Claire Ventura is nothing like the poised and perfect heroines she reads about in her favorite romance novels. She’s a quirky, people-pleasing bookworm with a loving yet obliviously intrusive family and a passion for cookie decorating—all rolled into a five-foot-two Filipina American fueled by chamomile tea.
Then she meets Nate, billionaire CEO of a global tech company, the modern-day Prince Charming who sweeps her off her feet. Though he does his best to convince Claire that he’s genuinely head over heels for her, she knows he’ll soon realize she’s more underwhelming Plain Jane than jet-setting socialite. And once he meets her family, if their initial questioning doesn’t scare him off, then their tendency to decide “what’s best for her” certainly will.
Between her whirlwind romance with Nate and her meddlesome family, Claire wishes she had a fairy godmother to guide her. But this is the real world in the twenty-first century, and the only way to get her happily ever after is by grabbing firm hold of what she really wants—and letting her heart be her guide.
Cruz debuts with a sweet modern-day Cinderella story that pairs an adorably nerdy cookie entrepreneur and a driven tech mogul. Claire Ventura and billionaire Nate Noruta meet cute when Claire nearly hits Nate-whom she does not recognize-with her car in Long Beach, Calif. When she later dines at Nate's new restaurant, the coincidental encounter sparks a red-hot romance. Nate is all in from the start, while Claire's insecurities and tendency to run away threaten to end the relationship as quickly as it began. It's a dynamic that grows frustrating; readers will want to shake Claire as she consistently refuses to accept the love of a hero who's almost too perfect to believe. Still, Cruz's multifaceted characters force readers to care about them from the first page, and Claire and Nate's second date-which kicks off with a private flight to Paris-is positively swoon-worthy. Meanwhile, the supporting cast-particularly Claire's grandmother, work bestie, Todd, and outrageous sister, Ro-add depth and color. It's a bumpy ride, but there's plenty to make it worthwhile. Agent: Naomi Davis, Bookends Literary. \n