2.5 stars, rounding up bc I'm feeling generous. It's a great concept for a story - hot butler & haute british society girl. Family strife, secret "interactions." But somehow it fell disappointingly flat.
Overly wordy - I'd say 70% of this book is Millie's internal monologue. And she wants to be funny... But Bridget Jones (or Jemima J) she is not. Not by a long shot. The "try" is there on every. tedious. page. Sometimes it's endearing (like it is with the sharply edited Ms. Jones) but mostly it's frustrating. This read like mediocre fan fiction (where each chapter was kind of its own rambling thing before remembering it had a role to play in actually moving the story forward) & a tighter editing could really have benefited the final product.
We're given detail upon detail of conversations with Polly & the trip to Dubai, and chitchat with Abby - but the constant hints of info dropped about Millie's mysterious brother, her parents on-again-off-again relationship, and Blair's background hardly go anywhere. NOTHING ever really comes of it. Nothing is revealed!! and, its not bc its a cliffie - the author just never brings those major story lines to fruition. And those were really the only reasons I kept reading. I kept waiting for the big payoff, the big "a-HA!!!" moment! Silly me, with Marchetta-like expectations for some big revelation that would tie up all the vague-mystery of Alistair, the mom's hiring (& hinted at attachment to) Blair, and the dad's reluctance to leave the estate... But nothing.
And don't even get me started on the lack of Blair. While we're fed ALL the insight to Emilia, hardly any is given for Blair. Why does he love her? What's the deeper attraction? Show me how he's working thru coming to terms with his past & his job & his future. And CLEARLY there's something worth exploring with his penchant for dominant, rough sex! (Which was hot btw!) That's CLEARLY part of his struggle to come to terms with being a "submissive" in terms of his career & social standing. If the 2nd book is willing to explore that angle, as well as the two of them making a life together without money, then MAYBE I'd be willing to read it.
I feel like with tighter editing & a more consistent story direction this author could have a fun little novel on her hands. I hope this happens before the 2nd book.