Review: Madame X by Jasinda Wilder

Review-Madame XMADAME X
Series: Madame X #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jasinda Wilder
Release Date: October 6, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2


Madame X invites you to test the limits of control in this provocative new novel from New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder.

My name is Madame X.
I’m the best at what I do.
And you’d do well to follow my rules…

Hired to transform the uncultured, inept sons of the wealthy and powerful into decisive, confident men, Madame X is a master of the art of control. With a single glance she can cut you down to nothing, or make you feel like a king.

But there is only one man who can claim her body—and her soul.

Undone time and again by his exquisite dominance, X craves and fears his desire in equal measure. And while she longs for a different path, X has never known anything or anyone else—until now…

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Review3 starsMadame X_DGR


I belong to one man and one man alone, and he does not share.”

I’ve been sitting here for two days trying to put all my convoluted thoughts in words. Did I like this book? I don’t know. Did I DISlike it? I don’t know. I really just have no idea how I feel about the book, the characters, or the story. None. And isn’t that a bitch? The entire story is one mystery hidden behind another, and there’s quite a few things at work here that managed to leave me with more questions than answers now that I finished. Am I curious enough to read the next book to see where the story is going? I AM curious. But it’s more of a “I wish someone else would read it and tell me” sort of curiosity. It’s just that middle of the road book that I really don’t know how I even feel about. But I’ve digressed. Allow me to try to sum-up my thoughts somewhat in a semblance of a spoiler free review here…

Silence breathes truth; solitude breeds introspection.”

Madame X is a highly sought after and exclusive trainer to spoiled sons of the rich and entitled. Named after Jon Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Madame X, she whips inept and spoiled boys into men. She’s stunning, beguiling, cold, and incredibly good at her job. Her services are expensive and she has a waiting list 2 years long. She is THE person to go to for the rich to educate their sons how to be men enough to eventually take over their fathers’ empires. Her job is also all she knows and all she’s known for over six years now.

Is she a willing victim or the prey of something much more sinister? Therein lies the rub and that’s what the reader is left questioning for the entirety of the book.

So what didn’t work for me?

The writing style for one…
I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around it. Is it present tense? Past tense?

Your mouth, X.”
I sink to my knees. Unzip. Free the slide-and-hook clasp of custom-tailored trousers. Taste flesh. Smoky essence. My hands and mouth on firm, clean, masculine flesh….

Madame X refers to her clients as “you”. ‘You sit at a table and wait for me. I look at you’. But then the other main character in the story gets referred to as almost something more…almost like an entity if that even makes sense

I am pulled upright, a broad, hard palm cupping the back of my neck. Eyes bore down on me, pierce me, dark and still furious.

Caleb is an enigma in every essence of the word, so perhaps that particular descriptive writing of his scenes are the reasons behind it. To build on that perception? But if I’m being honest, it mostly just flew over my head and managed to confuse me.

The writing style and dialogue is almost ostentatious at times with the words and descriptions used. Madame X is extremely cultured, and it certainly gets across in her inner monologue, however, I just found it to be excessive. Her referring to her nether regions as “privates” didn’t help either.

So focused on the man in front of me, am I, that I’ve noticed nothing of the space around me.

Do you see what I mean though? It was just entirely too much considering I’m reading a contemporary erotic romance…

My other issue was Caleb

Caleb Indigo was created by an artist for the express purpose of ravishing women. Specifically, in this moment, this woman.
And I hate my body for it.”

Is he a bad guy? A good guy shrouded in mystery that’s simply misunderstood? Who is he? What is it he does? Do I care? The answer to all of those questions is I don’t know. I couldn’t connect to him for the life of me. I’m all for questionable characters, but I do have my limits and I do think that this man was that. I found nothing endearing or captivating about him. Perhaps this was the point and the second and third books will put things in better perspective. The problem is that my perception of him is already skewed and I don’t think it’ll be changing.

I feel shame, embarrassment, revulsion. Hatred. I fell for the sorcery again. Caleb has some way of weaving a spell over me, of making me forget all my objections and all my thoughts and everything that is logical or rational.

Now as for the story itself? I can see how people would enjoy it. It is somewhat spellbinding if you can connect to it. The mystery, the secrets, it all weaves together into quite a tale. Perhaps if I enjoyed the writing style and developed a better connection to X, that would have been the case for me as well.
I couldn’t understand X’s behavior or decisions. She’s a strong and captivating woman, but at times her naivety was a bit too much. Yes, I understand that since this is all she’s known for over 6 years that mostly rules her actions…but to a point. This is particularly true for the direction the ending of the book took. I was not at all a fan of that particular direction. While I do plan on reading the second book to see what happens, I’m not exactly anxious at a chance to jump into it either.

I suppose I’ll save my ultimate judgement of the series until I finish book 2, so we’ll just wait to see what happens.

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