Redonk Nutshell: Handmaidens from the Order of Solace are dispatched to patrons with the purpose of assisting them to achieving Absolute Solace
This is a fantastic erotic fantasy-like series by a favored author of mine, Megan Hart. There are four books in the series, each dealing with specific handmaidens and their patrons. It’s set in a medieval-like world with its own religious dogma and unique countries. The Order of Solace is recognized by all countries, and its handmaidens are sent near and far to both men and women seeking absolute solace, a nirvana-like state that helps fulfill religious prophecy. Handmaidens are “devoted as they are to fulfilling the desires of the mind, the needs of the soul, and the cravings of the body.”
“By the mother’s invisible tits, who are you?”
“I am your comfort and your grace,” she said without a hint of irony, “Now. Get. Up.”
This book features three novellas centered around three men who each are assigned their own handmaiden. The first handmaiden is Stillness, assigned to a patron who is battling against his darkest Domination desires. The second is Honesty, who is assigned to the heir-apparent figurehead with devious needs. The third is Determinata, who’s patron has fallen into a cloud of drug addiction and emotional trauma.
It’s a great introduction into the world of The Order of Solace, and we get a glimpse of the different kinds of women and the services they offer. Now, mind you, when I say “services,” I don’t necessarily mean sexual. You’ll know what I mean as you read on.
Book Two: No Greater Pleasure
Take a graceful heroine and throw her at the mercy of a burdened hero (and his jealous wife), and you get the elegent Gothic erotic book that is No Greater Pleasure. Tranquilla is called to Gabriel because he seeks to bring stability and peace to his chaotic life and marriage. He wants order, not solace. When Tranquilla begins to bend to his needs, he finds himself also bending.
This was the first Solace book I read, and the first book I ever ready by Ms. Hart. It’s beautifully sensual and not quite as kinky as it’s predecessor.
Book Three: Selfish is the Heart
Annalise Marony seeks refuge at The Order with intent to prolong her engagement to her fiance so that they can gracefully end it. If Annalise stays long enough, her fiance will have unquestionable reason to part. They’re good friends, you see, and Annalise recognizes that their match, though friendly, would not ultimately be happy. When she enters The Order, she immediately has a run-in with their male scripture instructor, Cassius. Both of them are hardheaded and intelligent, which makes for some intriguing philosophical banter. Things really heat up when the attraction between the two becomes undeniable, though Cassius has forbidden himself from allowing such intimacies.
I think this is my favorite in the series, if only because the story itself is told at The Order, and we get an inside look at how women become handmaidens. Cassius becomes a patron without even realizing it. And this cover is stunning.
Book Four: Virtue and Vice
Redemption is a woman with a past linked to her latest patron, Jarron, a King with a heavy burden on his shoulders. Jarron does not remember Redemption, but his head guard does. Redemption finds herself struggling with the fear of her discovery, as well as the tasks of her handmaiden duties, AND the uncontrollable feelings she’s always had for Jarron. Jarron himself would be a handsome man, if not for his own hatred of his dreaded pox scars. He cowers at scrutiny, and as such has fallen behind on many of his Kingly duties. Redemption helps him pull himself together, but when politics begin to heat up he’s forced to make some tough decisions.
If Selfish is the Heart‘s cover is stunning, this cover is simply scrumptious.
I love this series. It’s otherworldly tone is dreamy and romantic, and the handmaidens are simply fascinating. Their sexual endeavors are steamy, but their emotional work is even more intriguing in seeing how they better those around them. And, of course, themselves.
This is a fantastic erotic series not to be missed.
Romance: 4/5 Raunch: 5/5