Caymen is 17 and on the cusp of college when she meets Xander and discovers there’s more to a guy than his bank-account balance.
Caymen and her mom are barely making a living with their porcelain-doll shop. They live in a town where there are the rich and those who cater to them. When Xander comes into the shop one day and “beckons” her over, he confirms her opinion of the wealthy. Xander, however, is charmed by Caymen’s rapier wit, and she finds herself moved by his Ken-doll looks. He courts her with muffin deliveries, and the ride in his private jet is exhilarating. Xander chafes at his parents’ mandate that he take over the family hotel chain, and Caymen is indecisive about her future, so they begin a series of playful career dates and gradually overcome their preconceived notions of each other. There are a few hiccups and misunderstandings but plenty of gooey romantic stuff, too: “He tastes good, like salty chocolate.” Meanwhile, the shop is failing, and Caymen’s mother is acting dodgy. When her mom is hospitalized, and Xander unveils a gigantic surprise, Caymen has to give some consideration to Xander’s encouragement: “You have as many options as you give yourself.”
An antidote to dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction, this Cinderella story is sweet and hopeful. (Fiction. 12-17)