In glamorous 18th Century Versailles someone is murdering the Court Jesters. Courtesan turned Detective Noelle de Jouissance is ordered by Louis XV to investigates the hidious crimes, and finds herself embroiled in the sex-mad Royal Family’s erotic secrets; her virginal sidekick - Desiree - is being pursued by the King's lecherous brother; the King is out to seduce the Queen and her Mistress, and the only clue to the killer's identity is a tattoo on his scrotum...
Desireé Cronson and Manuela Cardiga's tongue-in-cheek take on the sexy shenanigans of Louis XV's sinful court. A deliciously raunchy Historical Romance!
Desireé sat obediently on the edge of a chaise-longue, clasping her hands modestly in her lap, the feathered mask ticking her cheeks and her nose.
Startled she looked up to see a tired-looking young man in a magnificent purple damask coat and a powdered white wig. A plain back-satin mask accentuated his drawn features.
Desireé scuttled over to leave him as much room as possible. He sank down with a sigh.
“I’m so tired: roistering in the morning, rogering in the afternoon. Really, I must find some time to sleep.” He reached up and pulled off his wig which he dropped on the cushions between them, revealing unruly dark boyish curls, “and now these nightly balls! I have to service Mm. d’ O in half an hour, then that new Russian Countess at 12.30, and I promised Mou Sieur le Comte de Villiers I would accompany him to Paris for a little riotous rape…”
Desireé giggled: he was so droll! He glanced at her startled.
“You find it amusing? I have to work very hard - and I mean hard - to keep my reputation, you know. I sometimes wish I’d been less zealous at earning it, but when you’re young you think being the best cocks-man in Court is as good as being the heir to the Throne.”
“Oh I love Coc-au-Vin! Roast Capon, Chicken Fricaseé, Sister Stella always said I was a poultry fanatic!”
“Fricaseé?” The young man peered intently at Desireé through the eye-holes of his mask; taking in the delicate satiny complexion, the rose-bud mouth, the wisps of silken un-powdered hair escaping her severe hair-do. His eyes lingered on the long neck, slid over the edge of the grey silk, took in the slender mounds of her young breasts.
“Who are you?”
Desireé smiled and extended one slender hand: “Desireé de Jouissance, at your service! I am Noelle’s cousin.”
The young man looked even more surprised.
“Noelle? The Noelle? I know Noelle quite well.”
“Oh how lovely!” Desireé smiled at him joyously, “Then we are already friends.”
She shook his hand firmly. “I have just arrived and was so afraid…but everyone is so friendly!”
“Yes…We are all very friendly. From where exactly did you arrive?”
“From St Cyr. I am going to take the veil, but the King’s Minister ordered me to place myself under my cousin’s guardianship for the season.” She leaned forward, her dark eyes shinning earnestly, “My calling, you see, is healing. Souls. I feel it most strongly.”
The young man looked absolutely fascinated.
“Healing souls? There are many wounded souls right here. Mine, for instance…I have this pain…Do you heal by the laying on of hands?”
“No. By prayer. I believe in the power of prayer.”
“The thought of you kneeling to pray is…delightful” The young man licked his lips in that disturbing way.
“Monsieur,” Noelle interrupted, dropping a graceful courtesy, “pray forgive my cousin, she means no disrespect. She is newly arrived at Court!”
The young man got to his feet waving a languid hand, “That’s quite alright, she was about to kneel to pray for my soul…You can come back for her later, my dear Noelle.”
“Sire, I beg you…” Noelle leaned forward and whispered earnestly in the young man’s ear. He stared at Desireé in astonished awe.
“How old are you, my dear?”
He gaped at her in disbelief.
“Twenty?” Noelle once again whispered in his ear.
“Oh very well, but you will make it up to me Noelle de Jouissance.”
Noelle dropped the young man another deep courtesy and dragged Desireé hastily away.
“I told you not to talk to anyone and I find you chatting up the most dangerous, debauched and dissipated roué in Europe.”
“He seemed very pleasant…and devout.”
“That is Jean, Duc de Orleans, the King’s brother.”