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The Briars


Former ballerina Claire and dominatrix Ruby work at the Briars, a commercial dungeon in Los Angeles, which has been haunted by the benevolent spirit of its founder since her death in the 1990s. Yet with the arrival of a mysterious new submissive, the ghost’s behavior turns dangerous. As employees are injured, clients scared off, and the women’s livelihoods threatened, Ruby and Claire must work together to uncover the ghost’s sinister secrets.

Ruby and Claire enlist the help of their fellow sex workers to stop the increasingly violent ghost, and the women draw on their sisterhood as they take the offensive against their supernatural adversary. Meanwhile, the explosive chemistry between Ruby and Claire disrupts the identities both women have carefully constructed for themselves, and leads to a deep connection they will fight to preserve.

As the ghost’s identity and its darkest intentions come to light, Claire, Ruby, and the other women at the Briars must access an inner strength they never imagined they possessed in order to save their dungeon, the women they love, and themselves.

“With THE BRIARS, Stephanie Parent delves fearlessly into an exploration of desire and darkness, deftly weaving threads of urban modernity, folklore, mystery, and romance into a tapestry that is both compelling and harrowing.
In a world dominated by men’s wishes, Parent brings female relationships to the forefront, celebrating love, sisterhood and women’s strength.
Superb and spellbinding!”

Antonia Rachel Ward, author of Marionette

“Stephanie Parent’s THE BRIARS will completely decimate you.”
Robert P. Ottone, author of The Vile Thing We Created and Nocturnal Creatures

“THE BRIARS is a novel of rare quality. Equal parts raw, thrilling and brilliant, Stephanie Parent
crafts a thoroughly unique ghost story told in a BDSM dungeon where some of the most
terrifying ghosts are the phantoms of who its employees used to be. Haunting, romantic, and
exquisitely beautiful, do not dare to skip this book.”

Zach Rosenberg, author of Hungers as Old as This Land and The Long Shalom

"Stephanie Parent's THE BRIARS is both haunting and lyrical, a gripping blend of the macabre and the romantic. Set in a BDSM dungeon where the women are expected to be subservient and the men catered to at all costs, Parent’s story is a dazzling and subversive upending of expectations. A stunning affirmation of female empowerment and solidarity, even in the darkest of places." 
 Claire C. Holland, author of I Am Not Your Final Girl

“THE BRIARS has layers and depth and beauty. It also has reflections. Those mirrors are peppered throughout the story like all the truths she tells that have been waiting for us to see them all along.”
Agatha Andrews, host of the She Wore Black podcast

praise for the briars

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