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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness is a fairy tale romance novel written by Kristen Reed. Demetria has had her heart broken all too many times. As the daughter of Lord Aurelian, the Duke of Isidor, she understands her purpose in being wed to a suitable member of the aristocratic classes, but the first two suitors were not at all the men of her dreams. Prince Caspar was another story entirely, well, not entirely, as it seemed even this good-looking prince was not really showing any signs of being in love with her. Her parents had a marvelous and loving marriage, and they had not met until the day they were wed, so Demetria understood that love grows, and she had consented to be his bride. On the day of the event, Demetria anxiously expected her marriage to take place, but the events of the night before, when Caspar had danced the night away with a mysterious young woman, troubled her, even after receiving his heartfelt apologies and a gorgeous ruby necklace. When she and her parents arrived at the cathedral, she saw him waiting for her at the altar. But just as she approached him, she saw his eyes widen and a smile of delight grace his lips. He was not looking at her, but at the mysterious, if somewhat sooty, young girl at the back of the cathedral. Caspar rushed away from where Demetria was standing and ran into the other girl’s arms. The shock and shame and public humiliation would loom large in Demetria’s heart and mind for some time to come.
Kristen Reed’s fairy tale romance novel, The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness, is a charming and sweet retelling of the classic fairy tale from the perspective of a betrothed young woman who is publicly cast aside for the fairy tale heroine. As the tale progressed, I marveled at the progress Demetria made as she changed from being a compliant and submissive daughter into a mature, independent and dedicated young woman. I found myself cheering as she befriends Marianne, one of her parents’ domestics, and begins to appreciate the lives of those less privileged than herself. The friendship that follows is a thing of joy, as the two young women find common interests and forge bonds. While I realized that there would be a religious or Christian element running throughout the plot, I was thrilled to find that that sentiment expressed itself in good works and deeds more in the spirit of President Jimmy Carter than in the exhortations of a television evangelist. The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella’s Happiness is an inspired blend of the coming of age and fairy tale genres, and it’s grand fun to read. It’s highly recommended.