The things you can get away with in the name of God; someone once said “Dom unto others as you would have God Dom unto you” and that someone ended up in jail for a little less than what this book entails overall. “The Maiden” by Celia Aaron is another title ripped straight from the headlines or at least it should be, we’ve got the stupidity of the “Prosperity Gospel,” the evil of the Catholic Church, and they made a mini-series about David Koresh’s cult.
With an understanding of this I rather watch The Maiden, if they ever thought to make it a movie because it’s a remarkable book, I was hooked and so is my erotica reading group, I would have read the sequels myself if they weren’t already reading them. This title hit home for me quite literally from the location to the type of church I knew as a child, to the family dynamic such as “perfect obedience.” There is a stark contrast between what is known as BDSM and what the general public believes, and using the church’s teachings to show that is awesome, the lives of the maidens and the families within Heavenly Ministries community.
Long story short we have this young woman, renamed Delilah who joins the cloister maidens of Heavenly Ministries, a bit of a convent; two words “Virgin Territory” a movie worth watching. Since when did convent become synonymous with the word brothel, and they have one. Delilah’s life is now the property of The Prophet. More importantly is the rights of his son Adam Monroe, another father-son duo *sigh* though the family is more nuclear, minus having a dog. The twist is what she hopes to find out from this church/cult; now those are synonyms being how I know the church to be; anyway another good girl, bad boy with kind intentions type of tale honestly.
Let me put it out there how churches will use beautiful women to entice people but it’s a thin line as with The Prophet, the people know one side, but he hides the other from them; sex as long as nobody talks about it. You should also be aware that as I said there is BDSM, but anyone that knows about abuse may do well to skip this though I think in both aspects “The Maiden” is rather tame somewhat.
Maybe I just read darker material though already being on the second book “The Prophet” that the darkness is cranking up, but of course that will be for another review I’ll try to stay on this one. As far as Delilah and Adam Monroe are concerned, I guess I do tend to lump all these characters together from different titles, the only thing that changes are motivations, and so there has to be something especially jarring, and with this, there wasn’t that in the Maiden.
Delilah other than her looks is the somewhat righteous girl looking to find justice which means infiltrating The Cloister as a Maiden, a group of twelve holy women who are to be placed by The Prophet’s direction to the rich, the powerful, and others The Prophet can use. Delilah without a doubt has a fiery personality which needs some breaking if she is to serve and that task falls to her protector, Adam. How does one find the truth in a web of lies because it becomes quite clear that is all that exists as the maidens begin their training and here’s a hint yes they will be on their knees, but it will be a lot less praying, shocker?
Adam is a man that I can relate to, hates his dad, doesn’t believe anything about the church that he belongs to, finds holy women hot as hell but moreover a woman that wants to tell him no but knows better. Now he can’t be the perfectly righteous man, these stories are never about that, but his feelings for Delilah drive him to defy his father and lead to some actions that could mean the death of them both. He also loves his mother; I swear if you give some guy washboard abs, a dark history, some unforgivable crime and make him declare allegiance to a girl, and you have 95% of the genre easily.
Other characters such as The Prophet himself as a hypocrite or Noah Monroe who is desperate for some semblance of a family and Grace the Head Spinner who I would take to be like Aunt Lydia from The Handmaid’s Tale only younger. We also have a slight bit of politics and heroics from everyone including other maidens and spinners and the network that keeps such an organization intact and running smoothly.
So why four stars and not five, other than my usual ranting, raving, carrying on about the general state of this genre the sex was kept somewhat to a minimum, only a pair of maidens I believe losing their virginity. I should add a spoiler alert but if you want to know if you should read this; if you don’t get offended by those who take God in vain or want a break from seeing what churches honestly do and would instead imagine it, or if you like dark erotica, then please have at it.
As I’ve already said there is a lack of sex, here I was expecting an orgy, but the maidens must know virtue to a certain extent for any prospective buyers, so don’t set your hopes so high but the tease is worth it. The Prophet is a typical bad guy, on the one hand, he spouts all the religious doctrine to rule but he is like any other leader wanting the money and the power that comes from his position, but we’re supposed to be figuring Adam out anyway. Delilah with her quest doesn’t quite have a plan besides her work learning about the compound, seeking who she needs to know and payback but how will this bring all of Heavenly down on them?
Some of my favorite parts are near the end, that’s not a bad thing, but they keep you on the edge of everything else, and you have one more chance to turn away; ready, READY, okay when Adam and Delilah have sex so she won’t lose her virginity to The Prophet. There is also the escape attempt of the maidens from the compound that I couldn’t put down; I was as hooked as Adam was keeping Delilah from her freedom. Other than the sex there was the touching moment between Adam and Noah; I did say no dogs, but Noah has a lizard and a cat not that The Prophet wouldn’t kill them too, showing that Noah has a heart like Adam and if animals die, so help me God.
To think this isn’t my first read from Celia Aaron, I’ve also read “Dark Protector” another four out of five stars like this, always on the edge of glory and what will I give “The Prophet” which is the second book in “The Cloister Trilogy.” Until then my mother would be happy to know I’m back in the church but probably not this one but with such pretty girls and a man here or there I can relate to truthfully Hey There Delilah, My Maiden.