by Donna Ball

Penguin, $14.00, 336 pages

Donna Ball’s Keys to the Castle is a feminist modern day Cinderella. The problem is, how does an independent successful business woman resist Prince Charming? Sara was swayed off track by a fast romance and marriage, now trying to get back on her feet after her husband, Daniel suddenly dies before revealing a secret: his castle, Chateau Rondelais. Sara inherits a European landmark she doesn’t want or have time for. But her sister convinces her to at least see the Chateau where her husband was raised before she sells it. It will provide Sara an opportunity to take a vacation and pull herself back together. When she arrives her jaw drops. Not only does the castle has its own lure; Ashton Lindeman, Daniel’s legal caretaker and best friend, has been expecting her. Now is his chance to seduce her into his business plan under the guise of looking after her best interests. Ash is irresistibly suave, smelling of Italian wool and leather loafers, a rich man in need or want of nothing – except for her. Fantasy is shattered by reality when Ash presents his business plan. It is way to save the dilapidated castle from ruin. What more has Daniel not told her? Now, Sara wants it all. She wants the fantasy and the reality. She knows that she can do it alone, just like a single mother raising a child. Only she cannot get her mind off the man she really loves. This story is not about being rescued by the prince, but instead it’s about believing in yourself, balanced with reliance, trust and faith, and fighting for love.

Reviewed by Sarafina Botechelli