I love life and all the blessings that come with it. Am I serious? Only when forced due to work or issues with my grown daughter. She’s always been “Daddy’s girl”. I accept that fact and hope time will bring us closer.
I hold the prestigious position of District Manager at Gérard’s nationwide department stores, which is very high-end, handling only the crème de la crème . I worked my way up from the sales floor, and always had an eye for fashion and décor. This responsibility takes me on many business trips along the east coast and Midwest which feeds my need for travel. Being a Gemini, I get restless and yearn for new faces and cities to excite my creative bent.
French gourmet cooking is only one of my passions. I am quite the expert on French culture and speak the language fluently. Being one hundred percent French might contribute to my fondness for Paris.
What word describes me? Enigmatic. I’m a shadow man of sorts, even on stage. Music has always been my driving force and passion. I had two marriages that went bust—I’m no good at that institution, or else I haven’t met the right person yet.
I never expected to be a singer, and certainly not famous. Creating music behind the scenes was my goal. But, that was many years ago when I first started out on this crazy path called show business. The money is a nice side benefit, but not one I give much credence to. My accountant pays the bills. As long as I have enough to keep my house in Bel-Air then, I’m happy.
My heritage is English and Scandinavian. My birth certificate reads Lars. Mom always called me Larry. I was born and raised in Queens, New York. Dad was a CPA, and Mom taught school. Overall, I had very humble beginnings. As a kid, I would have never dreamed platinum and gold records would be on the wall. Plus, a few Grammy’s are added to the mix.
Give me a beer and a great New York pizza, and I’m one happy guy. No pretense here. What you see is what you get. I lived on the streets until taken in by Lar’s parents when I was fourteen. They gave me a good home, taught me to be honest and caring—which I am. My friends are from the old days. Especially, Sal, or Sally as his friends call him. He’s loyal with shady connections—don’t know nothin’ ‘bout his business, and I don’t ask.
I’ve been by Larry’s side since the beginnin’. Tryin’ to look after him. He might have book learnin’, but he’s bit short on street-smarts.
I’ve always liked the ladies. Don’t go for ‘em too young. Never found no one to marry. Don’t like the idea of the ring in the nose, if you get my drift. When I’m in the mood, I always leave the bar with a dame on my arm.
My gut tells me who to trust and who to watch. Lots can be said about listenin’ to one’s gut. I’ve always kept my nose clean. Had a couple of close calls on that score when I was kid—but I turned out okay. Fancy food and highfalutin clothes is not for me. A comfortable shirt and pants is all I need. Though, when out with Lar, I have to dress respectable. I clean up pretty good.
Art? It’s in my blood. I see beauty in the simplest thing—the way light dapples through trees, or the play of shadows when the sun sets. Very few art forms disinterest me. Luckily, I have decent talent, went to college to hone my craft. Classic painting is my forte, with pen and ink running a close second. I’m a traditionalist and will choose oil over acrylic every time.
To help make ends meet, during the early years, I taught art history at a local college. It wasn’t long before I was promoted to assistant professor. One of my students became the love of my life. Honesty is a value I seek in others. The old golden rule is in my playbook.
Living in Tampa, owning an art gallery was a dream fulfilled. Frequent trips to Europe are a side perk. I enjoy seeking out quality art, whether it is local talent or some starving artist in France or Italy. I’m a firm believer that talent should be supported.
MEET THE CHARACTERS
Get to know a little about the characters in the Forbidden Series.
I have loved music most of my life. Composing, arranging, and teaching is my career choice. I’ve established a professional studio, worked with famous people in the biz as well as the up-and-comers.
I have no pretense and dislike those who inflate their accomplishments. Honesty is my byword. My sympathetic ear is always available for friends and family. I try not to judge others. Heck, I wouldn’t want anyone to judge me. People with negative vibes have no place in my life. We’re on this planet to improve things, not tear them down.
My wife is the love and the driving force in my career. Making her life better is my big thrill. Many opportunities presented in the past. I only chose those that wouldn’t interfere with my marriage. Yeah, I could’ve been famous. But that would take me away from my wife for long stretches—not worth it in my estimation.
My dream has always been to draw and paint. I’ve taken classes from Paul Allen. He was very encouraging. My past experience as a lawyer’s bookkeeper aided me in landing a position at Paul’s gallery. I’m fortunate that Paul and his wife, Taylor, are dear family friends. I’m lucky that Paul promoted me to manage his business when he is away.
Mark and I have been married for numerous years. A family was never part of our plans. We’re happy together and don’t feel the need to add to our numbers.
My strong sense of what is right and wrong has been the right fit for me. I don’t believe in the “gray area”. I consider that a ploy by others to justify their wrong-doings and to ease or erase a guilty conscience.
Emotionally, the phrase “even keel” is my compass. Extreme highs and lows upset the balance. I value a healthy lifestyle with exercise. Those who disagree often complain of one ailment or another and that proves my point.
Gigi & Jacques
I’m Gigi and love my mommy. She is always petting me and giving me kisses. She took me to Paris twice and I showed those Parisian dogs the true definition of poodle. I have clothes and plenty of bling. I would never consider going out in public without my nails done. The world is my oyster and I enjoy every morsel.
Jacques is my name and I’m mommy’s little man. I protect and am adored. There is no dog or evil that I run away from. Bring them on, I will defend my home to the last. Like my sister Gigi, I’ve been to Paris. When the expression Bon Vivant was coined, I am that image. I can never get enough of Mommy’s hugs and kisses. She’s the special lady in my life.
If you don’t know me, then you should. I’m Clive Bradford, The Earl of Lantham. My title is inherited which is far more desirable. I devoted my life to healing others through medicine. I’m the chief neurosurgeon in a prominent research hospital in London. Patients at the NHS or walk in clinic, benefit from my expertise. A three-year-old boy can thank me for saving his life. Of import note is my work for MI6, which will have all accomplishments by others pale in comparison. Those afflicted with memory ailments will have me to thank for restoration of their faculties.
Pomp and ceremony is my rule. Things need to be done properly. When one deviates from such, then anarchy is around the corner—those beneath us might cross over the mark. The unfortunates not privileged by title, live a mundane existence and appear happy with their lot. My townhouse is in Mayfair, and is staffed by a young kitchen maid and an obedient houseman.
The very exclusive Kings Club is my second home where I might spend the night on occasion. There one can mingle with others on the same social strata. I find the surroundings extremely comfortable and the conversation stimulating. They serve an excellent brandy.
I have no recollection of my past. I suffered a nasty fall that wiped away all past memory except for a few items. I know I’m an American and I was injured in Paris—at least that is what I’ve been told. I enjoy fashion and décor. I spend my days assisting at a little boutique dress shop in the West End of London, not far from my home in Mayfair. I’m married to Clive Lantham. He is very reserved, but interested in helping others.
I enjoy shopping to see what is new and trending. I don’t purchase much, but I do like looking at new items. I delight in gourmet food, however my diet restrictions inhibit that treat. My husband has told me that I have a heart condition of some sort.
My never-ending quest is to remember who I really am. I feel I’m living in a fog or behind a pane of frosted glass—the truth is out there just out of reach. My King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, named Rodney, is my warm companion and friend. He seems to understand my heart.
I don’t respond to any nick names. If you want my attention, call me Alistair. I’m the Duke of Steffenfordshire and enjoy royal celebrations. My goal in life is research to benefit others. I’m a biologic scientist and have had the privilege of knowing my discoveries have helped others.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy the company of other men at Kings Club in London. My wife, Amelia, completely understands me as I accept her and her clandestine activities. I enjoy a bit of a do with others of my ilk. I don’t hunt, but do enjoy an aged brandy and a good book. When opportunity presents itself, a nice young man will find me agreeable.
I owe my lifestyle to my lovely wife’s dowry, though she benefits handsomely from her title bestowed from our marriage. She asks no questions, nor do I. Though unorthodox, the arrangement works for us.
I’m Amelia with no pretense. I was born of privilege and outwardly balk at stuffy royal English protocol. An arranged marriage to Alistair Hollingsworth, the Duke of Steffenfordshire, bestowed the title of duchess. My money benefited him, and his royal standing causes the best social invitations to arrive on a monthly basis. I suppose my father felt he was making a good match for me. As a teenager, I never gave a thought to objecting. Objection of any sort was not allowed from the females.
I’m fond of Alistair, but the passion one would expect is clearly lacking. His sensibilities are far removed from my own. We have an understanding in this and tolerate our various diversions without scorn or malice.
I live life for the moment. Life is to be savored and not wasted. All too soon the wax of time will exact its toll, and memories are the reward. Fairness is my mantra in the important things. True friends are a rarity and need to be valued. I act on impulse and have never regretted it.
I’m in service to Clive Bradford, the Earl of Lantham. He’s very stern but seems to enjoy my cooking and running of his household. I’ve only been in service a few years and hope to be head housemaid some day. My mum is very proud of me and tells all her chums how well I’m situated.
I have a few friends, but we don’t get together much since our schedules are rarely in agreement. I had one boyfriend who broke my heart. I’m still trying to deal with that. In my spare time, I enjoy going to cinema and pretending I’m having exciting adventures I see on the screen. If I’m lucky, I’ll meet up with a nice bloke who has a stable job and will treat me right proper.
Life didn’t start out easy for me. My beginnings were from London’s East End. I clawed my way up, and learned what was necessary for not only survival, but to thrive. I cleaned my grammar up and my h’s only slip after a pint or two. I own a dress shop in fashionable Mayfair. More than one royal will pop in to see what the trend might be as the hot item for the season.
I’m fortunate to have Tiffany as my friend. Even though she’s married to an earl, she is as down-to-earth as anyone could want. I enjoy life and am always ready for a good time. What friends I have, I value. The posh life and the like are not on my list. When needed I can blend in, but all that boring talk sends me to the nearest pub and a game of feathers—that’s darts to you Yanks. I’d like to meet a good man who can last the night and not put a bloomin’ chain around my neck the next morning.
I live in a lovely Mayfair home. My master, Clive, doesn’t notice me much. I have two mummies, Tiffany and Elizabeth. I enjoy spending my days for long walks in Green Park, London. Elizabeth will play with me and give me tasty treats. Tiffany lets me sleep on her bed while she rubs my tummy. I keep away from Clive unless he calls me to him because he can be angry, and I never understand what I did wrong.
Style and fashion is my mainstay. Cutting edge hairstyles inspire me. I enjoy the entertainment world, even if only from the fringes. Lady luck has given me the opportunity to meet and elbow with many named faces in the show biz crowd. Owing my own salon brings me the cream of the crop as they clamor for my styling talent. My emcee talent is sought for beauty pageants and benefits. I feel quite comfortable in that milieu. I am blessed to say Taylor and Larry Davis are among my dearest friends.
Honesty and kindness to humankind is my slogan and I live by those words. I accept that the entertainment and business community may not always share my values. I don’t sweat it and go with the flow of things. Hey! We’re all different and acceptance can be powerful.
Loyal friends, good food, fine art. That is the joie de vivre to me. I enjoy the sights, smells, people, sounds, and the entertainment of Paris. Honesty and justice is in my soul. I don’t hold grudges—life is too short for that. I’m not really political and pettiness of others run off me as rain on a window pane.
I’m lucky that my store selling upscale figurines is prosperous enough for me to maintain my Parisian lifestyle. When I take someone as a friend, that is a serious commitment. I’m fortunate to have Taylor and Larry as my American friends. I consider them part of my family as they do toward me.