Seducing Cinderella

Gina Maxwell
Seducing Cinderella
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Entangled Publishing (Brazen)
Release Date
July 2012
Book 1 of Fighting for Love
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews's chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he's injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he's healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional's care—Reid's best friend's little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She'd do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she's crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds himself in the fight of his life...winning Lucie's heart before she gives it to someone else.

Book Review by drm2115
Oct 14, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
211 people found the following review helpful
SEDUCING CINDERELLA tells the tale of Lucie Miller's discovery of what love is.

When the book opens, you learn that Lucie has been quietly "in love" with colleague Dr Stephen Mann. Due to them being compatible and he being handsome and successful, Lucie has it in her mind that Dr Mann is her answer to happily ever after. The problem is Dr Mann does not see Lucie as more than Physical Therapist in staff at the same hospital; he looks right through her.

Lucie then finds herself to face to face with Reid Andrews, an MMA ex-Champion and her brother's childhood best friend. Reid is at her facility to heal his shoulder, and he asks Lucie to take him on as her only patient so he can get the attention necessary to heal for the title rematch in a few short weeks.

Reid proposed a deal: If Lucie helps him speed up his recovery process by devoting all her time to him, Reid will teach her how to seduce Dr Mann.

The chemistry between Reid and Lucie is tangible from almost the first encounter. Ms. Maxwell makes it clear from the start the Reid is only "transforming" Lucie for the good doctor's benefit; that Reid likes Lucie as she is makes this book endearing.

So Reid becomes Lucie's fairy godmother, with some hot twists as his lessons in seduction go beyond clothes and flirting.

Reid is caring, smart, romantic and struggles with what the image of an MMA fighter should be. He is more than meets the eye even if at times he struggles to accept all of himself.

Ms. Maxwell does a wonderful job of using the sex in this book to show the physical connection between the two, as well as the emotional connection. As the story develops, you truly understand why the characters are struggling to accept their emotions for each other, so the character development was well done.

I enjoyed his read, though I struggled to rate it. It was better than average though not quite as good as some others that I read; so it bordered between a 3 and 4 star read for me. I did really enjoy some of the imagery at the end, so I will give it 4 stars as it was a wonderfully well-done scene, one that put clear images in my head and made me smile.

Though the end to me did feel like happy for now and not quite happily ever after, I hope that book 2 in the Fighting for Love series, Rules of Engagement, shows more of Reid and Lucie.
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Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Feb 25, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
182 people found the following review helpful
This is one novella that has it all—blazing hot chemistry, a swoon-worthy love story, and two main characters with the depth and complexity enough to keep me turning pages feverishly until the sizzling conclusion. I loved every scene, and can't wait for more from this exciting new author.

Physical therapist Lucinda Miller has been completely hung up on her surgeon co-worker for years, but he sees her as nothing more than a colleague. After years of feeling nearly invisible to the opposite sex, she's just about given up hope of getting her heart's desire—until her new patient offers an unexpected glimmer of hope.

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Miller has worked his entire life to become the light heavyweight champion, but a recent shoulder injury is threatening his hopes of winning back his belt. Knowing how desperate he is to get into fighting shape, his trainer has sent him for some intensive therapy. But when Reid arrives, he's floored to find that his physical therapist is none other than the little sister of his best friend.

Lucie always harbored a crush for her brother's best friend, but when Reid offers to give her seduction lessons in return for full-time therapy to get him back in shape in less than two months, her first thought is how she is finally going to win her surgeon. But as the days pass, and Reid's increasingly steamy lessons begin to payoff, Lucie begins to wonder if the one man she thought was perfect for her isn't the man she really wants. In order to find out, the student is going to have to show the teacher a few things about seduction and love.

Lucie is has been hurt, and hurt badly in the past, but she is still a strong and determined, taking control of Reid and his therapy with ease—even if she can't manage a date without panicking. The chance to see her in her element at work made her vulnerability and fear around Stephen and with Reid's training that much more sympathetic. Watching her transformation—both inside and out—was a remarkable journey, and I was enormously proud of her courage throughout all the changes she underwent.

Reid is all kinds of moody, brooding, and compelling, but underneath that, he is a surprisingly sympathetic man, with the perception to see people for who they really are. Though he pushes Lucie's boundaries (and often pushes his own where she is concerned), there is no doubt he cherishes every moment of their interaction. Reid has his own demons to face in the course of this book and his own transformation to make, and they were just as difficult as Lucie's, which made their journey together that much more remarkable.

The tension between Reid and Lucie was tangible and fiery, and waiting for them to finally come together made for deliciously frustrating, addictive reading. Both are used to being in control, which made the give-and-take of their relationship that much more fascinating.

Normally, I have enormous issues with the Cinderella trope in romances, but Ms Maxwell is perceptive enough to realize that it isn't just the clothes that make the woman. In the end, Reid's makeover really wasn't a physical one. Granted, he helped Lucie pick out clothes and found someone to teach her how to apply makeup, but what he really did was to help her feel comfortable in her own skin. He gave her the validation she desperately needed to be herself, and loved her for every quirk and contradiction and need and desire. That acceptance and encouragement made the sparks that flared between them so exciting and the budding relationship so fulfilling.

The cast of supporting characters was vibrant and interesting and rounded out both main characters exceptionally well. Though I would have liked to see more of Reid's fights and training, it didn't feel essential to the plot, and the settings that were portrayed were very detailed. From the bar that Lucie and her best friend have frequented since college to the cluttered quiet of Lucie's office, each scene was engaging and added to the story of this unlikely couple.

In case it isn't obvious, I loved this story from beginning to end. The chemistry between our hero and heroine was blistering, and the love that grew between them was so genuine that it was impossible to keep from falling along with them. With a debut this good, I can't wait for more of Gina Maxwell's work!
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