Cinders by Cara MaloneCinders by Cara Malone is a charming retelling of Cinderella – and get this – the Cinderella character is a butch fire fighter – how perfect is that?

Cynthia “Cyn” Robinson is a firefighter in Grimm Falls and one day she responds to a fire at Marigold Grimm’s house. Marigold is considered Grimm Falls royalty as a member of the family who founded and owns a whole load of the town.

Cyn has always had a massive crush on Marigold but she has never had the courage to tell her. With a stepmother and stepbrother who do everything they can to break her down, Cyn doesn’t feel like she deserves someone like Marigold.

The one thing that Cyn does have is her job. She is an excellent firefighter and when she comes to the rescue at Marigold’s house it ignites a flicker of romance between the two women. But, an arsonist is at work in Grimm Falls and it’s threatening to burn their budding relationship to the ground.

The Pros

I loved this story. It’s a sweet, gentle romance with little touches of the original and beloved versions of the Cinderella tale woven into the story. I LOVED how Malone did the lost shoe.

The writing was adorable and easy to read, the characters were fun and memorable and I was so delighted when I got a glimpse of the character from Seeing Red (I may have had a mini outburst of happiness).

The Cons

This is a teeny tiny nitpick thing and I am aware of that, so bear with me. The cover for this one, doesn’t match the cover for Seeing Red, so it doesn’t look like a series.

Another teeny tiny con for me was that the first half of the book had mega chemistry between the leads and the second half didn’t. It didn’t lessen my enjoyment, though. It was just something I noted.

The Conclusion

You should definitely get this book and Seeing Red if you want a contemporary romance that is sweet and gentle. And it’s an extra bonus if you love to hunt for clever clues from the original tales. It is amazing to find a reference to something from the originals because you feel like you found a gift.

I love this series and definitely recommend it for anyone who wants something fun, light and simply adorable.

Excerpt from Cinders by Cara Malone

Enjoying the way the afternoon sun baked down on her skin, Cyn took her time walking to the police station. She took the stone steps two at a time to get her heart pumping, then stepped aside and held the station door open for an elderly woman with silver hair and a walker who was on her way out.

“Thank you, dear,” she said as the wheel of her walker got stuck on the door jamb. Cyn lifted it out, a little swell of pride in her chest at being of use to the woman.

Then while she waited for her to clear the door, a sparkle of green caught Cyn’s eye. She looked down to street level, where an emerald green BMW was pulling into a parking spot on the curb across the road.

Cyn’s heart skipped a beat.

It was silly. The sight of that car alone was powerful enough to make her heart seize whenever she saw it around the city. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it didn’t happen too often, but when it did, the car was almost always parked in front of Green Thumb Nursery’s downtown storefront.

Cyn waited, and a moment later she was rewarded with a rare glimpse of the driver. Marigold Grimm stepped out of the car, her blonde hair flowing in the breeze. She flipped it over her shoulder, wavy and perfectly styled like she’d just stepped out of a shampoo commercial. She was wearing a pair of khaki shorts that rode high up the long stems of her legs. On her feet were a pair of loafers that probably cost more than Cyn’s entire wardrobe, and the neckline of her loose-fitting blouse drew Cyn’s attention.

She’d never seen Marigold with so much as a hair out of place. Cyn often wondered if she was the type of girl who got up two hours early just to get ready for the day. It was that, or little birds flew into her window every morning to help her get dressed.

Cyn didn’t have a hard time imagining either possibility, and either way, it was working for her. Marigold was Grimm Falls royalty, and she looked the part.

“I said thank you,” the old woman said sharply.


“You can let go of the door now, sweetie,” she said, and Cyn realized that the woman and her walker were a good three feet away, at the top of the accessibility ramp. “I appreciate the dedication, though.”

Cyn’s cheeks colored slightly and she nodded at the woman, wondering sheepishly if she’d noticed the direction of her gaze. When she looked back across the street, Marigold was just slipping through the Green Thumb door.

Get This Book On Amazon

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Fairytale retellings

Seeing Red


Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781720208655
  • Publisher: Indie author

Cara Malone Online

If you enjoyed this book then you should also look at

a royal romance by jenny frame






Note: I received a free review copy of Cinders by Cara Malone. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

About the author

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Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from to her home in South Africa.

Over the years she became frustrated with purchasing mediocre lesbian fiction feeling like it was a waste of her money and time. And so she decided to share only the best books and movies with lesbians who are looking for only the best. And so, The Lesbian Review was born