by Charlotte Stein
Published by Mischief on May 28, 2015
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Erotic
Format: ARC, Ebook
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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
New job, new boss, and he’s cold, strict, but terribly attractive. Does Molly Parker stay or does she go? Because beneath Cyrian’s chilly front, there may be a heat that’ll burn her up.
Giving in was vicious bliss.
The live-in position is an opportunity for Molly to earn and escape a problematic family. There’s just one drawback. Her employer is the most eccentric, aloof and closed off man she's ever encountered. His rules are bizarre and his needs even more so, and caring for his ramshackle Dickensian home is far more than she ever bargained for. Only their increasingly intense conversations stop her heading for the door. Cyrian Harcroft is a man of many mysteries and secrets, and the more she learns the greedier she is for each and every one. Especially when she discovers his greatest fear: any kind of physical contact. Now all she has to do is dig a little deeper, to unearth the passion she knows he can feel…
This book is basically the super dirty version of a modern-day gothic romance and I loved every word.
Molly begins a new job as a live-in housekeeper. She soon learns that her employer, Cyrian Harcroft, is extremely odd and aloof. He tells her not to look at him, not to interact with him, and never ever to touch him. Despite this, she finds herself drawn to him, weird as he is. And strangely enough, he cannot keep himself away from her either. The two engage regularly in what feels like conversational fencing: they’re both exceedingly quick, precise, and skilled.
Then allow me to disillusion you immediately. Your technique is that of a sixteen-year-old boy fumbling at the underwear of my mind.
Indeed, their conversations soon turn into verbal foreplay and it’s just a matter of time before things turn sexual. This is a Charlotte Stein book, after all. But there’s that whole “Cyrian hates physical touch” thing. As he and Molly become more involved, he’s still terrified of physical closeness. When he finally shares the reason for his fear, it’s one of the only moments when I felt some sympathy for his character. The majority of the time, he’s just an ass, but we don’t really know why. Once it’s explained, his character becomes more likable–but it’s difficult before that, since he is so constantly aloof.
He wants to be the evil wizard who has somehow imprisoned a princess. But he has to know he can never be. My life before was the prison: this is the escape.
Molly also shares a troubled past, particularly involving her family life. So when she and Cyrian bond over their similar experiences, it makes their physical interactions that much more meaningful.
This is a super dirty book and I mean that in the best way. It’s also Charlotte Stein at her finest: deeply introspective, at moments both hilarious yet heartbreaking, and with a witty quickness that I rarely find elsewhere. She remains, as always, one of the best voices in romance.
Rating: 4 stars