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 fiancée, 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.
Topics: England, First in a Series, Cinderella, Retellings, Princes, Midnight, Social Class, and Sensual
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Why the DNF: I finished 3/4 of the story but I am not a fan of stories where one of the leads is committed to someone else. This is just a personal preference of mine. Since I never quite warmed up to Gabriel in the first place, this was just a non-get over thing for me. I don't think it will bother most people and it won't keep me from reading other books by the author.
Audio Review: I love Susan Duerden as a narrator! She was fantastic with her pacing and narrative!more
Treated like a servant in her own home, Kate Daltry does her best to prevent her stepmother from emptying the family coffers. Out of desperation, she agrees to take her stepsister's place at a country gathering where she meets Prince Gabriel of Marburg. Initially less than charmed by his elitist arrogance, Kate eventually succumbs with each delectable kiss knowing full well that she has no future with the prince who is in dire need of a dowry.
Insubstantial fluff with the occasional sharp wit and funny moment.
Gabriel and Kate's chemistry is only so-so - their sex scenes have potential but are lacking a certain steaminess. Nevertheless, they are a likeable couple and their relationship is sweet despite Gabriel's questionable morals, and his ridiculous and distasteful flitting between Kate and his soon to be betrothed, Tatiana.
The castle and its wacky inhabitants are really what makes this a worthwhile read. From the lion with indigestion to the inebriated aunt, each and every minor character contributes to the endearing atmosphere of the book.
Overall, this book left me underwhelmed but the next in the series has received high accolades and I am looking forward to reading it.more
Beyond that, all these women can't tell the difference between Victoria and Kate, just because of a wig and fake breasts? What, are they completely brainless? Even if they were blind, she's not making a particular effort to act like her sister.
The two main characters are likable, I suppose. Or at least, they would be likable if I were the sort of person to like romance novels. But they're both complete asses. It takes one to marry one, I guess.more