After officially signing with Curiosity Quills, I of course ran straight to their website to find out what books they had published. I read the summary of Charming and bought it a few minutes later on kindle. I read it soon after. Did my impulse buy pay off? Well let’s see.
Plot- They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that's great . . . as long as you don't die.
Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.
Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.
Little do they know someone's determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.
Characters- This is a smaller story, so it doesn’t have a huge cast, but it fleshes out the people who matter. Haley is sympathetic. She has a backbone but she loves her family. You want her to stick up for herself but you know why she plays it safe. Child abuse stories are always really difficult to pull off, but Wade makes a great main character out of Haley. Chris Charming is not quite as brimming with personality, but he is likable and I was invested in his relationship with Haley. I also enjoyed the culprit behind these murders and Haley’s sister.
The Good Points- Effectively suspenseful and heart wrenching in all the right parts, Charming was a quick read full of thrills and moments that made me hold my breath. The conversations between Haley and the mystery psycho intrigued me quite a bit and kept me wanting to know who was behind this. And, of course, it’s a retelling of Cinderella. I’ve never liked the story of Cinderella very much, so giving it a psychological thriller makeover was a great idea. Love the idea and the concept.
The Bad Points- If I had to give it critique I'd say it took a little long to get into the meat of the story. I think some of the intro could have been cut down and more focus put on the mystery and suspense, which is where the story really shined. I also thought the back story could have been better woven in. It wasn't too distracting, but I think it could have been a bit smoother.
All and all, the good points outweigh the bad and the story served well as a suspenseful diversion from the classic Cinderella. Sometimes I like my retellings psychologically gripping and full of twists and turns, and Charming is just that.
Final Rating- 4/5 stars