Whore by Willow Aster is now LIVE!!!
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“I need a reason to exist.”
Beautiful, intelligent, independent, strong-willed, wealthy—Lilith Fontenot seems by all appearances, to have it all. But that’s not how the highest paid prostitute in New Orleans sees herself.
A stain on society. A scourge. A waste. Outsider. Prisoner…
Any idyllic dream of the normal life she may have once imagined, Lilith buried long ago. Her only plan now is survival.
But mob boss Nico Santelli and community center owner Soti Christos have not given up on Lilith. Each has his own very specific, very opposing, plans for her, and neither will rest until it becomes a reality.
WHORE is a singularly bracing take on an ancient tale of tireless love, betrayal, and the possibility of redemption.
I take a sudden deep breath and my breasts brush against his chest. The contact surprises us both. I do it again, intentionally this time, trying to gain control in the only way I know how. His neck flushes and he takes a step back. I enjoy the rush it gives me, knowing that I affect him too.
“Hey, would you like to come around the corner with me to—”
I swallow my surprise and shake my head, holding my hand up before he says anything else.
“Please,” he says louder.
“What’s your name?”
“I am Sotirios … Soti.”
“Soti, what makes you think you know anything about me?”
He tries to make eye contact, but I focus on a spot just past his left ear.
“I just want to help you…” His words trail off.
The wind blows my hair forward, a sheet of black coming between us until I smooth the long strands down on either side. I gaze down the street and see a blurry little girl with black hair down to her waist in middle school, standing shy and hopeful in front of a group of girls.
“We know what you are,” they said. They hurled spit and names on her and she stood there, taking it, until the teacher came and helped her.
Help only got me so far.
“You listen to me, okay?” I say so softly he leans in to hear me. “I was born for this.”
When my eyes finally land on his again, I know his face will haunt me forever. He looks as bleak as I feel.
I clear my throat. “Now, if you’ll excuse us.”
With that, I loop my hand through the arm of my next income source, calculating how I can get the most money out of him for the least amount of time. It takes every ounce of willpower I own to not look Soti’s way one more time. Once we round the corner and I know he’s out of sight, all the adrenaline leaves my body, and I’m actually glad to have someone to hold onto.
I avoid my reflection as we walk back to the house. I don’t want to know what the rest of the world sees when they look at me.
Based on the Biblical story of Hosea and Gomer, the newest novel from author Willow Aster titled Whore is about the world’s oldest profession – prostitution. As stated in the book synopsis, love, betrayal and redemption are indeed the focus of this mysterious romantic suspense novel set in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Whore is narrated in the alternating, first-person points-of-view of Lilith Fontenot and Soti Christos. Lilith comes from a long line of prostitutes who run a brothel named Maison D’Amour. Just like her mother, and her grandmother before her, Lilith grows up knowing her future lies solely in the family business. She can dream about something different, but there can be no other choice. Not until she meets Soti, and he shows Lilith just how different life might be if she spent it with him. Could it be possible? Crime boss Nico Santelli has different plans for Lilith, and those plans have nothing to do with what Christos has to offer. Which man will win the battle for her future?
Knowing her profession, Willow Aster characterized Lilith Fontenot perfectly. This is especially important as Lilith begins to experience unfamiliar feelings. Lilith knows exactly how to act and what to expect during a hookup, but when it comes to emotions, she struggles. She’s shy and not used to being treated with kindness. I also thought Aster thoughtfully characterized Soti to be cautious with Lilith. I fell in love with both characters, separately and as a couple. They each had to grow as individuals to make their relationship work. I also enjoyed the secondary characters who work at the community center. They softened the story, giving it a lighter feel!
One of the strengths of Whore lies in the descriptive writing, especially early in the novel as the architecture and setting in the French Quarter are being established. Aster’s description of what’s required at the brothel – the dress, presentation and decorum – is nicely woven throughout the initial chapters. Lilith narrates details in a matter-of-fact manner, while also making it seem as if the women who work at Maison D’Amour are very proud of their high class establishment. I was truly impressed by the world building and just how well I was able to picture what I was reading in my mind.
Like most individuals, I tend to read the book synopsis before I begin reading the novel. With only limited knowledge about the plot, I found myself pleasantly surprised to discover more depth to Whore than I initially anticipated. An air of mystery surrounds Lilith, Soti and several of the secondary characters. I felt compelled to keep reading into the late night hours to get to the bottom of things. I had questions that needed answers! Aster did a fantastic job holding all of her cards – holding my attention – until the final pages of the novel.
Although you’ll find some dark scenes in Whore, Willow Aster incorporates light and positivity to counterbalance the darkness. I felt a connection to Lilith, so to see her experience happiness made this story very fulfilling! Up to this point, I’ve read each novel written by Willow Aster, and Whore is close to being my favorite! I’m so excited to give Whore a 4.5-star rating and name it as one of my 2017 favorite novels!
Whore by Willow Aster from Bibliophile Productions on Vimeo.
Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and the upcoming release, Whore. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming and make fun of her for reading while cooking.
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