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 fiance'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.
Funny, sensual, candid, and revealing, Hotelles is a titillating novel of mysteries and surprises by a radiant new voice.
Hotelles by Emma Mars is an erotic thrill ride of the mind and the heart and definitely not what you’re expecting!
Based in the early 2000’s, the book revolves around a twenty three year old girl, living in Paris and just starting out in life Annabelle, whom has just finished her schooling, is trying to break into the world of TV but she’s not having very much luck and to add to her misfortune, her wonderful, loving mother has fallen ill. With mounting medical bills and seeing no monetary respite in sight, Annabelle gets lured into the world of Escorts by none other than her best friend whom happens to be one as well. At first, sex is not involved. Annabelle starts out easy, just escorting men to private events, galas and such but as time goes on, Annabelle discovers she needs more money for the medical bills and ends up on her back in a hotel.
Where the story ends up taking a totally different turn, is when Annabelle, whom now goes by Elle for her nighttime activities, meets David at an event. David is everything a young, impressionable and desperate woman could want. He’s uber wealthy, handsome, and romantic but best of all, he seems to have eyes only for her. Soon the two start dating but Elle is keeping secrets. David has no idea about her nighttime activities but someone close to him does. Elle keeps receiving very personal notes talking about her deepest, darkest thoughts and whoever this is, knows things that Elle has never told another living soul.
As their romance blooms, David takes things to the next level and asks Elle to marry him. It looks like all of her dreams are about to come true but what she doesn't know, is that David has some secrets of his own and the only one whom might ruin their new happiness is his own brother, Louie. Unfortunately Louie has his own plans for the happy couple and he’s playing for keeps!
Like I said in the beginning, this story ends up not being what you think. It’s actually not chalk full of sex but it is full of a woman’s innermost thoughts about love, romance and sex. A lot of the erotic moments take place in Elle’s head and through these notes she keeps receiving. Don't get me wrong, there is sex but not like a normal erotica book. I'd probably put this more in the contemporary romance genre but it definitely is sexy. Oh and there’s also a bit of mystery in the book as well, as Elle delves deeper into her betroths’ life and tries to uncover the family’s deepest, darkest secrets on her own.
All in all, it was an interesting read and a nice departure from the basic erotic novels.
4 out of 5
Thank you so much for sitting down with Toot's for an interview. If you don't mind, I have some questions for you about your series La trilogie Hotel, your new book, Hotelles, and your process for our budding authors as well as fans.
So first off, your newest book is part of your series, La trilogie Hotel. Let's talk about the series as a whole....
In your own words, what is the La trilogie Hotel series about?
This is both a romance, an erotica…and also a kind of family saga taking place in Paris, France, in the 2000’s and 2010’s.
What inspired the series?
The first scene came to me quite spontaneously: Paris, a young woman, a hotel room in the afternoon, the man in the bathroom is not her husband… “What’s next?” I challenged myself.
Can you tell us a bit about the newest book in the series, Hotelles?
Annabelle, my central character, is an aspiring journalist whose mother needs expensive medical care—so Annabelle becomes Elle, a paid escort for one of Paris’s most exclusive agencies. When she meets high-flying businessman David Barlet and he proposes marriage, Elle thinks her problems are over, but they’re just beginning. David’s brother, Louie, is one of Elle’s past clients, and he’s not above blackmailing her. Meanwhile, someone is sending Elle anonymous erotic notes.
How did you come up with the title of your newest book in the series and can you tell us its significance?
I found it very early in the project. This a word play between being “Hot” and “Elle”, which means “She” in French. As you see (or hear), it sounds like a hotel room. So I thought that is was a good nickname to define escort girls that end their missions in such bedrooms: a hotelle is a hot girl that follows her client in a room more often than the others. This a kind of French tradition to give nicknames to prostitutes. In the nineteenth century, the girls hooking up men near the church Notre dame de Lorette were called the Lorettes.
How does the new book, Hotelles, fit into the series?
It sets up the place (Paris, and the romantic New Athens district), the main characters (Annabelle, Louis, David, Sophia), and let readers have a glimpse to the deep secrets that the Barlet family has kept for nearly forty years.
How many books are planned for the series?
Three, I always dreamt and planned the series as a trilogy.
What genre would you say Hotelles is and what sets your book apart for fans of the genre?
With Hotelles, I wanted to achieve some kind of narrative challenge: writing a romance, an erotica and a family saga at the same time. So my goal was to mix all that up in a sole story, and I hope the result is a thrilling and sensual cocktail.
What was your favorite scene to write in Hotelles?
All the erotic ones! I swear this is pure truth, even though I’m almost blushing saying that!
What was the hardest scene to write for Hotelles?
Maybe the dialogues between David and Annabelle, because I wanted readers to feel the doubt and the ambiguity under Elle’s words.
What is your favorite line or quote from Hotelles?
I like the very first lines: “I have never belonged to that category of women who see all hotel rooms as identical, all one and the same, each an anonymous space without any character or personality. A kind of cold tunnel with a uniform interior, offering standardized comfort for the night. Those women have probably only slept in them on exhausting layovers between trains or planes. To get a taste of a hotel room’s unique character, you have to experience it during the day, when the rest of the building is empty, or almost empty. You have to take the time to feel it, to let your senses come alive, one by one, if you want to uncover the stories of its former guests, their laughter and tears, love and ecstasy”
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?
Very precisely, yes! The very first time I had this idea coming up, I was nine. My teacher back then just congratulated me in front of the whole class about a sentence she found nicely written. And I remember that I thought from this small event: "oh, maybe this is something I'm quite gifted for. Maybe I should work on that a little further". I was not a sports girl, neither a good dancer or a nice musician… So I clung to this small skill all those years, till now!
What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?
Usually, I need two ingredients : first, any anecdote or small story that grabs me (in the papers, or from people I know) ; then, some twisted or even kinky idea that makes sense with this piece of a story, and which turns it in a real drama. Sometimes this alchemy comes right away. But more often it takes weeks, or even months, before the two parts finally match in a way that thrills me enough to write the first developments.
What are some of the elements in/of your writing process?
First, I write a very detailed script of my story. Then, I try to define my characters and note everything that may make them “alive”. Then I try to find the voice and the tone of my narrator. When all that is set up, I let it decant. And, as French writer Jean Giono used to say about this phase in its work: “my novel is finished; I now only have to write it down!”
Are you a Plotter or a Panster?
I’m a plotter in the first place, as I build a very precise script for my whole story before writing the very first actual line. But once this had been done, I’m more of a panster, because I like to let each chapter progress and run its own way, and always try to let my characters surprise me as the story grows.
Have you released anything under a different pen name, and if so, is there any difference between them?
Yes, I wrote a few novels under different pen names here in France, and people who know me the best always tell me that each story I write has a different tone, a different “color”. I don’t know if it’s true, but I usually do my best to adapt the narrator’s voice to my subject.
What's next for you?
I’m working on an historical drama, set during WWII, mostly taking place in Poland. Less fun than Hotelles, but also very thrilling, I hope. My other releases to come in the US (later this year) are the two following volumes of the Hotelles trilogy.
Is there anything you’d like to add or say to your fans?
Try and make love in some other places than your own bed. You’ll soon see the erotic potential of it!
Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but out of all your amazing characters, who is your favorite and why?
The easy way to answer would be to say Elle, obviously. But I also like very much two of my male characters: Louis, cause he is hard to read and , and Armand, for the tortuous ways he expresses his kindness.
Are there any of your stories or characters that hold a special place in your heart?
If you mean apart from Hotelles, yes, I fancy very much the characters of a YA series that I wrote quite recently (not translated yet in English), which is entitled “Les Ecriveurs” in French. You could translate it by something like “the Writeners”. This is the story of a teenage community on a hidden north pacific island that writes down the future (and destiny) of the whole mankind.
If the book or series had to have a theme song, what would it be?
Many! There is a kind of playlist in the very last pages of the book. You can refer to it, because this is pretty difficult for me to pick just one out of it. But what I can tell you is that Louis, my main male character, is obsessed with the idea of finding the perfect “sex song”, to make love upon.
Lastly, let's steal an idea from the magazines.....What 5 things do fans not know about you and 5 they don't know about the book?
The book :
• this not my first novel
• this not my first erotica…
• the whole trilogy counts more than 1300 pages
• the book rights has been sold in 15 countries till now
• the series has a slightly different name in its French edition : HÔTEL
• I’m French
• I live in Paris
• I already wrote a book which takes place in New York
• I love cats
• My family comes from Saint-Malo, Brittany, where a few scenes of Hotelles take place.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking time to answer some questions. Congratulations on the new book and I can't wait for everyone to read it!