New Orleans by Demi Alex
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (55 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/F/M/M/M, Ménage, Spanking, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum
Who makes life-altering decisions based on a fortune cookie?
Sans her family and sans a job, Lilly Marie is completely alone in the world. With only a broken heart in tow, she has nothing to lose by packing it up and starting over in the sultry Big Easy. And after all she’s been through the past year, encountering an eccentric woman in Jackson Square and actually following her instructions to “step onto Bourbon Street and into her future” doesn’t seem so weird. Who is she to question “destiny” when she’d uprooted herself because of a tiny piece of paper tucked inside a cookie?
What Lilly doesn’t expect is for a hero to save her from a rampant bicyclist and whisk her away to a place called El Destino to meet his family— “family” being four of the handsomest men Lilly has ever seen. Whether it is fate or coincidence, the sizzling and sexy men of El Destino take her into their capable hands to prove that there is no such thing as happenstance, and that undeniable passion and true love can cure any ailment, including a broken heart.
The lure and mystery that flavors New Orleans enhances the magic that surrounds and heals a woman whose heart has fractured.
I’m not too sure if this story qualifies as paranormal but the characters in the story truly believe in the aspects of magic and its influence and, with the delightful telling of this tale, I’m inclined to agree.
New Orleans really does have at its heart a yearning for true love, one that will last and can be trusted. Lilly is a broken woman, her spirit is battered by the loss of her entire family and she’s struggling to survive – not just financially but emotionally as well. She tries so hard and a reader definitely gets the sense that she’s a fighter. The problem is that Lilly is almost out of the ammunition needed to keep on going so in a last ditch effort she follows what she thinks is a whim. But is it? That’s the magical aspect of it because she meets someone who guides her when she needs it the most and I liked how the author presented that scene. Lilly reminded me of a lost puppy because she responded so honestly and openly to this strange person. That person made me smile too because I could actually imagine the scene. Ms. Alex did a remarkable job of bringing to life a person with charm, wisdom and spunk, even for a character who was only on stage for a brief period.
First Lilly meets Manolin and soon after the rest of the guys. Ms. Alex has a deft hand at creating unique men with diverse and distinctive personalities that come off the page and into a reader’s heart. I liked Xavier and Rafael but my absolute favorite is “dark and sulky” José Antonio. For some reason he touched my heart the most. Maybe because he didn’t just jump right into the relationship, I’m not sure but he was a man who seemed to have the most to lose if she didn’t fall in love with all of them as a family.
I sensed that he was afraid and that made his character all the more endearing. I think he needed to be loved just as much as Lilly did.
The conflict is mostly internal – can she learn to trust that their love, all of theirs, is real and lasting? Sure the sex is like Cajun cooking, hot, smokin’ and delicious but it’s the emotional need that comes across in the writing that makes this story so romantic and heartfelt. This is a great read for erotic romance readers because it delivers with creative intensity but it has at its center the drive to love her and have her love them. They need it just as much as Lilly and it’s really beautiful watching it grow. I’d have liked to have reveled in their afterglow of love a bit longer but as it is, they have a nice happily ever after. The final wrap up was a bit different for an epilogue as it was done in the format of bullet points. The happily ever after is guaranteed and a reader gets to know it for sure, which was a nice touch.
New Orleans is a wonderful story that delivers on its romantic promise. The characters touched me and entertained me and made me feel warm and fuzzy. Well, after I cooled down from all that powerful physical bonding; those couplings were pretty volcanic in their intensity. Through it all however, New Orleans kept true to what the ultimate goal was - Lilly finding a love that she could trust and believe in and find joy in living life again. It was great and I’d recommend this to anyone who wants an uplifting story with spice.