Title: Cinderella Screwed Me Over
Author: Cindi Madsen
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Published: October 22nd 2013 by Entangled Publishing
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
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.
"Cinderella screwed me over. And really, she doesn't deserve all the blame. Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty - whatever her real name was, she had, like three of them - they all added to it. This idea of happily ever after. Of finding Prince Charming. If you re-watch Cinderella now, you'll realize there are some similarities between Prince Charming and the guys you've dated."
“You don't even know me," I said.
"And whose fault is that?"
Two creases formed between Jake's eyebrows.
"Yeah, Cinderella screwed me over." Without any more explanation, I got into my car, pulled the door closed, and fired up the engine.”
CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER by Cindi Madsen was an absolutely fantastic, highly entertaining read! I L-O-V-E-D this book! It's so good that it's one of my top five reads in CY2014 out of over 250 books! The dedication set the tone right away: I hope you learn that you don't need a Prince Charming to make all your dreams come true, but that you find one anyway.
I confess that I'm a huge Disney fan - It's like my second home - And I've inhaled every Princess tale there is from childhood. I actually started reading CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER at Disney Studios one evening while I was waiting for Fantasmic, a nighttime extravaganza featuring music, pyrotechnics, video projected on water, fiber optics, lasers AND Princesses and their Princes, to start. (They start seating people well over an hour before the show.) LOL! I happened to notice that people around me were staring. I'm sure they thought I'd lost it.. the show hadn't started yet and I was snorting and experiencing laughing fits.
Ok... On to the book: Both leads were awesome! Interior designer, Darby Quinn, our smart and snarky heroine, has lost her belief in the happy ever after promised by Disney's various princesses. She has amassed, no joke, a book of case files detailing how her past failed relationships are evidence that this or that's Princess' HEA tale is, in truth, a complete fallacy; They are hilarious. Along with her case studies, Darby shares snippets of womanly wisdom such as "women marry men hoping to change them, while men marry women hoping they'll never change.” AND she's developed a set of rules to protect her heart which serve too well as they work to keep gorgeous restaurateur, Jake Knight, our sexy hero, from getting his foot in the door to her heart.
Jake owns her favorite restaurant and lives in her building - two big no-nos in her set of rules. Jake is a sweetheart and he's got his eyes set on Darby from the "Cinderella shoe" moment when they first meet. Jake is persistent without being pushy and he doesn't give up easily. He's also no pushover. Jake certainly seems like her real Prince Charming, and as hard as Darby tries to pigeonhole him into one of her categorized case studies, he just doesn't fit, which baffles her to no end.
Here's some examples of Jake's awesomeness: When Darby was going through a rough patch, Jake was there for her. His assurance of "No worries, I got you now babe” left me swooning. Darby still wouldn't cave when Jake said "I'm so crazy about you that if you asked me to give up watching sports for the rest of my life, I would." Jake was absolutely adorable and, in short order, he moved up onto my top ten list of most swoonworthy heroes ever - even if he wasn't on Darby's.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this fabulous book illustrating the humor and sexiness which can be found within the covers:
“Cinderella was the first fairy tale I remember - the one I was most obsessed with because of the gowns and magic and pretty shoes. Yes, her home life was less than ideal - and considering the talking mice and birds, she probably needed serious therapy.”
“The toddler started making this whine/moan noise while pawing at Tabitha. I know as a woman I'm supposed to have this innate love of babies, but the truth is, they kind of remind me of zombies. They stumble around, arms out, moaning. And if they get a hold of you, they suck the energy out of you.”
“I have to admit," I said when he finished a lengthy discussion on the types of drivers, "I've been golfing and it's about the most boring thing I've ever done. Old men drive around in golf carts pretending they're sporty and getting grouchy if there's any noise. It's like the nursing-home Olympics."
Nick's mouth dropped open. "It takes great athletic ability to know how to aim and drive the ball that far."
"I get more exercise shopping at the mall," I joked. "I don't come home and tell everyone I won at shopping." Although those red shoes I got on sale the other day felt like a win.”
“Jake buried his face in my neck and kissed a burning trail up it and along my jaw. "Should I ride the elevator of our building up and down all night, hoping you'll show?" he asked, his voice husky.
"Or should we just plan to meet?”
One of my favorite scenes involved Darby's explanation as to why women have boobs. It still cracks me up:
“Every now and then, we change our minds. It's our prerogative. The big secret is" - I leaned in conspiratorially - "sometimes, even we don't know why. There are times after we pick a fight where we're as confused as you are. But there's no way we're admitting it." I shrugged a shoulder, "That's why we have boobs."
Jake's eyebrows shot up.
"See, after we've acted crazy, and the guy's wondering what he's doing with us, we use them to mesmerize him, so he forgets that we're crazy." I shot Jake my most seductive smile and leaned the assets in question against his arm. "And by the way, if you look at my cleavage right now, even though I'm the one talking about it, I'll accuse you of not caring about what I saw and of just treating me like an object."
Jake swallowed hard, keeping eye contact with me, though I could tell he was fighting his impulse to look down. A mischievous glint flickered through his eyes. "And treating you like an object would be bad?”
Supporting characters were great too! I was fist-pumping when Darby's brothers sang Jake's praises to Darby. After Jake proved himself with a difficult horse, her brothers gave her case studies and rules short shrift!
Cindi is one of my very favorite contemporary romance authors. Her books with their captivating storylines and realistic characters that you really want to see make it, are must-reads for me. Besides CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER, three of her other books awed me in 2014: RESISTING THE HERO, SECOND CHANCE RANCH and FALLING FOR HER FIANCE. You just can't go wrong when you pick up a book by Cindi!
Bottomline: Cindi's writing is superlative. The ending was totally unexpected and warm-fuzzies fabulous! If you are looking for a FUN, FUN, FUN book with lots of laughs (LOTS!), smokin'-hot chemistry, and a happy ever after that will leave your face sore from smiling, then look no further than CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER! It would make a fabulous Christmas present for anyone who grew up with the Disney fairy tales. Actually, you should rush to whatever brick-and-mortar or online bookstore you use and buy it now!