Friday, March 17, 2017

Emma Mars Presents Latest Book, Elle - Fascinating Mystery Plus More...

If you have not yet read the first book in this series by Emma Mars, please check out my review so that you will understand what previously happened, especially the setting...

I must admit that I enjoyed the historical and architectural setting of Hotelles, as well as the writing, as the main factors in my recommendation for that book. A few erotic/romantic scenes within suspense, mystery or other genres is fine with me, but I admit to not really having an interest in a purely erotic novel that has little to offer beyond

This time, with Elle, Emma Mars. with her flowing way with words,  weaves a very fascinating mystery which is sufficiently unique and solid in presentation to ensure that I once again recommend the book, if you don't mind the erotica, which you immediately move into in this latest novel. Although set in the year 2010, there is, for me, the flavor of the past, of lives of the rich, lost in the pleasures they can find, in whatever way they wish...stuck in the lower ranks of Maslow's hierarchy? LOL 


By Emma Mars

Our haven. Our home.
That is what room number one, the Josephine, became when
I took refuse here in my tattered wedding dress. When Louie
opened his arms to me. Maybe it has lost some of its luster
under room service trays and rumpled clothing since we first
moved in. But its charm has also become subtler, with our
sighs reverberating through its walls day after day, our moans
dripping to the ground and collecting on the parquet, an
ephemeral and invisible army that only we can sense. Not
that we let anyone else come in. Outside, spring is in full
blossom. Summer, fall, and winter passed like a dream. Close
your eyes, open them. Bam! Already gone. An entire year went
by before we could even think of going back to Rue de la Tour-
des-Dames. The renovations at Mademoiselle Mars' old
house will soon be completed...
Elle, literally picks up in the bedroom where we spent most time during Hotelles. The Josephine in the Hotel des Charmes. Elle was a hotelle at that time until she met the first of two brothers, got engaged to one, met the other and immediately fell in love with him, leaving her fiancee at the altar. She and Louie were now living in "room number one" which they called  it rather than by its real name. It is their home until a major renovation is done. The majority of their time is spent in the room, doing things that lovers do. Time goes by outside but they rarely leave...

I must admit that even as I read the words, I couldn't conceive of staying in one room, in one bed, for that long! When does lust leave and love begin? I couldn't grasp that remaining in a high state of such bliss was possible, even for a fantasy. Nevertheless, I continued on past that, not as quickly as I would have preferred. You know the old saying, "too much of a good thing?" LOL

And then to dream and awaken having shouted out your earlier lover's name? The fact that her present lover, Louie, was not surprised that she dreamed of David, his brother... He assured her that ghosts from the past were not of concern to him... I was not convinced...

If he had to, he would wait for me to be ready,
but I am always ready for him. He knows it. He
takes advantage of it, and I can't get enough of it--
or of him. I moan enough for him to understand.
I stretch out on my back like a cat, offering a
complete, pictorial, original view of myself. I have
definitely changed. I no longer fear his gaze, and
I abandon myself to him without an ounce of
restraint. No matter the position, the lighting, the
angle. No matter my curves, which have gotten
more abundant with our siestas and inactivity.
I keep my eyes closed. Since he wants me now,
while I am still half asleep and in the state of
lethargy, he'll take my groggy sweet surrender.
His hands touch me where the sun has left my
skin hot and silken...
Elle has trained to become a journalist and was doing fine until she lost her job. She became a hotelle to make a living, hoping to get back into her field of interest... This was part of the mystery to be solved...

It wasn't surprising, therefore, that she soon began to question--details, seeming lies, and more about her love, Louie...

The first detail she noticed was that she had seen the birthdate of David as two different dates. If the one was correct, then there was only a 7-month age difference between the two brothers... Yet David was the head of the company inherited from his father...

Also, there was a girl in the past of both brothers. While involved with David, she had begun seeing Louie... There were not only different stories about who had been with her on the day she had died, but different stories altogether about how they had met.

Elle had thought she had loved David when she agreed to marry him, but then came to know what was real love when she met Louie. At this point, I'm still not sure the woman knows the difference between love and sexual fulfillment. The reason: she knew nothing about the background of either of them! And neither of them had been willing to routinely share their past lives...

I was hooked and at least gratified that Elle had came out of her sexual fog and began to ask questions, even if they weren't answered by either of the brothers...  So Elle began to use her journalist investigative skills and start gathering what documentation she could--such as a picture which had a girl's face completely rubbed away. 

As I neared Mademoiselle Mar's
house, I was able to admire the
guests and their extremely sophisticated
attire. I was underdressed since the
only instruction Louis had given me was
to arrive at our new home at ten p.m.
Sharp. Almost everyone was wearing a
costume reminiscent of the Romantic
era, although a few had optimed for
clothing from subsequent decades.
I noticed two young women in pink
dresses...They skipped over the
cobblestones, obviously delighted to
wear such costumes.
They had moved into their new home, but even that was unsettling. Louie had arranged a masquerade party on the first night! And, of course, not only was he fully dressed in costume but had hers waiting! Bubbling with excitement he asked if she was ready for this new beginning, starting with the celebration on March 21, in honor of Mademoiselle Mars' inauguration of this "magnificant Palladian villa, decorated by Louis Visconti in 1827..."
"So I'm guessing that she threw an incredible party, and that you want to replicate it?"
"And how!"
He thumped his cane into the marble floor as he spoke. I had never seen this one before, and I admired the embossing of an imperial eagle on its knob.
"Imagine the most dazzling masquerade ball of the early nineteenth century!" he exclaimed, looking at though he himself had traveled back to that glorious past. "The cream of society is in attendance: princes, marchionesses, foreign ambassadors, and all of the neighborhood's renowned artists--Sand, Chopin, Musset, Berlioz, Delacroix, Scheffer."
"Okay, but what was so extraordinary about that? Gatherings like that must have been fairly common, I should think."
He grabbed my hand, and since my wardrobe mistress had just inserted the final pin into my Marquise de Sevigne-bun, I had no other choice but to follow him...
When we arrived at the massive reception hall, whose three arched bay windows looked out onto an English garden, he pointed first to a generously stocked buffet and then to the dance floor on the other side of the room, where several couples in costume were attempting a quadrille being played by a chamber orchestra...

"Well, that night they were left with nothing to do but attend to you women! Believe you me, revolutions have been fought for less!" To better illustrate what he was saying, Louie led me into a small adjoining room, which was to be our dining room. There against the floor was a gigantic and very old kilim, whose cost I could hardly even imagine, and on top of which were strewn cushions as big as mattresses. Several couples were already lounging on them, their costumes fanned out around them...

But the major event that set Elle to action was an art show, supposedly, that could only be defined as pornographic--and included video and sound visible on the streets!

Louie was arrested and as he left, he gave Elle a key to keep safe so that he would not have it on him while he was with the police...

Naturally, Elle soon try the key to the only door it could be--one that was kept locked at all times... What she found there, in a library of videos, set her on an investigation that would not be stopped until she found what it was that must be found!

If only the surprise ending had not interrupted... A very interesting setup for the next book... Can this really be love?

The book certainly kept my interest in the suspense of Elle's investigation, albeit with being jolted by some of what happens sexually which was more than I wanted to read as in got into what became abusive a few times. Nevertheless, for those who enjoy erotic literature, with much of its various known activities involving multiple individuals. It is an excellent story in itself, but I reserve my wholehearted recommendation...You decide...


Emma Mars is the pseudonym of an author who lives in France.

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