Tales of the Odalisque
Natalia hasn’t heard from her half-sister, Naomi, in over six months. After searching for her through every outlet she can think of, she decides her only option is to go to the last place Naomi mentioned wanting to get a job at: the Odalisque. But not just anyone gets access to the Odalisque, so Natalia does what’s necessary by joining the Abbey of the Virgins, a school where virgins are educated on how to satisfy a man before auctioning off their virginity. She doesn’t care about any of that though, what she needs is info only Lucius Belmont, the owner, has and she luckily has the skills to get it.
The story is a unique fusion of Victorian England and modern day making it really stand out. Litton’s beautiful prose seems effortless, although it sometimes drifts into excessively long, detailed descriptions that just barely crosses the line into unnecessary.
Lucius is *sigh* perfect. Even at his worst, he’s dreamy and giving. Natalia is stubborn to a fault, but it’s understandable. I just wish I got to see more of her after she finally lets her walls down, but the story sadly ends soon after. Their attraction is ‘don’t stare at the sun too long or you’ll go blind’ intense. It’s overwhelming, but in the best way. The sex isn’t what I would call dark and there’s not much of it, however there is an awful lot of thinking and learning about sex, but actual scenes between the H/h are few.
The conclusion is what kept me from giving the story 5 stars. *Mild Spoiler* Natalia finally tells Lucius about her illicit past and what she’s been searching for. He leaves, comes back sometime later and tells her ‘this is this, and that is that’ so no need to keep looking, problem solved. Oh, btw let’s spend forever together. The end.
It was simply too fast and felt incomplete. Despite that, the book is still definitely worth the read.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.