Miss Kate Daltry doesn’t believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.
Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince… and decides he’s anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.
Gabriel likes his fiancee, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn’t love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.
Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.
Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble…
Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune…
Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.
DNF @ 20%
Look, I love me some Eloisa James, but this book was just…NO.
“This story begins with a carriage that was never a pumpkin, though it fled at midnight; a godmother who lost track of her charge, though she had no magic wand; and several so-called rats who secretly would have enjoyed wearing livery.
And, of course, there’s a girl too, though she didn’t know how to dance, nor did she want to marry a prince.
But it really begins with the rats.”
Sounds awesome, right?
This premise is utterly ridiculous.
Cinderella Katherine, our female lead, is conned into pretending to be her evil stepsister not-so-evil half-sister Victoria by her evil (no strikethrough necessary, bitch was hellspawn) stepmother.
This deception should work out swimmingly, right? Since, you know, Katherine and Victoria look nothing alike.
Anywho, it turns out Victoria’s fiancé is descended from royalty. In order for him to wed Victoria, his alliance must be approved by his uncle, who happens to be a prince.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the prince’s name:
Gabriel Albrecht-Frederick William von Aschenberg of Warl-Marburg-Baalsfeld.
Yes. You read that right. He’s a prince of Warl-Marburg-Baalsfeld, which sounds like some sort of medieval Austro-Hungarian sex act, if you ask me. I immediately nicknamed him Prince Ballgargle, and from that point forward, I couldn’t take him seriously as the male lead.
So, Katherine has to pretend to be Victoria (view spoiler) and meet this esteemed royal person. Did I mention that Victoria is already three months pregnant? She really, REALLY needs this prince’s approval, and since she’s not evil (but only a complete moron), you would think Katherine would be all about helping her out.
She appears to be, at first. But then she meets the prince and immediately starts insulting him. She’s seated next to him at dinner, and the following comes out of her mouth:
“Your hair is just – hair. Rather unkempt and slightly long, but one must make allowances for a man who clearly has no interest in fashion…”
“Of course you are not useful, but that is hardly your failure. It’s a matter of birth, and your birth, Your Highness, means that you need never be useful.”
The entire scene was riddled with lines like this. She’s insulting, insubordinate, and obstinate. And why? Because he’s attractive. That’s right, she’s a complete asshole, because she has the mentality of a third-grader with a schoolyard crush.
Does she once think of being nice for her sister’s sake? Fuck, no. That would require her to actually think about someone other than herself. She goes on to further antagonize him, but this is a romance novel, so I should just suspend my disbelief and go with it when he finds her antics charming instead of obnoxious as all get out, right?
Yeah, NO. I can’t with this. Not going to waste my time on a character that pisses me off this much. Life is too short.