Synopsis (from back of book):
Think passion is all over once you hit forty? Well, think again. Jaded after a series of failed relationships, Cate McCormack’s channeling her “inner romantic” into her very successful books. Author of a series of contemporary takes on traditional fables and legends, Cate’s surprised to find herself caught up in her own fairytale as two “princes”, one young and handsome and the other rich and powerful, vie for her affections. Head battles with heart as Cate slays the twin dragons of public perception and dented self-esteem to assert her right to her very own happy ending.
I don’t usually go for romances, but the fairytale angle was the part that initially piqued my interest, as I’m very much into in folk and fairy tales, and I was drawn to the idea of life imitating art. Fortunately, what I found between the covers was a warm (but not fuzzy!) romance, that didn’t paint life as pink and fluffy in any way; instead, it highlighted the problems in a relationship with quite a difference in age and background between the couple.
The characters weren’t “too good to be true” and there was no guarantee that everything would come to a fairytale, “…and they all lived happily ever after.” In fact, it was this very point, that the characters were so down-to-earth, that kept me reading – I got interested in the lives of these people and came to think of them almost as friends.
The story was sweet without being sugary and there were enough trials and tribulations thrown in everyone’s paths without it seeming too much; decisions were made and consequences followed on – all very true to the ethos of fairytales – but there was occasionally a harder edge and a tendency towards sadness without it swamping into melancholy.
Overall, it is an uplifting tale of not just overcoming our differences, but actively embracing them; and also to follow your heart where it may lead.
Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite