The Pleasure Palace: Belle

All was as it should be at the Pleasure Palace. Michael and Rose married and lived at Faulkner Falls. Alexander had a full hell every night. Belle’s school for courtesans thrived. All was as it should be … until late one evening when Mathew arrived with a plan in mind.

Belle smiled and spoke to her image in the mirror, “Belle, what do you think? You are thirty-three. You are an aging ex-whore and madam. Your friends believe you haven’t a chance for peace and joy unless you leave the Palace. They say the Palace is naught but a prison for Belle St. Clair. You will know a better life somewhere other than the only home you have known. Well, I say we have murders and mayhem to solve. We have much to do before opening night of ‘Mishap at the Pleasure Palace’. I have Mathew to teach. Should I turn my back on an eager stallion? Non, I am not yet so old. I may leave one day … or not.”


Published: 07/2015
Length: Full Novel
Word Count: 81,751
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Regency Period
Rating: Erotica
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)



Linda Parsons


© Copyright by Linda Parsons, February 2015
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, February 2015
ISBN 978-1-60394-878-4
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636


This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.


Cherie perched on the side of the worktable. “Gabriel. We have a woman.”

“We have several, Cherie. Pick one, and go away. As you can see, I am working.”

Cherie lifted a phial containing pink liquid from the holder, held it to the lamp, and shook it. “All you’ll accomplish is blowing us to kingdom come. Again.”

He snatched away the phial. “Do not touch, and do not shake anything in here. I did not blow us anywhere. Someone, who should not be in my laboratory, switched the bottles. Go away.”

“She requests employment.”

“Ah.” Gabriel snapped his goggles into place. “Michael and I manage the hell. The brothel is your purview. See to it.”

Cherie left the table and strolled the large, cluttered room, touching this and that as she moved along. “I cannot tell you her appearance for she wears thick widow’s weeds. She requests for the attendance of Sir Gabriel Warren, and there are few who dare to use your title. When asked would not give her name. She speaks, as I do, with a thick French accent. Her voice is low, husky for a female, and caused me to think of melted chocolate.”

Gabriel took her arm, and turned her to face him. “What?”

“I informed her it was Sunday, the hell was closed, and you did not accept unknown visitors. She told me to ask you if you remembered Aphrodite’s Folly.”

“Holy Mother of God!”

Cherie smiled. “Non. I do not think she is the mother of Jesus. I believe she may be a long ago, not so forgotten, lover.”

“Bloody hell.” Gabriel turned, and headed for the doorway.

Cherie stopped him, pulled off the goggles, and handed him his smoking jacket. “You have grease on your shirt.”

Gabriel growled as he shoved his arms into the jacket.

“Who is she?” Cherie asked.

“A female idiot.”

“Oh?” She buttoned his jacket. “All your females are idiots, Gabe. It cannot be any other way. Which idiot is this who makes your face red, and your eyes bulge?”

“Mind your own business, for a change.”

He left the workshop, and slammed the door. A second later, he opened it.

“Where the hell is she?”

“She waits in your study.”


Countess Celestine Warren removed her cloak, veil, and bonnet, dropped them over the back of a chair, and smiled up to the painting over the mantle. A surprise to see it again, the younger, happier version of her, and hanging in Gabriel’s study. It would have suited had he burned the thing. Mayhaps it was a reminder not to be a fool.

She wagged her finger at the painting. “Bon jour, Celestine. You were not so bright after all. Such a stupid little girl you were.”

“What the bloody hell are you doing here?” Gabriel closed the door, crossed the room, and pulled the drapes. “Are you out of your mind?”

Celestine turned.

He’d changed little, a touch of premature grey at the temples, and muscle to his once too lean physique. For the first time in eight horrid years, she felt a slight flutter in her chest.

“Hello Gabriel.” She bobbed a curtsey and bit back a smile. He had a right to be furious with her, and it was not his fault if he was even more magnificent when enraged. “It is fine to see you, as well, and I should add congratulations for your title, Sir Warren.”