This entry in the Dynasties: The Barones series is an entertaining tale of lust that quickly turns into love as two people discover each other and heal their hearts together. Cinderella’s Millionaire is a fairy tale and to enjoy it, you must accept that.
Joe Barone is the CFO of the family’s gelato ice cream business. He is a stoic man who lost his wife to cancer five years ago, and then locked his heart and stopped really living life. He went through the motions, but was emotionless while doing it. Until the family held a contest for a new flavor and winner Holly Fitzgerald entered his life.
Holly is the eldest daughter of Dave Fitzgerald and older sister to four Fitzgerald brothers. Upon her mother’s deathbed, she was given the task of “taking care of” her family. Now, even though they are all grown, she is still fulfilling that role, helping to pay one brother’s college tuition and ensuring her dad takes his medicine for his ailing heart. She works two jobs and often stays at her dad’s to be sure he is okay. She doesn’t have and has never had time for romance and love.
Then she meets Joe Barone. They come from different worlds, but the sparks fly. They spend two days together and mesh both physically and emotionally. They fall in love. Now the barriers they both have erected have to come down to allow them to live happily ever after.
The story is filled with love scenes followed by each of them wrestling their demons. They take a step forward, then two steps back. Sometimes one of them goes forward and the other moves backward. Finally they get in sync.
I enjoyed Holly’s feistiness and Joe’s vulnerabilities. I liked Joe when he easily accepted that Holly added to his life. I liked Holly when she forced issues rather than stewing.
There are two things that didn’t quite work in the story. One is the speed in which this turnaround occurs. It is really out of a fairytale. And second, the ready acceptance of both families. Again, only in a fairy tale would everyone assume that this short love affair is really life-long love ready for commitment.
But category romance is often meant to be a fairy tale and in this case, Cinderella’s Millionaire hits the mark. Enjoy it.