As you know by now, I am a big fan of the NOLA Nights series. We started off with Sol & Rain in The King of Bourbon Street, and following quickly on its heels was Maddy & Darren’s story in The Queen of Dauphine Street. While Maddy & Darren continue to be my favorites, Alex & Theresa did not disappoint. Let me tell you why.
Theresa Ivarson is Rain’s BFF, a photojournalist from a large, Irish Catholic family. After Rain & Sol’s wedding planner is hit by a car a scant few weeks in front of their nuptials, Theresa is tasked with the chore of sorting out all of the shit she left behind. Not to speak ill of the dead but don’t feel too bad for the dead wedding planner, had she not had her head in her phone plotting to sell private info about the bride and groom, perhaps she would’ve noticed the bus she walked in front of. Anyhoots, maid of honor Theresa is more than capable of getting this job done. She is a take charge, do-er with so much strength of character and confidence, you’d want her as your BFF, too.
Alex DuMont is Sol’s exceptionally uptight brother and best man. Alex is so religious, I’m pretty sure he could be a priest. In fact, it has been years since he laid the pipe – nothing but cold showers and rosary prayers for this fella. Clearly, he is using his religion to avoid dealing with some other issues in his life, of the commitment kind. He’s a good man, and he always does right by his family and friends but somewhere along the way, he put God, family and friends so far above his own well being, well…it’s kinda sad to watch. Then he meets Theresa and he quickly discovers now is the time to get his shit together. As Nikki will tell you, she’s my resident Catholic, God has bigger fish to fry that worrying about who you’re fucking…Alex would do well to embrace that logic.
So why, you might ask, do I love Thea de Salle so much, as if I haven’t already made it clear? Strap in folks because I’m about to blow your mind. It’s her heroines. I like her heroes a lot, especially Darren because he tells dad jokes, they are all good, honest men that treat their women like the fabulous women they are. Sol, Darren and Alex each have qualities we’d all find attractive in a partner. But, for me, the real superstars of this series are the heroines. Rain, Maddy and Theresa are some of the strongest, most confident women I’ve read in a long time. I love them – each in her own way, paints a picture of exceptionalism. Rain, the unconventional beauty, stands up for herself against an overbearing mother, Maddy…well, Maddy is a Domme so nothing is getting past her and now Theresa, being a pushover is something you’d never see her doing. When Alex tries to lay his shit at her feet, she pulls him up short and demands he get his head out of his own ass, by himself and when/if he does, come find her, she might still be available. It would’ve been so easy for de Salle to have Theresa break stride and try to fix Alex’s demons, but you know what, she didn’t. She gave him what he needed to fix himself, and made him even better for it. Strong heroines, man, I fucking love them. All of these women are unique in their greatness and strength, but something they all share is the ability to show their vulnerability in such a way that it doesn’t weaken their character, it makes them stronger and even more likable.
Oh, and the sex…NOLA Nights is some incredibly sex positive stuff. It makes no apologies for being dirty, raw and emotionally fulfilling, even if it’s not your kink. de Salle does a fabulous job with her sex scenes. In The Lady of Royale, you get to see Alex let loose and get lost in his physical attraction to Theresa. You also get to see Theresa have open and honest conversations about limits and trying new things – I love it, all of it! Honestly, of the three books in the series so far, this is probably the tamest of the sex and it’s still pretty fucking dirty…in all of the right ways! I certainly hope we get more NOLA Nights books. Thea de Salle has given us enough interesting and diverse secondary characters to keep us on the hook for maybe more books than New Orleans has street names!
Smooches,Tags: 4 stars, Contemporary, NOLA Nights series, scandal, strong heroines, Thea De Salle