Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
After seeing the title of this, how could I resist? Cinderella is my favorite fairy-tale and I actively seek out retellings plus I used to live in the Seattle area. What I didn't realize is that this was a collection of four intertwined stories, beginning with Cindy, the retelling of Cinderella, and giving love stories to her two stepsisters and to her godmother. I'm going to talk about each briefly.
Cindy and the Prince: This is the story inspiring the title. Cindy runs her father's mechanic shop but only possesses a half interest which she must share with her cruel stepmother and lazy stepsisters. Luke works across the street and has been trying to win a date with Cindy for about six months.
Love by the Books: This was probably my favorite story, actually. It features Annie and Brent, stepsister to Cindy and business partner to Luke respectively. Brent greatly distrusts Annie after her cruel behavior to Cindy but Annie has undergone a transformation and wants to earn trust as she builds her career as an accountant. When she discovers discrepancies in Brent and Luke's books, most people assume she doesn't know what's talking about but Brent trusts her and helps her unravel what has been going down.
Till Death Do Us Part: Zella is the other stepsister who is trying to avoid her mother's matchmaking attempts by joining a book club. Only it's actually a club for writers of books. Zella reads a lot, especially the work of her favorite author T.J. Zareth. Unbeknownst to her, that is the pen name of her group mate Trevor who wants to court Zella without her knowing his secret identity.
Never Too Late: This last story features Cindy's godmother Farrah who has reached her fiftieth year without marrying after the untimely death of her fiance. She has contented herself that marriage is not in the cards for her. Until some meddling teenagers push her to dreamy vet Matt, who had avoided marriage as he is unable to father children.
The books share many things in common. Of course there's the characters who pop up in most of the stories to various degrees and it is all set around Seattle so there are some familiar locales to me from my time in the Seattle area. Christianity plays a role for all of the characters as they attend church and look for partners of faith.
The weird thing, to me, was how fast all of these couples get married. It seems to take about a week for them to be engaged and then another week for a quick wedding. What's the rush? I understand knowing that you're with the one and wanting to start your lives together but it seemed like they were in such a hurry instead of enjoying dating and getting to know each other. I admit that the timeline might have seemed compressed due to the shortness of the stories but it left me uncomfortable.
Overall: Cute little romance stories-fast reads with sweet characters. Remember these are short stories so not too much time can be spent on character development nor do plots have a chance to be drawn out. I think there's a little something for everyone who enjoys a romance story.