Hotness Level: Ember
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, Fairytale Retelling
Reviewed by Anne
281 ebook pages
Sage is a modern day Rapunzel. She’s was raised by her grandmother in a very unorthodox and extreme feminist manner. It’s left her very sheltered and naïve about a lot of things and very suspicious and judgmental about others. She even got her college degrees through online studies. It’s not until she’s starting her PhD that she has many interactions with the outside world at all. So she’s very, very surprised when she looks out her office window and into a classroom window and sees a nude man. She’s also curious, and scared that her grandmother will get the man in trouble, so she dashes down and into the classroom. That’s where she meets her prince, Ryan Prince, nude model for drawing classes.
As a contemporary set fairytale retelling, this story does an incredible job. As a romance it really isn’t very good at all. I think if I’d gone into it just looking for a fairytale, I’d have enjoyed it more. However, it was listed as a romance, and that brings certain expectations with it, and unfortunately it didn’t meet those expectations.
For me, reading a romance means reading a story that is centered on a romantic relationship between the main characters. In this story there is a romantic relationship, but the focus of the story is on Sage’s personal journey, and Ryan is just one of many characters in that journey, and he’s actually not even in the majority of the story. Additionally, Sage’s journey ended up reminding me of a Danielle Steel novel – the kind where you walk with the main character through the darkest times in their life. I avoid stories like this if I can. While this one wasn’t as extreme as some examples I’ve read, I just don’t appreciate watching the heroine struggle and be taken advantage of. It doesn’t make the resolution and happy ending sweeter for me, it just brings me down.
Another strike against the story is that its main subject is feminism as much as it is the fairytale and much more than it is the romance. I consider myself a feminist, so I bring that bias in with me when I read the story. I don’t mind a story that features feminism, and I don’t even mind about reading the costs and benefits of a life with and without feminism. I did get tired of it being so much of what the story was about.
On the positive side, it was an extremely creative retelling of the Rapunzel story! The tower that Rapunzel was in wasn’t quite literal, but it was the way her grandmother raised her. There was even a cool look at two different types of towers Sage was kept in. I really liked this version of Rapunzel.
For all of these reasons, the story was difficult for me to grade. As a fairytale, it gets and A+. As a romance it’s a D or an F. So I’ll settle for a C+. I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy a great fairytale retelling, but don’t expect too much romance. Can you recommend a fairytale retelling that does have a great romance, too?