Author: Emma Mars
My Copy: ARC courtesy of HarperCollins
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Paris, a hotel room, the middle of the afternoon . . .
So begins the story of Annabelle, a young escort in Paris who has accepted her final proposition before marrying the powerful and generous man of her dreams, media mogul David Barlet. But the mysterious handwritten notes she has been receiving—notes that detail personal fantasies no one could possibly know—don't prepare her for the fact that her new client is her fiancé's brother, Louie. Through visits to the Hotel des Charmes, where each chamber is dedicated to one of French history's great seductresses, Louie awakens Annabelle's body and her psyche, delivering her to heights of ecstasy and fits of passion.He pushes her beyond her limitations to tap into her deep seductive power—and she discovers that true freedom comes only when you fully surrender to desire.
Emma Mars’ Hotelles is the first book of a French trilogy. I read the English translation and admit, I was really excited to read it because of the synopsis, but sadly it falls a bit short. For the most part, it’s a slow read. I mean s-l-o-w and you’ll want to skip pages or even skim to get ahead, alas nothing noteworthy really happens to capture one’s interest. While I enjoy mysteries, Hotelles isn’t exactly a traditional mystery, but rather the journey of a young woman who becomes sexually awakened.
1. I liked the idea of an escort meeting the man of her dreams. I wanted this to be a bit like Pretty Woman, but it’s not. Annabelle is a rather reluctant escort. She doesn’t want to be in the business, but has no choice because her mother is ill and she needs the money.
2. I believe in love at first sight and Annabelle’s relationship with David is definitely one. I can’t help but wonder what these two have truly in common and the more I read, the more disappointed I was in their overall relationship.
3. Annabelle has been receiving a series of notes and at no point are we given the how. How are they being delivered? Why didn’t she seek out help in trying to determine who they are from? The fact she’s instructed to meet at a particular hotel would have had me running for the hills. I understand why she didn’t report the harassment (if one can call it that) to the police. Imagine how they would react if she would reveal she’s an escort? They wouldn’t take her seriously, but I wanted more depth with regards to this part of the novel.
4. David’s brother…I won’t go into detail for fear of spoiling the novel, but the fact that he plays a rather large role was disappointing. It would have been nice if the author had gone a different route instead of a predictable one.
5. There’s no fault with the translation, but unless you’re a familiar with Paris or French history, then you’ll find yourself a bit lost regarding locations and mentions. I found myself lost a few times, but overlooked it and continued as best I could. Perhaps if I had a better understanding, I might have enjoyed this more.
Overall, if you’re looking for a fast paced seduction, Emma Mars’ Hotelles isn’t the book for you. It’s also a book that likes to tease at your senses and you won’t ever get the whole picture, it’s all left the imagination. As I stated, this is the first book in a trilogy and at almost 600 pages, I can’t imagine what the other two novels could be about since I think it wraps up nicely.