Sunday, January 31, 2010

Re-Read: The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

Sigh, such an unproductive day. My plan for today was to clean and blog... but I guess the cleaning is not going to happen ^_^; At least, I still have time to blog... and I read. Actually, this week-end was filled with sports, watching tennis and curling :) Unfortunately, Justine Henin lost in the finale of the Australian Open... Of course, considering that it's only her 2nd tournament since her retirement, not bad... The only problem though is that I thought the match was not very exciting. Ah well.

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
Series: none

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.

8 comments:

  1. Nath, for some weird reason I've never paid attention to Cruise's books, I've always bypassed them (I can't tell you what it is)... I haven't read any of her books. I should probably pick up one just to check her out at some point. :)

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  2. I've just started on The Cinderella Deal this a.m. and am only on chapter 3. So far, I've hit on the same questions you did -- about Linc picking Daisy to help him when she's a stranger and one who is so opposite him.

    I have Strange Bedpersons in my TBR pile. I might read it after TCD because I am curious which one I would enjoy better.

    On a totally different note, I'm starting to lose interest in reviewing as well as readiing. I don't know what's wrong with me?!

    But I'm still buying books though. I skimmed through two different Kay Hooper books at the bookstore (I can't recall which) and now on a quest to buy out her backlist. Lol! Typical me. I've done this with Cherry Adair, Cindy Gerard, Marcia Evanick, Suzanne Brockmann, Suzanne Enoch, JAK, Debbie Macomber -- well, you get the picture. I haven't read more than a few books from the authors listed. Lol. So am I too quick to do this? I did enjoy what I skimmed at the bookstore...

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  3. I haven't read either one but have Strange Bedpersons on the tbr pile. I think Linc's attitude towards Daisy would bug me.

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  4. Funny to stumble across this blog right now, because I just came from Jenny's blog- arghink.com. Today's post explains the road to publication for both books and why they're so similar. It's an interesting story.

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  5. I just read this on Crusies blog regarding SB/TCD. Just thought I'd share!

    http://www.arghink.com/2010/02/01/the-cinderella-deals-evil-twin/

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  6. Hilcia - She's a great author in my opinion, Hils :) I really enjoy most of her books, they are just so funny :D you should give her a try :)

    Tabitha - I hope you enjoy it Tabitha :D I mean, it's not a bad book at all, but I do prefer Strange Bedpersons :D

    Seriously, blogging and reading can come and go... especially when you're trying to force it a little too much. I hope blogging and reading come back to you :D

    LOL, buying books cheer me up, perhaps it'll do the same for you :D

    I hope you enjoy Kay Hooper :D In my opinion though, you will since you enjoy Karen Rose :D

    and I did the same as you for a couple of authors as well.

    Leslie - Read Strange Bedpersons! :D As for Linc, well he does try at the end... some people are just stuffy :(

    Bektold - Thanks for letting me know!! I haven't visited her blog in quite a while. Now, this explains thing! :D

    Mollie - Thanks Mollie! I do think that Strange Bedpersons is better :P

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  7. Good to know that this is available again. I think it's (probably) the only book by Cruise I haven't read so far.

    I skimmed most of the review because I'm going to get the book but umm, and I might be wrong, wouldn't a 3,75 be a B-? I always think of a B as a 4. :)

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  8. Taja - I was lucky to be able to read it, but I wanted a copy to complete my collection :D

    Hmmm, 4.5 = A for me... so 3.5 = B

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