First of all, I want to clear something up. The title is somewhat misleading. This is a contemporary romance and the love scenes are hot, but it's not erotic per se. The cover is nice, but lends itself more to the title than to the content.
Now that I've cleared that up, let's move on. Emma is a house cleaner out of necessity rather than want. She's waiting for an internship to open up at an architecture firm, but in the meantime, to pay the bills, she cleans. She was hired by Russell's sister to clean up Russell's bachelor pad. When she meets Russ, there are immediate sparks. He feels them too, so before her first clean up at his house, he goes around and cleans up a bit. He's thinking he doesn't want a woman he could potentially date cleaning his house. So when Emma finally arrives, she's a bit distraught. Her roommate is moving out and so Emma will have to take on more cleaning jobs or find a cheaper place to live. Russ is thinking he might take her up on the offer she made to do some grocery shopping and cooking for him. But in comforting Emma, she jokingly tells him of a harebrained scheme that she would not be averse to: being a rich man's mistress. All the sex without the messy emotions and strings. (Emma is horny obviously, and Russ just makes her more apparent of the fact that she hasn't gotten some in a while.) Emma was just joking about that mistress idea and starts to clean. But when she finds Russ in his home study, he tells her he wants to take her up on her offer.
Now here things get really funny. You see Russ was thinking of her offer to buy groceries and cook for him a few times a week. He also has an empty apartment in downtown Seattle that he could rent out dirt cheap for her. But Emma thinks he's talking about the mistress thing. So when they start to negotiate, both are totally clueless. He's thinking three nights a week, with a big finish to last him through the weekend. Now coming from a cooking stand point, that makes sense. But coming from a sexual stand point, Emma's thinking she'll have to pull out the big guns and get super creative. LOL This part of the story had me cracking me up, let me tell you!
Right after things are settled (an agreed upon price basically), Russ realizes that Emma is thinking of the mistress thing and not the food thing. So now he's torn. Does he go along with it? Because he finds Emma super hot and he's kind of nerdy and socially awkward so this would get her in his bed without much of a fuss or should he tell her that he only wanted her to cook for him?
In the end, despite his misgivings, Russ follows through on Emma's idea of things. And that leads to some more hilarity, but it also leads to the very things Emma wanted to avoid: emotions and strings. Can the fact that they are in very different places in their lives (he's established career wise plus he's 10 years older) be overcome by their burgeoning feelings for one another?
I enjoyed the Erotic Secrets of a French Maid. It had flaws, but it was still a fun read. The humour between the mix-up, but there was also humour between Russ and his friends. That really worked for me. I also liked how the age difference wasn't ignored nor made too big a deal of. As much as I love May/December romances, sometimes that fixation on age gets old. But here it was good.
What didn't quite work was these two falling in love. The connection was there physically, but I feel like we were missing something when it came to stepping over the line into love. I don't know. It's not something I can really put my finger on, but I wanted more in the feelings department. And the energy from the beginning of the book didn't quite follow through to the end. It was still an enjoyable read though. :P
The Erotic Secrets of a French Maid gets 4 stars from me. Definitely check it out if you're in the mood for a humourous contemporary romance with some spicy and funny love scenes. Emma has some good ideas for "something big to last through the weekend." LOL