Historical Romance, Erotic Romance, MMF Ménage Romance
Word Count: 105,000
Heat Level: 4
Published by Belaurient Press
Formats: ebook, print
Price: $3.99 (sale price until 12/1: $0.99)
Print Trim Size: 5.25” x 8”
Be warned: M/M sex, M/M/F sex, bondage, spanking, multiple partners
In the hedonistic wonderland of Cabaret-era Berlin…
…where money can buy you anything you desire…
…and love comes with a pink rose and a practiced smile…
The year is 1923, the Great War is over, and Berlin has become the manic playground of Europe’s elite. Against a glittering background of nightclubs and hot jazz, a sensual American heiress, a wounded playboy, and a desperate German army officer forge a decadent pact of pleasure. But their nights of uninhibited passion soon lead to a forbidden emotional connection, one that will threaten their future … and their lives.
Katherine Tracy took a deep drag of her cigarette, letting the smoke trickle out slowly through her nostrils. It had been a long day of business meetings with a German manufacturing company eager to repair its war-damaged finances by partnering with her Uncle William’s company, Tracy Electric. She’d done her job as the company’s duly designated representative, and now she wanted some entertainment.
Although she was starting to doubt they’d find it at the Cupid Club. “Darling, I’m bored,” she said to the handsome man sitting at her side. “I thought we were going somewhere amusing.”
Sam Harrison gave her a lazy smile. “We’ve only been here for a few minutes, sweetheart. Give the talent a chance to circulate.”
She glanced around the room, wondering if he was right. The club was dark and smoky, the dim light hiding the cherub-heavy decor and prompting the customers to focus on the stage where a redheaded singer in a long silver gown was crooning, “Just a Girl That Men Forget.” The fact that the singer was a husky contralto and her Adam’s apple could be seen under the diamanté choker she wore was part of the club’s louche charm, Kat assumed.
It was a reminder that Berlin was a world away from Bridgeport, Connecticut, in more ways than one. The aftermath of the Great War had wreaked economic havoc on Europe, and a conquered Germany was the hardest hit of the countries on the losing side. With the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II and an economy in ruins due to catastrophic war reparations, Germany had struggled to put together its first democratically elected government, the Weimar Republic, under the leadership of Friedrich Ebert.
By 1922, the new parliament had their hands full trying to rein in a galloping hyperinflation, all while dealing with political and military uprisings throughout the country. Staid Prussian social mores were abandoned as quaint holdovers of a bygone age, and the urban centers of the country developed a more freewheeling mindset. Berlin in particular had given up any attempts at censorship under the Republic. It was the cuckoo’s egg in the nest of the German Reich, and musicians, artists, and writers flocked there, eager to enjoy this mad new freedom. They weren’t alone; philosophers and scientists also rushed to study the fascinating social experiment that was Berlin.
That was the bright aspect of the city. On its darker side, Berlin had become a hunting ground for those with money and a taste for more sordid pleasures. Here, avid partiers could listen to the hottest jazz, indulge in their drug of choice, and have any kind of sex they craved.
Especially if it was the kind of sex that was illegal at home. As Kat finished her champagne, a handsome young waiter dressed in a brief drape of white fabric and nothing else appeared at the table. Plucking the waiting bottle from its stand, he poured more of the sparkling wine into her glass, leaning over to show off a muscled back and a firm, rounded ass. From the corner of her eye, she noticed Sam’s admiration of the fit male flesh on display.
The waiter also noticed this and made sure to brush against Sam’s arm as he sashayed away from the table. Amused, she saluted her fiancé with her glass. “He’s certainly pretty.”
Sam rolled his eyes. “And probably carrying every social disease known to mankind. Besides, I know the type. He’d run screaming the moment you pulled out the ropes.”
“Not if I gagged him first.”
“Now, sweetheart, behave.” He peered over his shoulder at the waiter, then shook his head. “Besides, I’d rather find someone like that redhead from last night. He was delicious.”
The previous night’s pet had been an impoverished aristocrat with curling auburn hair and the most charming sprinkle of freckles across his shoulder blades. After she’d trussed him up and played with him mercilessly for two hours, Sam had taken over and fucked him into exhaustion. Afterwards, the man had dropped bonelessly to his knees, begging to see both of them again.
Delicious, yes, but far too easy. She returned to her study of the club crowd, in the mood for a challenge. The bars and nightclubs they’d sampled so far offered their clientele a dizzying variety of delicacies. At the Cupid Club, for instance, there was nonstop music and singing acts on stage, lovely servitors of both sexes wearing cherub costumes, bottomless glasses of blessedly legal alcohol (and discreet silver dishes filled with crystalline white powder that could be purchased for just a bit more), and a variety of prostitutes who worked the main floor. She was particularly intrigued by the boot girls, the specialist dominatrices whose boot and lace color identified which services they offered. A customer could buy everything from collaring and asphyxiation to cropping and cross-dressing humiliation from a boot girl, if he knew the code.
Kat knew the code. Money could buy you anything in Berlin, and she had bags and bags of it. She smiled into her champagne, thinking of the cheerful young prostitute she’d paid for information. Lotte had told her about the shops that catered to her and her colleagues, and Kat’s hotel suite now housed an array of the most wonderful erotic toys. Of course, she had no idea how she would get them back to Connecticut, but she’d worry about that later.
The thought of home caused her to glance at Sam. A memory flickered through her mind of him laughing, young and carefree. And her brother Bart at his side, equally happy and young, and so in love—
Oh, stop it. Bart wouldn’t want you to be so damn maudlin.
That was true enough. And the wedding was still weeks in the future, which was some consolation. Before she walked down the aisle towards a man who was both her dearest friend and a confirmed homosexual, she had all of Berlin to enjoy. And she fully intended to do just that.
The club had grown more crowded with hectic partygoers, many of them dancing to the music played by the jazz combo that had just taken the stage. The area in front of the bar was a bit calmer; a collection of white-coated waiters, men in tailored suits, and even the occasional woman stood there, chatting or trading orders over the polished surface.
One man caught her attention. Tall and handsome, he wore the uniform of a German army officer, an Iron Cross gleaming dully at his throat. He gazed at the other customers with a blank expression that didn’t hide a sense of trepidation.
And he held a pink rose clutched to his chest. Sam had explained the flower’s meaning; at the Cupid Club, you could spot the prostitutes by the pink buds they carried. If they were holding a rose, they were for sale.
For a moment she forgot to breathe as memory and desire collided. Reinhard, kneeling at her feet in penitence. Begging for more, harder, please Maîtresse. The sweet rush of power in marking his exposed skin, making him plead for what he craved. Making him hers.
She had heard the rumors about decommissioned German army officers with no other employment skills working the clubs, selling themselves to support their families. Being the good little soldiers that they were, they would do anything they were told to do, no matter how humiliating. She had assumed the stories were mere titillation, something to amuse the victorious American tourists.
But now there was a genuine Wehrmacht army officer at the bar with a pink rose in his hand. A soldier/whore, waiting to be bought and enjoyed. And this time there was no one to march her away like a disobedient child from her heart’s craving. She could have him, this beautiful, wary veteran. All she had to do was reach out and take him.
“Darling,” she murmured, nodding at the officer.
Sam turned, eyes widening in appreciation. “Oh, well done, sweetheart. Want me to go fetch him?”
“Be right back.” He got up and grabbed the bentwood cane hooked on the back of his seat, limping off towards the bar. Alone, Kat took another sip of champagne, lost in happy anticipation of the evening ahead.
Nicola Cameron is an expatriate Chicagoan who has lived in England, Canada, Holland, and Sweden, and keeps a confusing amalgamation of languages in her head as a result. Currently located in the clavicle of Texas, she has finally mastered the proper use of “y’all,” much to her Chicago family’s dismay.
Despite a healthy interest in romance since puberty, it wasn’t until 2012 that Nicola decided to try writing about it. As it turned out, the skills she picked up during her SF writing career transferred rather nicely to romance. When not writing, she wrangles cats, smooches her husband, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture…).