Sunday, January 6, 2013

Entangled Presents A Cinderella Christmas Carol (Suddenly Cinderella #1.5) by Hope Tarr

There’s nothing On Top managing editor Cynthia “Starr” Starling hates more than Christmas. With an important deadline looming, plus her dreaded Christmas Day birthday, Starr just wants the holiday to end. But when she wakes up Christmas Eve night to the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—all in the form of the super-hot Matt Landry, the new art director—she knows she’s in for a long night.

Matt is the one person on Starr’s team she can’t boss around and the only one she doesn’t need to. He’s also her employee and totally off limits, even if he does seem interested. Though he’s seven years younger and all kinds of forbidden fruit, he’s the form the Powers That Be decided she’d be receptive to.

Because they have a message for her: learn the true meaning of Christmas spirit or risk being alone for the rest of her life.

My Review

5 of 5 Cinderella Christmas Carol

Christmas time always brings the crazy out of everyone. People get moody and become grinches. For Starr she has it all but she hates Christmas time. Not only is it her birthday but she hates everything about it. To make matters worse she has a new art director that she is hot for Matt and she knows she can't go near him because he is the forbidden fruit.

On Christmas Eve Starr is visited by three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future and the ghost is none other than Matt the forbidden fruit! As he shows her the error of her ways she is determined to change her ways. She starts on Christmas when she wakes up. This is a novella full of love and happiness and very fitting for the holidays. 

I have to say that Entangled has really cornered the market with it's authors and the great stories you get from them. I have never ever read stories that have me going out and searching for more books to read but Entangled has done that for me and I hope it will do it for you!


“Psst, Starr, wake up.” 

Starr cracked open an eye and then quickly closed it again. What was Matt Landry doing in her apartment in the middle of the night? And was he…glowing? 

I am so dreaming. 

Even though she hadn’t spoken, Matt’s voice answered her. “No, you’re not. Open your eyes and look at me.” 

Though used to giving orders, not taking them, Starr complied. She opened her eyes—and bolted upright. Landry squatted beside her sofa. His handsome face wore the same expression of unflappable patience she’d seen in staff meetings when she was being a particular bitch. 

He lifted a brow. “I don’t think you’re a bitch. You’re just…very clear on your goals.” 

“Jesus, how do you do that?” 

He smiled. “You’re easier to read than you might think. All I have to do is look into your eyes. They’re the windows to the soul, you know.” 

He’d said almost the exact words to her at work last week when they’d crossed paths in the break room—on purpose, or at least it had been on her part. Like the Pied Piper, he’d been too irresistible not to follow, even if she’d done so on the pretense of refilling her water bottle. 

She fitted a hand across her forehead. “If I’m awake, if we’re really having this conversation, then you’re a visual and auditory hallucination. I repeat, visual and auditory. Not winning!” 

He chuckled. “That bad, huh?” 

“It means I’m bat shit crazy, schizophrenic at the very least. Thanks but no thanks. I’ll take dreaming over a life lived on antipsychotics any day. Good night.” She made a grab for the cover. 

His hand shot out, pulling it back. “If I’m a dream figure or a hallucination, then I wouldn’t feel solid, would I?” 

Starr hesitated. Before now, she’d never considered what the rules might be. “I…guess not.” 

He held out his hand palm up. Like the rest of him, it was rimmed in a gently pulsing white light. “Touch me.” 

She hesitated. If only he knew how she’d ached to do just that ever since he’d started at On Top—then again, if he could read her mind, no doubt he did know. Suddenly being schizophrenic seemed the better bargain. Dodging his gaze, she gingerly stretched out her hand and wrapped it about his bigger one. 

“Holy shit.” 

He was flesh and blood, warm and solid, so solid that she could detect the hint of calluses rimming the inside of his knuckles. Vaguely she recalled from reading his resume that, before moving to New York, he’d worked on old cars. The factoid had been listed at the end under “Interests and Hobbies.” Before Landry, she’d never bothered reading that far. 

She pulled away. “Who are you? What are you? And what have you done with Matt?” 

Growing up as a latchkey kid, she’d had the Sci-Fi Channel as her babysitter and Invasion of the Body Snatchers as her favorite cult classic film. Still, even with her child’s imagination, the prospect of alien life had seemed a farfetched fantasy—until now. 

“I’m Matt, or at least an aspect of him. For tonight, think of me as your Spirit of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.” 

“I hate to sound like a stickler, but aren’t those supposed to be three separate spirits?” 

A faint frown creased his handsome face. “Well, technically, yes, but this is a very busy time of year. Besides, haven’t you heard? There’s a recession on,” he added with a wink. No doubt about it, he had Landry’s trademark humor and unflappable charm down pat. 

“You look like Landry, only more…shimmery,” she admitted. 

Even blinged out in a glittering silver-sequined three-piece suit that the late Liberace would have coveted, he looked pretty freakin’ fabulous. Still, the Landry she knew was strictly a jeans and T-shirt guy. 

He frowned. “The Powers That Be fashioned me in the form they knew you would be most receptive to.” 

Starr didn’t have a comeback to that. Privately she acknowledged that The Powers That Be must be pretty smart cookies. 

Matt surveyed the coffee table littered with half-finished takeout containers and shook his head. “Holed up at home, alone, eating greasy Thai take-out when you could have been out enjoying yourself with friends.” 

Despite their bizarre situation, Starr bristled. Just because he’d styled himself as some sort of…Christmas ghost guide didn’t mean he got to barge into her life and criticize it. “First, that Thai food isn’t greasy. It’s some of the best in the city, much more nutritious than the fried pub grub I would have ended up eating had I gone along for drinks. Second, I don’t have friends.” 

He leaned in. “Are you so sure about that?” 

Star caught her breath. He dazzled her and not because of the glowworm thing. Get a freakin’ grip, Starling. Repeat: this is not the real Matt, this is not the real Matt, this is not the real Matt… 

“Besides, they didn’t really want me there. You—Matt—just asked me along to be…nice.” 

For a few seconds, he looked as though he might argue. Instead he stood and stretched out his hand to her again. “Come on, we have a packed schedule of Christmases to power through and not a lot of time.”
I suppose you could say I've always been a dreamer. In my mind's eye, I can still see my first-grade teacher shaking her head and scolding, “Hope, stop daydreaming and pay attention!”

I tried, really I did. But how could the dreary assignment on the chalkboard begin to lure me away from the dashing Disney fairy-tale figures populating my head? Cinderella and Prince Charming, Snow White and Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty and Pr—

Well, you get the picture.

In middle school, I “graduated” from romance a la Walt Disney to grownup love stories by the likes of Victoria Holt, Anya Seton, and Daphne Du Maurier. Someday, I promised myself as I thumbed through my dog-eared copy of “Forever Amber,” I’d write a romance novel of my very own.

That dream has weathered a Master's degree in Psychology, a Ph.D. in Education, a four year stint as a federal government research consultant, and several years as a freelance writer. In 1994 I finally packed up my graduate school texts, purchased Kathryn Falk’s small, pink paperback entitled How to Write a Romance and Get It Published and joined the Romance Writers of America. I’ve never looked back.

As a romance writer, I get to spin fairy-tales of my very own—life-affirming stories in which the hero and heroine find not only their soul mate but their souls into the bargain. And much like fiction, "real" life comes with its share of twists and turns. In 2008 I packed up myself, including cats and books, and quit the quaint historic town of Fredericksburg, Virginia for the Big Apple—talk about a big change! I'm entering my second year in the city and for those of you who follow my blog, you know the move to Manhattan has worked out to a Happily Ever After best. I'm looking forward to a new year, and a new decade, filled with good times, good friends, and yes, good (romance) fiction.

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