Looking for a Fairy-Tale Read?
by Karen Green
If there’s one thing that the record-breaking release this month of the new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie has shown us, it’s that we still love a traditional fairy-tale romance.
And against the backdrop of the world’s struggles and our own everyday challenges, the classic escape offers as much for our attempts at prioritizing self-care as it does for our entertainment. In some ways, almost all romance stories are built on the fairy-tale archetype: two people deserving of true love who must overcome treachery, trouble or misfortune before they find it and achieve their storybook ending. It is a “tale as old as time,” but one that still delights, no matter how often it is told.
From modern-day fables to fantasy retellings, take a look at these novels that show us just how strong our love for fairy tales remains, and just how keenly we all still look—at least, in stories—for a happily-ever-after.
IF YOU LIKED THE UGLY DUCKLING…
Matched to Her Rival (Happily Ever After, Inc.) by Kat Cantrell
Elise Arundel won’t let anyone compromise her high-profile matchmaking business—certainly not Dax Wakefield, the doubting tycoon determined to prove she’s a sham. She’ll find the sexy bachelor a perfect mate. But when her foolproof program matches him with herself, Dax can’t believe how the former duckling-turned-swan is making him question his playboy status…and his vow to bring down her company.
IF YOU LIKED SLEEPING BEAUTY…
The Sleeping Beauty (A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms) by Mercedes Lackey
In Rosamund’s realm, happiness hinges on a few simple beliefs. For every princess there’s a prince. The King has ultimate power. Stepmothers should never be trusted. And bad things come to those who break with Tradition. But when Rosa is pursued by a murderous huntsman and then captured by dwarves, her beliefs go up in smoke. Determined to escape and save her kingdom from imminent invasion, she agrees to become the subject of one of her stepmother’s risky incantations—thus falling into a deep, deep sleep.
IF YOU LIKED BEAUTY AND THE BEAST…
When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman. Linnet is not just any woman. She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks.
IF YOU LIKED CINDERELLA…
The Cinderella Governess (The Governess Tales) by Georgie Lee
Joanna Radcliff has always dreamed of the day when she’d become a governess and finally be part of a proper family. Except, instead of a warm welcome, she’s given a frosty reception by her employers—and her charges! The only person who pays her any attention is the dashing Major Preston…
Despite their stolen conversations and tantalizing glances in the ballroom, Luke and Joanna know that their stations in life are just too different. But when this Cinderella governess’s life is transformed and their roles are reversed, will they risk everything to be together?
IF YOU LIKED SNOW WHITE…
Snow White Bride by Carol Grace
Before the freezing beauty could explain to Zach Prescott how she’d wound up on his doorstep during a blizzard, Sabrina White fainted. His seven pint-size charges insisted the mystery woman was Snow White. But savvy CEO Zach Prescott, sure knew better. Snow White was a fairy tale. Sabrina was living, breathing reality—and a runaway bride. He told himself his curiosity about her was only natural. Because theirs could never be a storybook ending. He was nobody’s prince. Or was he?
IF YOU LIKED THE LITTLE MERMAID…
Siren’s Treasure by Debbie Herbert
Mermaid Jet Borsage never fit in with her own kind. Her dark hair and eyes set her apart from the other merfolk. Which was why she fell for the wrong man, and why she is still paying the price. One that has made her unwilling to trust any man, until she meets Landry Fields. Agent Landry Fields is investigating Jet’s former boyfriend, but he knows Jet is hiding something, as well. At first he believed the beauty was involved in her ex-boyfriend’s dangerous undersea excavations. But when he realizes he is falling for a real-live mermaid, Landry’s by-the-book beliefs are rocked. Now can he save Jet and her clan from modern-day pirates to claim a future with the feisty beauty?
Have you picked up a fairy-tale read lately? Let us know in the comments!