Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Historical
When Eleanor Brice unexpectedly wins the heart of Gregory Desmarais, Crown Prince of Cartheigh, she's sure she's found her happily-ever-after. Unfortunately, Prince Charming has a loose grip on his temper, a looser grip on his marriage vows, and a tight grip on the bottle. Eight years of mistreatment, isolation and clandestine book learning hardly prepare Eleanor for life at Eclatant Palace, where women are seen, not heard. According to Eleanor’s eavesdropping parrot, no one at court appreciates her unladylike tendency to voice her opinion. To make matter worse, her royal fiancé spends his last night of bachelorhood on a drunken whoring spree. Before the ink dries on her marriage proclamation Eleanor realizes that she loves her husband's best friend, former soldier Dorian Finley. Eleanor can’t resist Dorian’s honesty, or his unusual admiration for her intelligence, and soon both are caught in a dangerous obsession. She drowns her confusion in charitable endeavors, but the people’s love can’t protect her from her feelings. When a magical crime endangers the bond between unicorns, dragons, and the royal family, a falsely accused Eleanor must clear her own name to save her life. The road toward vindication will force a choice between hard-won security and an impossible love.
3 out of 5 (good)
This story is basically Cinderella II (for those that have Disney films still in their lives) but more gritty and definitely not with a Prince Charming or a HEA. Our princess, Eleanor, has to learn about the machinations of court life as well as dealing with Witches vs. Wizards; plus falling out of love with her soon to be husband and falling in love with his best friend.
This story showed promise and it always make a nice change when someone is prepared to try something a bit different but this just never seemed to fully deliver. The fantasy world had a lot going for it, with talking birds, unicorns, dragons and such. But for the actual 'mystery' of the book, well you could pretty much see it coming for miles and knew how it would be resolved. The ending of the story is very abrupt, although (as I have recently found out) this is part of a trilogy so there are other books to follow.
On the whole, it was an enjoyable read without being to deep; a love triangle which was different and animal characters to be liked.
* Verified Purchase on Amazon - November 2012 *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Stephanie Alexander grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, the oldest of three children. Drawing, writing stories, and harassing her parents for a pony consumed much of her childhood. After graduating from high school in 1995 she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She returned to Washington, DC, where she followed a long-time fascination with sociopolitical structures and women’s issues to a Master of Arts in Sociology from the American University. She spent several years as a Policy Associate at the International Center for Research on Women, a think-tank focused on women’s health and economic advancement. Her academic and professional background influenced multiple themes in THE CRACKED SLIPPER, including: Patriarchy and power dynamics Education and economic independence The ramifications of early childhood experiences Stephanie embraced full-time motherhood after the birth of the first of her three children in 2005. After six wonderful years buried in diapers and picture books she returned to her childhood passion and wrote her own fairytale. Her family put down permanent southern roots in Charleston in 2011. She is a member of the Women's Fiction Chapter of Romance Writers of America and the Bethesda Writer’s Center, and an alumna of the Algonkian NYC Pitch and Shop Conference. Stephanie is an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the College of Charleston, and is also on the Board of the College of Charleston's Friends of the Addlestone Library.