Cold Hearted (Villains #8) by Serena Valentino

Book Review May 24, 2022

My review

4/5 stars

As with most of the other books in this series, I devoured this in a few short hours one evening. They are all easy, accessible reads that provide just the right amount of new drama and familiarity of story and character; this one is no different.

Cinderella is a story that almost every person in the world is familiar with in one guise or another. This approaches the story from the point of view of her wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine. I particularly enjoyed the idea that Lady Tremaine has been misrepresented and that Cinderella's much-loved father is actually the protagonist in the wrong here. It was unexpected and really drew me into the story.

The idea that no one is truly a villain and that every story has two sides was brilliantly constructed into this story, and provided a much deeper narrative than the book's cover or blurb give away. It's a brilliant lesson in the fact that no one is completely good or bad, but everyone is a product of their choices, be they poor or otherwise. This is particularly true for Lady Tremaine, but is also demonstrated in the choices of some of the other, traditionally positively-viewed characters in the story.

Another fantastic instalment in the series, looking forward to more in the future.

Book blurb

This was supposed to be her happily ever after...

It's a familiar tale: A kind and beautiful young girl, reeling from loss. A doting father, frantic to bring a mother's love back into his daughter's life. And the selfish, cruel woman who insinuates herself into that family--a woman so unfeeling, so cold hearted, that when her new husband dies, she makes the girl a servant in her own home.

But who is that evil stepmother, that icy lady of the house? How did she become so closed off that, in the face of a child's grief, she thought only to seek wealth and power for herself and her abhorrent daughters? Before that fateful ball, before the glass slipper and the prince, there was another story--a story of love and grief, of hope and of dreams dashed. It is the story of Lady Tremaine.

Even the coldest of villains are sometimes wives and mothers, women who loved and lost and hoped for
something grander for their lives . . . once upon a dream.


You can buy the book here now. It was published by Disney-Hyperion.

For more on the author, you can head over to her website, follow her on Instagram, or check out her Goodreads page.