My guest today is Gina Conkle. Gina writes both Georgian romance and Viking romances. She love the glittery balls and such but also finds the average citizen of these eras fascinating and writes stories around their lives. Gina also has a love of fairy tales. Her current story, The Lady Meets Her Match is a retelling of Cinderella.
Did you grow up with fairy tales?
A favorite of mine was Cinderella. I loved reading about a kind-hearted heroine with a magical rags-to-ballgown evening. Plus, being able to talk with animal friends was pretty neat.
Yet, as I got older, I had a few problems with the story. Like why did the funky Grand Duke hunt down Cinderella? Shouldn’t the prince search for his true love?
The prince’s lack of ardor bugged me. He should’ve been the one hot on Cinderella’s trail.
You know what else? The prince held zero appeal — we’re talking flat as a pancake personality. His role was pretty much “dance and decide” the woman you’ll marry.
The day after the ball, he insisted Cinderella was his true love. He wouldn’t marry anyone else but the girl who could wear the glass slipper. At least he was firm on that.
So, he made his grand announcement and retreated to his room. To wait. I think I was nine years old when His Royal Highness’s appeal took a nosedive.
Years later, when The Lady Meets Her Match formed, the Cinderella tale fit. I pictured Claire, the housekeeper from Meet the Earl at Midnight sneaking into an elegant ball in the same pale blue and silvery gown Cinderella wore. This time things were different.
- Her prince was a commoner dubbed the “King of Commerce”
- Her shoe — well that part’s secret in the book— but I’ll give you a hint: it’s not glass or silk
- Her life doesn’t need “saving” because she’s got plans of her own
And Claire’s fairy godmother is a saucy French woman with some eye-opening advice. Don’t typecast her as old and plump!
Life’s full of surprises. So is this modern retelling of Cinderella.
Cyrus Ryland didn’t become England’s wealthiest bachelor by being a pushover, but the mysterious beauty he discovers sneaking around his study during a grand ball inflames his curiosity. They share one dance, but when the clock chimes midnight, she’s nowhere to be found. So Cyrus vows to scour all of London to uncover who she is.
Claire Mayhew is risking it all by forging Ryland’s signature. But the maddening man won’t lease properties to an unmarried woman. He stands in the way of Claire’s dream: running her own business. The midtown property fits her plans perfectly—a place to live as an independent woman of commerce. When she sneaks into his study and forges his signature, she never expects to be attracted to the stodgy bachelor. But if he finds out who she is, all of her dreams could go up in smoke…