PAINTED STRENGTH, Lila and the Lion Tamer, is Book 2 in the Painted Sisters Series; a thriller romance series about girls who have been tattooed as living art and a ritualistic serial killer trained to track them down and kill them to return their skin to the men who bought them. It is set in late Victorian England and due out end of the year/early 2019.
This snippet is at the beginning of the book, Lila our heroine, almost fell off the high wire again and the circus manager, Mr Spencer has closed down her act and given her two choices, leave or work the back tent with the whores. Count Stephan, the Lion Tamer who has never said a word to her, has stepped in.
Bailey & Bailey Circus, Bath, 1899.
Spencer’s face was all screwed up as he looked at her. He was put out. The Count had a lot of sway, he handled the big cats but he was also a wealthy man who contributed a lot towards funding the Circus.
“You his ‘darling’ then?” the manager asked.
The Count looked down at her. It was hard to read him in the dim light. His skin was bronzed, jaw square, a masculine face with brown eyes, nothing pretty or soft. He had hair the color of the Sahara desert, of golden sand that shone like burnished satin tassels. His head tilted to the side in question at her silence. She could walk out right now and take her chances on the street. They weren’t good. Or she could take the chance the Count held out to her.
Lila lifted her chin and flipped back her head as she turned and faced Spencer.
“I thought you knew?”
His response was priceless, he hated not knowing everything that went on under the big top. His weasel eyes squinted into narrow slits then he turned to the Count.
“Well she’s your responsibility. She is housed with you and paid by you out of your share.”
The Count didn’t flinch. “Naturally.”
She on the other hand jerked. “I share with the tumblers.”
Spencer had already turned and was almost out of the space. “Not anymore….darling. Remember my warning you’re out or in the back tent if you muck this one up.”
That left just the two of them.
“What were you thinking with all that darling, darling, darling? Couldn’t you save me and not land me in your trailer? You’ll have to move out.”
Her hands were on her hips and her costume felt far too tight as her chest heaved.
The Count turned and walked away.
“Where are you going? We need to sort this out. Where will you be sleeping?”
“Grab your things. I lock the trailer at ten PM. After that you can work it out with the lines men.”
The lines men all slept under the stalls.
“This is not finished!” Lila called after him.
But he was gone.
The Painted Sisters Series Book 1
THE PAINTED HEART, a prequel