Title: Cinderella Screwed Me Over
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Imprint: Select Contemporary
Release Date: October 09, 2013
Series Details: Standalone
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Blurb 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.
Cinderella Screwed Me Over is one of those “good start – sloppy end” kind of novel. The early chapters were cute, giving off modern-day fairy tale vibes. The moment Darby’s “case studies” started to pop-up, things got really intriguing. And so I thought I’m surely going to love the rest of this charming and witty book.
I was wrong.
Darby Quinn has had too many failed relationships that she has stopped believing that love could last. She kept a record of the lessons she learned from each failed relationship—her “case studies”—to remind herself what kind of guys aren’t worth dating. Darby tries to prove how far away fairy tale endings are from the truth by comparing each of her failed relationships to a specific fairy tale which, to be honest, is clever. Cindi Madsen did a great job making the fairy tale elements fit into Darby’s case studies and an even better job at inserting those case studies into the story. They were well-placed, scattered throughout the book, providing flashbacks to make readers understand why Darby is guarding her heart so fiercely.
But after some time, it gets repetitive. Darby reminding herself why she should not fall in love again. Darby telling us about her rules. Darby going back and forth about her feelings for Jake. Her indecisiveness eventually gets annoying. The more I read about her the more disappointed I am with her. It’s impossible to like a character who spends most her time finding fault on every guy who wants her. Sure some of the guys she dated were total jerks, but putting all your efforts to ruin a good relationship that’s knocking on your door because of it is a little too much.
As if my irritation with Darby isn’t enough reason to make me not like this book, the male lead—Jake Knight—was too perfect he’s become boring. There isn’t anything he isn’t good at. So Darby loves eating at this restaurant? Let’s make Jake the hot owner. Darby wanted to start her own business but don’t know how? Let’s make Jake a whiz on business management so he can help. Oh and Darby’s brothers are going to put Jake on a test, but of course Jake is a bit of a cowboy too, so he can pass the test with flying colors. And because Darby has tendencies of driving people nuts, let’s give Jake an endless supply of patience. Sounds like zero challenge to me.
For a male lead, Jake sure did not get enough page-time because much of the book is focused on Darby and her case studies. We didn’t really get a chance to know his character better. So, it was hard to tell what makes him better and what sets him apart from all the other boys that Darby dated.
Cinderella Screwed Me Over definitely had its adorable moments. The genuine friendships and family dynamic are two particular aspects that I love in this book. There’s a bit of humor too. But in the end, those weren’t enough to make me forget how lacking the main characters are, how exhausting it is to follow Darby’s back-and-forth attitude towards falling in love. This might still work for those looking for light romantic stories. Sadly, for me, this one did not work.