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Friday, 11 January 2013

Book Review: A Cinderella Christmas Carol by Hope Tarr

Title: A Cinderella Christmas Carol
Author: Hope Tarr
Series: Book #1.5 in the Suddenly Cinderella series
Release Date: 28 November 2012
Number of pages: 84 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Flirt imprint)
Source: eARC received from the publisher
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's website, , Barnes and Noble, Read an excerpt

Grade: 4.5 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: There’s nothing On Top managing editor Cynthia “Starr” Starling hates more than Christmas. With an important deadline looming, plus her dreaded Christmas Day birthday, Starr just wants the holiday to end. But when she wakes up Christmas Eve night to the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—all in the form of the super-hot Matt Landry, the new art director—she knows she’s in for a long night.

Matt is the one person on Starr’s team she can’t boss around and the only one she doesn’t need to. He’s also her employee and totally off limits, even if he does seem interested. Though he’s seven years younger and all kinds of forbidden fruit, he’s the form the Powers That Be decided she’d be receptive to.

Because they have a message for her: learn the true meaning of Christmas spirit or risk being alone for the rest of her life.

My Thoughts: I very much I loved the first story in Hope Tarr's brand new Suddenly Cinderella series (Operation Cinderella was one of my favourite reads of 2012), so when I heard that there will be a special holiday novella in the series I couldn't have been happier and more excited!

In this holiday novella Hope Tarr gives a modern and romantic retelling of Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol, that I found both very entertaining and enjoyable.

A Cinderella Christmas Carol is the story of Macie's (the heroine of the 1st book) uptown workaholic single magazine editor boss, Cynthia "Starr" Starling. Starr is unhappy and stressed out by work, she's not looking forward to the holidays and the days off as she knows how much work is still to be done. She is pretty much hated by her employees as she is a strict and demanding, perfectionist boss. I thought that despite the quite heavily laid characterization Starr was a heroine many readers could understand and relate to. She may be far from ideal, but most of us have been where she is.

Despite Starr being the modern Scrooge of this story I found her a likeable character I felt for. Hope Tarr did a great job by showing us that despite her tough businesswoman persona Starr had a more vulnerable and insecure side, and that deep down she just wanted to be loved, like all of us.

Matt is the only employee of Starr who not only does not hate or criticize her, but to the contrary understands the pressure she is under and defends her. He sees something in her that noone else, maybe not even Starr is aware of, and he finds her a remarkable woman worthy of his love. I found Matt a very humble and kind-hearted man, a wonderful counterpart to Starr.

Through a dream-sequence Starr visits four scenes (the past, present and two potential futures) and realizes what really matters in life.  

Verdict: A Cinderella Christmas Carol was a perfect modern spin on Dickens' classic holiday story. With a delightful hero and a relatable heroine, this heart-warming story packed some delicious steam! ;-)

A Cinderella Christmas Carol is a wonderful holiday novella and I can't wait to read the next stories in Hope Tarr's Suddenly Cinderella series!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Cover: 6/10 - I'm used to Entangled's beautiful covers and this one looks a bit generic compared to them, but since it's a novella I can understand

Buy it: