Release Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
Darby Quinn has a bone to pick with Cinderella. Burned one too many times by ex-boyfriends, Darby has lost all belief in the happily-ever-after that the fairy-tale princess promised her. She's sworn off love, Prince Charmings, and happy endings and she's happy about it. Really. Or at least she was…until she met Jake, her gorgeous neighbor and the manager of her favorite restaurant. But Darby has rules about dating, ones she's culled from her years spent with so-called “princes,” and starting something with Jake would break all of them.
Charming, fun, and unwilling to give up on her, Jake doesn’t fit any of the profiles Darby has created from her case studies of ex-princes-gone-bad. Finally presented with her own Prince Charming, can Darby take a chance on a happily-ever-after?
Full of wit and sarcastic humor, Cinderella Screwed Me Over proves that sometimes the perfect love, like a perfect pair of shoes, is just within your grasp.
I went into this book looking for something lighthearted and sweet, and that's exactly what I got. Upon reading the first few chapters there were numerous times I actually laughed out loud, a rare occurrence. This humour continued throughout the book, which I really appreciated. I also loved how swoony and romantic this book was while still being clean. I mean, I wouldn't have protested at more make out scenes, but I really do love clean romances because you get so much more of a focus on the actual romance. You get to experience the characters getting to know one another and all the reasons why they belong together, beyond just the physical attraction.
Our main character Darby is sweet, but she’s also practical to the point of cynicism. She's been burned so many times, that it's difficult for her to let herself fall in love, even when a real Prince Charming may have made his way into her life. Speaking of Prince Charming, I really loved Jake. He's funny and charming without coming off as sleazy, he's patient and caring, and he sees the good in Darby. I appreciated how we also got to see some of Jake’s faults, such as him getting too wrapped up in his work. This made him seem like a whole person, not just someone placed in the role of “perfect love interest”.
What I loved about this slow burn romance is that it didn't feel fake. Darby genuinely felt like someone with control and trust issues, and we see that with all her case study examples. She had real reasons to feel the way she did, and she wasn't over the top about it. Darby wasn't an insane man hating stereotype like you see in some books/movies, she's just someone who is hesitant and scared. She tries to keep her distance to keep herself from being hurt again. Speaking of Darby’s case studies, I loved how she laid out her past relationships in that format, especially in comparing them to the Disney princes.
The romance in this book is top notch, but so too are the friendship and family elements. Stephanie, Darby’s best friend, was a strong support for Darby. She was busy planning her own wedding, so she wasn’t always 100% focused on the friendship, but she was there for Darby when it counted most, and she wanted the best for her. Their friendship felt real, and Stephanie was a great character who stood as her own woman, and not just as a caricature of female friendship that so many books present. On the family front, Darby’s family plays a small but important role in the book. From the scenes that they are in, it’s so clear that they are real, developed people with their own personalities and backgrounds. To do that without “info dumping” takes talent, and that was definitely achieved here.
Be sure to check out Cinderella Screwed Me Over if you’re looking for a book that is fun and swoony, while still being practical about romance (eg. it fully acknowledges that relationships take work, that you need to have the same goals, that you need to support each other, etc). I absolutely enjoyed this book: it was one that I didn't want to set down because I felt like I was a part of Darby's world when I was reading it.
I'm kind of ambivalent towards it.
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