Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#TBRChallenge 2020: The Greek's Nine-Month Redemption

Book Cover
The Book: The Greek's Nine-Month Redemption by Maisey Yates

The Particulars: Contemporary romance, Harlequin Presents, 2016, out of print, available digitally

Why Was It In Wendy's TBR?:  Yates is an autobuy.  My print copy is autographed which means I picked this up at an RWA conference, although my cataloging notes are incomplete (my guess, probably the 2016 conference - which would have been San Diego).

The Review: Yates is such a pro at writing short contemporary that even when her books don't hit all the right buttons for me they're still highly readable.  I hadn't even picked out a TBR Challenge book until Sunday afternoon, grabbed this one because it was near the top of the Harlequin print pile, and proceeded to inhale it in one sitting.

Elle St. James is a poor little rich girl whose father has installed her as CEO of the family business.  Not because he believes in her. Perish the thought! Because her step-brother, Apollo Savas, is dismantling her father's empire brick by brick.  When the old man's empire faltered, Apollo swooped in like a savior, only to reveal his true identity - that of avenging angel.  Daddy St. James done him wrong, done his mother wrong, and now the man must pay.  Their parents married when Elle and Apollo were teenagers, and the sexual tension between them has always been thick.  Instead of acting on it, it has taken the form of sarcasm and back-biting - which honestly is half the fun of this story.  Apollo is a proto-typical Presents ass, but gods bless Elle - this girl can certainly dish it out.

What tends to happen in Presents stories happens here.  Apollo wants his revenge, Elle is conveniently standing right in front of him, there's all this delicious Enemies to Lovers tension clinging to the pages - well of course his pants are going to fall off and oopsie doodle...over and over again.  But will Apollo be able to set aside his blind quest for revenge, especially when Elle ends up pregnant?

This is pretty standard Presents fair.  Apollo is an ass and frankly needed to crawl over broken glass and grovel - which makes it highly annoying that there's no grovel to speak of in this book.  What kept this book from flying across the room, and what tends to make Yates' Presents highly addictive, is that the heroines tend to have just as much fire as the heroes.  Elle has underlying vulnerabilities, but this kitten has claws and draws blood even when Apollo is painting her into a corner.  She's got gumption and I love gumption.

So if there's no grovel, and Apollo is an ass - what saves this book?  Yates can write.  And she writes stuff about forgiveness and love and sacrifice over the course of the final chapters that are...well, there's depth here.  The kind of depth that naysayers of "those trashy Harlequins" think the format lacks because it merely exists and people like to read them (readers like Harlequins ergo they must have absolutely no merit at all).

Is it perfect? Well, no. Apollo, his need for revenge, and him using Elle to get said revenge are nothing if not problematic  But the epilogue is perfection - showing the couple 10 years later, with Elle living her best damn life and they're still blissfully in love - even despite the complicated baggage.  Yes, Apollo is an ass.  And yes, Elle plays the role of the good woman who thaws his frosty heart, but it sings from page one to the last sentence and I don't feel the least bit guilty inhaling this in one sitting.

Final Grade = B-


Jill said...

I read "One Bed for Christmas" by Jackie Lau. Even though it's past Christmaas. Two best friends, down to earth everyday guy hero pining from afar for years, hardworking heroine sweetly oblivious. The heroine's power goes out for Christmas and wouldn't you know it hero has a nice cozy apartment in the city. And yes, there is snuggling for warmth. This was a really sweet novella, although I've got to be honest the hero was pining for 12 years. 12 years! And he dated some of that time, but no one quite matched up to his love of the heroine. The story smoothed over that a bit with him realizing he'd put her on a pedestal a bit, but I was still left a little concerned about his emotional maturity. It was cute in a short and sweet, don't think about it too much way and I'd give it a B.

Dorine said...

I'm so glad you read one of Yates' books, Wendy. I have several in my print TBR, and I needed the reminder to try them. I've finally come to the conclusion that I need to cull my print TBR by being honest with myself. There are some books in there that I have no intention of reading. I keep thinking someone will review one and convince me to try them, when truthfully, they're buried so far back in the pile I forget I have them.

Thanks for continuing this challenge. I really love all aspects of it. It helps me not only lessen my piles, but convince me to try the books I'll really love and quick fussing with those I never will. I guess I'm a book hoarder since once they're here, they rarely leave. LOL

Jill - 12 years is shocking, for sure! I'm glad the story worked for you in the end. :)

Jess said...

Every now and then I like to read a Presents because of how over the top the stories can be. Parts of your review had me loling IRL !

Wendy said...

Jill: I need to read Jackie Lau this year. I've got at least a couple of her books languishing on my Kindle.

Dorine: I haven't tried her single titles yet, but Yates writes strong Presents and Desires. Also, while not so much in this particular book, she's a fan of writing fairytale tropes.

Jess: Presents tend to be pure escapism for me, which is why I like them. Sometimes I just want the fairytale, the Calgon-Take-Me-Away feeling that a good swoony romance can give me. And that's bread and butter in Presents World :)