Reviewing: Desperate Measures by Katee Robert

Content warnings: Dubious consent, blood/murder, kind of hostage situation?, blackmail

My Rating: 4 out of 5 books

Highlights: 

  • It’s basically Disney but filthy? And I’m kind of here for it? 
  • Tinkerbell is amazing
  • I just love a good clothing description
  • Jasmine is badass
  • Excellent use of safewords and boundaries. 

“Good evening, Jasmine.” 

I freeze. I know that cultured voice, have heard it in both dream and nightmares for the last five years. This man isn’t my betrothed, the sword that’s hung over my neck since my father’s proclamation. No, he is far worse. Jafar, my father’s second-in-command

So when I first heard about this book I was informed that it was essentially utterly filthy romance fiction using Disney characters, so I was intrigued. Jafar seemed like an odd starting point, given that he famously looks like this: 

But then I haven’t seen the new movie yet and apparently he’s sexy now? Either way Katee, utter treasure that she is for giving us well written Disney smut, made him sexy, so I was okay with that. I mean I’m not the best judge of sexiness in men, but she did a pretty good job of that overall. The fact that he didn’t have a talking parrot helped, to be honest. 

Anyway, Desperate Measures is what would happen if Aladdin was a modern mafia movie. After overthrowing Jasmine’s father, Jafar takes over the family business and with it the trust fund that Jasmine depends upon. Having never left her father’s grounds and been promised to a man she despises, Jasmine is vulnerable – and Jafar wants her. So he gives her a choice – leave freely with nothing or stay, be his and earn back her fund and her freedom. 

She chooses to stay. 

The sexy times commence. But we also see a lot of Jasmine’s strength and intelligence coming through. She has fought for years to be seen as more than a dowry, more than a potential alliance between her father’s company and another man – she has value and merit to the business in her own right and she is determined to show it. Jasmine is in no way complacent with the game that is being played, and is definitely a player and not a piece to be moved around the board. We meet a variety of different Disney inspired characters, some allies others not so much. From Tink, a vastly unimpressed personal shopper, to Hades who runs the local high-class clientele sex club (because of course he does) this is clearly the first in a series that will broaden the world it is set in and I fully intend on reading the rest of them. 

Obviously this isn’t the lightest or fluffiest romance out there, definitely steering more towards the erotica side of the romance spectrum, but it was fantastic to read about these two very stubborn, intelligent people working out what is going on between them whilst also tackling a very high-stakes game where losing will absolutely mean dying painfully and probably publically. It’s a dangerous game, but Jafar and Jasmine are so deeply embedded in it they have to win or losing will cost everything. I really liked the way Jafar encouraged Jasmine to learn and vocalise what she wanted, what she enjoyed – both in their bedroom and in her life. He never wanted her to be silent, obedient and complacent. He sees the fight in her, and boy does he like it. 

Now if I haven’t made it abundantly clear, this book is the sort of book to make you flush while reading it alone in a room on your kindle, never mind on lunch break at work. One downside is it does contain a word that when spoken makes every part of my body clench with cringe and that, my friends, is the word ‘daddy’. 

Quick pause while I shudder. 

Now, this was still a very good story despite that one particular nope of mine, and some of you may very much enjoy that particular trope, I’m not here to judge. Just know it is there, the marmite of all sexy tropes. Nobody every just ‘likes’ the word daddy. But if you can get past that, the smut in this one is very well written. 

Every time I review one of these books I remember that my sister reads this blog, then I realise that if she wants to read smut it may as well be well written smut. 

Then I remember my mum sometimes reads it too. Hi mum, aren’t you proud of the outcome of my English Degree? 

In all seriousness there’s nothing wrong with liking sexy books, just as there’s nothing wrong with not liking them. And if your favourite brand of sexy was born from hours of confusing crushes on childhood cartoons (looking at you Esmerelda) then I highly recommend that you read this book. There’s more out now and you can bet that when I have the money I will also have the kindle books. 

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