cover image Bookshop Cinderella

Bookshop Cinderella

Laura Lee Guhrke. Forever, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-5387-2262-6

A bet thrusts a lonely spinster into society in this enchanting Victorian London–set mash-up of Pygmalion and “Cinderella” from bestseller Guhrke (the Guilty series). Max Shaw, Duke of Westbourne, drunkenly bets his friends that he can transform “plain, unremarkable” bookstore owner Evie Harlow into a much sought-after beauty. When Evie learns of this wager she is of course appalled—but then a burst boiler displaces her from her home. Not wanting to stay with her condescending cousin, Evie agrees to let Max make her over, a deal that comes with a room at the Savoy hotel, a new wardrobe, and an introduction into society. As Evie worries she’ll embarrass them both, Max grows increasingly intrigued. He likes Evie’s straightforwardness and sees the beauty beneath her matronly hairstyles and adorable overbite. Evie, meanwhile, is taken by Max’s thoughtfulness and flustered by his interest. Evie is opposed to marrying a peer and Max has been burned by a failed marriage, so he plans a slow courtship. When scandal breaks, however, their fragile budding relationship may be doomed. Guhrke makes the pair’s romance utterly believable and easy to root for. Packed with chemistry and fun, this is a fairy tale treat. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marshal Lyon Literary. (June)