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The Cinderella Rules Paperback – December 30, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553382349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553382341
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,616,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Kauffman, author of The Big Bad Wolf Tells All [BKL My 1 03], has penned a delightful romance about two appealing characters caught in the whirlwind of their families' business dealings--and their passion for each other. Darby is irked when her sister Pepper calls her and asks her to fly to Washington, D.C., to show their father's business associate around. She is even more reluctant once she learns Pepper has booked her a complete makeover at Glass Slipper, Inc., where the three founders will help her with her hair, makeup, wardrobe, manners, and everything else to get her prepared for her high-society role. Things are looking up when she meets the irresistibly handsome Shane Morgan, who is in town to take over the family company following the death of his grandmother. The sparks are instantaneous and bright, but when Darby's father's business associate turns out to be a handsome Nordic god, Darby has two men competing for her affections. A sexy, spicy romp. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

USA Today bestselling author of the Cupcake Club Romance series, DONNA KAUFFMAN has seen her books reviewed in venues ranging from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal to Entertainment Weekly and Cosmopolitan. She lives just outside of DC in the lovely Virginia countryside, where she is presently trying to makeover her newly empty nest into something that doesn't have to accommodate piles of sports equipment falling out of her coat closet (okay, out of every closet...and under every bed....), size 13 cleats and sweaty uniforms cluttering her foyer (and stairwell, and laundry room, and...), and a kitchen that should have come with a traffic light. And a pantry monitor. (Anyone with a clever idea on how to repurpose lacrosse sticks into matching reading lamps, she's all ears!) When she's not stripping paint, varnishing an old auction house find, or trying to avoid bodily injury with her latest power tool purchase, she loves to hear from readers! You can contact her through her website at

Quotes & Comments for her Bachelors of Blueberry Cove Series:

"Witty dialogue, sexy heroes, Donna Kauffman's a must-read!"  --New York Times bestselling author, Jill Shalvis

 "A touching romance that offers healing and redemption to two lonely hearts who fall into a love they don't even realize they're looking for. The first of a series, the book introduces a quirky community and secondary characters with enough personality to make readers want to come back. A light romance with a touch of heat, a pinch of intensity and a dash of mysterious small-town magic." - Kirkus Reviews on PELICAN POINT (Bachelors of Blueberry Cove Book #1)

"Humor, heart, and characters you wish lived next door." -- New York Times bestselling author, Mariah Stewart

"Donna Kauffman's sexy, fun, and moving Pelican Point is a five star winner!" Emsy Van Wyck, Fab Fantasy Fiction

Quotes & Comments for her Cupcake Club series:

STARRED REVIEW! Publishers Weekly PICK OF THE WEEK! (Cupcake Club Book #1: SUGAR RUSH)
"Leilani Trusdale spends 10 years training with charming but tough chef Baxter "Hot Cakes" Dunne, taking over his New York City pastry shop when he leaves to host a cooking show. When she finally escapes the city to open a cupcake shop in her father's tiny hometown of Sugarberry Island, Ga., Baxter turns up, natch, to start his show's traveling season, with a secondary agenda of romancing Leilani. The tension leads Leilani to revive her old bake therapy sessions with her best friend, Charlotte, adding Leilani's quiet new assistant and a lovable town gossip to lend support, share opinions, and add sugar as members of the Cupcake Club. The ladies of Sugarberry will be delightful companions to look forward to in future stories, and readers can bake along with the included cupcake recipes."
~ Publishers Weekly

"Sugar Rush is a playful, sensual, laugh-inducing read. But there's so much more to the story. Kauffman's book chronicles profound character growth and offers layer upon layer of authentic, life-changing conflict. ... it's a good thing Sugar Rush is only the first in a series, because the residents of Sugarberry -- especially the delightfully oddball members of the Cupcake Club -- will lure you back to their island again and again." -
-- Kathy Altman, USA Today/Happily Ever After

"Fans of cupcakes and TV chefs will like this first installment of the Cupcake Club back-to-back romance series that comes with recipes. For those looking for more, not to worry -- this isn't a light, spun-sugar tale. It has more substance, like a rich chocolate ganaches. The suprorting characters are delightful and one hopes they will appear in future books."
-- 4 Stars, Joyce Morgan, RT Book Reviews

"I can't get enough of this new town, characters and the romances that have bloomed and will continue to bloom in this new series."
-- Lush Book Reviews

"It's like blending the Food Network together with CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC..."
-- (4 Hearts!) Megan, Book Brat Reviews

"A fun romantic read for the serious baker, the not-so-serious baker, and the buy-your-cupcakes type of reader (like me)!. Kudos to the first Cupcake Club Romance with recipes included at the end!" ~ Valerie Burleigh, Romancing the Book Reviews

"This is a delicious story about true love and cupcakes that is just as sweet as any treat but won't ruin your New Year's resolutions! The characters are great and there's even a few recipes of delicious cupcakes to try (those might ruin a few resolutions, though.)" ~ Amy Phelps, Parkersburg News and Sentinel

"Kauffman writes crisp, emotionally charged dialogue... Sugar Rush is a sweet, delicious romance fortified with mouth-watering cupcake recipes." ~ Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines,

"SUGAR RUSH is a quirky, fun tale with Leilani and Baxter learning to really get to know each other while surrounded with several eclectic characters that provide for some humorous interaction. The chemistry between Leilani and Baxter is slow to grow at first, but once they kiss, their attraction for each other begins to smolder out of control. Will they make it work? Find out for yourself in the delightful SUGAR RUSH."
~ Patti Fischer, Romance Reviews Today

"Donna Kauffman has brought a sugary sweet romance in her latest, Sugar Rush. Set on a small, rural Georgia island with lovable quirky townsfolk, this novel delves into the age-old question, "What the heck are men thinking?" It's a fun read with lots of yummy goodness thrown in and a sexy romance to drool over while eating that forbidden cupcake."
~ Lani Roberts, Affaire de Couer magazine

"Romantic fun, lovable leads, and surprising emotional complexity in both the main relationship and the supporting deep friendships make this quick return to the tiny Georgia island of Sugarberry (after Sugar Rush) a deliciously warm and feel-good read... Kauffman describes her characters' internal monologues and thoughtful conversations with an eloquence that makes them feel like the reader's best friends. Contests and cupcake recipes will keep fans eager for Kauffman's next sweet treat."
~ Publishers Weekly

"This is only the second book in the series but I can tell this is going to be a promising one. Kauffman touches on trust, desire, friendships, and a promising new love that just needs a little tlc to grow into something amazing. The emotions behind the characters were a big part of the story that kept me intrigued and wanting to find out more. Every single character made this story more than enjoyable but also delightful. I can't wait until book 3 comes out. I am excited to see who will be next to fall in love in the town of Sugarberry."
-- Lush Book Reviews

Sweet Stuff is the second edition of the Cupcake Club novels and is hilarious from start to finish. Riley has the body of Marilyn Monroe, wild, curly blonde hair, the girl-next-door face and the klutziness of the Three Stooges. She's absolutely adorable and gorgeous author Quinn Brannigan thinks so, too. Throw in a small pony-sized dog with a tendency to drool and drop logs on your toes, and you have a romance made in heaven-as long as you carry lots of Band-aids."
~ Lani Roberts, Affaire de Couer magazine

Customer Reviews

I had to take this book back to the library without finishing it because the characters really started to annoy me.
The plot had dozens of holes in it and although the romance was good, there was just too much happening and it got swallowed up a little bit by the rest of the story.
Meredith Cranberry
I guess I'm just fed up with shallow, self-absorbed characters like Darby and Shane who do nothing but each other, and moan (mutter!)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Vest VINE VOICE on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sisters Darby and Pepper couldn't be more different. Darby is grounded and prefers the wilds of her ranch in Wyoming to the schmoozing of Washington DC. When Pepper calls her in desperation to take her place as the date of one of their father's business associates, Darby reluctantly agrees. Enter the makeover mavens from Glass Slipper, Inc. They specialize in taking even the toughest gal and turning her into a princess. They will have their work cut out with Darby.

Shane, the nephew of one of the founders snags a seat on the limo and instantly is attracted to Darby, and watches with amusement as she endures her makeover hell. The story starts out with so many possibilities, and is quite humorous. Then suddenly it becomes an industrial espionage story invovling Interpol and becomes so convoluted, that you just want to say "enough already!!"

I was disappointed - had she stuck with the original premise, the story would have been a fresh take on the fairy tales we grew up with. This one isn't on par with "Dear Prince Charming" or "The Big Bad Wolf Tells All" - might as well skip Cinderella, as this glass slipper does not fit.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By eiie on May 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Does the romance succeed? Yes. But does the plot succeed? No. This novel leads you on and makes you think that the plot is actually about the heroine's love life and her strained relations with her own family. But the second half of the novel is clearly about playing "secret agent" and has little to do with the emotional development of the heroine. [...] Save yourself the dissapointment of this unsatisfying read and pick up a different book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Noelle on February 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I had to take this book back to the library without finishing it because the characters really started to annoy me. One of the things that makes contemporary romances fun to read is that the characters are real people. They have flaws, like everyone else. This book was about two perfect people, with their two perfect lives, get together. There was no mystery...what you expected to happen, happened.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
The perfect romance for the summer. I loved getting to know Darby and Shane as well as the fairy godmothers. It was a blast. I disagree with a previous writer, concerned with minor details and would like to point out, it's fiction! This was definately worth reading and I can't wait for the "Prince CHarming".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have to disagree with a reader who posted previously. I am also a long term resident of the DC Metro area who found Cinderella Rules witty, sexy, and just plain fun. I've had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Kauffman at a local signing and happen to know she is a life long resident to the area. As to the inconsistencies noted? Department stores in this area are notorious for being understaffed and many is the time I've been overlooked, regardless of dress. This is also a work of fiction, and my feeling is, it only has to be possible, not probable. As for the centuries old stone mansion? Who knows. I guess artistic license doesn't bother me as much as it apparently does others. I'm more interested in a good story. Kauffman has written stories involving immortals and ghosts, too, but I doubt she actually interviewed any. Oddly enough, I managed to enjoy those stories just fine. I can't wait to read Dear Prince Charming in a few weeks. Go Glass Slipper, Inc.!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Ahlers on March 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this to be a fun contemporary romance for the most part. There were slow period throughout the book that kept me from giving this book a higher score. Ms. Kauffman has managed to include humor and provide a rather entertaining twist to the whole Cinderella storyline.
Picture it...two sisters vastly different. Pepper loves to be pampered, shop, and travel. Darby is happiest on her horse ranch, can't be bothered with flying, and her idea of shopping means one store and the end result being jeans. Darby's life is about to be turned upside down when her baby sister calls from South America and askes Darby to fill in and play hostess to their father's very important client. Darby says no way. This means she has to get dressed up, leave her precious horses, and horror of horrors get on a plan and fly to D.C.. Of course she does this, she loves her sister but the beauty spa (Glass Slipper Inc.) is not what she counted on. Never mind the hunky Shane Morgan that calls the three leaders of the spa Godmothers.
Shane is back in D.C. because his grandmother has passed away and the huge Morgan assests are now his. Now, instead of traveling the world he is sitting in meetings and working almost 20 hours a day. The one thing that keeps him sane are the memories of the sweet Darby. Now fate seems to be set on putting these two people together, over, and over, and get the picture. Now somehow they are both going to have to finish what they started not only for their families but between the two of them. Can they make this relationship work?
Again this was a fun story but at times lagged. This is really more of a mainstream novel then a full out romance. Darby and Shane have great chemistry and the three godmothers of Glass Slipper Inc. are great secondary characters. You are in for a nice read if you pick up this book.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Romance Lover on September 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
In what I find a troubling trend in the romance book industry, this author took what should have been a 50-75 page short story, and shamelessly stretched it into a full-length book by repeating the same character thoughts over and over and making the print larger. All so the publisher could rip off readers by selling for $11.00 what was worth no more than $5.

Donna Kauffman has written some good short stories and books. This is not one of them. The plot is stupid, insulting and completely unbelievable. Not a single aspect of this story would appeal to a woman of the 21st Century. The characters were atrocious. Was I supposed to believe super-rich, super beautiful Darby would for one minute agree to be waxed, plucked and otherwise bullied by The Glass Slipper's glamour nazis? Was I supposed to like the fact that she was so shallow, she actually felt insecure about the fact that she preferred cowboy boots and jeans to high heels and dresses? Was I supposed to feel sorry for "poor-me-I-have-such-a-burden-to-bear" Shane? Was I supposed to find his self-absorbed, narcissistic character appealing?

The plot was also atrocious. It went from dumb to dumber. When it turned out that ditsy, airhead Pepper was a secret agent, I finally gave up and stopped reading. I don't care how Darby and Shane resolve their superficial relationship issues. Or how they foiled Stefan the robot. The only good thing about reading this book is that I didn't pay for it; I checked it out at my local library for free.
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