When your bestest best friend’s life is on the line, what’s the value in a hymen?
Elizabeth DeVille has two best friends, absentee parents, and a crush on her neighbor, the somewhat older, millionaire, poker-player, Bourbon heir Hunter West. And, one of her best friends–Cross–is in a coma following a motorcycle accident. His parents, his dad’s the Governor of California no less, plan to withdraw Cross from the swanky clinic where recovery seems imminent and transfer him to a less-than-desireable county clinic. This, because the good people of Cali wouldn’t want to pony up for the medical bill…
Hunter, playboy-with-a-secret, has anonymous sex with escorts because, well, it’s too dangerous to get close to people. They might find out he’s not such a great guy. And, he’s got a mommy-complex. But there’s something valiant buried within because he’s inordinately attracted to helping little Libby DeVille. She’s clearly in need of a boost, and rather fetching, in his opinion. Unfortunately he’s under the thumb of a vicious porn star who’s wielding secrets like Laboutin heels and Hunter doesn’t want Libby popping up on her radar.
Thus, we get the entanglement: Elizabeth wants to help her buddy Cross, but she’s broke. Hunter has plenty of cash, but he’s not able to approach Libby with it. Not that he really knows she needs it. Everybody in Napa has a trust fund, right? Wrong. Elizabeth’s dad cut off her support years ago when he shacked up with a new wife and her mom’s in and out of rehab too much to be of use. She only has one semester of grad school to finish and then she’s on her own. Not that she could pay Cross’s medical care on an ethics professor’s salary, mind you.
Elizabeth has a brilliant plan, however: sell the one thing she has–her virginity. (I guess you really can do anything in Vegas.) If the bidding goes well, she might just ‘earn’ enough to cover the medical bills and her tuition. Oh, and the experience could mesh with her master’s thesis on sexual autonomy.
While in Vegas, Elizabeth gets a crash-course in seduction from the inmates of the high-class brothel brokering her hymen-auction–which happens to be frequented by one deliciously messed-up, Hunter West.
You’d think this tale ends with Hunter buying LIbby’s cherry–and perhaps it does–but, in the meantime, we get kidnappings, blackmail, new friendships, BDSM sex acts, and human trafficking, alongside the heartbreaking recovery of Cross. So, SELLING SCARLETT is not a one-trick, erm, pony.
This one could have gone totally seedy. At times it borders on melodrama, but the characters are strong and the anguish feels real. There’s a sequel, TAMING CROSS, out now–but SELLING SCARLETT is a freebie–for the moment. It’s worth nabbing.
Couple caveats: It seems as though the distance between Napa and LA can be traversed by car in an hour. Not even a hovercar could mange this feat, so it jarred me. And, I’m not really sure the Gov of Cali needs high priced escorts. I mean, there’s all this housestaff just hanging around. No doubt one could dally with a maid.
Amiright, Governor Schwarzenegger?
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