Title: Stealing Cinderella
Series: Sinister Fairy Tales Collection
Author: A. Zavarelli
Genre: Dark Fairy Tale Retelling
Release Date: April 2, 2020
Every royal has their dirty little secret. His was… me.
It should have been simple.
Go to the ball, meet the prince, and secure his patronage for my favorite charity.
But beneath the mask, the brooding beast of a man was not at all who I expected.
He was dark and intense and eerily quiet.
When I left, I could still feel the ghost of his touch branded into my skin.
He haunted my dreams, but I never expected to see him again.
Then he came for me.
And he took me.
And I learned that his darkness was a void I never could have conceived.
He’s the crown prince of Norway.
And, now, I’m his captive.
I've read every book in the Sinister Fairy Tales Collection so far, and I have to say that this book is my favorite of the series (to date). The original Cinderella story is already a bit dark, well, Ms. Zavarelli took the story and tricked it all the way out and I couldn't put it down once I started.
We get the background about what happened with Ella's father when she was a child, and once the story really gets underway we see some of the treatment Ella's forced to deal with from her stepmother Narcissa and both stepsisters, Magnolia and Lavinia. Despite everything she's been through, Ella's still got such a giving heart and the demeanor that draws people towards her.
On the flip side, we've got Prince Thorsen Lykken of Norway, who's one broken and tortured soul who's got important plans for his future that doesn't include the wife his father demands he marries. in a nutshell, he ends up at the ball (that's a masked event btw) and meets the one person who isn't attending in order to catch a husband, but rather to secure funding for the animal sanctuary where she sometimes volunteers. That chance meeting sets the stage for quite the twist in the road for both Thorsen and Ella.
It's obvious there's all kinds of chemistry between the two, but Thorsen is convinced she's like all the other women out there and only plans to use her for his sexual gratification over a two month period, since he's already got his plans thought out and ready to put into motion by the third month, except that Ella isn't like anything he anticipated and finds himself catching feelings for her.
Now, I'm not gonna retell the story, but feelings continue to evolve and change for both Thor and Ella, truths are revealed (and that was heartbreaking all the way around), a death that wasn't expected, lies and twisted viewpoints, an extremely brutal attack, and the ultimate revenge shape the last 10 or so chapters of the book, but it all played out well and didn't seem rushed or forced.
I was so happy to see Thor finally thriving with his gudinne by his side, especially during the pivotal scene with his mother, it broke my heart but I can understand the decision that was made. The epilogue was great, 5 years into the future of their relationship and the changes that happened during that time, but especially the story that was told in regards to the souls who were dropped deep into the Aokigahara forest; talk about retribution!
A. Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of dark and contemporary romance.
When she’s not putting her characters through hell, she can usually be found watching bizarre and twisted documentaries in the name of research.
She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies.