First a quick note: With NaNo upon us this is probably the last book I will review for most or all of November. I will be keeping everyone updated about my NaNo happenings though.
I am currently reading the third book in the Game Of Thrones series so it will likely take me most of November to finish anyways. It is a HUGE book. Not quite the size of Gone with the Wind (my longest read ever) but it is a close second.
Summary- Victoria. is engaged to be married. Her intended is the nephew of a prince and she must have the Prince’s approval for the marriage. When she has a small accident that damages her beauty she asks her sister Kate to go in her stead.
Kate meets the handsome Prince disguised as her sister and they fall madly in love, not a great thing for her sister’s reputation nor Kate’s heart as the Prince is engaged.
Prince Gabriel has a castle to support and must marry an heiress to do so. It is his hope that once he marries he will be allowed to gallivant all over the country doing archaeology which is his first love. But, unlike his princess, Kate understands his heart and his desires.
My rating: C
I liked the characters Kate and Gabriel. They were each sympathetic although Gabriel was a bit underdeveloped.
I really loved this retelling of Cinderella. It was magical and sweet. I especially loved the parallels drawn between the old Cinderella story and the new such as “the rats” which were actually small dogs (who I adored). Kate’s Godmother was a hoot of a character as well.
I also liked that the author had Kate be sensible about contraception. In so many historical novels the male and female characters have sex and only after wonder if she got pregnant. Kate and Gabriel took measures that were believable in the time frame and I really respected that.
There were also a few places in the book that brought me to tears such as when they discover the memorial for little Mary. I think being a mother makes any mention of children’s deaths upsetting. The memorial was so well described that I could just picture it in my mind and the discover fit well in my mind with Gabriel and his love of archaeology and the stories of people from the past.
I think the biggest issue I had with this story was that Kate ends up stealing Gabriel from a princess who he was supposed to be marrying and who was a very nice girl. I especially didn’t like it that on the night he first meets his Princess he is running back and forth between her and Kate. The Princess is in the ballroom and Kate is upstairs in his bed. It felt very wrong. I think it would have been more forgivable if it had happened before the Princess arrived but once she was in the castle I thought it was very wrong of Gabriel and Kate to have sex. I also thought having sex in the maze while the Princess was left to watch the fireworks with her uncle was a very rude move on Gabriel’s part. We are given this picture of him as this caring person who has the heart to take in all of his discarded family members but he will sneak away from the woman he is supposed to be marrying to have sex with another woman in a maze. Maybe, just maybe, if he had determined in his mind that he wouldn’t marry the Princess and that he was going to send her packing then I would have been alright with it. But, that wasn’t the case. He and Kate are banging away and he believes that he will be marrying the Princess. It just seemed wrong.
Also, this book is a fairy tale so you have to really suspend your disbelief. There were so many things happening in the book that just were not believable. For instance, Kate thinks Victoria is the pretty sister and yet they apparently look enough alike to fool other people into thinking Kate is Victoria. I understood why Kate needed to go to the castle and meet the prince but truly, if she had followed her sister there it would have been much more believable than her pretending to be a sister she supposedly looks nothing like. My sister and I look a good bit alike and we couldn’t have pulled off the ruse.