Meet Julia Maxwell. Like many heroines in romance land, Julia comes with baggage. While she was growing up her mother ran The Last Frontier, a strip club on Karangahape Road (known as K’ Road). The club is an old one and several generations of Julia’s family have run the business.
As a child, Julia hated the teasing she received from her peers, hated living in the flat above the club, hated her mother’s profession. Julia turns her back on the club, yet when money is short, she turns to stripping to earn enough to enroll in secretarial school. The second her training is completed, Julia walks away, pleased to be done with The Last Frontier.
But the past often has a way of returning to kick us in the butt.
And that’s exactly what happens with Julia. When problems pile up at the club, Julia steps in to help her ailing mother. It seems generations of tradition have rubbed off on Julia. First though, she needs to confess the truth to her friends.
Here’s a short excerpt where she makes her confession to her friends:
Julia’s hand tightened around her glass. Afraid of breaking it, she set her wine aside. How would her friends react? “My mother runs a club on Karangahape Road. A strip club.” Julia sucked in a quick breath and scanned her friends’ faces, ready for their responses. She’d heard every variation while growing up and had a smartass cut down for each dirty, snide comment.
“K’ Road? Really?” The pitch of Maggie’s voice rose, clear amusement in the quirk of her lips.
“Is that all you’re gonna say?” Julia demanded.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Susan asked.
“My question exactly,” Christina said. “It’s not a brothel, is it?”
“No!” Julia leapt to her feet, indignation fueling her temper. “It’s purely a strip club. Buck’s nights and that sort of thing. I earned enough money stripping to pay for my education rather than taking out student loans.”
Silence fell. Susan’s mouth dropped open fishlike. Intrigue and silent questions radiated off Christina while Maggie raised her quirk to a smartass grin.
“Any more comments?” Julia asked.
~ * ~
Julia, with the help of her friends, takes the opportunity to haul the club into the twenty-first century by rebranding and changing up the format to burlesque. For Julia, the challenges from the past keep coming, pinging her like buckshot. You can learn more about Julia and Past Regrets here.
Do we really put the past behind us or does it keep returning to teach us lessons and shape our destiny?