Like a lot of females, I love fairy tales and have loved them since I was a little girl. This love, according to the main character in Cindi Madsen's novel, is getting women into trouble when it comes to relationships. Cinderella Screwed Me Over was an amusing look at how fairy tales can warp a woman's sense of romance and how there really can be a happily ever after for everyone. I really liked reading it!
Here's the synopsis:
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.Even though Darby was crazy negative about love (more on that in the next paragraph), I loved reading her story. She was smart and funny and had her life totally together (I love that she's an interior designer)...apart from a romantic relationship. I think she was a great chick lit/romance heroine and she's someone I'd love to be able to hang out with and have a drink with. I love when I love the main character! There were a ton of great secondary characters, too. Darby had a fabulous BFF in Stephanie. The scenes with the two of them together clearly illustrated how close they were and that was great to read. Darby's family was a lot of fun to read about (even though I wish there were more scenes with her mom) - Drew, one of her stepbrothers, especially. I also really liked Karl. He fit into the story perfectly and I think Madsen did a great job of establishing their relationship and making it completely believable.
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?
The little negatives I had with the novel really didn't bother me too much, thankfully. Sometimes Darby's overly pessimistic and strict rules drove me nuts. I wanted her to open up and I had a hard time believing anyone could be that negative. Also, the case studies where Darby compares her exes to Disney Princes were cute but sometimes thrown in at an odd time and without no real lead. One chapter had a random, unnecessary paragraph and then went into a case study. It was a bit jarring and I wish they had had more reasons for being included.
As for the romance - sa-woon. That might be surprising considering Darby is doing all she possibly can to keep herself from falling for Jake. The way they met might seem cheesy but it totally worked for the story. I love that he kept popping up in Darby's life before she finally decided to give him a shot. He seemed like the perfect guy and I was rooting for the two of them!
Finally, I loved that the book was funny as well as sweet (and a little sexy). It had the perfect mixture of laughs and serious moments. One quote stuck out for me and I just have to share it. To set the scene: Darby is talking about The Little Mermaid and how things went wrong with Eric and her ex-boyfriend that could be compared to him (I stupidly forgot to note the page number, sorry!):
"And I can't hold much against Ariel, because she was young and naive and easily amused by things like forks."Cinderella Screwed Me Over by Cindi Madsen was a total winner for me. There were a few hiccups and things that bugged me but it isn't enough to keep me from recommending this book. If you like fairy tales, romance, and chick lit, you should read this book!