Christine Rimmer – "The Reluctant Cinderella"

4 Apr

GENRE: Romance / Contemporary
PUBLISHED: Mills & Boon Special Edition, 2007 (2006)

WHY THIS NOVEL: I wanted to try a new author and this seemed interesting because it skirts the “never start anything with the ex of your friend” rule.

The back blurb:
“Plain Jane Megan Schumacher was the most dependable person in the sleek suburban cul-de-sac where she lived. Certainly not the kind of girl who would rock anyone’s boat – until she fell for the ex-husband of her best friend and neighbour!
Greg Banning hired Megan to redo his marketing plan, and he was counting the minutes until each of their meetings. As their romance heated up, Greg realised she was everything he wanted in a woman, and his thoughts began straying to marriage. But would their new love spell happiness for both of them – or would the scandal tear them apart?”

I stated above why I decided to read this novel. In the story itself and despite the back blurb, this isn’t the main conflict. From what I read in the story, Megan and Carly are neighbours on a very friendly basis, maybe even friends but they’re not what I would call best friends. And also, Megan does the right thing and soon comes clean about her seeing Carly’s ex-husband. So there’s not much conflict there, IMO, and TRC doesn’t play on it much.

Instead, the main conflict is Megan’s fear of doing something other people, especially the neighbours, disapprove of. And in this story this means going out with Carly’s ex-husband. But this source of conflict also is played pretty low-key. And let’s face it, it’s not a conflict I take very seriously since it comes close to “I deny myself happiness and the love of my life because other people might think bad of me.”

So for large parts, the TRC is a nice get-to-know-the-other story with close to real-life conversations on dates. I thought it a nice touch to actually read those conversations and not the often used “they talked for hours.” But despite that, I didn’t really get why Greg falls in love with Megan. It’s the “he sees her and he’s in lust/love” reason that seldom works for me and from then on his love is a given because of the great conversations and sex and Megan being not Carly (or something like that).

It’s only near the end that the main conflict gained more credibility because then it’s tied in explicitly with Megan’s background. Also, there’s a hint about what Greg sees in Megan, making their love more than lust and more personal IMO, and Greg’s mother doesn’t turn out to be one of the mothers who go from being a cold and distant and nasty person to being likeable because of the heroine. Thanks. So, TRC is a nice story about two people getting to know each other which is a bit thin on conflict but at the end manages to pull it all together and make it whole.

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Probably no.

Grade: 4- / 5


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