End of the month already! I re-read Turn Coat by Jim Butcher earlier this month for the challenge... but instead, I'm going to review The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie which has just been re-issued this month. I'd do a two-fer, but Turn Coat is too complex to re-review LOL.
The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie
published by Bantam Books in September 1996 (re-issued in January 2010)
Daisy Flattery is an incorrigible free spirit with a soft spot for strays and a weakness for a good story and a bit of adventure. Why else would she agree to the outrageous deal offered by her button-down, workaholic neighbor Linc Blaise? The history professor is desperately in need of a fiancée to capture a dream job at a local college—and Daisy is up for the challenge. But something funny happens on their way to the altar that breaks all the rules and changes the game. Falling in love was never part of the bargain. Their little charade has taken in everyone—including themselves. Now with the proverbial midnight hour approaching will the fairytale finally be over or will opposites not just attract but live happily ever after?Genre: contemporary romance
You can read my original review here.
The Story: Linc Blaise is in a pinch. A history teacher, writing his second book, Linc is trying to get a new teaching position in a quieter environment which would allow him to focus on his writing. However, during the interview, Linc invents himself a fiancée and now has to bring her to his speech. So he turns to his neighbor, Daisy Flattery, a free spirit who is used to telling stories... His initial idea was to have Daisy help him get the job and then, he would come up with another lie about their engagement failing... However, once he gets the job, he realizes that he won't make full professor unless he gets married...
Daisy is the complete opposite of Linc. Four years ago, she walked away from her teaching position to focus on her painting. However, she's now having doubts about her decision... She's gone through her savings and is tired of worrying about money and scrambling for it, which in turns takes her away from her art. As a result, Linc's proposition sounds perfect... except she's not sure about him...
My Opinion: I'm really glad Bantam Books finally decided to reprint The Cinderella Deal because it's the only book by Jennifer Crusie I was missing for my collection. I had the chance a few years ago to read an electronic copy of it for Book Binge and thus my review. However, there's something special about owning every book by an author :P So I'm very happy...
Technically, this is a book I should love. It has the "happy-go-lucky heroine thawing the stuffy hero" plot that I enjoy so much, it's also a marriage of convenience plot and it's by Jennifer Crusie... but something was missing and it might have been chemistry between the H/H.
While re-reading The Cinderella Deal, I still felt like this was a re-visit of Strange Bedpersons, but not as good. I actually always thought that The Cinderella Deal was the precursor to Strange Bedpersons until I checked the release dates of both books for this review and found out that Strange Bedpersons was written before. The storyline is more complete and more interesting, considering that Daisy and Linc actually get married... but like I say, something was a little off: why did Linc choose Daisy to pose as his fiancée? I mean, he doesn't really know her, she's not his type... so why her? Why not a friend? Someone he knows better? So I felt this was a bit awkward and it does impact the book (the chemistry).
Don't get me wrong, The Cinderella Deal is an enjoyable book with a nice storyline and likable characters. However, I think the first time I read this book, I was simply just too happy to be able to read it that I overlooked some stuff. My main problem with this book was Linc's attitude towards Daisy. He chose her to pose as his fiancée... Yet, every time, he's afraid she's going to embarrass him and he's a bit ashamed of her at times. That really made me uncomfortable. I thought he was a bit selfish, always thinking of himself first and the consequences to him instead of considering Daisy and her feelings... especially since he gets to know Daisy and understand her pretty well at the end. Luckily, he does redeem himself, especially at the end in the scene where he throws out her dress because it wasn't "her."
In addition, I don't think this book is as funny as Ms Crusie's other works. There are some LOL moments, but not as much as you'd expected considering the author. Also, did anyone notice that Ms Crusie has interesting secondary characters, but she doesn't do much with them? She leaves it pretty open as if there's a possibility they'd have their story, but they never do.
Overall, I still enjoyed it because it is a cute story and I like the plot lines. However, this re-read kind of opened my eyes to some of its flaws. Basically, my opinion remains the same as before: between Strange Bedpersons and The Cinderella Deal, I'd choose Strange Bedpersons without hesitation. The good news though is for those who didn't enjoy Strange Bedpersons as much because they thought Tess was unreasonable should really like this one.
My Grade: I originally gave this book a grade of 3.75/5 which would be a B+... but now, it's more of a B read for me.