A few months back, I got a DM from an author asking me if I'd be willing to read their upcoming novel, a Cinderella retelling from the stepmother's point of view. 

I couldn't say yes fast enough! Before I knew it, an ARC of Lies That Princess Told You by Caitlin Rush was in my mailbox. I was hooked by the cover alone: it's a gorgeous purple toned scene of rolling hills of lavender fields, with an estate home just visible off in the distance. Obsessed!

In Lies That Princess Told You, we are introduced to a sixteen year old Roselyn, the eldest daughter of a Marquis. She is free spirited, vivacious, and totally carefree--you just can't help but love her. As was common in the 1600s, basically anywhere, Roselyn's parents have secured a marriage for Roselyn, to a Duke three times her age. Roselyn is vehemently opposed to the marriage, even moreso when she meets a handsome young merchant, Phillip, and quickly falls in love. Of course, her parents have no interest in her feelings or wishes, but Roselyn and Phillip are seen walking together *unchaperoned* (I know, I know, you're clutching your pearls, aren't you?) and the rumor mill begins swirling. Roselyn's parents immediately disown her and have her forcibly removed from the house, ripping her from her beloved younger sister Camille in the process.

What follows is a heartbreaking historical fiction that expertly deals with love, grief, and the ravages that are the difficulties of life. It was so fascinating to me to follow along as the "wicked" stepsisters are born, to see what happened to their father, and to learn how "Cinderella's" father and the "evil stepmother" met and eventually wed...and everything leading up to and including the fateful ball we all know from the fairy tale.

Caitlin Rush does a masterful job of approaching tragedy, grief, envy, and fear and making all of those emotions totally relatable, making you realize how uncontrollable they can be even when you know that you're wrong in the moment--as if you're watching yourself from above, willing yourself not to say the thing, screaming in slow-motion for it to be unsaid after the fact. I never in my life thought that I would find a story that made me feel empathy for the "wicked" stepmother, but after reading this book I just want to give her a hug.

And before you wonder, no--you're not going to leave this story hating "Cinderella," either. She's just as perfect as she'd ever be, and you'll love her, too.

I'm so thankful to Caitlin for sharing this story, and look forward to big things to come from her!

Oh, and the best news? Lies That Princess Told You by Caitlin Rush is on Kindle Unlimited! If you'd like a print copy (which, trust me, you want a print copy) you can order one here.

Love and chocolate beans,


Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this audiobook from the author for free and have voluntarily written this review with my honest feedback. Since this is an indie published author, the link above is not an affiliate link as my links often are.