“It’s Jane Eyre in a fetish club.” —Said no one yet.
Lanna Langenhaft is in a rut. Crappy boyfriend, angry father, no job, and a long empty summer ahead. One day she wanders into a fetish club and gets put to work as the “Bathroom Girl”—half eye-candy, half janitor.
She meets the club’s mesmerizing owner, Gael. He’s an eccentric Scottish aristocrat with anger issues, a muscular build, and abdominals ripped like a parachute accident. Lanna is precisely the type of bubbly weirdo he can’t stand… but he can’t stay away from her, either.
Lanna’s life is finally going the right direction when a figure from her past threatens to take it all away. Can Lanna help her friends, save the club, and seduce an irritable Scotsman all at the same time?
Yellow Summer is the story of a young woman on a journey toward love and self em-pee-werment. Yes, you just read that.
Lanna meets Gael for the first time:
He was tall with a crazy mop of hair—it looked like a potted fern plugged into a wall socket. His shirtless chest was covered with speckles of paint, and finished with a generous dusting of drywall powder. His abdominals were ripped like a parachute accident.
I stood, averting my eyes from so much candy. I averted them for as long as I could. Okay, long enough. I stared at him full on. His fabulous body didn’t match the severe expression on his face. Really, I thought, a guy with his torso should be smiling all the time.
“This is the men’s room,” he said. It took a moment to piece his words together. It sounded like he had a speech impediment.
“I was told to clean.”
His face softened a little. Or, I supposed it did, because I was still watching his torso. His stomach tightened at me in a friendly fashion.
“Did someone bring you in? About the cleaning job? Are you to be the new Bathroom Girl, then?”
It wasn’t a speech impediment. I now heard he had a thick Scottish accent. Still, it took me a moment to understand his words. My hand went to the damp, pee-scented towel on my shoulder. So that was the game. Obviously the bartender had set me up. Maybe he thought he was being nasty to me. Daughter of the investor. Not working in the middle of the day. Pampered. Give her a menial job.
Well, the joke was on him.
“Does it pay, Gil?” I asked.
Because this was the owner, obviously.
“My name is Gael, not Gil.” He brushed past me. “I know you now—you’re Lorian’s daughter. Your father is an ass. I don’t like him, and I’m not going to like you.”
He studied the urinal I had cleaned. I gave him room, feeling proud of my work, even though he was being mean.
“My name is Lanna.”
“Lorian and Lanna Langenhaft? I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be funny.”
“Why would it be funny?”
He didn’t answer directly. His eyes traveled over me, noting Towlie in my hands. “You were so engrossed with the piss when I walked in, I had to see what the fuck you were doing.”
“All I have is this little towel,” I said. I clenched it, feeling the moisture seep between my fingers.
“You smell like piss, too.”
Well, that was nice. His eyes took me apart—legs, breasts, lips, face. I didn’t know where to look, so I just stayed on his paint-speckled pectorals. I was beginning to understand why Club Kindred was not doing so well. Probably something to do with customer relations.
I finally sighed. “I’ll go now. About the cleaning—you’re welcome.”
“Hang on there, Lanna—”
First the bartender, now Gael! What was it about the shirtless men in this club, calling me back after they chase me off? Towlie and I were through with that! Towlie and I were proud, slightly wet, independent beings. I found the courage to flick off Gil—Gael—over my shoulder.
“I said stop.”
Gael’s voice turned to gravel. I stopped like I was hit by a gravel truck.
“You gave me the finger. Thanks for giving me the finger,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t know when I’m being an ass. I make people angry and I don’t know why. No social skills. Come here.”
I walked back, and managed to find my voice. “You’re welcome.”
He turned to the urinal and unzipped his jeans. “You can be useful to me.”
Was I seeing what I was seeing?
I loved the first cover for this, but upon reflection, I’m not sure having a drunk girl sitting on a toilet is a suitable design for a story. (Actually, I’m very sure it’s suitable… but I’m not sure anybody else thinks so!)