Monday, August 28, 2023

A Vow to Set the Virgin Free by Millie Adams


Hello, and welcome to another episode of Harlequin romances with titles I cannot read aloud to my coworkers-slash-family-members. Today's episode is called A VOW TO SET THE VIRGIN FREE, a Cinderella retelling between a girl named Athena who was, like, raised in a bunker or some shit to be the adoptive replacement of a dead daughter (can you say #issues?) and a guy named Cameron who used to be a male prostitute until he became a big scary billionaire but then he got into a car accident and now he just idles inside his big Smart Mansion.

Here's the thing about Millie Adams romances. She's a good writer and her books are smuttier than most, but she has a thing for anachronistic language and she also does this thing where she forces the H and the h into connecting over one weirdly specific thing, which she will then proceed to reference hundreds of times. Like, in one of her books, the hero bought her candy once, so he's a Good Guy(TM) (note the suspicious overlap between Good Guys(TM) and men who drive Suspicious Vans with Black Out Windows(TM).

Anyway, in this book, the fact that the heroine is named after a War Goddess is referenced over and over again. Which is ironic, because she was specifically the god of tactical war (Ares was the god of being a showboating dick) and wisdom. And the heroine is not particularly tactical, wise, or warlike. In fact, I feel like it would have been better to name her Persephone, because there's definitely a sort of Hades/Persephone dynamic going on between her and the sad scarred isolated billionaire. One thing I did like, though, were the many references to the Beauty and the Beast movie, including the self-sustaining mansion (castle), the yellow dress, and even the phrase "tale as old as time." I might have enjoyed this more if I were a bigger fan of the movie but it's not my favorite Disney film.

Overall, my feelings about this book were pretty meh. It just felt really strange and a little forced, and it lacked the chemistry and sexual connection that other books by this author had. I didn't hate it but it also wasn't her best and I skimmed a lot of it.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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