Go with me, if you will, back to February when I loudly exclaimed my love of Thea de Salle’s filthy, gloriously dirty mind. The King of Bourbon Street lit up my Kindle and I fell in love with a new series. If you recall, I was shocked, in all the right ways, by how exceptionally dirty the book was. There is a great story, and the characters are endearing and likable, even Sol, the terribly broken hero. de Salle also set up a very intriguing supporting cast so I knew right away the Nola Nights series would be an instant read for me. I was not disappointed when The Queen of Dauphine Street hit my Kindle earlier this week. Let me tell you why…
We met Maddy Roussoux in book one, she is Sol’s ex-wife and best friend. She’s ridiculously wealthy, like Bill Gates kinda’ money, she’s a Domme, she’s bisexual, she’s extremely sexually assertive, she has no filter whatsoever and, she’s all alone in the world, save her pet tiger. Maddy is the sort of woman you’d classify as “good people” but you’d never really know it because of her media profile. The press hounds her daily and to keep the world at an arms length, she gives them exactly what they’d expect from a poor little rich girl socialite. Only a very select few get to see behind her mask. Her family wasn’t always wealthy, her dad invented some computer thing and overnight, they went from regular folks, to billionaires. Because of this, and the pressures and dangers cast upon this newly rich family, she was forced to live a very sheltered life. After she was kidnapped as a child, her parents never let her out of the house or out of their sight. Sadly, the pressures of this sort of lifestyle were too much for her parents. Maddy has the PTSD scars to show for it.
Enter Darren Sanders, he is a giant mountain of rugged, ginger, I-can-literally-build-you-a-house, man. He’s one of Sol’s brother Alex’s best friends. While visiting Alex one day, Maddy barges into his life in all of her spectacular glory. Darren is smitten by her unencumbered laugh. See, not only is Darren tall, ginger and sexy – he is a real dab hand with the dad joke puns. In fact, he can barely get through a conversation without letting at least two fly out of his mouth. I mean the puns just keep rolling – they are absolutely amazing and I loved and laughed at every single one. Darren is fresh out of an abusive relationship. Didn’t see that coming did you? This man, over six and a half feet of confidence is a fixer at heart. His ex, a tiny wisp of a woman is an alcoholic with a nasty, violent streak. In an exceptional role reversal, Darren is the one telling the doctor stitching up his cuts, that he walked into a door. You don’t see that every day in a romance book and let me just say, de Salle took a major chance taking this route. Lucky for us she more than pulls it off. During the first meeting with Maddy, an attempt on Darren’s life is made and he’s shot. When things settle and the suspect is identified, Maddy offers to take Darren on her yacht. He will be safe from crazy out on the wild blue ocean. Once there, the already simmering sparks really fly!
“You’re Bill Nye-ing my sex rig.”
You see, Darren is nobody’s sub, in fact, he has never taken part in any sort of real BDSM so seeing what Maddy has in her sex toy stash is enlightening, to say the least. He is very clear with Maddy, when the sex starts, that he will try pretty much anything but nothing is going up his butt – he will gladly fuck her ass, but nothing is going in his. Hard limit. Also, he is suffering from a serious case of PTSD as well, so Maddy really has to treat this situation with kid gloves. In fact, much to Maddy’s surprise, she likes being beneath Darren. She is also a fan of his brand of vanilla sex. Slowly but surely, Maddy lets Darren see behind her mask and when she doesn’t scare him off, man, she embraces the relationship with gusto!
Thea de Salle is, without a doubt, a fresh voice in erotic romance. She is a brave and bold writer who isn’t afraid to take risks. Clearly, the woman has some serious writing chops. Maddy could’ve easily fallen into a cliche of un-relatability and sadly, Darren could’ve been seen as weak; de Salle didn’t let either of those things happen. Not only that, she did it with a stash of Bazooka Joe gum jokes! The Queen of Dauphine Street is equal parts hot and funny. The story of these two incredibly vulnerable characters is remarkably poignant at times. The character growth is breathtaking. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still gloriously filthy like its predecessor but for me, it touched more, on a deeper level. If you’re not reading this series, I strongly urge you to catch up. One more book is already scheduled and the author is in talks to bring us more. I certainly hope the powers that be read this review and give de Salle whatever she wants so we can get more of Nola Nights.
Smooches,Tags: 4.5 stars, erotic romance, humor, PTSD, scandal, Thea De Salle