The first book in the Marketplace series. Originally published in 1993 by Masquerade Books, republished in 2000 by Mystic Rose Books with an added short story. New publisher, Circlet Press, is making the books print-on-demand as of 2010.
The Marketplace introduces four would-be Marketplace slaves into the world of The Marketplace. They are received into a Training House on Long Island, run by Alexandra Selador and Grendel Elliott and their "mysterious major-domo," Chris Parker. Over the course of several weeks, the clients undergo a rigorous series of exercises in household service, sexual availability, etiquette and protocol, to prepare them for the life of a full-time slave. In the course of the novel, each of them tell their personal stories, recalling how they found their way to the Marketplace.
The clients come from very different backgrounds: Claudia is a fancy slave, sent for more training by her Owner, Mistress Madeline, in hopes of expanded the slave's skills beyond light dusting, and serving tea. Robert Grafton is rescued by Spotter Ali Cruz from a Mistress who told him that if he is submissive, he must be feminized. Brian Cohen is a cocky gay man spotted by Paul Sheridan. Sharon Brosa is a strikingly beautiful woman who is convinced that she is destined to be a pleasure slave.
Those of you who have toyed with or even lived a term of service may wonder at just how hard it could be
to attain the level of excellence required by the Marketplace. After all, you muse, these are people who will be
called slaves. Owned chattel, their lives formed and polished for the pleasure and use and amusement of those
whose need is to control and improve. Many of you believe that the right attitude combined with some physical
charm would be more than adequate to the task.
It is not. Even the most gifted of naturals, those individuals whose wrists are naked without restrains and whose
souls are bleak without guidance, need to be trained.
Until the auction at the end of the book, the novel takes place at the Long Island Training House run by Alexandra Selador and Grendel Elliott. It is described as a Dutch Colonial, with separate wings for the two trainers, and a stable in the back. In addition to Chris Parker, the house is also staffed by Rachel, the sadistic housekeeper, the Cook, and Jack the stablehand. During the course of the novel, the Training House is visited by potential Owners.
In the 2000 Mystic Rose edition, a short story entitled The Leash Has Two Ends, is included in the novel. The story follows Alexandra Selador and Grendel Elliott on vacation. They bring Rachel as their guest, and Chris Parker as their slave for a week.
The first time Grendel had seen Chris, his hand buried deep in to a slave woman at a Marketplace party,
he had thought, "Who is that boy, and why isn't he in that sling?" Chris had been so cool that evening, so
professional and distant, with that sweet, jail-bait face. The ownsers present didn't know whether to watch him
or the squirming, screaming woman poised so neatly on his small hand, but Grendel didn't have any such conflict.
And the first time he had Chris before him, on his knees, all he could think of was "how will she collect for this little treat?
But the first time he bent Chris over and fucked his ass, no questions came to him. In that moment, there
were no mysteries. Chris belonged to him. Chris was meant to be used by him. Master and servant, top and bottom,
sadist and masochist, whatever terminology applied, they were matched perfectly.
Which is why he couldn't afford to do this more often.
In the 2010 Circlet Press edition, a short story entitled For Want of a Nail is included in the e-book version. This story centers around a party, and everything that could possibly go wrong with it. It is a very light-hearted look at "behind the scenes" of a formal dinner party, and features Brian as he practices managing other Marketplace slaves.
The ambulance pulled away at two, just as the glazier arrived. Chris could see them both
through the window as he waited on hold. Thunder crashed; it was technically too early for a
Nor’easter, but water spouts had been spotted off the north shore, and out of a sunny afternoon
had grown a deepening gray sky and harsh winds shaking the pin oaks on the front lawns.
In retrospect, he thought, perhaps this wasn’t the best day for a party.
- Alexandra Selador, co-trainer at the Long Island Training House.
- Grendel Elliott, co-trainer at the Long Island Training House
- Chris Parker, major-domo in the Long Island Training House
- Claudia, a client
- Robert Grafton, a client
- Brian Cohen, a client
- Sharon Brosa, a client
- Mistress Madeline, Owner of Claudia
- Ali Cruz, Spotter for Robert Grafton
- Paul Sheridan, Spotter for Brian Cohen
- Rachel, on staff at the Long Island Training House
- Jack, on staff at the Long Island Training House
- Mr. Shaw, The gardener. Doesn't use any of the slaves sexually.
- Gordon Reynolds, Owner who visits the Long Island Training House
- Lawrence and Nancy, Owners who visit the Long Island Training House
- Michael and Jules. Two Italian agents who meet with Grendel Elliott, and use Sharon cruelly.
- Madame, an Owner who might Robert Grafton
- Emily, a Marketplace slave in the household Robert is sold to
- Two unnamed men who Sharon successfully fucks; Chris Parker rewards her for it.
- The Cook and the Cook's helper. We find out in For Want of a Nail that the Cook's name is Muira McLanahan.
- A part-time maid/laundress who helps Rachel.
- A "mysterious handyman who cam in a few times a week."
- An alternate driver who uses Brian for a blowjob. Not a slave.
- A masseur, "wiry man with iron-gray hair and a densely muscled body,"who teaches Robert massage, shiastu, reflexology, and acupuncture.
- Sensei Chen, a young man who is a master in Go-Ju (Marketplace), who teaches Robert. Not a slave.
- An unnamed woman who spanks Robert "as if she was doing it for the first time."
- An unnamed Victorian-style woman who purchases Robert
- A Texan, his daughter, and her husband (Chet) who buy Sharon.
Mentioned in The Marketplace
- Imala Anderson, Trainer of Trainers
- Joe Manelli, a disreputable Spotter who forges papers for Sharon Brosa
- Mistress Madeline threw a party which featured twin blond beauties from the Netherlands. Boy and girl, barely spoke English. "Both had long hair, shaggy almost. They looked primitive, very . . . raw. I told David to have their noses pierced. That would have completed the image."
- Alexandra Selador knows of two other twin slaves living in California.
- Paul Sheridan spotted a previous slave that went through the Long Island Training House, a "puppy" who "went into a two-year contract right out of training..." and "traded at a twenty-five percent increase out of San Diego last year."
- The Marketplace slaves in the catalogue Sharon reads. Excerpts: "an elegant Asian woman with sensual lips." "A muscular black man with a shaved head and several rings along the bottom of his cock."
- The two unnamed novice slaves that come to the Long Island Training House after the first four are done. They will train with Brian Cohen.
Characters Who Only Appear in the Story, A Leash Has Two Ends
- Diego who works at the Resort where the vacation takes place.
- An unnamed Argentinian couple who own a pair of pleasure slaves, which Chris Parker borrows
- The six unnamed novice slaves that come to the Long Island Training House after they return from their vacation
- An unnamed male slave who fucks Chris Parker while he is chained to a bed in slave quarters.
- An unnamed female slave who is chained to the bed next to Chris Parker in the slave quarters.
Characters Who Only Appear in the Story, For Want of a Nail
- Enid, a Marketplace slave in training
- Ramesh, a Marketplace slave in training
- Richie, a car mechanic
- Horace, a dinner guest
- Carl, a dinner guest. He also appears in the short story Thank You, Miss Claudia in The Academy
- Mercedes, a chauffeur and Marketplace slave
- Hal Lee, a Spotter and dinner guest
- Terrance, a dinner guest
- Asta, a dog