Friday, February 25, 2011

Cirque Caprice 1: Tarot by Julia Talbot

Cirque Caprice 1: Tarot

by Julia TalbotCover art: Marteeka Karland
ISBN: 978-1-60521-595-2
Genre(s): Paranormal
Theme(s): Gay and Lesbian
Series: Cirque Caprice
Length: Novella

PI Jake Stanley thinks he’s on a routine case when a father asks him to track down an errant daughter. There’s nothing routine about Cirque Caprice, though, or its mysterious owner, Victor. Most traveling shows are all smoke and mirrors, but there’s something about Caprice that makes Jake think he ought to stick around and investigate. Victor thinks Jake ought to join them on the road, too, but for an entirely different, and more pleasurable, reason.

Cirque Caprice: Tarot

Julia Talbot

All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2011 Julia Talbot

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

"People don't just run away to join the circus anymore, Mr. Marlowe." Jake Stanley tried to keep his voice nice and even, just in case Simon Marlowe was going to get volatile. The man was clearly a nut-job, and you never knew when a nut-job was gonna go off the deep end.

"My daughter did, though I think it's more like a cult." Marlowe sighed. "Please, you have to at least hear me out."

Jake sighed. That was his job. To listen to the wild and crazy tales people brought to him about everything from alien abductions to werewolves, and decide which ones were true. Then he went out to find the ones who needed finding or stop the ones who needed stopping. "Okay. I'm afraid I can only give you about twenty minutes." He didn't insult the guy even more by shooting back his cuff and looking at his watch like he wanted to. Jake knew he could be a rude bastard, but not that rude.

"That's plenty." Marlowe looked so relieved that Jake felt a pang of regret for his tone. "She's joined this traveling art show called Cirque Caprice. It's not natural, Mr. Stanley. Not one bit. She was always a good girl, but she doesn't call or email or anything, and when I call their business number I get nothing but the runaround."

"Why haven't you filed a missing persons or some such?"

"She's twenty. They told me it's not a missing person's case if she left home to take a job."

"They" being the police, Jake supposed. They were right. There was no reason to waste time and resources on an adult who'd moved on, even if the family didn't approve. "Well, I'm not sure what I can do, sir. If she doesn't want to speak with you..."

"We were very close! Why would she suddenly disappear? I've done a little digging on this Caprice place. Their origins are very shady and the CEO is rumored to be involved in all manner of illegal activity."

"Look, Mr. Marlowe, I feel like I would be taking your money under false pretenses if I take this case."

"Not if I'm fully aware that the outcome might not be what I want it to be. If Amy can assure me that she doesn't want anything to do with me, then I'll pay your fees and let it go. If not, think how many lives you may be saving, keeping children from falling into this cult."

Saving lives. Jake tried not to snort. Private eyes weren't so much about good deeds as they were about good money. Still, if he could earn five hundred bucks just for calling the Cirque guy's office, what the hell? Jake figured he'd dig around a little, earn one week's pay, and probably disappoint this poor guy to no end. "Okay. I'll look into it, all right? Give my secretary all the information about the circus place and your daughter. You brought a recent picture?"

"Less than a year old." Marlowe stood, reaching out to shake Jake's hand. "Thank you so much."

"You'll hear from me in five business days or so, okay?" Jake shook, biting back the fatalistic sentence that tried to follow about how he'd have nothing to tell.

"That's wonderful. Thank you." Marlowe had a spring in his step when he left that hadn't been there when he'd arrived. It sucked that he was probably gonna be disappointed, but Jake had decided a paycheck was a paycheck. The rest would work itself out, one way or another.

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