Romance, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
Ebook $3.99 (Novella, CARINA PRESS)
Once upon a time there was a scheming, lying tart who cared for nothing but her own pleasures and her shoe collection.
Once the peerlessly beautiful Lady Catriona, consort to the king, Cat's fortunes fall far when her aged husband dies. The king's wizard turns her into a cat and tries to drown her in the mill pond. Fortunately Cat is a clever survivor and enlists the help of Julian, the miller's youngest son, in her plan for revenge.
She originally sees Julian as a mere pawn for her plans to break her curse, but as they work together Cat comes to know and care for him. Even if the curse can be broken, can a good-hearted man love a woman who has been as vain and selfish as Cat?
Author Site: bettiesharpe.com
Like Fairytale Retellings? Add Sharpe to Your MUST-HAVE List (4 stars)
Spoiled, manipulative, and downright wicked the only thing beautiful about the king's consort, Lady Catriona, is the body she inhabits. Being breath-takingly lovely has its advantages and she's used them to get everything she could ever desire and there are few things she loves more than her exquisite shoes. Yet when the king dies his fortune falls to his young daughter and his trusted advisors seek to get rid of her. When the king's wizard turns her into a cat and attempts to drown her in the mill pond. She isn't the only one having bad luck that day and when the miller's youngest son, Julian, becomes her companion she intends to use him to her own advantage just as she has every man before.
Yet this puss-in-boots might find herself having a change of heart as an unlikely friendship develops between she and Julian who has no clue of her real identity. If they can break the spell and Cat becomes human once more could kind, good-hearted Julian ever love the once selfish and spoiled lady Catriona?
I L-O-V-E, looove fairytale retellings. Classic stories lend themselves to all sorts of fun interpretations but few are as fun as those written for adults witha touch of erotic flavor. That said, Puss In Boots is probably the last story I would have expected to see retold in such a way. But Sharpe nails it. I anticipated some slightly awkward cat-as-love-interest weirdness to undertone the storytelling yet she kept it from crossing that line. Instead Catriona is a very strong—though very selfish and downright slutty—character that translates into the personality of a feline well enough that the sexual side doesn't need to enter for it to work.
The writing is superb, Catriona's voice distinct and amusing. The story follows the traditional tale pretty closely and has the happily-ever-after ending romance readers will look forward to. I very much enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more fairytale retellings from Sharpe in the near future!
Stella on Goodreads
Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.