Lucci Grimley is indeed alluring—crowned with a mane of long blond hair, and blessed with an enchanting musical talent that draws a brave rescuer to a high tower hidden in the forest.
However, this modern-day Rapunzel is a young man, sold as a child to the wealthy and childless Damien Gotham for the price of a fast car and a pile of cash. And Lucci’s heroic prince is William “Prin” Prinzing, a handsome college student and star soccer player, hired to care for the grounds of the lavish Tower Estate. Prin climbs an extension ladder rather than a long golden braid to gain access to Lucci’s second floor bedroom window, ultimately penetrating the secrecy surrounding the cloistered young man.
Friendship, and soon romance, blooms. The tower captive eagerly gives his loving innocence to his brave rescuer, which sends the strict and reclusive Gotham into a frenzy of jealous rage. With Prin, Lucci gets a taste of real life, and he wants more. Together, the young men must face Gotham’s ruthlessness and pay the price of liberating Lucci.
Romance (M/M) / Erotica / Retellings / Diverse Reads
Publication Date: October 21st, 2016
Get a copy here!
Quick Reasons: fluffy, steamy, adorable romance; I’m branching out again!; a disturbing, dark take on Rapunzel; seriously, the “father” was terrifying; quick read with lots of adorable, quirky moments; I love?! this relationship; diverse read!
Huge thanks to Mia Kerick, Evernight Publishing, and YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
As per usual lately, I want to start with a trigger warning for sensitive readers: there are some violent scenes, and there is abuse (mostly emotional/mental), present in this book. Please be careful, and keep yourselves safe!
Also, this book explores some very mature themes/ideas. There are several explicit M/M sex scenes. Ideas like abuse, human trafficking, self-discovery, self-harm, and diverse love all play a role in this read. If these upset you or make you uncomfortable, this is probably not the right fit for you. Keep that in mind!
All that being said: I REALLY enjoyed this journey! The characters are endearing and adorable. I easily empathized with and found myself rooting for them both, in very different ways. I feel like the romance itself might have been just a little bit rushed, though. Given how little Lucci was allowed to experience the world, the insta-love on his end makes sense–Will is the first person to actually interact with and treat Lucci decently, so of course he’d be star-struck and infatuated. Will, after all, represents hope for Lucci. But I’m not sure it’s entirely believable, especially on Will’s end of things. He accepts his feelings toward Lucci almost TOO easily, in my opinion (having never been interested in anyone prior to this), and he doesn’t seem to struggle with it at all. Perhaps he’s just super resilient and adaptable, but I had a hard time believing it.
This was a quick read with some gorgeously written moments. I sat down intending to only read a small part of this…and ended up finishing it off within a couple of hours. The plot is well-paced, and I adored the ways Mia Kerick wove inspiration from Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretelthroughout the story. It’s a darker take, though–Lucci especially, while coming out stronger and standing on his own at the end, remains traumatized. So if you’re going into this read expecting a “magical happily ever after”…well, you won’t find it here. The ending is happy, of a sort, but it’s not all magically better.
Overall, I enjoyed this read. The characters were mixed parts snarky and endearing; the plot was driven and easy to slip into; and the subject matter was just dark enough to test my comfort zone. I will be keeping an eye out for Mia Kerick in the future–I can’t wait to see where she leads readers next! I recommend this to readers of diverse romance, journeys that make a statement, and stories inspired by fairy tales. This was exactly the adorable, steamy, dark romance I’ve been craving! Now, on to the next one.