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Continuing the saga of the girls of Maison D’Estelle, Delphyne DeRouge presents Selia’s story in Book II of her series. Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, once again Ms. DeRouge smoothly transports us to the elegant salons and bedrooms of the notorious brothel. I find myself very impressed with the ease in which I slipped back into this world – it’s a warts-and-all look at the life of a prostitute in those times, and leaves little to the imagination.
While the wonderful romance continues between Estelle and her lover, Colonel James Goodwin – and I’d sacrifice my hair dryer and microwave to go back in time if I thought HE was there waiting for me – one of the girls, Selia, finds herself falling for a client, the delightful William Thorne. Yet all possess secrets, from each other and from themselves, and a tragedy unites these four in a desperate attempt to save another life, this one barely started.
Once again, Delphyne DeRouge has written an erotically charged novel with intriguing characters and bold settings. Selia is very much a product of her times, both realistic and honest, yet still possessing the dreams of the young woman she should probably have become. William, of course, is just plain adorable.
The sex scenes are plentiful and hot and there’s enough flesh on flesh interaction here to satisfy any taste. I would certainly encourage readers to begin with Book I – although not strictly necessary, I think a series like this benefits from being read in order, if only to form images of some of the continuing characters. Ms. DeRouge has stuck admirably to her story arc, and the books show an impressive continuity.
My one complaint? It was too short. Such characters deserved more in the way of expansion. I wanted to know more about how Selia felt about her life and her love, and how and when William discovered his own true feelings. I could have parted with a couple of sex scenes in exchange for more depth to these people. I wanted to get inside them and learn all about them, and that’s a tribute to Ms. DeRouge’s writing. I recommend Selia to anyone with a taste for hot and sexy romance, and am looking forward to the next “girl” – Mollie!