June 15, 2022

REVIEW Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains #1) by Katee Robert

Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains #1) by Katee Robert
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Format: eBook (Personal Library) + Audiobook (Borrowed from Library)
Publisher: Trinkets and Tales LLC (Self-Published) 

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Holy wow. After reading Katee Robert’s Desperate Measures I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at the Aladdin movie or Jafar the same again. The Dark Olympus books were my first introduction to Katee Robert (I’m a huge Greek mythology fan), but a dark romance retelling of some of the most famous Disney fairytales sounded interesting enough to check out. I’m now convinced that I need to check out all of her other series as well because this was *chefs kiss* amazing. I was hooked from the very beginning of the book, and I ended up finishing it in one sitting. 

Jasmine gets more of a focus in this book than she did in the movie, and I loved that. It was so much fun getting to see her growth over the course of the story and witness the moment she finally broke out of the metaphorical cage she’s been kept in for most of her life. Jafar also got more character development in the book, transitioning from a slightly comical cartoon villain to a dark anti-hero. This is definitely my favorite version of him. And our former hero has turned into a total dick and jerk (which is a total one-eighty flip, but I was all here for it). In addition to the development and reimagining of the main characters, I was quite impressed with how Ms. Robert incorporated references to some of the side characters from the original movie, like Rajah. 

There isn’t a lot of plot or actual storyline in this book, but somehow I wasn’t bothered by that. Large amounts of worldbuilding weren't necessary either - I didn't need to know about all the tiny details of the city and the criminal undertakings. I was quite happy to be taken along for the ride of the character journey. The chemistry between Jafar and Jasmine is off the charts, and ultimately that's what sold me on the book. The audiobook performance was solid - I did, however, prefer Lessa Lamb’s portion of the narration compared to that of Jack Calihan. Jack’s narration of Jafar’s point of view didn’t sound as smooth and villainous as I would have hoped (this is totally a personal preference thing, and didn’t affect my overall rating of the book). 

Altogether, Desperate Measures was a very entertaining read that I’ll be thinking about for a while. If a short and steamy retelling of a Disney fairytale sounds like something you would enjoy, then pick up Desperate Measures today! Each of the books is set up to be able to read as a standalone, though side characters from this book are set up to become main characters in later books of the series. I’m excited to read the other Wicked Villains books as soon as possible (I’m particularly curious about how Katee Robert will handle the stories featuring Hades/Meg/Hercules and the Beauty and the Beast retelling). As a reminder, please keep in mind that these books are intended for mature adult readers. I would in NO way EVER recommend them for someone at the middle grade or young adult levels. 

CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS (From Author’s Website): Consensual Non-Consent, Explicit Sex, Abusive Parent (Father), Parental Death (Father, Off-Page), Murder, Assault, Blood 

About the Book

My Savior... Or My Ruin? One night and my entire life went up in flames. All because of him. Jafar. As my world burned down around me, he offered me a choice. Walk away with nothing but my freedom... Or rise to his challenge and win my fortune back. I bargained. I lost. Now Jafar owns me, and even as my mind rails against his rules, my body loves the punishments he deals out when I break them. But a gilded cage is still a prison, I'll do anything to obtain my freedom. Even betray the man I'm falling for.

About the Author

Katee Robert is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Entertainment Weekly calls her writing “unspeakably hot.” Her books have sold over a million copies. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, children, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and two Great Danes who think they’re lap dogs.


Katee is represented by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency.

Katee Robert Author Website

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