S.e.c.r.e.t

Paperback | February 5, 2013

byL. Marie Adeline

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No judgments. No limits. No shame.
 
Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.

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From Our Editors

Secret by L. Marie Adeline: An Excerpt*Waitresses are adept at reading body language. So are wives who’ve lived under the same roof as angry drunks. And I had been both, a wife for fourteen years and a waitress for almost four. Part of my job was to know, sometimes even before customers did, what they wanted. I could do that with my ex...

From the Publisher

No judgments. No limits. No shame. Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, ...

L. Marie Adeline is a Canadian author who has written both novels and non-fiction. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.8 inPublished:February 5, 2013Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:038567970X

ISBN - 13:9780385679701

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Secret by L. Marie Adeline: An Excerpt*Waitresses are adept at reading body language. So are wives who’ve lived under the same roof as angry drunks. And I had been both, a wife for fourteen years and a waitress for almost four. Part of my job was to know, sometimes even before customers did, what they wanted. I could do that with my ex, too, anticipate exactly what he wanted the second he came through the door. And yet whenever I tried to turn that skill on myself, to anticipate my own needs, I couldn’t.I hadn’t planned to become a waitress. Does anyone? I got the job at Café Rose after my ex died. And in the following four years, as I moved from grief to anger to a kind of numb limbo, I waited. I waited on people, I waited on time, I waited on life. Still, I actually kind of liked my job.My absolute favorites were the couples, this one couple in particular. Strange maybe to say this, but I’d get butterflies whenever they walked in. The woman was in her late thirties, beautiful in the way some French women are—glowing skin, short hair, and yet she had an undeniably feminine air. Her man, the guy she always came in with, had an open face, with brown hair shaved close to his head. He was tall with a lean, lithe body, and a little younger than her, I think. Neither the man nor the woman wore wedding rings, so I wasn’t sure about the exact nature of their relationship.But whatever it was, it was intimate. They always looked like they’d just come from having sex or were heading to do just that after a quick lunch.After I finished polishing the glasses, I printed up my couple’s bill and made my way slowly to their table. That’s when I noticed the woman’s bracelet for the first time, a thick gold chain festooned with small gold charms.It was so unusual, a pale yellow with a matte finish. The charms had Roman numerals on them on one side and words, which I couldn’t quite read, on the other. There were about a dozen charms on the chain. The man seemed captivated by this piece of jewelry, too. He ran his fingers through the charms as he caressed her wrist and forearm with both hands. His touch was firm, possessive in a way that caught me in the throat and caused the area behind my belly button to warm up. Five years.“Here you go,” I said, my voice rising an octave. I slid the bill on the part of the table not covered by their limbs.“It was great, thanks,” the man added, digging for his wallet.“Let me get this one. You always pay.” The woman leaned sideways and pulled her wallet from her purse and gave me a credit card. Her bracelet tinkled as she moved. “Here you go, sweetheart.” She was my age and calling me “sweetheart”?Her confidence let her get away with it. When I took the credit card, I thought I saw concern flash across her eyes. Was she noticing my stained brown work shirt? The one I always wore because it matched the color of the food that ended up on it? I felt suddenly aware of my appearance. I also realized I wasn’t wearing any makeup. Oh God, and my shoes—brown and flat. No stockings—ankle socks, if you can believe it. What had happened to me? When had I turned prematurely into a middle-aged frump?My eyes followed the couple as they left, walking past the tables and outside, where they kissed and parted ways.As she passed the front window, the woman glanced in at me and waved. I must have looked like such a dork, standing there staring at them. I waved meekly back at her through the dusty glass.My trance was broken by an elderly woman sitting at the next table. “That lady dropped something,” she said, pointing under the table.I bent to retrieve a small, burgundy notebook. It looked well-worn and was soft to the touch, like skin. The cover had the initials PD embossed in gold, the same gold edging the pages. I gingerly opened it to the first page, looking for Pauline’s address or number, and accidentally caught a glimpse of the contents: “. . . his mouth on me . . .never felt so alive . . . it shot through me like a white-hot . . . coming over me in waves, swirling . . . bent me over the . . .”I slapped the diary shut.****Thanks to Random House of Canada for sharing this excerpt. This excerpt has been edited for length. Excerpted from S.E.C.R.E.T by L. Marie Adeline. Copyright © 2012 by L. Marie Adeline. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved.