I like Jackie Ashenden as an author. I've read a couple of books by her and usually she is very adept at character development. I also liked the synopsis of the book and had high expectations based on the description of this book. The problem that I had with this book happens from time to time when a author takes a popular trope (in this case the Cinderella theme) and just takes it too damn far.
So in this book Mia is homeless. Not like fake homeless or temporarily experiencing hard times, she's homeless homeless. Like she's been on the street for years. Xavier, on the other hand is a uber billionaire. In fact, the only reason Xavier and Mia meet is because Xavier is volunteering at the soup kitchen where Mia eats meals. Because she has no home and no kitchen and no FOOD. And somehow while serving Mia at the soup kitchen Xavier rises above the smell of unwashed bodies and nameless food that can be mass produced, he finds himself like super attracted to Mia. Xavier is some bad boy/playboy type but somehow he sees past the dirt, emaciated body and baggy clothes of a homeless woman and decides she is the one...
As for Mia, she is understandably suspicious of Xavier's intentions. You know why she's suspicious? Because generally when a wealthy man takes interest in a poor woman with whom he absolutely has nothing in common and volunteers to put her up in a real nice play, dress her and feed her good- he's a PIMP trying to turn a hoe out. I'm sorry but hel-loooooo. Cinderella stories are among my favorite sub-genres but come on. The hero and the heroine need to have something in common before I can relate to the romance.
So anyway, fast forward some pages and Xavier has taken Mia off the streets and into his home. And then all of a sudden Mia is a virgin but she wants to have porn star sex with Xavier. There is some sub-plot going on about Xavier and issues with his Father and brothers but honestly, it was hard to focus on anything besides the ridiculousness of the relationship between Mia and Xavier. I honestly can't tell you a single thing they had in common, the basis for any conversation between them or why they would be attracted to one another.
Ok, I know I've said a lot here but even with all of this being said, I still don't think this is a bad book. The writing is good and the story moves forward at a entertaining pace. All I'm saying is that the premise is ridiculous and the relationship lacks credibility. If you can get past that, you might actually think this book is ok.
**ARC provided by Publisher**