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Monday, November 5, 2012

{Blog Tour} Review: The Cracked Slipper by Stephanie Alexander + Amazon Freebie Opportunity

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THE CRACKED SLIPPER

by Stephanie Alexander
Publication Date: February 2012
Pages/Format: 356; Paperback, ebook
Source: eARC

When Eleanor Brice unexpectedly wins the heart of Gregory Desmarais, Crown Prince of Cartheigh, she's sure she's found her happily-ever-after. Unfortunately, Prince Charming has a loose grip on his temper, a looser grip on his marriage vows, and a tight grip on the bottle. Eight years of mistreatment, isolation and clandestine book learning hardly prepare Eleanor for life at Eclatant Palace, where women are seen, not heard. According to Eleanor’s eavesdropping parrot, no one at court appreciates her unladylike tendency to voice her opinion. To make matter worse, her royal fiancĂ© spends his last night of bachelorhood on a drunken whoring spree. Before the ink dries on her marriage proclamation Eleanor realizes that she loves her husband's best friend, former soldier Dorian Finley. Eleanor can’t resist Dorian’s honesty, or his unusual admiration for her intelligence, and soon both are caught in a dangerous obsession. She drowns her confusion in charitable endeavors, but the people’s love can’t protect her from her feelings. When a magical crime endangers the bond between unicorns, dragons, and the royal family, a falsely accused Eleanor must clear her own name to save her life. The road toward vindication will force a choice between hard-won security and an impossible love. 

The Cracked Slipper is a book club friendly fairytale retelling in the vein of Gregory Maguire, with a dash of romance. Set in a pseudo-renaissance, corset-and-petticoats enchanted kingdom, The Cracked Slipper brings a magical twist to women’s fiction.
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Move over Cinderella! Eleanor Brice enters the stage with a flourish of confidence and intelligence. Stephanie Alexander introduces a heroine with a head on her shoulders and a heart as big as the sun. The Cracked Slipper tells a tale that's more than just about what happens after the servant girl marries the Prince. The story navigates through trials, betrayals, jealousies, and the hardships of court in a kingdom that under appreciates women. Eleanor's journey is inspiring and will make any reader proud.

I love how Alexander weaves in the fantasy elements in The Cracked Slipper. The unicorns are especially a part of the story that stand out to me. Eleanor had a very special connection to her unicorn that really sold the relationship between the royals and unicorns. I felt a small amount of trepidation going into this novel because I thought it would be more focused on politics, but Alexander does an excellent job of weaving court politics around Eleanor's routine and the romance. The romance I thought was completely out of this world. Eleanor had it pretty hard being married to Gregory since he wasn't much of a gentleman or very caring when it came to respecting the sanctity of marriage. Adding into her strong attraction to Gregory's best friend, Dorian, and the romance takes a familiar turn into a love triangle.

Alexander writes evenly by giving the right amount of attention to each parts of the plot while still keeping in mind where the story would lead. I never found my mind wandering to when the story would get the a point or get exciting. The Cracked Slipper is intriguing from beginning to end with a very wide range of emotions to draw readers in even further. I fell deeply for Eleanor and Dorian, and even Gregory burrowed into my heart by the end of the novel. I would love to see them embark on another adventure, but I think The Cracked Slipper adequately introduces Stephanie Alexander and her extraordinary gift for storytelling.
*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review and blog tour purposes*

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Great news for everyone interested in reading THE CRACKED SLIPPER! The Kindle book will be free on Amazon on the dates below:
  • November  6-7, 2012
  • December 7-9, 2012

Get your free copy here!


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