[The Dark Woods Series - Book 2]

Picking up where its prequel left off, the story finds Elle's household sinking rapidly into madness, and Jack learning of a possible way to break Molly's curse and free himself of its consequences forever.

To lonely Elle, the only remaining servant of the Levier house, existence itself seems a dreary burden, until an encounter with magic offers her a glimpse of an outside world beyond her wildest dreams. Such an encounter has a price, however; for the shadow of Madame Levier threatens Elle's happiness, and even her very existence.

As for Jack, time is running out. Trapped between the consequences of Molly's curse and the possibility of losing everything he now possesses by her magic, he'll do anything to escape–even if it means manipulating a magical being whose powers are meant for another.

From fairy pools and forbidden flames, to circuses and sailors' lairs, the magic of a human fairy and the opulence of three grand balls set the stage for the story’s end –one in which a beautiful gown alone may not be enough to conquer a throne, and the possession of magic demands more than merely the power to control it.

$2.99 at Time of Posting
Fantasy | Fairy Tales | Reviews
Published: October 14, 2013
Length: 527 Pages

 The Review 


Cindermaid continues the story of Jode/Jack {Prince Charming} in Charming, but is mostly Eloise Levier's {Cinderella} part of the tale.

As with Charming, this book is also beautifully written and pretty much follows the basic plot of the classic fairy Tale Cinderella, however Hawthorne and Anders manage to put several different {and creatively darker} twists to the story. This is also the second time I've read this book, because, like Charming, I was in a hurry to find out how the story ended the first reading.

Eloise's mother dies when Eloise is very young, and her father remarries a few years later. The woman he marries is, of course, the evil stepmother and boy is she a piece of work! Applause to the authors for creating such an insanely evil character and the very satisfying consequences she brings down upon herself in the end. The two stepsisters aren't so much evil as they are controlled by their mother and her determination to marry her daughters to wealthy men - No matter what she has to put her daughters through or what sacrifices she forces them to make.

And poor Elle, going from the beloved and cherished daughter of a country squire to a servant in her own home, half-starved, unkempt, unloved and unknowing that her love is the only thing that will break the curse on Prince Charming and save him from death, for she is the plain maid.

The story takes you on a ride of grim twists and suspenseful turns with a surprising take on the fairy godmother angle - You just don't see it coming. Elle is transformed into a beautiful princess and rides to the masked balls (there are three) in a pumpkin spelled into coach. She meets and charms the Prince at each ball then looses a glass slipper at the end of the last one, but the authors write the story in such an original way that you just can't wait to find out what Elle's dresses will look like and how she and the Prince will come together at each ball. I would absolutely LOVE to see these books made into movies, although we all know how that usually ends up. This book is a wonderful conclusion to Charming, and I'm going to give Cindermaid: A Tale of Cinderella an enthusiastic 5 Star Review!

It appears that, although they've written numerous books, C. Hawthorne and G.B. Anders have absolutely no social media links (at least none that we can find)!😕 Perhaps they're some sort of pen name or pseudonym. We'll update this post asap if there's any information to be found.