Guest Review: The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

Posted May 4, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 5 Comments

Nath‘s guest review of The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Cruise. Originally published with Bantam‘s Loveswept in 1996.

I love Jennifer Crusie, LOL 🙂

I discovered her a couple of years ago with Strange Bedpersons and she’s one of the few authors whose books I hunted down on ebay. When I first discovered Jennifer Crusie, most of her category/silhouette romances were out-of-print; however, I’ve been able to get my hands on most of them… even Sizzle. The only one that I haven’t read was The Cinderella Deal… Well, thanks to Holly and Book Binge, I finally got my hands on a copy of this book 😀

The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

published by Bantam Loveswept in 1996

Heroine: Daisy Flattery
Hero: Linc Blaise

Hmmm, I can’t find a synopsis, so here’s a quick summary…

Daisy Flattery is an artist. Four years ago, she quitted her job as a teacher to focus on her art. Now that her savings have been spent, Daisy is having doubts. She’s tired of being worried and scrambling for money and not having time to paint…

Linc Blaise is a history teacher with great credentials, writing his second book. Problem? He’s too busy teaching to write. That’s why he’s looking for a new position at private Prescott College. The hick? The dean seems more interested in Linc’s marital status than credentials and now, Linc has to bring his imaginary “fiancee” to his jobtalk audition. So Linc turns to his Little House On The Prairie on acid, downstairs neighbor, whose job is telling stories for help.

Genre: contemporary romance

What did I think? This book was a quick and enjoyable read. The premises reminded me a lot of Strange Bedpersons: both heroines are happy-go-lucky while the heroes are straight, dignified and very serious. Then of course, there is the fake “fiancee” plot… The difference is in The Cinderella Deal, Daisy and Linc do not know each other – they’re just neighbors that actually don’t really get along well. However, they both agree to this asinine plan because it advantages them both… Daisy needs money while Linc needs a fiancee. They also take it a step further than Tess and Nick from Strange Bedpersons by getting married. The whole resolution at the end however, is a bit similar.

Personally, I enjoyed Strange Bedpersons better. I thought it was funnier and I really enjoyed Tess and Nick – it helped that they had a relationship before. The Cinderella Deal is enjoyable and perhaps, more well-written. The plot is also a bit more realistic (as realistic as you can get for a fake fiancee plot). The whole marriage is pretty much a secret marriage of convenience, without the sex. I liked that Linc and Daisy didn’t jump into bed right away, that they got to know each other. I also liked that the storyline spanned several months, it just made it more real.

I enjoyed Linc and Daisy as characters a lot. Linc is serious, he has goals and is willing to do a lot to reach them. It’s a bit sad how oblivious he is to Daisy’s efforts at first, but once he got to really know and understand her, he was there to offer his support and help whenever she needed. I like how Daisy put colors, warmth and friendship in Linc’s life. Daisy is a fun character; however, she kind of faded away in the middle of the book. It’s not just that she conformed to what Linc wanted, but also because all the positive changes came from Linc… but I really like her character.

All in all, The Cinderella Deal has all the successful ingredients from Jennifer Crusie: great H/H, wacky animals, complicated situations and lots of weird secondary characters. It’s just too bad that there’s a sense of deja-vu to the storyline.

My Grade: 3.75/5

The book is currently out-of-print and I don’t know if there’s any plan for re-printing it.

You can check out more reviews from Nath on her personal blog Natuschan

and her joint review blog Breezing Through.

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5 responses to “Guest Review: The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

  1. This is the one Jennifer Crusie book I haven’t read yet. I feel like I need to just so that I have read anything. One day I will find it somewhere.

  2. Anonymous

    Sorry, off the topic but I don’t know where else to post the question.

    I’ve only read one Jennifer Cruise book so far and do enjoy her writing – she’s just fun. So my question is:
    Is there a difference in her earlier stories and her new ones w/ Bob Mayer? Does the collaboration add or take away from the stories?


  3. Hi MPH 😀

    seriously, I don’t know why Ms Crusie is making collaborations, I’d rather read just her books. So far, she only had 2 books with Bob Mayer. The first one, Don’t Look Down, wasn’t great at all. As for the second one, Agnes and the Hitman, you see more of Ms Crusie style and is quite good 😀 So I don’t know if that answer your question? I think that Bob Mayer and Jennifer Crusie are trying to adjust their style together, but it’s clear to me that what ppl want to read is Jennifer Crusie on her own. My advice is to read her earlier books first 😀

  4. Anonymous

    Hi Nath,
    Thanks for your reply-you’ve definitely answer the question(s) for me. From what I’ve read and heard on this blog, JC already write pretty good male characters, I was just wondering if collaborating with a male writer changes or give new dimension to the latest guys, at all. Doesn’t sound like it does.

    I’ll leave the latest ones to last, then. Thanks.


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