The Princess in His Bed is actually three stories under one cover. Each is roughly based on a children’s fairy tale and each is set in France during the reign of Louis XIV. This era was one of extremes. The upper class had money to spend on their pleasures and one of them was sex.
The Marquis’s New Clothes starts off these fiery tales. Inspired by the Emperor’s New Clothes, this story doesn’t’ exactly follow the fairy tale. Aimee de Miran’s cousin begs her to help her retrieve a ring that she accidentally dropped in the Marquis de Nattes’s pocket. The ring in question wasn’t hers but her former lover, the head of the police. Aimee agrees but in order for her to get close enough to search the Marquis’s pockets, she’s going to have to pretend to seduce him. Can she forget that he’s a well known womanizer like her husband was?
Emilie de Sarron was badly burnt as an infant. Ten years ago, she was presented to society only to be ridiculed so bad that she has not appeared in society since. Now, due to a year long correspondence with Vincent d’Alumbert, she has the confidence to attend a house party at her aunt’s. Two things aren’t as they first appear. The first is the house party is in masquerade so the guests can indulge in any sexual delights they desire while their identity is hidden. The second, Emilie’s correspondence isn’t with Vincent but his twin brother, Joseph who participated in the hated taunts. Joseph is intrigued with Emilie but can he keep her esteem and possibly even bed her when she finds out who he really is? Based on the Ugly Duckling, Emilie becomes a swan in The Lovely Duckling.
As the daughter of the king, Princess Gabrielle lives a privileged life. So, why is she borrowing a bag of diamonds from the king in The Princess and the Diamonds? Like the princess in the fairy tale, the Princess and the Pea, Gabrielle has problems sleeping with the diamonds tucked under her mattress. But she has to win enough money to pay her brother, Daniel’s gambling debts. Though the king has outlawed the card game, Basset, Gabrielle knows she has luck at it and will be able to return the diamonds. What she doesn’t expect to find at the table is a handsome man who sees through her disguise. Will she be able to win the money she needs to before she looses her heart?
Each story can be read separately from the others. Except for some minor characters, there is no crossing of characters in the stories nor are they even set in the same place. They are all set in the same era but that is about all the connection between them.
The characters are interesting. The aristocratic nature comes out without thought. Joseph d’Alumbert assumes everyone will follow his lead because of who his father is. He assumes he is entitled to every privilege he desires. This is also the case with every other titled character. Servants and those who were raised to a title and not born to one are seen some how be beneath those born to the role. Still, their sensual nature is allowed to have free rein in many cases which must give the servants some interesting sites!
The elegance and decadence of this era were very well done. Talks of the fineness of the cloth in The Marquis’s New Clothes emphasizes the richness that was expected. Parties catering to sexual play as described in The Lovely Duckling would shock many people today but was the only way people could explore their sexual side after being married for political ties. Loosing a fortune at the turn of a card, or winning one, is a thrill few can afford but the extremely rich. This was France prior to the revolution.
I found these Fiery Tales interesting. I have to admit that this period in France’s history is not my favorite but these tales were set perfectly. I don’t think they could have worked as written in any other court, in any other era. Each was unique and while they are definitely not your children’s fairy tales, the similarities to the stories are there.
Family loyalties, sensual temptations and a glittering court as a background give way to dreams of handsome lovers and sexual encounters. What perfect adult bedtime stories.
The author of the "luscious, sexy" (New York Times bestselling author Cheryl Holt) Awakened by a Kiss returns with a new collection of erotic fairy tales that would make even the Grimm Brothers blush, inspired by "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Princess and the Pea."
The Marquis' New Clothes: To search his wardrobe for a missing ring, Aimee will have to get very close to the seductive Marquis de Nattes, and soon finds that his clothes-and hers-are utterly forgotten...
The Lovely Duckling: Joseph d'Alumbert will stop at nothing to peel away the inhibitions of Emilie de Sarron and reveal the beautiful swan inside...
The Princess and the Diamonds: Princess Gabrielle can't sleep. There is something hard in her bed. Not just the stolen diamonds tucked under her mattress- but the handsome marquis on it.