Title: Cinderella Busted The Cinderella Romances, book 1
Author: Petie McCarty
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Published Date: December 16, 2015
Source: Provided by author for review
About the Story: Cinderella’s fairy tale moves to Jupiter Island, Florida where Lily Foster, owner of an eclectic landscape nursery, is mistaken for a wealthy socialite by billionaire resort developer Rhett Buchanan. Overdue for a little romance in her life, Lily is anxious for one fabulous date with her handsome prince, so she cultivates her inadvertent masquerade.
Rhett Buchanan has become jaded with the Palm Beach social scene, dominated by scheming women desperate for more money—his money. Rhett falls hard when he meets Lily Foster. She is a breath of fresh air after the smog of gold diggers constantly surrounding him.
For Rhett and Lily, it’s love at first sight until her deception comes to light and pitches their relationship into a disastrous tailspin. Well-meaning friends are determined to intercede and resort to inept high jinks to reunite the estranged couple while a wicked ex-girlfriend plays dirty to keep the couple apart.
My Thoughts: I’ve gotta’ say this book has a very intriguing title. Even before I begin the book, I’ve questions. Busted how? What did she do? And so it goes, question after question is asked and as the story unfolds, enough are answered, but always there is something more I need to know. Hence, the continued read, delightful as it is.
Petie McCarty is a new-to-me author. I’m always excited to find an author who can so entertain as Ms. McCarty does. The story, extremely well-written, is suspenseful, as well as being a beautiful romantic love story. (Who can resist a Cinderella story?) She developes her secondary characters so well, I’m eager to read the continuance of the series. I hope she’ll agree to come on my blog and discuss her writing.
Lily Foster, the heroine, is a petite, blond, blue-eyed dynamo. She loves what she does, being the present owner of a growing nursery, Bloom & Grow. It was her dad’s dream, started 30 years ago on a 100-acre lot; she grew up in the small cottage on the backside of the nursery grounds. She continues to live there, obviously, for nostalgic reasons.
Lily takes a keen interest in where her plants go. She makes sure to have the nursery meet with the new owner of the plants, sharing how the plants should be cared for. Rhett Buchanan, CEO of a huge company and a billionaire, is one such purchaser. Normally, Tammy meets with the clientele, but Lily just happens to be in the front office, dolled up and dressed to the nines. She’d been trying to influence some city commissioners to see her point of view and the right she had to live on the commercial property.
She didn’t influence the commissioner, but boy did she influence Rhett Buchanan. Rhett thinks she’s a customer, same as he. They shake hands, a spark flys. Rhett insists she come along with him to the staging area to look at his plants and to meet with the sales manager, Tammy Waynette.
“Good afternoon,” Tammy said to Rhett, flipping her luscious red curls back over her shoulder and extending her hand. “I’m Tammy Waynette, the sales manager of Bloom & Grow.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said and shook the proffered hand. “I’m Rhett Buchanan, and please call me Rhett.”
Lily knew that come-hither gesture of Tammy’s and watched her eyes light up—that predatory glint Tammy got when she spotted a handsome man. Lily felt a stab of unfamiliar irritation. Like iron flecks to a magnet, men naturally cycled to Tammy, with her gorgeous head of fiery-red hair and emerald-green eyes, and Lily usually enjoyed watching the show. But not today, and not with Rhett Buchanan.
“Sorry I’m late,” Tammy apologized. “Everybody wants plants before the weekend, and we had an unexpected order to pull.”
“No problem,” he said.
“So has Lily been showing you your trees?” Tammy asked and flashed Lily her patent I’ll-take-it-from-here look.
“Yes, she’s very knowledgeable,” Rhett said and slanted Lily a smile.
“Well, of course she is,” Tammy agreed, “she’s our—“
“—best customer!” Lily blurted. “Actually, Tammy thinks I’m her most frequent customer since I don’t buy stock every time I visit.” She gave Rhett a sheepish smile. “I like to look.”
Tammy’s eyes visibly widened.
Here is where a little white lie creates an exciting adventure for Lily, although nerve-wracking since she’s living a fib. Comical moments (not to her, however) have me laughing. How can she keep this fib a secret? Rob and Tammy see Lily works way too hard, so what the heck. They play along. Let her have her moment of being Cinderella. Enjoy a night out with Rhett.
But it isn’t just a night out, it comes to much more. When the relationship deepens, she’s trying to figure out how best to tell him and when. She doesn’t pop into bed with men either, so she figures Rhett will drop the relationship. Men always do. Rhett doesn’t.
Tammy’s words of wisdom:
“Never look a gift horse, girlfriend. At least, you didn’t tell him you had to be in love first, and Rhett didn’t boogie when you said you’d have to care for him before you slept with him. A lot of guys would have.”
In addition to this on-again, off-again romance between Lily and Rhett, both not telling the complete truth, Lily’s land is under scrutiny by the city, or might I say, a devil of a sleuth lawyer, Carstairs Whittenhurst, whose motives are suspect.
The antagonists are driven by greed and help to propel the story forward. I also enjoy how the author shows the relationship between Lily and Rhett growing deeply without the necessity of climbing into bed together.
Delia Armstead, one such antagonist, is very much her father’s daughter. Her daddy, that wicked lawyer, is ready to do anything for his spoiled little daughter. Bah, on them both! Lily better watch out! Delia has her sights on Rhett. Think of him, dear reader, as her prey.
Everyone needs to have a best friend who’ll be there to pick up the pieces. Rhett has Garrett (I thought him very adorable) and Lily has Tammy and Rob. All three play pivotal moments in the story.
Are Cinderella’s days numbered? Will Lily end just being the gardener she is? Will Prince Charming no longer be charmed? This is purely and simply a story worth the read.
Booktalk with Eileen gives a 5-star review.
About the Author: Petie has spent most of her career as a biologist at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time.
Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.