Can we just start with the cover:
How could I not review this book? Cinderella’s wearing a freakin’ garland in her hair. Because that’s how you accessorize the purple sheath dress and lace wrap you purchased at Coldwater Creek for the wedding.
But the best part is how Cinderella looks up at Tycoon in clear adoration. Tycoon, on the other hand, is all “Urgh. Fine, if I have to.” If there’s anything I’ve learned from the Jersey Shore is that once in a while life hands you a grenade. Cinderella is clearly a grenade.
Synopsis: “Honor” was Texas tycoon Sterling Churchill’s middle name. So when a mix-up at the local sperm bank unexpectedly made him a father-to-be, he gallantly stepped forward to marry shy beauty Susan Wilkins. It was a marriage in name only — until he gave his bride a soul-spinning kiss. Now his new wife was carrying his child and wearing a look of pure splendor. Could tough-as-nails Sterling open the rusty doors of his heart…and turn pumpkins into coaches for his Cinderella bride?
That’s right. A freaking sperm bank mix-up!
The heroine: Susan Wilkins, a “shy beauty” that works at the local library. Susan is pathetic, sad, and really unfashionable. She’s literally a virgin who can’t drive. So why does Tycoon like her again? I have no idea.
The hero: Sterling Churchill, some sort of Texas tycoon. No word on why he’s so ridiculously rich (oil, cattle, the mob?) but he makes all sorts of vague business calls and leaves for his office everyday. He channels his money into random acts of charity like buying up retired horses before they hit the glue factory and letting them graze on his property. He is also terribly scarred because his momma didn’t love him and his ex-wife didn’t love him cause he couldn’t knock her up.
The Plot: Susan (Cinderella) is a sad, pathetic librarian who doesn’t own a car and lives in a shack of an apartment. It’s under these thriving conditions Susan decides it’s time to have a baby! So she heads to the local sperm bank and gets herself basted. But DOH! Crazy mix-up at the s bank and Susan’s been impregnated by the juices of the wrong guy. Sterling (Tycoon) gets a phone call informing him of the sperm switcharoo. See Sterling visited the sperm bank back when he and his now ex-wife were trying to get pregnant. They didn’t have much luck and she dumped his ass. Now Sterling is damaged and doesn’t think he’s capable of love. Whatever.
Since Sterling still wants a kid, he gets Susan’s contact info and gangs up on her…because apparently Texas doesn’t have privacy laws. Sterling gets all up in Susan’s grill because he’s the baby’s father and he’s got rights to the child. So now he’s going to sue her ass and demand she give up the baby…because apparently Texas doesn’t have laws. Period. When Susan hesitates Sterling comes up with an even crazier alternative. He asks Susan to marry him so that they can raise the baby together. Okay, I’m sorry….whut? Clearly Susan gets all her legal knowledge from Judge Judy because she’s immediately agrees to marry him in lieu of a custody battle she’d easily win. Susan is just very, very stupid.
This is where the Cinderella part ties in. Sterling gives her money to buy that best damn wedding dress Coldwater Creek can offer her. They then get married and he whisks her off to his large, luxurious estate. She quits her job and spends her days being pregnant. Sweet deal.
But of course, the relationship has to develop. While living together, Sterling and Susan develop mad sexual tension But Sterling’s so honorable he holds himself back from bumping uglies. Eventually, Sad Susan sets out to seduce him. She argues that sex would improve their bond and make them closer friends when the baby is born. Riiiiiight, it’s all for the baby. With that kind of wonder logic, Sterling immediately agrees and they do the nasty. In the hazy afterglow, he realizes that in some way making love has healed him. See after failing to get his last wife pregnant, Sterling lost his manhood. Apparently sex had “gone a long way toward alleviating that very masculine hurt.” That’s right, sex is the ultimate cure-all — a motto we can all get behind (pun definitely intended). Meanwhile, Susan’s all swoon-y and that the sex act has truly made her Sterling’s wife. Seriously, I’ve never seen so many lame excuses to have sex. Let’s just get to the obvious one: they’re horny, married, and she’s already pregnant anyways.
Sterling and Susan continue knockin’ (cowboy) boots and acting like a couple. They start to fall in love. But let’s not forget, Sterling is terribly damaged by the women in his life. No matter how many times he and Susan get busy, sex won’t completely heal the hole in his heart. Sterling is incapable of love. Nonetheless, Susan decides that after co-habitating a whole three weeks she’s ready to declare her love for him. She does. He retreats into his cold, detached shell of a self. They even stop having sex. Madness!
Fed up, Susan finally leaves his ass. This forces Sterling to reevaluate their relationship. He decides to take a chance on love and give his heart to Susan. He begs her to take him back. Susan agrees (it’s not like she has any better options). And they live happily ever after.
Pages in book: 185
Page they finally do the dirty: 121
Best Dressed: “Susan glanced down at her mauve jumper, acknowledging that perhaps the calf-length hem and volumnious skirt weren’t the most fashionable.” Runner-up: Sterling and his “dressy black cowboy boots.” You know, for really fancy barn raisings and stuff.
You might be a redneck if: “Woowee!” the judge exclaimed happily, “I surely do love a wedding. Don’t you Jimmy Lee?” he asked his clerk.
Why Susan’s just a little bit sad: “…Sterling caught her staring at him like a schoolgirl who’d just discovered her sexuality.”
Why Susan just got a whole lot sadder: “It suddenly seemed incredible that she could have reached the ripe old age of twenty-eight and never experienced this overwhelming desire. Or known that her whole body could ache with a need for man’s touch. Sterling’s touch.”
Yeah, I giggled: He wanted to kiss her round little breasts, suck on her nipples, taste every inch of her ivory skin. hell, he still wanted to do all those things, he admitted, scowling at the heaviness in his loins.”
Because Caroline Cross really loves Texas stereotypes: He came to his feet, unzipped his jeans and pushed them and his briefs to the floor. “Oh my,” she murmured. Her gaze shot to his face. I know everything’s supposed to be big in Texas, Sterling, but I — I don’t think this is going to work.”
Least sexy description of the female anatomy: “Closing her eyes, he rubbed one smoothly shaved cheek against a turgid nipple, then turned his head and took the stiff little morsel into his mouth.” Sterling later refers to Susan’s “distended nipples.”
Final Word: The book has some serious logic fails…and all sorts of fails in general. I have also made fun of Texas way too many times. I assure all Texans that I love their great state. After all, it’s brought me Austin City Limits and Jake Pavelka of The Bachelor.
Sequel time: That’s right, Cinderella’s Tycoon is part of an exciting five book series known as “The Texas Cattleman’s Club”!!!! As the book explains:
The Texas Cattleman’s Club:
Five wealthy Texas bachelors — all members of the state’s most exclusive club — set out on a mission to rescue a princess… and find true love.
Dare I read the other four?!