All Lauren Golden wants is to be the best journalist ever. The gorgeous redhead with pale white skin and hazel eyes wants the story and nothing else.
When an editor tells her to interview the CEO of a successful cosmetics company, she quickly realizes she has met the woman, Charlenae White, before. When Lauren was a reporter at her university newspaper, Charlenae was a student as well and competing in the state beauty pageant. Lauren wrote about Charlenae then and never forgot her long black hair, dark brown skin and beautiful smile. After the story ran, Charlenae called Lauren to ask her out, but Lauren did not respond. Now Charlenae wants to give Lauren a second chance for love. All Lauren has to do is believe her and, most importantly, believe in herself.
The Beauty Queen Called Twice is the seventh book in the Lesbian Light Reads series, but each book can stand alone. This lesbian contemporary love story includes graphic sex and is intended for adults only.
I started scribbling down my impressions of the office, but I didn’t have to wait long before Charlenae glided in with a coffee in one hand and a phone in another. She wasn’t wearing the chiffon trousers I remembered and loved so well, but her black, straight-legged pants and low heels suited her. Her hair was still long, although curlier and bouncier than I remembered it. The smile hadn’t changed. She looked like she had managed to mature without aging.
“Lauren!” she exclaimed.
She looked excited to see me. I was surprised that she remembered who I was.
“Charlenae,” I said as I stood up to shake her hand. The skin was as soft as I remembered it. “You haven’t changed a bit.”
“Oh, but things have changed so much,” she said enigmatically.
She took a seat on her sofa next to me, flipped her long hair and answered my questions about her business success. She had launched her company three years ago because she felt there was a market need for makeup that suited her aesthetic and her skin tone. She wanted strong but subtle colors for women with dark brown skin, and she wasn’t satisfied with what was already out there. She had spent about a year at a large corporation after finishing college before deciding that she didn’t want to work for someone else. She wanted to be in control of her work and her life. She sold her products online directly to customers, bypassing the department store cosmetic counters.
“People always want something different. Something that speaks to them and makes them feel good. I was selling that. People bought what I was selling,” she said as she reached forward and placed her hand on my knee. “And you know that gal who won last year’s best actress Oscar? She loves my stuff.”
She gave my knee a little squeeze. I tried to ignore it.
The heat from her hand radiated through the thin fabric of my trousers as she continued dropping the names of minor and major celebrities who swore by NaeWha cosmetics and periodically interjected questions about me. She actually seemed interested. For most sources, I revealed only limited information about myself, and most of them didn’t care that much about me anyway. I told her that I had made my way in journalism since college, from print to online publications. She asked me whether I had a girlfriend. I smiled, said, “no,” and tried to get control of the interview again. I asked her about her love life even though it was completely unnecessary for the story. I worked for a business website, not a tabloid newspaper. Still, I was curious.
Her hand was still on my knee, and I was getting warm all over.