Cinderella Screwed Me Over

Cinderella Screwed Me Over

by Cindi Madsen


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622660315
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 10/22/2013
Series: Entangled Select Series
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 381,425
Product dimensions: 5.74(w) x 8.16(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. She has way too many shoes but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. She is also the author of the YA novel All the Broken Pieces and the bestselling short romance Falling for Her Fiancé.

Read an Excerpt

Cinderella Screwed Me Over

By Cindi Madsen, Stacy Abrams

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2013 Cindi Madsen
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-030-8


Cinderella screwed me over. And really, she doesn't deserve all the blame. Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty — whatever her real name was, she had, like, three of them — they all added to it. This idea of happily ever after. Of finding Prince Charming.

If you rewatch Cinderella now, you'll realize there are some similarities between Prince Charming and the guys you've dated. Cute, charismatic, and kind of lazy. After all, what did the prince in Cinderella really do? He danced with Cinderella, thought she was pretty, and picked up her shoe.

Then, did he go after her? Nope. He sent the duke. You'd think if he were as in love as he claimed, he would've gone himself. Instead he was, like, Well, as long as her foot's that small, she'll probably be about right for me. That's what's sold to us. Forced down our throats as one of the greatest romances of all time.

The brainwashing starts at about two or three years old, when you first hear fairy tales about princesses, castles, ball gowns, and everybody living happily ever after. It's no wonder that by sixteen, you're shocked when your boyfriend cares more about looking cool or copping a feel than sweeping you off your feet. So you tell yourself it'll get better when you're older.

Then you get older.

You remain optimistic, because you watch romantic comedies now — they've become your new, more realistic fairy tales. You see lovey-dovey couples everywhere you go, proving that romance is still out there. Around the early- to midtwenties, some of your friends start getting married. You keep waiting for it to happen to you.

I waited. And waited. But the more dating experience I got, the more I realized that guys aren't princes and love fades, replaced with either mediocre feelings or full-on contempt. I looked back at my relationships and noticed my dating life had been more like Con Air than Cinderella — you know, bumpy and full of bad guys.

Still, I tried to stay positive. Kept hoping the right guy was out there. I dated every man in the city — well, not literally, but after a while they all started to blur together. Dating became this sadistic ritual that always ended the same way — disappointment. With each bad date, each failed relationship, I grew more and more cynical.

It was on my twenty-sixth birthday that it finally hit me: Love is bullshit. There was no happily ever after.

I swore off men and threw myself into work. I started spending lots of money on shoes. A pair of great heels was much more satisfying than a man. They lasted longer, and better yet, they didn't leave me for someone prettier.

Sure, there were some lonely nights when I wished I had someone to talk to. So I'd stroll past the pet shop and wonder exactly how much that kitty in the window was. On more than one occasion I'd been tempted to buy myself a furry companion. But I wasn't quite ready to be the crazy cat lady. I was saving that for my forties.

At twenty-eight, I had a relapse. I fell in love; I was sure it was meant to be. But then it ended and I was left brokenhearted. Again. You'd think, after all the disastrous relationships I'd been through, I'd know better. That I wouldn't be crushed in the end. But as all history teachers say, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So right then and there I recommitted to my previous decision that two people couldn't really work it out. I also watched a few of the friends who'd gotten married in their early twenties get divorced, which only reaffirmed my decision.

That's why, at thirty years old, I'm a year sober from love, fairy tales, and happy endings. And it's not so bad.


* * *

If I had a theme song — and I totally should — it would be one of those power ballads about being an independent woman and not needing a guy. That's the mood I was rocking tonight. Today was a big milestone for me.

A cool, air-conditioned breeze washed over me as I stepped into the restaurant. My best friend, Stephanie, was already there, and, of course, she was on the phone. She probably hadn't even checked in yet. Lucky for her, I love her as much as her phone-dependent fiancé does.

I walked up to the hostess. She was obviously new, because I didn't recognize her, and I ate here more than I did at my own place. "Darby Quinn, party of two."

She ran a finger down her list, made a checkmark with her pen, then smiled at me. "Give us just a minute, Ms. Quinn, and I'll have someone show you to your table."

I glanced back at Stephanie, who looked like she was talking into thin air. "I understand," Stephanie was saying. "But she's your mom. You'll have to talk to her about it." Underneath her pale curtain of hair, she had her Bluetooth earpiece on. Her gaze caught mine and she held up a finger.

One minute, my butt.

Stephanie and I were often mistaken for sisters. We had the same blond hair — mine was naturally straight, whereas she was a slave to her flat iron — same hazel eyes, and after fifteen years of hanging out together, we'd developed similar mannerisms. Though she was far more detail-oriented than I was. Perfectionist was an understatement, but it worked out well for her. Who wants to hire a sloppy accountant?

"Hi, Darby," Mindy, my usual hostess, said as she walked up to the front. She grabbed two menus. "How are you doing today?"

"I'm well, thanks." I raised my voice and looked at Steph. "If I could just get my friend off the phone, since she's supposed to be hanging out with me, I'd be even better."

Stephanie stuck out her tongue. "Okay, honey, I've gotta go. I'll see you at home." Pause. "I don't know, a few hours." Pause. "Love you, too." She pushed the button on her earpiece, disconnecting the call, then smiled at me. "I'm all yours."

Steph and I followed Mindy through Blue. The place was a mix of espresso-colored wood, white, and dark blue. Miniature lamps lit the tables, casting a soft bluish glow. Blue was my favorite restaurant in Denver. My favorite restaurant anywhere, actually.

The fact that it was five minutes from my building and about ten from Metamorphosis Interior Designs, where I worked as an interior designer, made it even better.

As soon as Stephanie and I were settled into a table in the corner, she picked up her menu. "So what are we celebrating again?"

I took the white cloth napkin off the table and placed it on my lap. "It's been a year since I've had my heart broken. No more relapses."

"Oh, that's right." Stephanie shook her head. "You're celebrating your jaded stance on men."

"I prefer the term realistic, thank you very much. I'm just a girl who realizes love is not only overrated but downright impractical."

"For the past year, anyway."

"Right," I said. "Before that I was miserable."

"You weren't miserable the entire time. You had happy moments, too."

"That's my point. I'm not saying I won't find a guy to have a few happy months with here and there, but I realize now that's enough for me. No future. No big wedding. No forever. Just low-risk here and now."

Stephanie frowned. "I can't believe my maid of honor doesn't believe in love. Please don't tell my mom."

"Well, you and Anthony are an exception."

"I thought you said there are no exceptions."

I smiled. "I did. But not to my best friend who's getting married in two months. That would just be cruel." Honestly, I hoped she and Anthony were an exception. If anyone deserved happiness, Steph did.

"What about that saying?" Steph tapped a finger to her lips. "'No man is an island.'"

"No man is an island because he'd never survive. Men are like overgrown babies. Women, on the other hand — well, without men, I think we'd be relatively problem-free. I could totally be an island."

But the thought of being all alone, without anyone else, was pretty depressing. "I suppose I'd need my family and friends. I'm more like a peninsula."

Steph sighed. "At least you admit you need me. I still think, though, that if you just found the right guy —"

"We're not puzzle pieces, Steph. There's no 'you complete me' guy out there, and the beauty of this day and age is I don't need one."

"So why are you dressed like that" — she waved a hand at me — "if you don't have anyone to impress?"

My red dress hugged in all the right places and showed off my legs. "One, because I run my butt off so I can pull it off. And two, what am I supposed to do? Look like a slob because I don't think relationships last forever? I'm not itching to run off and become a nun or something."

Steph laughed. "Yeah, you'd be a great nun."

Chad walked up to the table and shot me a big, toothy grin. "Darby. Hey."

I returned his smile. "If it isn't my favorite waiter. How are you today?"

"Good. We're getting kind of slammed right now, so it's crazy. But good." He lifted his pad of paper. "What can I get for you ladies?"

I didn't even bother with the menu anymore. I rattled off my order, then waited as Stephanie placed hers.

Steph watched Chad walk away. "What about him? He's super cute and you two seem to have a vibe."

"We don't have a vibe. We have a I-come-here-all-the-time-so-we-say-hi thing. Besides, he's way too young, not to mention I have a strict policy against dating people I run into all the time. No guy's worth losing my favorite place to eat."

Steph rolled her eyes. "You're completely hopeless."

"No, you're the hopeless romantic. They call it that for a reason, you know."

Steph's phone rang and she hovered her finger over her earpiece. "Anthony's probably calling to tell me what his mom said about the flowers. I'll just be one minute."

"I knew you'd never make it." I dug through my purse until I found the envelope I was looking for and took it out. "I'll be right back," I whispered.

Making my way toward the back of the restaurant, I took in all the different kinds of people out on a Saturday night. One couple sat, smiling at each other but not saying anything, neither one eating much of his or her food.

On a date. Probably first or second.

The next table over, a woman in her late thirties to early forties had her arms folded across her chest, a scowl on her face. The guy across from her leaned in, looking frustrated and confused, saying, "I'm sorry, okay."

Married and not speaking — well, she's not speaking.

The kitchen would be a madhouse tonight, so I didn't bother heading in that direction. Brent, the head chef and owner, had done me a huge favor last week, making a special plate for one of my clients. The list of items she couldn't have had been lengthy, but he'd managed to pull off a delicious meal anyway. I'd written him a thank-you note because that's the kind of girl I am.

The office in the back corner had a plastic in-box attached to the door. Brent had mentioned I could place notes or special requests in there if he was ever too busy to come out of the kitchen. I dropped my note inside, then headed back the way I'd come.

A large group of people walked toward me, taking up most of the walkway, and I flattened myself against the wall to let them through. After they passed, I stepped forward, my thoughts on getting back to my table, when the heel of my stiletto caught. To keep from falling, I had to leave the shoe behind.

"Whoa," I muttered as I recovered from my almost-fall.

I turned around in search of my shoe and saw a guy bend over to retrieve it.

"I think you lost this," he said, tugging it loose from the crack in the floor.

"Yeah, it kind of stuck in there and ... Let's just say it wasn't my smoothest move."

He stood up, a big smile on his face. His very handsome face. His bright blue eyes, killer smile, and short, dark hair made it hard to look away. So I didn't bother trying.

"Well ..." He held my black stiletto out to me. "Here you go."

Oh, that's right. I'm standing in the middle of a crowded restaurant, one foot four inches higher than the other.

"Thanks," I said as I took the shoe. Balancing on my other foot, I bent my leg back and attempted to slide the shoe on. Stepping into this pair wasn't an option. They took a little extra work — a finger on the back — to wedge in the heel.

He reached out and put a hand on my hip to steady me. It sent my heart racing, which just goes to show you how long it had been since my last physical contact with a guy.

The shoe finally slipped into place and I put my foot down. When he didn't move his hand, I glanced at it, then back up at him.

"I didn't want you to fall," he said, one corner of his mouth lifting.

A deep stirring I hadn't felt in a long time burned through my core. "I wouldn't fall."

"You see how I might worry, since you did trip just a minute ago."

Between the grin he was flashing me and the heat radiating from his hand, my pulse was having trouble staying steady. I smiled back, pulling out the flirty grin that was rusty from lack of use. "I suppose I do have that against me. Although I choose to blame the faulty flooring and not my coordination."

He took his hand off my hip and held it out to me. "I'm Jake."

I placed my hand in his — firm shake. Bonus points. "Darby."

"Interesting name."

"Interesting is one word for it. For a long time, I thought my parents chose it to torture me. People used to tell me that because of my name, they thought I was a boy."

Jake's gaze ran down my dress, then lifted back to my face. "I doubt anyone makes that mistake now."

My throat went dry, and with him staring at me like that, I got a little lightheaded, too. "Yeah, well, the dress and the heels, they kind of put it all in perspective."

"So did you need something?" Jake asked. "I saw you near the office. Complaints? Compliments? Just so you know, we prefer compliments. And I'll remind you that I did help you out with your shoe problem. Although with the flooring issue, that's probably going to be a wash."

It took me a moment to shift gears. Was he saying ...? I looked him over again. All the waiters wore white shirts and black slacks. Jake had on a red button-down shirt with a black tie and nice black pants. In fact, we matched.

"You work here?" I asked.

"I do a little of this, a little of that." Jake scooted to the side as Mindy led an older couple down the walkway, bringing him even closer to me. I caught a whiff of his musky, masculine-smelling cologne. "Actually, I manage and own the place. Well, my buddy and I do."

That pulled me out of my he-looks-and-smells-amazing daze. Sure you do, you big fat liar. "Funny, I've never seen you here before."

"Oh, do you come here often?"

I narrowed my eyes at him.

"It's not a line," he said. "Unless it worked, then I'll go with it."

"You know, I've got to get back to my friend. Thanks for the help with the shoe and everything." I turned to walk away.


I glanced back at him.

He leveled those dangerous blue eyes on me. "Could I take you to dinner sometime?"

I motioned around. "Like, here? In this lovely restaurant you own?"

"Wherever you want," Jake said. "It doesn't have to be here."

"I'm going to have to pass. Now if you'll excuse me, I've really got to get back." Before he could say anything else, I turned and walked away from the best-looking guy that had ever hit on me.

It's such a shame he's a liar. Otherwise, I might've been tempted. And I haven't been tempted in a long time.

Our food was at our table by the time I got back. Steph was even off the phone. "Where did you disappear to?" she asked.

I slid into my seat. "I was walking back from dropping a note off to Brent and my shoe got caught. This guy got it out for me."

Steph grinned. "Did he slip it on for you, too?"

"No. I did that." I picked up my fork, ready to devour my dinner. "Stop looking at me like that."

"It's just funny that the girl who is so anti-fairy tale had her shoe rescued by a guy. It's very Cinderella."

"The guy was definitely cute and charming. But he claimed he owned this place, making him a liar."

"Maybe he wasn't lying."

"Steph, I've never seen him before and I eat here all the time. And I happen to know Brent, who actually owns the place. So, yeah, the very handsome guy's a liar. And ever since Allen, I have a strict no-liars policy."

"Liars are the worst," Steph said.

I lifted my glass, ready to recommit myself to what I'd come here to celebrate. "To male sobriety."

* * *

Being burned time and time again takes an emotional toll on a girl. I'd know. After my last failed relationship, I called Steph, like I always did, and she came over for calorie splurging, guy bashing, and binge drinking. Over pizza, Steph and I rehashed our worst relationships.

The next afternoon, I got the idea to lay out all my relationships, so I'd avoid making the same mistakes. Since fairy tales were partially responsible for my messy love life, I'd drawn parallels to my failed relationships.

The first of my case studies demonstrates why I never date liars — even charming ones.


Excerpted from Cinderella Screwed Me Over by Cindi Madsen, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2013 Cindi Madsen. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Cinderella Screwed Me Over 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
forevrsearchin More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I had to sit a while on my thoughts before I could review it because that was the only thing I could think of to say about it. But now that I've had some time to ruminate on my thoughts, I still love this book and have a bit more to say about it. I absolutely love the fact that Darby relates all of her past boyfriends to princes from fairy tales and the lessons that she learned from each of them. It's delightfully funny and very light-hearted. Even though most of these men have hurt her or used her, she still turns it around and tries to find something to take out of it.  Darby is a strong female character. She's lived her life believing in the fairy tale ending, but after many attempts at the happily ever after, Darby's convinced it doesn't exist and has rules that she lives by to protect herself rom men. She's very stubborn and stuck in her ways.  Jake is the dream guy. He is actually the perfect gentleman. He is devoted and caring. He's never overbearing, scary, and always lets Darby decided what she wants, without coming off as weak or needy. He's very much an alpha male, but not the scary, much romanticized alpha males that are so popular in fiction at the moment. He is the man that your mother would want you to marry. Cinderella Screwed Me Over is a wonderfully funny and light-hearted read. Cindi Madsen has created another delightful novel that everyone will love. Honest review given in exchange for an ARC given by the publisher.
These-Pretty-Words More than 1 year ago
Five princess-worthy stars! I love Cinderella and Disney Princesses in general, so when K sent me this book, I was excited to get started but a little worried that it would either mock the objects of my obsession or not do them justice. I didn’t need to worry. Darby is a cynic who doesn’t believe in happily ever afters, but she wasn’t always like that. Once upon a time she was a girl who loved fairy tales, who watched all the Disney movies fanatically and even named her horse after Cinderella’s. Once upon a time she was a girl who dreamed of finding her prince. Enter: life. After a series of failed relationships, Darby no longer believes in the kind of love that lasts forever. I really loved how dimensional Darby’s character was. She wasn’t just a cynic; she was a romantic at heart who was terrified of getting hurt again. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to fall in love; she just wasn’t willing to keep risking her heart only to experience the heartbreak when it was all over. Who can’t relate to that? Throughout the story, the author integrates “case studies” linking each of Darby’s ex-boyfriends to a different fairy tale prince to point out how the story was flawed and certain characteristics just didn’t work in real life. Example: Aladdin was a liar. Alan was a liar. In the fairy tale, all was forgiven and they flew off together on a magic carpet. In real life, Darby discovers Alan is actually married and his wife is pregnant. Doesn’t exactly lead to “happily ever after.” I loved this part of the story. Each study painted a picture and contributed one more piece to Darby’s puzzle. Each relationship was different and taught her different lessons. The variety was great. Not all her ex-boyfriends were jackholes, some of them, for one reason or another, just didn’t work out. That’s life. Fun take on providing a lot of backstory in a way that was very entertaining to read. As much as I loved Darby, I adored Jake, her un-invited Prince Charming. I loved how he was persistent without being pushy. He was patient without being a pushover. Of course it helps that he was confident, had a great sense of humor, and completely drop dead sexy. I loved that he wasn’t perfect. You could see him getting frustrated at times with Darby running hot and cold, rightfully so. He obviously knew what he wanted and was willing to take the risk to go for it. I think that more than anything really taught Darby what true, real life love is all about. I gave this book five big, sparkly, princess-worthy stars. The only thing I wasn’t head over heels in love with about the book was that it ended so fast. I wish there had been just a little bit more to the end to provide a truly satisfying sense of “happily ever after” but all in all, I thought the book was entertaining and well written. The characters were wonderful and well developed and everything tied in really well together. When I came to the last word, I wanted to flip back to the beginning and start all over again. Definitely one for my favorites shelf!
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
Cinderella Screwed Me Over is one of those books that is pure entertainment.  If I had to sum it up, I'd say that it's humor at its best, like a Disney story for all of us grownup girls who still love fairy tales, whether you believe in them or not.  Darby Quinn was one of those girls who believed in and hoped for the fairy tale, until she got burned one time too many.  "Cinderella screwed me over.  And really, she doesn't deserve all the blame.  Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty - whatever her real name was, she had, like three of them - they all added to it.  This idea of happily ever after.  Of finding Prince Charming.  If you re-watch Cinderella now, you'll realize there are some similarities between Prince Charming and the guys you've dated.." The above statement is how the book starts and the whole basis for how Darby came to the realization on her 26th birthday that "Love is bull****.  There was no happily ever after."  She went so far as to create case studies relating her past relationship failures to the characters in fairy tales, which are absolutely hilarious.   For example:  Aladdin Case Study:  Allen/Aladdin.  She then proceeds to detail the relationship and yes, compares the guy to the character.  She ends the case study with - Time Wasted, then proceeds to list the amount of time she spends on the relationship.  Then she finishes up with Lesson Learned, and lists everything she has learned from it and how it relates to her theory of love being bull**** and there not being any happily ever afters.  Darby has a book full of these case studies, no joke, and they are hilarious.   Darby is fairly confident in  her theory and in her conclusions until she meets Jake, who causes her to question everything she has worked so hard to believe in.  Jake seems like the real deal, and as hard as she tries to put him into one of her nicely categorized case studies, he just won't fit, which frustrates her to no end.  When she starts to really like him, as stubborn as she is, she looks for ways to prove he theory and find something wrong with Jake.  Jake on the other hand has the patience of a saint with Darby, how I will never know, but he does, until she pushes too hard one time too many and screws things up, and she can't even blame Cinderella for it.  Darby finally has to decide for herself if the guy she has fallen for is worth taking a risk on love again, and if he is, she's got to figure out how to convince him to give her another chance.   Does Darby get her happily ever after and her own Prince Charming?  Well, you'll have to read the book to find out, and I'm pretty sure that you'll enjoy yourself and have a blast while you're finding out the answer.  I know I did.  Cindi Madsen has done a great job in writing a delightful and entertaining story that is filled with humor, romance, and is just plain fun.  
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
I was so excited about this book because I thought the concept was neat, fresh and unusual. Unfortunately, I just didn’t enjoy the book the way I hoped I would. The beginning of the book started out fine – it was a little catchy and I was able to connect with the character of Darby. Then as the story went on – it literally when on and on and on and on. While the concept of relating fairy tales to real life love sounded neat and fresh in reality it was wordy and seemed to drag on and on. I skipped probably 25-35% of the book just because I felt stuck. It was as if I kept reading and reading and the little line on the bottom of my Kindle just was not moving – seriously, I thought it had stopped working at one point. Honestly, I enjoyed Darby’s cynical view of love, but it just got to be too much. If you enjoy reading books about love gone wrong with a happy ending this book is definitely for you. I found Darby’s character likeable, but she would be someone I could only take in small doses too pessimistic for my taste. I enjoyed the secondary characters of Darby’s step brothers, and thought they added a sense of overall balance and calm to Darby’s hectic life. Jake, Darby’s love interest, is patient and kind – almost too patient and kind. I started to wonder what kind of skeleton’s the writer had in store for him, but he turned out to be truly smitten. Toward the end of the book, I must admit, the emotional side of the story had me hooked – unfortunately, by this time, I was so bored and just wanted to be finished with the book – it didn’t really matter. I’d say overall, it was an OK read. It was just too wordy and cynical for my liking, but if you are into love and/or male bashing give it a try. Rating: 3 Heat Rating: Sweet Reviewed by: A. Lyn Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Andreat78 More than 1 year ago
Cinderella Screwed Me Over is a book I have been waiting on for months. From the vibrant and eye-catching cover to the promise of a funny and charming story of a woman who's over the promise of fairy tales, I just knew that I would enjoy this book. And I did. Cinderella Screwed Me Over (is that not the best title?!) was written in such a clever manner. Darby Quinn has had enough of the Disney-fed fairy tales we've all grown up on. After years of looking for a Prince and landing a frog, Darby is no longer buying the promise of a Prince and Happily Ever After. Over the years of heartache and disappointment, Darby has accumulated case files, comparing the men in her life to Disney Princes. From Prince Charming to Robin Hood to The Beast, you name a Disney man, Darby's boyfriends can be compared to each in some way, along with the lesson she learned. When she meets charming, gorgeous, and sweet Jake, Darby has a difficult time fitting him into a place in her case files. Jake wants a relationship, Darby insists she doesn't believe in long-term love. And though Jake proves himself time and again, she just can't quite take the leap and admit that maybe love isn't a bad word. Will Darby begin to believe in fairy tales, or will she push true love away for good? Besides the romantic story, this really is a personal journey for Darby. I loved that Madsen took the time to focus on her as an individual and not just make this a story on winning a guy. Darby was a funny and winsome heroine, but also very headstrong and set in her ways. She was tough yet sweet, and I liked that she never lost either aspect to her personality even as she began to change. Jake was really a great leading man. I liked that he was so nice and charming, and especially that he was patient with Darby. These two had great banter, which is really a strong point for Madsen. A story that can make me laugh and swoon is always going to win with me. At this point, I think it is fairly established that I am a big fan of Madsen's work. Although I go in certain I will enjoy the book, I am surprised again and again by just how much. It seems that her writing suits me perfectly, or maybe I am perfectly suited to her writing. Either way, Cinderella Screwed Me Over is another charming book from Cindi Madsen. My favorite yet.
BookLabyrinth More than 1 year ago
I went into this book looking for something lighthearted and sweet, and that's exactly what I got. Upon reading the first few chapters there were numerous times I actually laughed out loud, a rare occurrence. This humour continued throughout the book, which I really appreciated. I also loved how swoony and romantic this book was while still being clean. I mean, I wouldn't have protested at more make out scenes, but I really do love clean romances because you get so much more of a focus on the actual romance. You get to experience the characters getting to know one another and all the reasons why they belong together, beyond just the physical attraction. Our main character Darby is sweet, but she’s also practical to the point of cynicism. She's been burned so many times, that it's difficult for her to let herself fall in love, even when a real Prince Charming may have made his way into her life. Speaking of Prince Charming, I really loved Jake. He's funny and charming without coming off as sleazy, he's patient and caring, and he sees the good in Darby. I appreciated how we also got to see some of Jake’s faults, such as him getting too wrapped up in his work. This made him seem like a whole person, not just someone placed in the role of “perfect love interest”. What I loved about this slow burn romance is that it didn't feel fake. Darby genuinely felt like someone with control and trust issues, and we see that with all her case study examples. She had real reasons to feel the way she did, and she wasn't over the top about it. Darby wasn't an insane man hating stereotype like you see in some books/movies, she's just someone who is hesitant and scared. She tries to keep her distance to keep herself from being hurt again. Speaking of Darby’s case studies, I loved how she laid out her past relationships in that format, especially in comparing them to the Disney princes. The romance in this book is top notch, but so too are the friendship and family elements. Stephanie, Darby’s best friend, was a strong support for Darby. She was busy planning her own wedding, so she wasn’t always 100% focused on the friendship, but she was there for Darby when it counted most, and she wanted the best for her. Their friendship felt real, and Stephanie was a great character who stood as her own woman, and not just as a caricature of female friendship that so many books present. On the family front, Darby’s family plays a small but important role in the book. From the scenes that they are in, it’s so clear that they are real, developed people with their own personalities and backgrounds. To do that without “info dumping” takes talent, and that was definitely achieved here. Be sure to check out Cinderella Screwed Me Over if you’re looking for a book that is fun and swoony, while still being practical about romance (eg. it fully acknowledges that relationships take work, that you need to have the same goals, that you need to support each other, etc). I absolutely enjoyed this book: it was one that I didn't want to set down because I felt like I was a part of Darby's world when I was reading it.
MelodyMay More than 1 year ago
I don't know how many of you love romantic comedy movies, but I love them. I think they are fantastic. You pretty much have a good balance when you watch a romantic comedy. You laugh, you cry and you get frustrated, but in the end you find that happy ending that makes you feel good. In Cindi Madsen's Cinderella Screwed Me Over you find the makings for a romantic comedy movie in the book.  Darby Quinn has had many disastrous relationships in her life time. So much so that she started making case files from past relationships and how the fit into the fairytale and how they fairytale doesn't really workout in real life. Yes, this could be a cynical approach to the idea of love. When you look at the cases she presents, it actually seems pretty accurate. So, it's no wonder she sworn off love and happy-ever-afters. However, there is one guy who doesn't seem to get the message, Jake Knight. Now Jake goes through a lot of hoops to get Darby to take a chance on him.  I did actually love Darby. I love the fact she had a jaded attitude on love. However, her attitude wasn't as jaded as another character in the story, which made Darby pause a couple of times to rethink her attitude. Did that make her change, not really. Plus, I found her case studies or the glimpse of her past relationship and how they shaped her view on love interesting. Like most girls she did have hope of a fairytale ending, but slowly came to realization that those aren't real. However, her attitude towards love did start to get on my nerves, but overall it stem from fear.  Now Jake deserves a medal or something for sticking by Darby through all her antics. He really stuck by her and he saw the that they could be more. I don't know how many guys would have stuck around when the girl keeps pushing away. Jake was persistent and determine and pretty amazing. I really did like the guy. Cinderella Screwed Me Over definitely has a making for a romantic comedy movie in the book. As I was reading, I truly picture this story in my mind, especially when she did the case studies (kind of like a flashback). Here's how it has the making of a romantic comedy movie in the book: 1. You have flash backs (always make better romantic comedy). 2. Laugh out loud moments (one of the most important things in the romantic comedy). 3. Bring on the tears (you know there is always those moments) 4. The "oh no they're not going to make it" moment (yes, you know what I'm talking about, because it always happens). 5. The girl gets her happy ending. So, if you love romantic comedies, you probably have fun with Cinderella Screwed Me Over.  Copy provided by publisher
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 Stars! This book is so funny, sweet, nice and realistic! I loved it! I loved Darby and Jake - together and apart. They are such great main characters. This book cured me from all those other fictional boyfriends that you fall for when reading a book. Jake is how a REAL man should be. I loved dark, tortured alpha males…but is it really what women want in real life? No, because it will just not be like in the books. Jake is the type of man you should go for :) He is perfect. Even though Darby always rejected him, he kept waiting for her, was persistent in a non-stalkerish way and so sweet and caring. I also liked Darby. Darby is a very strong independent woman. She might have had some issues with guys and on some of her perspectives I did not really agree with her. With some of her “Disney diary examples” I thought to myself, why is she complaining about men? A lot of what went wrong in the relationship was also her doing… But I liked that she also can’t fully explain her extreme point of view on relationships. And isn’t that what every one of us goes through sometimes. We have a certain perspective and are very persistent about it and won’t be talked into changing it even though the other person has some reasonable points. We are just stubborn and along the way we sometimes forget why we do what we do :) This is Darby. She just does not want a relationship anymore and knows that she can’t fully explain it. Even though she tries with all the Disney Princes fails she had so far. I loved those flash back stories about her past relationships. It kept the book very interesting. This is the second book by Cindy Madsen that I have read. I came to the conclusion that Cindy is an amazingly talented writer. I love her way of telling a story. It keeps me turning the pages and I can’t stop reading. While reading her books you just flow through it. Her style of writing is great. This is a lovely, funny, and light read. My recommendation is, when you want to set your perspective on men straight, read this book! Haha ;)
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Cinderella Screwed Me over is the hilarious tale of a woman who no longer believes in true love.  Darby has gone so far as to write case studies for the various princes and why they aren't as good as they seem.  The case files were amazing, not only did it let Darby's personality shine, but it was a great way to shine a light into her past without the traditional flashback/reminisce scene.  After awhile you begin to understand why Darby is so set against ever falling in love again. On the anniversary of her one year off men, she meets Jake and instantly assumes the worst about him.  But Jake is something special, he is the one that doesn't want to give up.  He sees something special and unique in Darby and won't accept no for an answer.  He is willing to give Darby all the time she needs to come to her senses and realize love is real. With numerous ups and downs in their non-relationship the book was impossible to put down.  It's humorous scenes and incredible dialog made the characters jump right off the page.  I absolutely loved everything about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Think of your favorite romantic comedy chick flick...and this is it!! Can not say enough good things about the characters, dialogue, plot... Full length novel with closure. I wish there was an epilogue to get tge details on their happily ever after but that said, there was definitely a grat ending! A must read. Right up there with Wall Banger and other great titles!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was an amazing book kept me laughing throughout. I wasn't able to put it down.
nconspikus More than 1 year ago
This book had me at first sight. I loved it. All of it. And I didn't even know what it was about when I picked it up and took it home. I love when I find a book where the main character is a part of me. From a love perspective, I am Darby. I haven't found my Prince Charming, nor do I ever plan to, but she is me. Usually, I plow right through books, but with this one, I had to keep reminding myself to slow down so I could prolong the fun. Now, add all of Darby's awesomeness and pair it with the setting taking place in my home state of Colorado and you have me sold.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was hooked by the concept of Cinderella Screwed Me Over right away. The case studies of Darby's exes made me laugh, and the chemistry between her and Jake leapt off the page. I couldn't stop flipping to see what would happen next. The secondary characters also made this story so fun and relatable, and I loved reading this real-life fairytale filled with lots of laughs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really down to earth, sarcasticly funny read. Enjoyed all the characters & their relationship. Great light-hearted fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I read it in 2 days. This would make a great romantic comedy- one of those that you could watch over and over again and love every time.
Lagalloway More than 1 year ago
4 Fairy-Tales-Exist Stars! Once again, I find myself loving a Cindi Madsen book. Cinderella Screwed Me Over is truly a book for the ladies and epic romance failures. We all try to imagine we’ll have our knight-in-shining- armor roll in on his “white horse” wheels, sweep us off our feet and treat us like royalty. However, that is the stuff of fairy tales. Or so we believe anyway… Darby is the very cynical realist when it comes to relationships. She has real-life experience. She’s been there, done that, not doing it again. She’s the expert, she knows what she’s talking about. Throughout her 28 years of life, she has been through multiple seemingly fairy tale relationships that have promise and hope, but then the guy takes off his armor and there is a scrawny, lousy, selfish soul underneath and her romantic dream of true love and happily ever after is shattered. Over and over again Darby keeps placing herself in these situations and it has left her heart hard, with walls built high and rules in place in order for it to stay intact. But then comes along Jake. The owner of her favorite restaurant, tenant in her building, and because of those two things, he has already broken two of her precious rules. But, as Jake says, “two strikes isn’t enough to get out. You need three.” And boy does he use that little extra wiggle room to get one date with Darby. As Darby finds herself breaking all of her rules, one by one, slowly breaking down her wall, she finds herself in trouble; her past colliding with her present, reminding her of why she has her rules. Can she ever allow herself to be with Jake, the one man she wants to say F**K the rules for? Or will her past failures continue to dictate her life? There were times that I wanted to slap Darby and tell her to get over her rules and let Jake in, but I still have that romantic vibe thrumming through me and I would always be that fool getting hurt over and over again. Darby is fun, loving, strong, and stubborn and matches perfectly with Jake’s sexy, sweet, funny, and drool-worthiness. My heart melted a little for them every time they were in the same room. I highly recommend this book to anyone jaded by love or hopelessly romantic (I received an ARC for my review and this is my honest-to-goodness, straight from the heart review!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PuttingPentoPage More than 1 year ago
Darby is jaded by a rash of (mostly) bad relationships and the unrealistic expectations modern day fairy tales have for said relationships. She's even gone so far as to analyze each relationship in terms of one of Disney's leading fairy tale men--and it's pretty darn funny. I've often thought fairy tales set unrealistic expectations for relationships so it was really fun to read Darby's perspective on it and how she relates this to both her past boyfriends and how she currently uses it to keep men at a distance. In walks Jake, who is not only willing to go along with her "rules" for "non-dating", but also makes Darby break some of said rules. The banter between the to MCs is funny and sweet and very enjoyable. This is a fairly quick read, and very enjoyable especially if you like to roll your eyes at fairy tales.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the ending, but felt this book took forever to go anywhere.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
*4.5* Confession time: I started CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER a couple of months ago and never got past the first chapter. I thought it wasn't for me. Recently, I decided to give it a second chance and I'm so incredibly happy I did. (See sometimes you just have to be in the right kind of mood for a book). CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER reminded me of some of my favorite romantic comedy movies. After a series of horrible, soul-crushing relationships, Darby's given up on love and HEAs. She thinks that Cinderella and the rest of the Disney princesses have screwed her over, because men like Prince Charming and Prince Eric aren't nearly as perfect as they seem on the big screen. But Jake, the owner of Darby's favorite restaurant as well as her neighbor, won't give up on Darby and her pessimistic views. He thinks they can make it work, no matter how hard Darby tries to push him away.... Darby is cynical and sarcastic. She has a slight case of foot-in-mouth disease. More importantly, she's never afraid to speak her opinion, no matter how controversial it may be. When the book begins, Darby sees love in a glass-half-empty kind of way. At first, I had a love/hate relationship with her. I could understand why she had given up on love (some of her past relationships had been rough). At the same time, however, I wanted her to take the risk - to give Jake a try - because while you might not always achieve the most perfect HEA, you can get pretty darn close with the right person. Also, I loved Darby's sass. Some of the things she said (especially on her blind dates) cracked me up. Jake is charming and relentless hero. He has the patience of a saint. Seriously, Darby wasn't always the easiest person in the world. The minute Jake was first introduced I wanted him to be the one. There was something so incredibly likable about him and I loved how he wouldn't give up on the people and things he cared about. CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER is a romance; however, Cindi Madsen also addresses how fairy tales sometimes give girls unrealistic expectations on love and romance (a.k.a "Cinderella Screwed Me Over"). I thought she did a fantastic job of weaving Darby's case studies (i.e. how each of Darby's boyfriend's compared to a Disney prince and what she learned) into the book. They were interesting as well as thought-provoking and I especially loved how close they were to the "true" story. The romance here was slow-burn, and throughout the book it had the "will-they-or-won't-they" feel I love. I especially liked how some parts kept me guessing. For instance, Darby's biggest heartbreak isn't fully revealed until the very end; however, there's slight clues that pop up every once in a while that had me predicting what exactly went down. Additionally, I enjoyed how Darby's best friend's wedding preparations were included as well as Jake and Darby's respective jobs. Overall, CINDERELLA SCREWED ME OVER is a unique, compelling romance. As I said before, I'm so incredibly happy I gave it a second chance!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an adorable rendition of what happens to all of us career girls who believe in fairy tales and only to end up jaded. Alright, so 5 stars may be a little much bc it will never be a critically acclaimed novel, but this was so much more than I expected from the title and was SO appreciated! ??
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Such a fun, quick witted, charming book to read! I loved Jake all the way through this book. He really was very charming and had the patience of a saint. I loved how he was with Darby - completely understanding of her rules and issues with relationships. He took her for who she was but was determined to show her how right they were together. If ever there was a more swoonworthy of a male character, I am not sure. And Darby, I loved her too. I could totally get into her mindset and understand her craziness. But under those relationship issues, she was big hearted, sarcastically funny, and a great friend. Their story was very sweet, very entertaining and one that will stay with you for a while.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
Jake & Darby are neighbors, and he wants to be more. He also owns her favorite restaurant and she feels it is a little too close for comfort. What if something were to go wrong? Darby does not believe in happily ever after. Not anymore. She has the case files to prove her theory. So the fact she is attracted to Jake bothers her. How can she want someone so wrong for her? This is a funny story. It also has some hot secy times. The characters are certainly meant to be and it is a slow burn watching them circle one another. The case files are a must read for any romance lover. ***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
Jake & Darby are neighbors, and he wants to be more. He also owns her favorite restaurant and she feels it is a little too close for comfort. What if something were to go wrong? Darby does not believe in happily ever after. Not anymore. She has the case files to prove her theory. So the fact she is attracted to Jake bothers her. How can she want someone so wrong for her? This is a funny story. It also has some hot secy times. The characters are certainly meant to be and it is a slow burn watching them circle one another. The case files are a must read for any romance lover. ***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
Jake & Darby are neighbors, and he wants to be more. He also owns her favorite restaurant and she feels it is a little too close for comfort. What if something were to go wrong? Darby does not believe in happily ever after. Not anymore. She has the case files to prove her theory. So the fact she is attracted to Jake bothers her. How can she want someone so wrong for her? This is a funny story. It also has some hot secy times. The characters are certainly meant to be and it is a slow burn watching them circle one another. The case files are a must read for any romance lover. ***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.