By Luci Adams
Published March 2023
This was the first print copy I’ve won from a Goodreads giveaway. Given how many I enter, I suppose the odds would be in my favor at some point. Still, I didn’t get any notification so I was excited when the envelope from St. Martin’s Press showed up. Sure, I read a lot of ARCs but having an ARC to hold in my hand – that’s something else.
Enough about how I acquired the book. I’m sure you’d rather read the blurb:
Bella Marble had always imagined she’d find her Prince Charming. In fact, she refused to settle for anything less. But even though she’s kissed a lot of frogs and joined every dating site imaginable, her elusive prince hasn’t shown up yet. In fact, it seemed like everyone else’s life was falling into place except hers. Her best friend Ellie was about to move in with the horrible Mark and Ellie’s brother Marty was a successful vet. Bella was still a receptionist at a publishing house, not the author she’d thought she’d be.
In frustration, Bella writes about a particularly horrible date as a tongue in cheek fairy tale and posts it to a storytelling app. Her chapter goes viral and it dawns on Bella: why should she sit around and wait for “the one?” Why couldn’t she create her own fairy tales? So Bella throws off the good-girl guise and decides to take her love life into her own hands. Soon, she’s one of the top writers on the app and she’s having a ball. But if this is the life she wants, why does it feel so fake?
First of all, I passed my chick lit phase about a decade ago. Not that I don’t enjoy a fun romance, but I’ve found more and more that I don’t quite relate to the MC, since they’re all usually under the age of thirty. That kind of happened here.
I loved the tie-in to the fairy tales. The Smurfs (although not legitimately a fairy tale) was my favorite. And Bella’s rationale for wanting to be a princess was understandable. If I were a decade or two younger, I probably would have been right there with her, commiserating that life hadn’t handed me everything I’d expected. But, I’m not two decades younger so I wound up cringing a lot, wondering just how many bad decisions this girl could make before the light went on over her head. Honestly, it was like watching multiple train wrecks and being unable to look away.
Just when I was about to write this one off at three stars, the scene with Mark happened, who was the last person in this book that I expected to make me tear up, and the entire tenor of the story changed. So yes, I got a bit emotional and Bella’s arc certainly made up for all of the cringiness leading up to it.
All in all, it turned out to be a fun, quick-paced read. The ending wasn’t too terribly surprising (I mean, the real prince charming is pretty evident from the beginning) but it was an enjoyable ride getting there.
3.5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐+
Until next time, thank you for visiting.