Seeing Red by Cara Malone is a delightful, contemporary retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.

Set in Grimm Falls, we meet Hunter a young woman who is desperately trying to look after her sister, Piper, and nephews. But money is tight and she has to juggle a job as a nurses aid, babysitting and paying the bills. The sisters work hard to earn enough to keep a roof over their heads, making it an easy temptation for Piper to visit her husband, Jed Wolfe, in prison. You see, he has a never ending supply of schemes that give Piper temporary financial respite, but it always comes in the form of theft.

Hunter’s goal is to keep Wolfe away from her family and it seems like a real possibility this time especially when Hunter lands a second job.

The job is with the family of a beautiful girl in a red knitted cap who needs help looking after her ailing grandmother. Keira is a student and cannot be with her grandmother all day, so Hunter takes the day shift while Keira is at college.

As they spend more time together Hunter and Keira develop feelings for one another. But, can Hunter really keep Wolfe at bay when he discovers the rich new family that Piper now has access to?

The Characters and Writing Style

This was a really sweet and easy story. Nothing complex or overly involved. It was the exact kind of read that you want when you need light and entertaining.

The Pros

I adored that Malone sprinkled the story with references to the fairytale that we all know and love. It felt like little easter eggs to find the references like the red cap and Grimm Falls. See if you can spot them all!

The Cons

No cons. I even love the cover.

The Conclusion

This is a charming retelling. It has a lovely rhythm that keeps you engaged. I liked how Hunter felt responsible for everyone and adored the chemistry between the leads.

If you want a sweet, light romance that is a little unusual then this is it. It kept me guessing and completely entertained from the beginning to the end.

Excerpt from Seeing Red by Cara Malone



“Come on, guys,” Hunter yelled toward the ceiling.

She was doing three different things at once, trying to shove her feet into a pair of worn nursing shoes, stirring a pot of lentil sausage soup, and preparing her nephew’s insulin shot, which she knew would be a battle to administer if he ever actually came downstairs. She was also keeping an eye on the little clock above the back door.

It was thirty minutes to six and on a good night, it took her twenty minutes to walk to the nursing home where she worked. Hunter’s sister, Piper, was supposed to be home at five to relieve her from babysitting duties, but shift changes in this house were always chaotic. They never had any time to spare.

“Guys!” Hunter shouted again. “Dinner time – I’m serious!”

The boys were no doubt absorbed in a game of Madden. Aaron was eleven years old and completely obsessed with football. Josh was seven and didn’t care one way or the other about it, but he never passed up an opportunity to bask in his older brother’s attention.

In a perfect world, they’d both be doing their homework before dinner instead of playing video games, but that game console was one of the few luxuries they had – never mind the fact that Hunter was certain her degenerate brother-in-law Jed had stolen it for them. The boys didn’t know that and Hunter could never bring herself to be the hard-ass who took away their toys and made them do their homework instead.

Their mother could play that role when she got home.

Any minute now would be great, Hunter thought, glancing again at the clock as she stomped her foot to finish jamming her heel into her nursing shoe. She’d gotten them from a second-hand shop and they were ugly as hell but comfortable – that had to count for something.

Finally, the boys came downstairs in a racket of heavy steps and Hunter had to laugh – they sounded like a herd of cattle stampeding through the house, making more noise than she would have guessed two young boys were capable of. Aaron had his first growth spurt over the summer and he moved in a lanky, awkward way that showed he hadn’t quite adjusted to his new height yet. Josh followed in his shadow as they came into the kitchen and went over to the old dining table in the corner, plopping into a pair of creaky wooden chairs.

“Mom isn’t home yet?” Aaron asked.

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781980865872

Cara Malone Online

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Note: I received a free review copy of Seeing Red 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