Glass Slippers, Ever After, and Me by Julie Wright (2019)
Struggling writer Charlotte finally gets her big break with a self-help book inspired by her favorite fairy tales, but will the success be worth it if she has to completely change her image and hide her boyfriend?
This was a cute story, very loosely inspired by Cinderella. Charlotte is a regular girl, but her publicist insists she needs a more polished image, including pretending she's single, just around the same time she and her best friend Anders decide to start dating. Anders is a sweet guy, very traditional and family-oriented. I liked the peek behind the curtain of the publishing industry, and I wish there were more scenes with a fellow famous author who takes Charlotte under her wing because she gave really good advice. This is a "clean" romance, which is perfectly fine, but I also never really felt the spark between Charlotte and Anders and was hoping for a little more heat. There were also some weird time jumps and sometimes it felt like more was happening off the page than on. But, easy to read with some charming supporting characters. 3 stars
Rogue Princess by B.R. Meyers (2020)
Sci-fi Cinderella in space! A princess who wants to marry for love! A thief that helps her uncover a rebellious faction on their planet! Practically the whole time I was reading this book, I got the feeling I had read it before - it's very similar to Marissa Meyer's Cinder, even little details like the tablets everyone uses, although this one is a gender-swapped retelling. So, unfortunately, right from the start, I had issues because nothing felt new and fresh. Delia, our princess, is bland and not too smart - when she first meets Aidan, our thief, his lies about who he was were so paper-thin, yet she never saw through them. The world-building is not great, and even by the end of this rather short book, I was still questioning who some of the characters were. But, there is a pretty good twist, and Delia's sister Shania is a bright spot in the story - she's spunky and I loved her attention to detail in analyzing all of Delia's suitors. 3 stars
Charlie Glass's Slippers by Holly McQueen (2014)
After his death, Charlie Glass's father leaves his luxury shoe company to her - instead of his ex-wife and two other daughters. In addition to her new responsibilities, Charlie has also drastically changed her appearance, but finds it may not be worth the effort.
I thought this was a cute Cinderella retelling. I loved the clever ways the the author incorporated important elements of the original story in a modern way - her glam up, the shoes, the evil stepmother, the prince. Charlie has not had an easy life, but she's still upbeat and kind. Even though she never worked at the shoe company before, she throws herself into it wholeheartedly, knowing it was her father's passion. There's also a rom-com element to the story. I think many readers will identify with her body issues, even after she loses a bunch of weight. There is a lot of fat-shaming in this book, and my heart broke for Charlie every time her stepmother was cruel to her. The book probably could have been a bit shorter - at times the pacing dragged and felt repetitive. However, it was still light and entertaining. 3.5 stars