Dr. Devastating

A Hero for Sophie Jones

Married by Accident

Marriage by Necessity

Cinderella's Big Sky Groom
by Christine Rimmer
(Silh. Sp. Ed. # 1280, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-24280-8
In a takeoff of the Cinderella tale, Cinderella's Big Sky Groom makes its way to Montana. Schoolteacher Lynn Taylor has a class full of adorable kindergartners, including Jennifer McCallum, adopted child and heiress to a large fortune. Jenny is a bright, outgoing five-year-old, happy and seemingly secure, or so it seems to Lynn. Now she has to convince Ross Garrison.

Ross is Jenny's new attorney and a trustee to her fortune. He is in town to check out all aspects of Jenny's life, including her teacher. After all, anyone could be after Jenny's money. Lynn Taylor may look like a sweetheart, but how can he be sure? He needs to get to know her better.

On Lynn's birthday, Ross shows up at school just as Lynn is about to be treated to an afternoon in a salon as a birthday present. When he invites Lynn to dinner, she can't resist. A day in a salon will do wonders for a girl, and when Ross arrives to pick up Lynn, a transformed woman awaits. Their evening together ends up back at his place, where they become sexually involved (and Lynn leaves a shoe behind, of course).

Ross is uncomfortable with ruining the reputation of a nice young woman, so he proposes that they carry out a pretend engagement so Lynn can save face. Lynn reluctantly agrees. Over the next month, they'll get to know each other a lot better.

There's nothing terribly wrong with Cinderella's Big Sky Groom. There's just nothing terribly memorable about it, either. Lynn is part virgin, part doormat; she's about as bland as they come. Lynn's spoiled younger sister, who has a crush on Ross, gives Lynn ample opportunity to stand up for herself but since she doesn't take it, the sister is just taking up space and making Lynn look like a wimp (and maybe trying to add to the Cinderella flavor with an evil-stepsister bit, although she does reform somewhat).

Ross, for all his "good-'ol-boy-with-a-Princeton-education" attitude, is equally one-dimensional. His marriage was a bust, so he's better off not being in a relationship, yadda, yadda. I did like that he tried to save Lynn's reputation.

On the other hand, the writing is clean and polished, most of the dialogue is realistic-sounding, and the Montana backdrop is fun in that it's not set on a ranch for once.

Cinderella's Big Sky Groom may enchant readers looking for a takeoff on a fairly tale. Since it's part of a series called Montana Mavericks, reading the previous book may help to bring it to life a bit better. Not having read it, I can't judge. This one felt acceptable, nothing more.

--Cathy Sova

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