Bewitching the Baron

The Changeling Bride

Come to Me

Dating Without Novacaine

Dream of Me

Dr. Yes

George and the Virgin

The Mermaid of Penperro

Of Midnight Born

The Wildest Shore

Have Glass Slippers, Will Travel
by Lisa Cach
(Pocket, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-7434-7089-3
As the title implies, Have Glass Slippers, Will Travel is a modern-day fairy tale. Like most of Lisa Cach’s books, this one has plenty of sparkle and a sturdy hero. The heroine, however, left a lot to be desired.

Twenty-five year-old Katy Orville has lost her job as a technical writer for a Seattle software firm. Katy, whose muse is Oprah, follows some advice she finds on the Oprah website and makes herself a Life Collage to figure out what she wants to do. In an unlikely dream sequence that felt no less than scripted, Oprah gives her detailed instructions. Katy wakes up and decides to take her savings and go to London, where she’ll live out her life’s dream and try to snag a rich nobleman. Maybe a prince. So she can live in a castle and be taken care of forever.

This actually is presented as less nauseating than it sounds. Katy grew up without much and the wolf was never far from the door, and her goal is financial security. Okay, I could buy that, and the trip to London is certainly fun. Katy assumes an occupied Bentley is a London cab; she finds her B and B is a rundown dump tucked behind a parking garage; she’s even packed what (to her) seems like a classic suit, a dowdy number a la Queen Elizabeth. On her first day as a tourist, Katy is nearly run over by a man in a kilt driving an old van. He’s Will Eland, a farmer on his way to a family wedding.

Except Will isn’t just a farmer. He’s a duke, with a rundown manor house and three thousand acres planted in organically grown produce. Katy runs into Will again at the Tower of London, where it turns out his cousin is getting married. Katy is sure if she can get in, there must be rich noblemen around, so she pretends to be an invited guest and enters on Will’s arm.

At this point, Katy was losing points fast with me and things went downhill from there. Will’s cousin Trevor is indeed a lord of something, and he’s also a smarmy jerk, but Katy reasons that since he’s good-looking and rich, he’d make a perfect husband for her. Even if she is attracted to Will. When Trevor invites Katy to an exclusive nightclub (mostly to spite Will), Katy ends up “borrowing” a designer dress from Selfridges with the help of an underhanded salesclerk with an agenda of her own. Katy ends up in the tabloids as “a dot-com heiress,” a lie she does nothing to try and correct. Will, for his part, believes Katy’s “heiress” money might be the saving grace for his organic-gardening business.

Katy and Will end up spending time together, though he doesn’t come clean about his real background, either. Eventually the compost hits the fan and all is revealed. By this time I didn’t care much. Although of the two, it seemed that Will was getting the short end of the stick, neither one of them impressed me with any sort of integrity. But Will at least thought about telling Katy the truth, and his determination to make his way without his family’s interference was laudable. And you gotta love a dirt-digging Duke.

However, heroines who lie their way into situations aren’t much fun to read about, and Katy is no exception. Her quest to land a rich guy wasn’t amusing, it was calculating, and the fact that she acts like a dimwit in any number of situations doesn’t make her any more likeable. Her “gee, do you think he has an honest-to-goodness castle?” attitude didn’t even elicit a smile. And an episode with a leaking stick-on gel bra that she conveniently couldn’t manage to peel off the night before was idiotic.

I’ve read a number of Lisa Cach’s books and enjoyed them immensely. Have Glass Slippers, Will Travel felt like a chick-lit misstep from an author who at least is willing to try something different with her books. Much as I kinda liked the hero, her other books better showcase her talent.

--Cathy Sova

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