I was trying to come up with a discussion topic when I stumbled over Kris' review of Strangers in Death. She mentioned in her review that in the book, we get an update of secondary characters that she has been wondering about... which led me to Charles and Louise. Specifically, their relationship.
**There are some spoilers, so if you don't want to know, please do not read**
So a little background on both characters. Charles Monroe is a high-class/high-end LC (Licensed Companion) which basically means, male prostitute. He's handsome and sophisticated and his job is to provide his service which range from company, conversation, escorting and sex... for a fee. Charles was introduced in the series in the very first book, Naked in Death - that means even before Peabody and McNab which are now fixtures in the series, and has made appearances throughout the series. I wonder if Ms Roberts intended for him to be a recurring character. Anyway, we saw Charles in Holiday in Death, if memory serves correctly, trying to find love through a dating agency. Even a LC like Charles wants love, stability and a good relationship despite his profession. In that book, Charles found someone he liked enough, but that person rejected him because he was a LC.
Louise (can't remember her last name) was introduced in Conspiracy in Death. She comes from a rich family and has a great deal of money herself. However, she's not the pampered, spoiled kind of woman. She's a doctor who works hard and long in clinics for the less fortunate. She's dedicated to those people and with Roarke's large contribution, has built a shelter for abused women and children.
Both characters have helped Eve in investigations, providing explanations and insight in their fields and listening to gossips, etc. They've actually met each other during an investigation through Eve, in Seduction in Death... and they had an instant attraction and connection to each other. We've seen glimpses of them here and there since Seduction in Death, but everything indicates that they're happy with each other. Eve often wonders how Louise can stand Charles' job, him having sex with other women... but Louise does and she has repeatedly said that it didn't matter to her what Charles was doing for his job.
**Spoilers alert! (Just in case you've ignored the warning at the beginning of the post **
In the latest book, Strangers in Death, we finally see Charles and Louise and where their relationship is heading... to the altar. Also, we see Charles' decision regarding his job - he decided to give it up... because he couldn't give his 100% to his clients anymore, because all he could think of is Louise... instead, he'll now be a sex therapist :P
**End of spoilers**
So what do you think? What's your take on Charles and Louise's relationship? Are you like Eve?
Did you wish for Charles to marry Louise, but continue as a LC? Do you think it would have been possible?
Personally, I was never bothered by Charles and Louise's relationship. I love both characters and I cheered so loud when they became a couple. Of course, ideally, I'd probably have preferred that Charles stop being a LC or at least, stop having sex with his clients. However, if Louise wasn't bothered, then we're all like Eve... we can only wonder, but not interfere right? So I'm happy that Charles decided to retire from being a LC and pop the question... but I wonder, was Ms Roberts a bit too conservative with this decision? Could Louise and Charles still get married and live happily without having Charles retire?
Of course, in real life, it's another issue. If I had a friend falling in love with someone who was selling himself and his body, could I support that friend? I don't know... Which is why I'm glad there's fiction and reality :)
So what's your take?