THE CINDERELLA RULES
April 2004
Bantam Trade Edition
ISBN 0-553-38234-9

THERE’S A LITTLE BIT OF CINDERELLA IN EVERY WOMAN . . .

. . . except Darby Landon, or so she thinks before meeting the three fairy godmothers of Glass Slipper, Inc. They guarantee they can bring out the princess in any woman. But they?ll have their work cut out for them with Darby, who’s more comfortable in jeans and cowboy boots than designer gowns. But when she’s called from her Montana ranch to squire her impossible-to-please father’s star client around the D.C. social scene, Darby has to turn into the queen of chic . . . and fast.

Between torture-chamber sessions of tweezing and teasing, and horrifying lessons on place settings, Darby finds herself drawn into a fairy-tale romance of the very adult variety with Shane Morgan, the devastatingly sexy (and reluctant) heir to one of the city’s largest companies. But when another Prince Charming arrives on the scene, Darby’s caught between the woman she is and the woman she’s supposed to be, between two very different irresistible bad boys. Now Darby has to choose her own happy ending . . . and with the help of three very unusual fairy godmothers, this modern-day Cinderella is determined to stay dancing way past midnight?no pumpkins required.

“Fun banter and sizzling sex.” — Entertainment Weekly

“Kauffman writes with warmth, wit and swashbuckling energy.” — Publishers Weekly

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ReviewsBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Abe BooksBookshelf

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"A more complex romance…from Kauffman (The Big Bad Wolf Tells All, 2003, etc.), with plenty of hot sex." ~ KIRKUS

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"Kauffman, author of The Big Bad Wolf Tells All, has penned a delightful romance about two appealing characters caught in the whirlwind of their families’ business dealings–and their passion for each other. Darby is irked when her sister Pepper calls her and asks her to fly to Washington, D.C., to show their father’s business associate around. She is even more reluctant once she learns Pepper has booked her a complete makeover at Glass Slipper, Inc., where the three founders will help her with her hair, makeup, wardrobe, manners, and everything else to get her prepared for her high-society role. Things are looking up when she meets the irresistibly handsome Shane Morgan, who is in town to take over the family company following the death of his grandmother. The sparks are instantaneous and bright, but when Darby’s father’s business associate turns out to be a handsome Nordic god, Darby has two men competing for her affections. A sexy, spicy romp." ~ Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews

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"Since she was a teenager, Darby Landon has stayed far away from Washington, D.C., and her domineering father. Darby escaped to her grandfather’s ranch in Montana, but a phone call from her baby sister, Pepper, drags Darby into her worst nightmare‹the D.C. social scene.

Pepper needs Darby to squire around town one of their dad’s star clients. Knowing Darby hasn’t bothered with clothes or social niceties since she fled to Montana, Pepper sets her up with a makeover at Glass Slipper Inc. Shane Morgan has also done his best to stay far from D.C. and his grandmother’s clutches. But as the heir to the Morgan fortune, he must return following her death.

At the airport, he spies Darby getting into a Glass Slipper limo and decides to join her. They hit it off immediately, but there’s a lot about this little assignment that Pepper forgot to mention, things that may get Shane and Darby in over their heads.

This is one funny, sexy and exciting romance. Shane and Darby are a joy together and watching them face their ghosts and the future is great fun.

Kauffman has found her niche." ~Jill M. Smith, Romantic Times – 4 1/2 TOP PICK

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"Sexy, humorous contemporary romance with zany characters.

When Montana rancher Darby Landon agrees to substitute for her social gadfly sister for a weekend in Washington, DC, she also agrees to a make-over at Glass Slipper, Inc.

Shane Morgan, reluctant heir, learns his out-of-touch grandmother has died, so he returns home to deal with his family’s affairs. Neither of them agreed to fall in love, get wrapped up in wrenching family emotions or be drawn into espionage. They’ll have to work together to get through the weekend with their sanity – and possibly their lives – intact.

Ms. Kauffman has written an action-packed, sexy, humorous, intricate story with zany characters who will touch your heart, tickle your funny bone and leave you wanting more. Smart, with sizzling romance and a captivating plot, it’ll make every woman want to follow THE CINDERELLA RULES. Another winner for this talented author. A great read!" ~ Lory Martin, The Best Reviews, Courtesy Old Book Barn Gazette

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"Darby Landon has escaped her family’s ritzy Washington D.C. background to run a horse ranch in Montana. But when her flighty sister Pepper calls from Brazil to ask for a favor, Darby relents and returns to Washington to escort a business associate of their father’s. Concerned that Darby needs some polish, Pepper books her sister into a crash course at Glass Slipper, Inc., to shop, get waxed and be taught the finer points of functioning as a high society woman.

At the airport, Darby meets drop-dead gorgeous Shane Morgan, who has returned home to deal with the estate of his recently deceased grandmother, and to visit his godmothers who run Glass Slipper, Inc.. Darby and Shane are unable to keep their hands off each other. Over the next few days, their relationship intensifies … and then Darby meets Stefan Bjornsen. Stefan is definitely not the old codger she was expecting as her father’s client. He’s arrestingly handsome and infinitely charming. There is more than initially meets the eye in both these men, and Darby must be very careful. Which will she fall for?

The Cinderella Rules starts off as a fun, chick-lit type of read, light and entertaining with enough steamy love scenes to warm you up in cold weather. A few chapters in, an interesting story brews below the surface. Characters are not who they seem to be, making for intriguing twists. Darby herself is fresh and natural, and the selfless act of putting her comfortable life aside to help her sister endears her to us right away. We can’t help but root for the relationship between Shane and Darby to develop. The two make a comical yet sincere pairing, and the speed at which they get together doesn’t feel forced.

What I enjoyed the most about this novel was that the final two chapters took it past the level of a typical romance, with glimpses into a future when the story is completely wrapped up. And there is room for spin-offs, with a plethora of quirky, endearing characters just waiting for their stories to be told. I recommend The Cinderella Rules for an amusing read this winter. Whether you have enjoyed Donna Kauffman’s previous The Big Bad Wolf Tells All, or her work is new to you, you will not be disappointed in this charming tale of a search for true love." ~ Melissa Parcel, Bookloons

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"The Cinderella Rules is a great story filled with funny dialogue, intrigued and wonderful romance. A story that keeps you turning the pages quickly to see what was going to happen next and one that should not be missed by romance readers all over.

Donna Kauffman is a great story teller who has the talented knack of describing things so well that the reader feels that they are living the story right along with the hero and heroine. The hero and heroine are very strong, likeable people that you can’t help but admire. The secondary characters are also funny and very likeable but not so much that they overshadow the main story and it’s main characters. They way this author told this story made it more unique and different than other romances out there. A style that I found I liked very much. I highly recommend The Cinderella rules to all readers out there who have a love for romantic stories." ~ Lisa Lambrecht, In The Library Reviews

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"Ranch owner Darby Landon had never been able to refuse her baby sister anything. So when Pepper calls, begging Darby to take her place in Washington, D.C. and stand in to escort a business colleague of their father’s, Darby agrees reluctantly. But her long self-imposed absence from the social scene in D.C. means that cowgirl Darby needs a crash course in schmoozing, impressing and fitting in with the rest of the upper crust folks, as well as a beauty makeover. So Pepper sends Darby to Glass Slipper, Inc., whose three experienced owners are famous for transforming Cinderellas into princesses. Almost immediately upon landing in D.C., Darby meets the irrepressible and charming Shane Morgan and, surprisingly, sparks fly between them.

Himself a prodigal son returning home to inherit a multi-billion dollar business empire, Shane is no more comfortable with his new mantle of tycoon than Darby is with her Barbie transformation. In this artificial world of wealth and greed, they find a kindred spirit in one another. But soon the sexual aspect of their fledgling relationship takes over. Then a new person enters the story – Stefan Bjornsen, the aforesaid business colleague, who turns out to be a Viking god in the flesh. Soon Darby finds herself the sole focus of attention of two of the sexiest and richest men ever. An intriguing love triangle is in the offing, but how will it be resolved? And when a deadly secret comes to light and skeletons come tumbling out of closets, will love win the day?

Written with spirit and sincerity in a style that is an equal mix of love, laughter and seriousness, author Donna Kauffman’s The Cinderella Rules is certain to immerse readers in its unfolding saga. Darby is a salt-of-the-earth kind of woman, and her inner turmoil and the emotional discord with her father are poignant. Shane is also a torn character; his dilemma is somewhat similar to Darby’s, yet different. Their mutual passion is hot enough to set the pages ablaze while the bond they form through mutual understanding and proximity is realistic and enjoyable. Stefan is the unknown and unstable factor in this story. With his coming, a tone of suspense and tangible excitement jumps into the narrative. The many side characters are equally appealing, but none more so than the three godmothers who are wisdom, grace and fun personified. Their Cinderella rules, which preface each chapter, are not only thoughtful gems of acute perception but also greatly inspiring. From the first half of the story, it’s just not possible to guess at the surprising plot developments to come. Kauffman also weaves a welcome thread of humor into the fabric of the story.

The strength of this book lies not just in character or plot development but in the emotional bonds, commitments and legacies which qualify each character, making them deeper and better." ~ © 2004 by Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book, 4 ½ stars

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"THE CINDERELLA RULES is a captivating, modern day fairytale that will delight readers from beginning to end. Darby is a no nonsense gal more comfortable on the back of a horse than in the back of a limousine, and yet she works hard to fulfill her agreement with her younger sister. Even when it becomes apparent that Stefan Bjornsen, the Swedish god she is to squire around, is not what he seems, Darby doesn’t let that stop her from her task. When Darby and Shane realize his company is somehow involved in whatever nefarious deal Stefan has up his sleeve, they join forces — among other things — and try to uncover the truth. Darby is determined to finish out the weekend and be on the first plane back to Montana as soon as possible. Pepper’s plans for a little family reunion with their father don’t inspire Darby to stay any longer than necessary. Darby’s life is in Montana, and despite her growing feelings for Shane, she can’t imagine a life, even with Shane, away from the ranch that she loves.

Shane Morgan is not the typical rich playboy. Oh, he’s a playboy all right, but he walked away from the family wealth and prestige years ago and has never regretted his decision. Shane is not cut out to be a corporate shark; he’s more comfortable without the weight and responsibility of his family history. However, Shane learns some startling things about his family, as well as himself, and knows that he can’t just walk away. But Shane is a wanderer, and even his strong feelings for Darby Landon may not be enough to make him want to stay in one place.

As Darby and Shane work together to unravel the mystery surrounding Stefan, they discover more than secret deals; they discover that sometimes love can make all things possible.

Well written with humor, passion, and a dash of mystery, THE CINDERELLA RULES delivers a delightful story about two people who were meant for each other, if only they will let go of the past. Peopled with an array of interesting and charming secondary characters, this story rings with fun from beginning to end. The “fairy godmothers”, the owners of Glass Slipper Inc., are a delightful trio of well-meaning and warmhearted women and add greatly to the overall enjoyment of the story.

Sexy, fun, and brash, THE CINDERELLA RULES is sure to be a smashing success, and I for one can’t wait to read the next in the Glass Slipper series." ~ HOST RL Trouble, Romance Fiction, America Online Fiction Forum

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"The Cinderella Rules, Donna Kauffman’s second offering for Bantam’s new women’s fiction line is even more entertaining than her first, The Big Bad Wolf Tells All. Keeping with the fairy tale sounding titles Ms. Kauffman gives the reader compelling characters and laugh out loud funny situations. Both Darby and Shane are strong characters that the reader won’t soon forget. The scene in the ladies dressing room is worth the price of the book alone.

With this smart, sexy captivating tale, Donna Kauffman is sure to generate new readers with The Cinderella Rules. I urge you to track down a copy of this entertaining book and come along for a pleasant journey as this Cinderella searches for her Prince Charming." ~ Barb, A Romance Review: February 2004

 


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