Book Review: The Cinderella Debutante by Elizabeth Hanbury


Lucy Sinclair’s London Season was cut short by tragedy. Now, five years later, she is returning but only in the shadow of her lovely step-sister. Belinda is determined to catch a titled husband and Alex, Lord Devlyn fits the bill perfectly.

Lucy finds Alex devastatingly attractive yet knows he will be dazzled by Belinda’s ravishing beauty. Her one chance of love seems lost forever until an unlikely fairy godmother makes Lucy the belle of the ball.

This is a Cinderella story set in Regency times, where Lucy feels outshone by her selfish stepmother and stepsister Belinda. Lucy’s season was cut short by the death of her father, but now she is back in town 5 years later for Belinda’s season. Belinda has plans to be married by the end of the season, and tries to play Devlyn off against the rake Lord Sneyd. However, Belinda and her mother have misread the situation with Alex, who is really in love with Lucy.

The characters of Belinda and her mother are grotesque, and rather exaggerated, but that’s rather the point of a Cinderella stepfamily. There is a “fairy godmother” in Lucy’s grandmother who offers both Lucy an escape from her stepmother, and ultimately sets off the meeting between Alex and Lucy.

It does go slow in parts – it takes ages for Alex and Lucy to show their hands (which annoys some readers, but is appropriate for Regency period, where everyone has to play by quite rigid rules).  It’s nice to have POV from both main characters, rather than just from Lucy.



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