet, the timbre modulated to perfection. This was a woman accustomed to giving instructions. There was nothing strident in her tone, no hint of authority. Just a quiet certainty that her wishes would be obeyed.
Eugenie inclined her head, warming instantly. Farah was a woman she could respect. She knew instinctively that this was no highly strung, nervous bride. Farah had nothing to prove, no one she needed to impress except herself. There would be no histrionics, no hissy fits over flowers or invitation cards. Farah’s requirements would be made known and that would be all that was needed. Eugenie would deliver.
“Of course. I and the rest of our team here are entirely at your disposal. I am sure we can address all your questions.” She wanted to exude openness, willingness and absolute confidence in the quality of the hotel.
Farah smiled, her expression softening, warming. “Yes, I am sure. Thank you for the water. Could we go to our suite now to freshen up properly?”
“Of course. I’ll have the drinks brought up too.”
Another discreet hand gesture from Eugenie, and the waiter scooped up the glasses and half-empty bottle, stepping back to allow Eugenie to lead the little party to the lift.
She was gratified that the housekeeping staff had missed nothing. The honeymoon suite was presented beautifully, fresh flowers, champagne chilling, soft music greeting their entry. The couple’s bags were already in the suite, and Eugenie offered them a maid to unpack for them.
“Thank you. That would be very welcome. Do we have time to shower, and I know my fiancé was hoping to make a few calls before we see the main function rooms?”
“By all means. I will leave you to rest. Please let me know when you are ready to look around our facilities. Is there anything else you need at this time?”
“No, we are fine, I think. Luc?”
Lucas had shucked out of his jacket and sprawled on the king-size bed, already flicking through channels on the wall-mounted plasma screen. He found Eurosport and seemed content. “Just some coffee, please. And some of those little pastry things they do here, if you have any?”
“I am sure we can find some for you, sir. I’ll have a tray sent up. When you are ready, you can contact me through reception or on my mobile.” Eugenie slipped her business card from her jacket pocket and placed it on the bedside table. With a smile and a slight bow, she left the room.
So far so good.
La Brat is one of my favorite novels this year! I have never read anything by this author but with an eye capturing cover I couldn’t resist. It is a mind spiraling bdsm with some mystery, sexy, and was very fun to read all around. Eugenie was the sub a dom would never forget. She decides to move on but when that one comes back, its a sure thing everything is about to go up in flames. Her particular nickname was given due to all the wrong she has done. I liked her character even though she had faults she still found a way to try and move on; however she seeked for his redemption and forgiveness because she just couldn’t get over him. We all probably have that one that got away! Aaron is a strong dom with one weakness Eugenie! He has a hate love relationship with her at the moment and even though he would like nothing better than to get her back. He wants her to suffer a bit because of what happened. He is not willing to let anyone else have her. Can these two reignite the sparks?
In an exquisite Totally Five Star hotel where there lies secrets you will find this exceptional story to pick up and read. The passion that is shown is raw but very emotional to show that there is something more than just the average bdsm life. The mystery is brought out to the danger at the right moment. It is definitely one I will have to ‘re read ans would highly recommend!
About Ashe Barker:
I’ve been writing seriously for about two years but I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, erotic and other genres. I love reading historical and contemporary romances in all pairings – the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse for my guilty pleasure – research.
In my own writing I draw on settings and anecdotes from my own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to my plots and characters. My stories are often set in the north of England where I live but I draw inspiration from all over. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea. But ultimately my tales of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of my own lurid and smutty imagination.
On the rare occasions I’m not writing my time is divided between my role as resident taxi driver for my teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises. And most recently a very grumpy cockatiel.
My other titles include the ‘Black Combe’ trilogies, The Dark Side, Sure Mastery, The Hardest Word and A Richness of Swallows, all set in the atmospheric moorland of West Yorkshire or Cumbria and with a strong BDSM theme. The Three Rs, part of Totally Bound’s What’s Her Secret? imprint is a stand-alone novel set in Berwick in the Scottish border. I’ve also written a couple of short stories, Re-Awakening, and a raunchy pirate tale, Right of Salvage, as well as a novella, Carrot and Coriander.
I have a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keep thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from me.
I love to hear from readers. You can find me on my blog, and I’m on Facebook, and twitter too. And more recently on Tsu
And the Oscar for the best supporting actor goes to…
I like to write about strong, memorable main characters, but quite often others sneak in behind them and before I know it the supporting cast have developed their own roles, not necessarily centre stage but near enough. Secondary characters can really lift a story, adding depth and detail, and they give the hero and heroine others to interact with. La Brat has several strong characters in supporting roles, including Elise, the hotel manager. And of course there’s Fleur, the hotel doctor whose story was told in Chameleon (my previous release in the Totally Five Star imprint) and who makes several cameo appearances in La Brat.
But when it comes to handing out the Oscars, the most memorable supporting roles are surely those played by Farah and Lucas, the mysterious Muslim princess and her international footballer fiancé. Their celebrity wedding is the backdrop for much of the action, a mix of glamour and chic sophistication, all artfully choreographed by Eugenie as she settles into her new dream job as Events Organiser at Totally Five Star Paris.
Farah and Lucas are sexy, enigmatic people, their relationship a beguiling cultural mix of East and West. They certainly have their own story to tell, and maybe that’s one to come back to in the future. In La Brat though I loved weaving them in and they fit the mood of TFS Paris perfectly. Farah and Lucas are both charismatic, a dream couple, super-rich but very human too. They adore each other, and they could take their wedding circus anywhere in the world. But they come to Paris seeking their perfect day. It’s left to Eugenie to work out what that might be.
I especially loved Farah. She’s strong, courageous, dignified, every inch the eastern princess but with a modern twist. Educated in Paris, she’s returning to the city for her big day. She chooses Totally Five Star as the setting for her A List wedding. Farah may be marrying a footballer, but she’s a long way from the typical WAG. Despite their different backgrounds she and Eugenie become friends. Farah intends to dance at Genie’s wedding. Now that would be an occasion.
Enter Totally Bound’s La Brat competition for the chance to win your own copy of this title, as well as three more fabulous titles from Ashe Barker’s backlist!
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