I was sent an e copy of this book, in advance of its publication, in exchange for my honest review.
Life Itself is the most Wonderful Fairy Tale, according to Hans Christian Anderson. However, in the real world, we’ve lost the will for this sort of thinking. There are deadlines to meet, and it always seems like the evil stepmothers and witches are getting their way. But what if there was still a place where fairy tales existed? And what if people from the real world were made aware of this?
Celinda Branham works as a librarian in Florida, keeping her head down and trying to live ‘the life of least resistance.’ However, when an errant gift from the Christmas party’s white elephant exchange lands in her hands, Celinda’s life becomes a lot less ordinary. Preston Chandler has been searching for the glass slipper as a means to save his sister, cursed by a witch. But getting the slippers is only half the battle; Preston finds himself with riddles to solve and needs Celinda’s help in order to solve the puzzle before times runs out. When he starts falling for this ‘inner’ beauty, Celinda questions his motives—does he genuinely care for her, or only because of the power Celinda has in breaking the curse?
I was really impressed with Selena Fulton’s story. She turned what could have been formulaic into a charming story with characters that I could see and even identify with, to a certain extent. It was a pleasant surprise. While the riddle was very easy to decipher for someone NOT in the story, the pacing and actions were believable. At just over 220 pages, this was a quick and enjoyable read.
Celinda was really amazing—she was real and honest and came off the page in a stunning way. There was nothing contrived about her. Her reactions seemed believable and like my own, if I had been pulled into this. Preston’s ‘quest’ was admirable, but I also felt like I questioned his motives. I mean, he bought some really great presents, but I was questioning his sincerity from the first bouquet of roses. It wasn’t until later in the story that he redeemed himself, much like the prince in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’
Fulton does a really great job of writing her ensemble cast. Tamelea is someone that you want to hate and then turns into a really great friend—as someone whom has had this type of friendship, I understand the progression and Fulton handles it in a believeable way. Raven, the ‘witch’ is even multi-faceted in a way which readers would not think—there are more characters, but I don’t want to give anything away that might detract from the classic ‘fairy tale’ portion of this novel.
Part of the Covet Imprint, The Crystal Slipper is a great introduction to their paranormal series—I am really happy to see this novel as part of the imprint. It is well written, following archetypes, but not formulaic in the way that romance readers may be used to. The contemporary language and believeable characters make this a must read—I’m definitely going to check out more from the author after reading this. Fans of Once Upon a Time or the Mercedes Lackey 500 Kingdoms series would love this, as well as people new to the genre.
Check out author Selena Fulton’s website here.