A sweet and simple Cinderella story...but I wanted more
I love the Cinderella love story trope. I mean, who doesn't? The poor, hardworking girl gets to glamourize for a night, and meets the man of her dreams, who ultimately saves her from her lowly existence. We're all waiting for our Prince Charming to swoop in and rescue us.
Unmasked by Aurora Paige was a sweet retelling of the Cinderella story, with a sexy, curvy Filipina-American young woman named Ella, and a silver fox with a French background named Marius. Ella works for Marius as his personal assistant and she's had a crush on him for awhile. Marius has definitely noticed Ella, but he tries to keep things between them professional. When Ella has the opportunity to attend a fundraiser masked ball that she knows her boss will be at, she takes the opportunity to go in disguise and finally take what she wants. For one night she wants to live her own personal fairytale - even if she knows that if she ever became unmasked, Marius couldn't possibly want her. Or could he?
The story was short and cute but I felt like the author had a romance novel trope list with tiny check boxes next to it and she was going down the list - first kiss, check. Virgin heroine, check. Hero had a bad experience with love and is now closed off? Check. And it kind of went on. I also feel like she was trying to fit in a bit much in a short novella. I didn't feel like I really got to know Ella and Marius, and so I wasn't really invested in their love story. And some of Ella's poor home life could have easily been fixed. Why did she need to live with her horrible step siblings when she had the open invite to move out and go to New York with her friend? I know that she was pining after Marius, but even if she wanted to stay in San Francisco, she could have found herself a roommate and found a small apartment. She had options I think that weren't explored.
All in all it was exactly what you would expect. If you want a standard fairy tale retelling that doesn't go deeper, than you'll enjoy this story. I just think that the author had a lot of room to expand and there were so many different directions she could have gone with it. I did like the multicultural aspect to it, and the cover was gorgeous.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Title: Unmasked: A Fairytale Retelling
Author: Aurora Paige
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 4, 2021
A cute and curvaceous executive assistant.
A sexy and smart tech entrepreneur and billionaire.
What happens when their paths cross at the masquerade ball? Will she tell him who she really is?
I’ve dreamt of being swept off my feet by a handsome prince and getting my Happily Ever After, just like in the romance novels I read. But I’ve never had a boyfriend or even been kissed. To be honest, I don’t think guys even notice I’m there. So, when I had a chance to be a mysterious woman at the ball and finally get my prince to notice me, I went for it. And notice me he did. But will he still want me after he finds out who I am?
When I found out my (ex-)girlfriend was sleeping with my best friend, I decided to focus all my attention on my billion-dollar business rather than try to find a woman to settle down with. But at the San Francisco Storm Masquerade Ball Fundraiser, I saw her. The perfect woman I’d been waiting for. When the clock struck midnight, I still didn’t know her name or even what her face looked like, but I remembered the sexy curves of her body. And I wasn’t letting her get away. I needed to know who she was. She would be mine.
UNMASKED is a steamy and sexy multicultural retelling of Cinderella, the original ‘One Who Got Away.’
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Aurora Paige is a healthcare professional by day and a FilAm writer of steamy contemporary romance with sassy heroines and sexy heroes at night. Each Aurora Paige story delivers a variety of Curvy Heroines, Multicultural relationships, Alpha Heroes, Steamy Heat, and a Guaranteed Happily Ever After.