Cinderella.com – River Laurent

Blurb

 Once upon a…hot cowboy

Loan sharks are circling, I’ve got my dad’s hospital bills to pay, and my landlord is about to kick me out onto the street.
It’s all doom and gloom until my best friend, Jesse, tells me that she’s found me a job impersonating the famous hotel heiress, Tamara Honeywell.
I get to live on a ranch in Montana for a month and take care of all my money worries. The only snag is I’ll have to have my lips injected, and act like a spoilt, demanding, selfish brat. but, what the hell? Collagen is temporary, and I can act like the world’s most bitchy heiress for a month.

Until I see the jaw-droppingly handsome cowboy who comes to collect me. All flashing eyes, sun drenched skin, steely muscles…and spitting venom. Oops, he can’t stand talentless celebrities. Absolutely hates them. Damn, he looks like he wants to put me over his knee and spank me.

This is going to be interesting!

In Montana it’s not just the sky that’s big. So saddle up for the hottest cowboy that ever walked the pages of a book.


Stats

Page Length: 320
Publication Year: 2017
Genre: Romance
Characters: Cassidy/ Tamara Honeywell  and Lars


Thoughts

If you have been reading my blog pretty regularly then you’ll know I’m a sucker for fairy-tale retellings. This one is slightly more light-hearted and a lot more raunchy than some of the others I have read before.

Story/Characters

This book was a lot of fun to read, I really liked the writing style. It’s told mostly from Cassidy’s Pov with a little of Lars thrown in here and there. It’s told entirely in first person (which I always love)

I liked how it had some elements of Cinderella in there but it didn’t always follow the traditional storyline of the original, which gave it a fresh feel.

I really enjoyed Cassidy character, her sass with Lars was very entertaining especially when she was having to act like Tamara. Her chemistry with him was off the charts!

There wasn’t a lot of character development but that was ok as this I felt this book’s focus was more to do with the romance between the two main characters.

Favorite Quote:

“Watching her becomes my entire world. It’s amazing how a single person can be so damned beautiful” 

Conclusion:

I really liked this story, if you’re looking for something light-hearted with lots of romance this is for you.

My Rating:  4/5  🌟🌟🌟🌟

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It Started with Goodbye – Christina June

Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.


STATS

Page Length:305
Publication Year: 2017
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Characters: Tatum, Ashlyn, Tilly, Abby


*I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Story

This book is loosely based on Cinderella. It’s written from Tatum’s POV in the first person. It’s set over the course of one summer. The main theme of the books is growing up and taking responsibility for the choices you make. I really felt the author captured this well. In the beginning, Tate is smarting from being blamed for something she didn’t do. However, it was her decisions that lead her to be at the wrong time and place which is what she is being punished for. At this point, she doesn’t understand this and feels she is being unfairly treated.

But with a little insight from her step-grandmother (this stories Fairy God Mother) and some self-reflection Tate begins to understand that her perception and understanding of things and the people around her are not what she first thought.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It had a lot more depth to it than the synopsis lets on. I really enjoyed Tatum’s journey and personal growth. I really enjoyed all the little references to Cinderella practically Gus the CAT!

Characters

I really enjoyed Tate, she was just enough angsty that it wasn’t annoying. I like that she made good with her step-sister and step-mom in the end and that she was able to let go of her anger towards her best friend and forgive her for making a mistake. I think this showed a lot of maturity on her part as most 16-year-olds can be very unforgiving

Tilly was a real surprise, once she and Tate started talking it was a joy to read. I really liked her character and would have liked to have read more about her.

Ashlyn, at the beginning I felt was a tad childish for not talking to Tatum, but this was just out of embarrassment for her actions and for getting Tate into trouble.

Conclusion

I really liked this book it’s the first one I’ve read by Christina June. It was a really fresh take on the Cinderella story. I’ve just done a little bit of research and discovered a book from Tilly’s perspective which will be inspired by Little Red Riding Hood is being released next year – needless to say, I’ve added this to my TBR pile!

So in summary, If you like Meg Cabot’s writing then you’ll probably like this. Also if you enjoy fairy-tale retellings then you’ll like this one.

My Rating:  4/5  🌟🌟🌟🌟

It Started with Goodbye is out May 9th, 2017 you can pre-order your copy here

Cinder & Ella – Kelly Oram

Blurb

It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything


 STATS

Page Length: 254
Publication Year: 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Romance
Characters: Cinder and Ella


Story: 

As you can probably tell from the title, this is a re-telling of Cinderella but with a twist. Ella is not your traditional Cinderella. She has been left scarred and damaged from a car crash that also killed her mother. After 8 months in a coma, she wakes up to find that she must move across the country to live with the father that abandoned her and his new family. The only bright spot in Ella’s life is her online friend Cinder.

I really liked how this book didn’t follow tradition, there was only one super-mean step sister, the other was relatively ok and no wicked step-mother. Instead, the partial bad guy in this was Ella’s step-dad and the mean kids from Ella’s school. The fairy god mother came in the form of Ella’s Vivien and her two dads and prince charming is of course Cinder.

This story is told in first person and from the perspectives of both Ella and Cinder.

Characters:

Ella’s battle with accepting her disability and scares after the accident is heartbreaking, but I think she was an amazingly strong character. After everything she has lost she is stilling getting up each day and trying to live. I think that she is really brave, from re-connecting to Cinder to going back to school even after the bullies attack, emotionally and physically.

Her friendship with Cinder is sweet. The banter between the is just so funny and I can defiantly see why she falls for him without even meeting him. I

I really liked Cinder (who is really Brian Oliver, a Hollywood actor) from the moment that he finds out that Ella is still alive you can really tell that he has genuine feelings for her. The thing that I absolutely loved the most about him was that he didn’t care that Ella is scared and uses a cane. He still loves and her wants her in his life even if it does damage his career. I feel his character was written with a lot of heart.

Favourite Quote

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Conclusion:

I really loved this book, its such an emotional rollercoaster lots of lows and lots of highs and come chapters particularly towards the end made me have tears in my eyes. But untimely this is a feel good read. If you are a Cinderella fan and enjoy re-tellings you will like this book.

My Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge

Blurb

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love

STATS

Page Length:352
Publication Year: January 2014
Genre: Fantasy/Retelling/Romance
Characters: Nyx, Ignifex


This is my first DNF of this year. I really hate not finishing a book but after 6 chapters I just couldn’t read anymore.

That’s not to say that this isn’t a good book, it has 3 1/2 star rating on GoodReads so I think it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I had difficulty connecting to the main character. I also couldn’t get on with the writing style. I felt the story was very slow going.

I don’t really have much more to say. I’m not going to give it a rating because I think it would be an unfair one considering I didn’t finish it.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has read it and enjoyed, though, so feel free to leave a comment about what you liked about it. ☺

Of Beast and Beauty – Stacey Jay

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

As you may have guessed from the title, Of Beast and Beauty is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Disney’s Beauty and Beast was my favorite movie growing up so any kind of retelling always sparks my interest, and this book didn’t disappoint!

The beginning of the story starts off very Fairytale Esque, giving us a background to the story before the story about our main character begins:

“IN the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret. The secret was as old as the cracked cobblestone streets of Yuan, as peculiar as the roses that bloom eternally within the domed city’s walls, as poisonous as forgotten history and the stories told in its place”

The thing I liked most about this story is that it didn’t always follow the traditional storyline of Beauty and the Beast. For one thing, it’s set on a completely different planet, and it seems its the essence of the planet that has cursed the people living on it. I could never really decide who was beauty and who was the beast because at times both Gem and Irsa could have been either. And the Roses, evil completely evil! They feed on human blood and in exchange keep the city of Yuan flourishing.

The story is told from 3 characters perspectives, Isra, Gem, and Bo.

Isra:

I really liked the character development of Isra, she begins as a sheltered and naive but by the end of the story, she is a warrior! I liked that from the start of the book she never really feared Gem even though he’s a Monstrous from the desert.

Gem: 

I loved Gem, we learn that he is trying to save is tribe from starvation, he has a brother and father and child with a woman who chose another as her mate and through the stories he tells Isra we see that his way of life is extremely different from hers.

Bo

Not gonna sugar coat it, I didn’t like Bo one little bit. It seems he is supposed to be the Gaston of this story and while he didn’t have as much arrogance as you would usually see from this type of character he was still a conniving git, with almost no backbone. I get why some of the story was told from his point of view there were things we wouldn’t have found out otherwise, but even so, I didn’t enjoy these parts.

Overall if you’re looking for a good standalone story and you like re-tellings of fairytales I recommend you give this book ago. I really loved the twist in this story and in my opinion is probably one of the best retellings of Beauty and The Beast I’ve come across

My Rating 4/5