The Erotic Secrets of a French Maid
The Erotic Secrets of a French Maid is the first book I’ve read by Lisa Cach and I can honestly say that it was an entertaining read. There were some problems, but overall, it is well written and quite funny.
The book tells the story of the unlikely romance between a Seattle-based young maid and a wealthy businessman that begins with a huge, but hilarious misunderstanding. Emma Mayson is a 26-year-old with a degree in architecture who has been cleaning houses to make ends meet until her dream job comes along. Russell Carrick, the 36-year-old hero, is a workaholic entrepreneur who seemed to lose his way in life after his brother’s death in a car accident nine months earlier.
The two meet when Russ’ sister hires Emma to clean his house. The awkwardness of the attraction between the unlikely pair is present from their first meeting. Emma needs the job, but Russ doesn’t really need a maid. He tries to end the arrangement at the beginning but keeps changing his mind for reasons he can’t really explain. Russ is at the point of letting Emma go when he catches her in the middle of a personal crisis. He comforts her and she makes a joke about how much easier things would be if she were a kept woman or a rich man’s mistress. Eventually, after a very funny series of misunderstandings, Russ has a mistress he really doesn’t want encamped in an apartment he owns and the apprehensive Emma finds herself a kept woman in an apartment owned by a multimillionaire. I’m sure this happens every day, but not to me.
In order to please Russ and be a competent mistress, Emma researches her role and creates a wide array of sexual escapades. The first of these encounters brought tears of laughter to my eyes. Neither Russ nor Emma are entirely comfortable in their arrangement and soon enough both want something more. A decision looms when Emma makes the top ten cut in a design contest that could get her started on her architectural career.
Even though I enjoyed Cach’s book, I did have some problems with the storyline. My first problem stemmed from the age difference and where both characters were in their lives. Also, I couldn’t get into Russ’ character since there was no real depth to him, other than learning about his brother’s death. I wanted to understand more of his feelings and know that he truly came to care about Emma in a way that she deserved.
And, truthfully, though Russ and Emma do fall in love by the end of the novel, I kept asking myself when this could have happened since there was very little interaction between the couple other than their sexual romps. If you need a guaranteed HEA, it is not present here. There is the illusion that things will be good for the two, yet there is no absolute guarantee of this. When I read a romance, I need that.
What is good about the book? In a word, Emma. Through her you understand all the angst associated with things not working out the way you want them to in the years right after college and you see the insecurity and awkwardness of her relationship with Russ. Even though she isn’t comfortable with every aspect of their arrangement, she is willing to take risks to find herself and figure out what she wants. I really liked her.
All in all, The Erotic Secrets of a French Maid was certainly a light and entertaining read. It will bring me back to Lisa Cach in the future.