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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Abducted by a Prince by Olivia Drake

Abducted by a Prince (Cinderella Sisterhood, #3)
Abducted by a Prince by Olivia Drake
Publication date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Cinderella Sisterhoods
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Once upon a time, a small boy was raised by a kind grandmother figure, who told him that he was a prince. Damien Burke did not know his past, and when he was sent to Eton at the behest of an unknown benefactor, he was given a key and the promise that it will lead him to his parents and birthright. Unfortunately, it was stolen by a young Viscount Greaves, an act for which Damien vowed revenge henceforth. Years later, Damien has succeeded as the owner of a profitable gambling hell, "Demon's Den," and ready to exact his demand from Viscount Greaves - give up the key, or to have Greave's sister Lady Beatrice kidnapped.

What Damien didn't know is that he kidnapped Ellie Stratham, the impoverished cousin and companion of Bratty Beatrice. Ellie was so close to actualizing her dreams of becoming a children's novelist and escaping from her uncle and cousin's tyranny, before she was taken by a handsome, mysterious stranger. But when the Demon Prince realizes his mistake, the two are already trapped on an island, in a castle that lends a creative space for imagination and desire. How long would be it until the two succumbed to their mutual passion?

This entry in Olivia Drake's Cinderella Sisterhoods series utilizes one Fairy Godmother - Lady Milford - who may be connected to Damien's past; a frame story within which Ellie writes her own fairy tale based upon her and Damien's story, with him as a Rat Prince; and one magical slipper that lead its wearers to true love. However, while lively, these fairy tale elements did little to salvage the rather stilted characterization that is Ellie and Damien.

Damien had a disastrous first marriage, which albeit giving him a daughter, whom he adored, had left him with a distaste for marriage - and a disbelief in love. He was the disillusioned Demon Prince, a moniker that he later relished because it gave him power and a sense of prestige, which he used to metaphorically smite his enemies. Despite the painting of his characters as a combination of a confused, albeit loving father, and a dark man wronged by people, his dealings with Ellie reveals him as a rather incompetent fellow, not quite to the standards of a determined, wicked scoundrel hero.

Ellie was a more contradictory character, who first betrayed childishly when Damien apologized over his mistake, then suddenly she was willing to give herself to him out of curiosity and desire. This rather aggressive change in behavior occurred again when a marriage of convenience was made between them, during which she exhibited more confused, conflicting behaviors and actions. Her initial setup as a sensible, gentle miss turned into a repressed woman, and then to a shrew, after which her uneven characterization is apparent.

In a manner not unlike a fairy tale gone wrong, the carefully laid out plans of our main characters were foiled again and again, until they themselves became confused to what they really want, to then lead the reader on a merry chase to a rushed happily-ever-after.

I delighted in the premise of this book, yet felt the characterizations were too uneven to balance out the fairy-tale like plot, and to do justice to its foreshadowed ending. Olivia Drake writes with a quirky humor and careful setup, but her execution missed a bit here, just as Damien's plan ended in an unpredictable manner. Ultimately, I do recommend this book for those in want of lighter fare and a twist on the classic Cinderella story, though it is certainly not without flaws.

*Review copy courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley; yes it’s an honest review


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  1. Under the heading...You might also like:..there are 4 recommendations, did you read those recommendations and review them also?

    1. Those recommendations change every time the page is refreshed, so I don't know which particular titles you referred to. But if I just put the book name or the word "review" somewhere, then I've reviewed it.

    2. I am at awe! I don't know how you do it all, my friend!...brava, to you!

    3. Severe lack of sleep followed by bouts of intense inspiration. lol~ Then R&R and let the cycle begin anew.

  2. Ooh I like the sound of this one. A mixture of fairytale seems really interesting. Good review.

  3. I totally agree with you, Mary. It was a miracle that I finished reading the book at all.

    1. Oh, and is it just me or does the cover not look like it's for a contemporary romance and not historical?

    2. Me too...:( I wanted to DNF it a few times.

    3. I had the same thought, Zeee!! When I first saw this I thought it was a contemp because the cover pose and look is very rare in historicals. LOL You have great eyes! :)



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