This book has everything you'd expect in a Cinderella story, step siblings, tragedy, social discrimination, ball gowns, dropped items, and dramatic meetings. I'll be honest and say that the first chapter or so was really hard for me to read, I thought I wasn't going to like the writing style at all, but I powered through that and I'm so glad I did.
I was up until midnight reading it last night until I finally forced myself to put it down, I then picked it back up this morning and didn't put it down again until I finished it. After I got past the shaky beginning I was hooked, it's one of those where you keep telling yourself you'll put it down as soon as you're done with "the good part" but then the whole thing is a good part so you can't put it down, and when you really have to put it down, you literally have to talk yourself into doing so.
The premise of the story is essentially two on-line friends that have never met in real life, but talk so frequently and have such a shared love of books and movies that they know each other better than they do any "real" people in their lives. Tragedy strikes and they go months without talking, eventually they reconnect, and in the same area even, but neither are in a position to meet the other face to face. Until they do, and then they need to overcome all of life's circumstances to just be friends, let alone anything more.
This is a clean romance, it has some sexual references and a few curse words, but no explicit scenes and nothing so scandalous that I would advise against reading it. I love the message Kelly sends that we don't fall in love with looks, tittles and labels, but with people. Beyond the surface, beyond what everyone else sees. I so often get frustrated with the "love at first sight" theme that we so often see. Instead this was "love at first argument" and I love that.
It's humorous, and moving and oh so sweet. I cried a little bit during some of the scenes with Ella's dad because they hit very close to home and those feeling were quite familiar to me, and very easy to relate to, I thought she did a wonderful job of making all of the characters "human" and multifaceted instead of one-dimensional and hard to relate to.
Overall I thought it was funny, sweet, easy to relate to and easy to read. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone that like sweet, clean contemporary romances. I would give this 4 stars, only because I found the beginning so hard to get into.
You can purchase a copy on Amazon ...and you totally should.
I was given an e-copy of this book in exchange for my review, regardless, all opinions are honest and my own.