cover image THE CINDERELLA RULES

THE CINDERELLA RULES

Donna Kauffman, Author . Bantam $11 (432p) ISBN 978-0-553-38234-1

Kauffman follows The Big Bad Wolf Tells All with another fairy tale–themed comic romance, this one focusing on heiress Darby Landon, who has forsaken her family's glitzy life in favor of a rugged existence on a Montana ranch. When Darby agrees to help out her baby sister Pepper by showing their powerful father's Scandinavian business partner around Washington, D.C., Darby realizes that she may need some style assistance before she can reenter high society. On the way to her makeover at Glass Slipper, Inc., Darby meets Shane Morgan, who has reluctantly returned from abroad to handle the corporate empire he inherited from his grandmother. In between Shane's business dealings and Darby's outings with the sexy but sinister Stefan Bjornsen, the two make time for some sizzling encounters. And as they work together to figure out what Stefan's evil plans are concerning the Morgan conglomerate, they realize that their attraction is more than just sexual. It takes Pepper's unlikely help to foil Stefan, and hard thought by Shane and Darby to blend his footloose existence with her longing for home on the range. Though the fairytale conceit never quite works—Darby is simply too wealthy and attractive to ring true as a downtrodden Cinderella—Kauffman writes with warmth, wit and swashbuckling energy. (Jan.)