Psst – The cover is a link
What happens when a modern day Cinderella’s dreams don’t involve getting married?
Romance? Love? In this Once Upon A Romance Series Book 1 romantic comedy, Charlotte (Charlie) King doesn’t have time for either one. All she wants is her late father’s dream to come true by making his beloved King’s Department Store thrive again. However, her stepmother has other ideas. Charlie agrees to help her stepmother find grooms for her sheltered stepsisters. In exchange, the stepmother will release her stronghold on the store’s budget. After all, one good deed deserves another, right? But, Charlie has no idea what her heart’s in for when…
Alexander (Alex) Royale, dubbed by society newspapers as Prince Charming, arrives for dinner to meet the all-female King family. His ailing grandparents yearn for his marriage and then the baby carriage. Well, that and running the family company. Having unsuccessfully searched for months, Alex doesn’t hold out any hope in finding his future bride among the King sisters. However, all his expectations, including his idea of a business-like marriage of convenience, vanish the moment Charlie crashes into him.
When Alex sets out out to win over Charlotte, he has no idea he has to bargain with the stepmother, secretly buy the store, court Charlotte after the wedding, and, oh yeah, be featured in Charlie’s new fairy tale ad campaign, The Charmings, based on them. Can a guy ever get a break?
The couple never factored in falling in love with each other. Now, faced with losing all their families ever wanted, Charlie and Alex must choose: Do they live their families’ dreams or do they finally live their own?
The tune from the Disney version of the Fairy Tale croons in my ears as I read the blub for this story. I love twists on Fairy Tales and “Cinderella” is a classic.
Except this one doesn’t want to get married…and she’s not a poor scullery maid. Interesting.
I love Charlie (aka Cinderella) from the instant she steps out of the cab into the rain. She’s no pitiful poor-me, covered-in-ashes, awaiting her fairy God-mother version that’s for sure. She’s a quip-cracking, spit-fire with a head on her shoulders, talent in her fingers, a dream in her heart…and a pair of red shoes.
With tongue-in-cheek story telling (Kings, Royals, and the main male lead with the nickname of ‘Prince Charming’) the author launches into a humorous light read that isn’t easy to put down. The characters are given a contemporary makeover, (figuratively as well as literally) and are pleasingly three dimensional.
Yes even the wicked step-mother who, while I don’t agree with her reasoning or her greed, gets to be a real person and not totally a villain for the sake of being a villain…mostly. (She’s still a villain and winner of the “not a very nice person” award, so she gets the part.)
I enjoyed the fact that the story doesn’t waste time with copious amounts of sex-scenes and just gets on with the story, that’s not to say there isn’t the sexual tension that a romance novel is famous for…and poor Alex (aka Prince Charming) is “not a saint.”
In my opinion, there is only one point of contention within the story and that’s the decision Alex makes (on his own!) for the solution to their problems. That decision came out of nowhere, with not even his thoughts (as written by the author) to give a foretelling of the bombshell. It made the climax a little stiff, but apart from that minute stumble, the story was brilliant, well-written and well-executed.
I also love, that like all good fairy tales, there is a moral to this story. A warning to ensure that the dream we have and are working towards is, in fact, our dream…and not a dream we inherited from others.
And there is even a taste of Book 2 in the series “Waking Sleeping Beauty” at the end of this story. While I’m not off to find any sort of wizard, I am off to find the second book…and I hear tell – there is a third.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ – 4 stars
So Writers… One of the best way to support authors is to review their books. If you’ve read a good book recently, have you reviewed it?