I tried you guys. I swear I did, but I just didn’t care for the first or second book in this trilogy. I thought the fact that it was set in Paris would be enough of a silver lining. Sadly, it wasn’t. This is one trilogy I simply have no desire to finish.
What’s it About?
In a hotel room in Paris, a young woman named Elle experiences the most exquisite freedom and sensual pleasure she has ever known, thanks to Louie, the man who has conquered her completely. So many things in life have changed since they first met. Her engagement to Louie’s deceptive brother, David, has been broken. Her mother has died. Yet Elle is wholly fulfilled with Louie, the master who heightens her senses and unleashes her deep, seductive power. In the alluring Hôtel des Charmes, Louie takes Elle beyond her wildest fantasies. Exploring the boudoirs devoted to other courtesans, Elle willingly opens herself further. In sublime self-abandonment she discovers absolute ecstasy, absolute sweetness, absolute desire. Then David unexpectedly returns, stirring up painful memories and threatening their bliss. Elle fears her education may soon be over. She does not understand that it has only just begun.
A Quick Recap of Book 1: Hotelles
Before I get started on my review of Elle, I wanted to give you some background on the first book in the trilogy, Hotelles. It tells the story of a young Parisian escort named Elle. She meets a guy named David, they get engaged after knowing each other for only 3 months, but she’s also intrigued by David’s brother Louie. She simply doesn’t know which one she loves more.
Let’s get right down to it: she was only in love with David because he was rich and could further her career, and she only loved Louie because he was sexually exciting. No romance whatsoever. Both brothers are extremely secretive, and it comes out towards the end that David started the escort agency Elle works for over 17 years ago to find a woman who looked just like his first wife Aurora, who committed suicide. Elle is basically Aurora’s doppleganger, which is why David chose to date her in the first place. When Elle discovers this she is disgusted, and runs into the arms of Louie. What I didn’t understand was why she would have run to him when he admitted that he was also in love with Aurora all those years ago. Her resemblance to Aurora is probably the only reason why either brother wanted to get her into bed.
And Now for Book 2: Elle
So at the start of the second book we find out that Elle and Louie have been living in their little sex hotel for the past year. Let’s face it, all they’ve been doing is wearing out the mattress. But then the drastically expensive and unnecessary renovations are completed on Louie’s mansion, and they throw a housewarming party which consists of mattresses laid out all over the floors for people to engage in orgies. When I had a housewarming party my friends and I drank a cheap bottle of champagne and had a cheese plate. That’s what normal people do!
Some intrigue develops when Louie is arrested for sponsoring a highly pornographic and inappropriate art show, which was on display to the public, and in full view of children. Elle goes on and on about how this was an injustice, and how his enemies are attacking him because of it. In my opinion, he deserved it. Then we move on to uncovering more secrets about Aurora and David, and everything built up towards a big reveal at the end which I thought was very predictable and nasty. Consider this a new stipulation: if you have a book with incest in it, please don’t send it to me. I beg you!
My Issues with Both Books
1. Elle isn’t a likable character. She’s one of the most selfish characters ever, and everything has to revolve around her. Even when her friend Sophia would talk about how she couldn’t find a job, was on the brink of eviction, and had to sell her body for money, Elle still managed to turn the conversation around to whine about her own problems with the mysterious brothers.
2. The mystery and secrets surrounding both brothers was ridiculously unnecessary. In book 1 she ran out on her wedding to David because she couldn’t trust him, and in book 2 she talks about how she wants to uncover the truth of Louie’s past concerning his brother and Aurora before fully committing to him. You know what else you could do? You could admit to yourself that both men are treating you like shit by keeping so many secrets, cut your losses, and find a nice sexy Frenchman to shack up with. There, I just solved all of your life’s problems in one sitting.
3. The sex. Oh good God it was so inappropriate. Louie arranges multiple sexual scenarios for Elle to engage in with other people, and they made me so uncomfortable. There was a room in their sex hotel that had a plethora of peep holes for unknown men to stick their willies in for her to pleasure, he arranged for another man to go down on her, for a woman to pleasure her with a fan handle, to visit a bath house, and I know I’m forgetting some. Must have repressed them. Oh, Louie did have a video camera set up to record whatever went on in his brother’s bedroom. That’s…not ok.
If I hadn’t been specifically asked to review book 2, I don’t think I would have made it past book 1. Even though there’s only one book left in the trilogy, I simply have no interest in reading it. Both books were very confusing to follow, nothing tied together, and I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. On second thought, Elle did have a kitty who seemed cute.
Series: La Trilogie Hotel, book 2.
Should you read it? Proceed at your own risk.
Smut Level: Did you notice the peep holes for willies comment?
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $10.99 Kindle Price. Published by Harper Perennial. 448 Pages