Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU
Free On KU

Maid for You by Mariah R. Embry


An age-gap, rich-girl-poor-girl romance with a borderline romcom storyline set in the surreal 2020 lockdown context.

Twenty-four year old Octavia is an undocumented immigrant in the USA from Mexico. She’s already had a rough life and nothing has got easier because of her immigration status which compels her to work as a maid for a barely living wage. The latest posting that her agency gives her is as a live-in maid in celebrity rockstar, Jay Firefly’s home. Forty-two year old Jay is not only a famous rockstar but lives the quintessential 70s rockstar life indulging voraciously in women and drugs. Jay has a roster of ‘girlfriends’, basically models whom she pays to be her girlfriends. She doesn’t particularly do relationships. Or emotions.

There are rules of working with Jay. One big one being never to make eye contact with the rockstar or talk to her. Maids are supposed to be invisible. Octavia is acutely aware of this and does her best to disappear, but something keeps pulling the two women in each other’s orbit and blurring out every line in Jay’s rules for maids.

When the state declares shelter in place, the two women are locked in the house together and there is no putting a lid on their irresistible attraction towards each other. And surprisingly, the attraction is much more than mere sexual attraction. There is a lot of tenderness and caring between them and they find themselves sharing their pasts, their deepest selves.

But post-lockdown, the real world enters bringing along outside attitudes, judgements and problems which the new couple must find a way of dealing with.

Embry writes Octavia and Jay excellently. Octavia with her past, her experiences and the fact that she is completely alone in the world quickly evokes protectiveness. But she is also hardworking, feisty and fearless about her rights (for example, her right to a day off). She doesn’t back off, make herself a doormat or become pitiable in any way, at any point. Thus she becomes an entirely enjoyable character.

Jay Firefly is introduced as almost a Harold Robbins-esque character. Living life large and on the wild side. But despite her philandering ways, her lack of respect for everyone and her generally piggish behaviour, she always remains very human. There is a vulnerability in her that is visible in every interaction with Octavia. As their relationship progresses and they peel of layers, Jay as a person is explained so well that all her behaviour makes sense.

There is an age gap and it was nice to read about the small ways in which it shows. However, the ways that the age gap manifests are too small to impact their relationship. We love the way Jay commits to Octavia in every way possible and protects her steadfastly. We also liked that Octavia remains fallibly human enough to want to assert herself and her power unambiguously with anyone disrespecting her.

The chemistry between Octavia and Jay is so, so, so hot. All the burn, all the inexplicably out-of-character behaviour that culminates into really great sex scenes. And plenty of them – which is always a good thing.

Embry brings in all types of safety factors smoothly into the narrative including tools for safe sex and safety in the times of covid-19. There is a lot of use of drugs but it is never particularly glamourized. In fact, it is mostly used to show degenerate behaviour.

This is a light, slightly escapist and thoroughly enjoyable read.

PS: We do wish one of the minor characters, Vivica had been given a better deal because she was unexpectedly quite a tragic character. For everything that she was and she had been, she should’ve been more successful, had more love in her live and been happier. Guess we just want utopia for all pen-people that we like.     


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