High school was a long time ago, but some things never change. Like Mackenzie’s teenage nemesis, Jacob Hartley, for example. Still an entitled heir to his father’s media mogul throne and as cocky as ever. But Mackenzie is no longer the miserable loner she’d been in high school, she’s a reporter with a news site to save. When she gets her hands on incriminating photos that Jacob would rather keep hidden, this Cinderella will do whatever it takes to get her story. If that means blackmailing her way into the Hartleys’ exclusive gala, then so be it. It’s strictly business, certainly not a real date. If only the media prince would stop being so damn charming….

Jacob has jumped through every one of his father’s hoops, and it will all pay off once he’s named head of the company’s new division. The only thing standing in his way is Mackenzie, his harshest critic and worst temptation. When she strong-arms her way back into his life, all of the old sparks are there….for better or for worse.

Can former enemies form a new alliance and turn friction into flames?

A Stand Alone Title – at this time, although a sequel of Jenna’s story, Snow White Espionage is planned

Title:  Cinderella Blackmail
Series:  stand alone (for now)
Author:  Maggie Dallen
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  December 2, 2016
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Cinderella Blackmail is a charming and fun Romantic Comedy that serves an additional purpose, at least for me.  It will make you think twice about your own pre-conceived notions, those memories that you’re certain you recall correctly in every detail – the way you may look at another person who you “think” you know everything about.

Jacob was once a fierce high school nemesis, but look at him today stumbling out of the holding cell at the local jail.  And there she was bright and early, camera in hand to capture this grand moment for herself and for her readers.  Mack had to admit, it felt good to have something that the rich, entitled brat wanted… enough to do a bit of strategic blackmail maybe?  She needed a way into the no reporters allowed gala that his media mogul dad was throwing, and Jacob just handed it to her so very nicely.  Too bad he wasn’t as accommodating in every encounter they’d had over the years.

It had been ten years since their high school days.  Ten years of working his fingers to the bone, ten years of being under his father’s control – and now he was days away from gaining what he’d fought so hard for.  A promotion to take over control of the digital media division of the company.  Finally, something that he’d worked for, he’d oversee, he’d be responsible for without his father’s strings.  But he had to get through this obvious blackmail attempt by a stunning woman who absolutely hated his guts.  Yeah, one great evening to look forward to.

In the world that Jacob’s father rules, nothing is what it appears on the surface, nothing is guaranteed… and absolutely nothing gives the old man more pleasure than screwing someone over, especially his son.

On the surface you might think that Cinderella Blackmail is a light-hearted romance with enemies as the main couple.  And in many ways it is.  Yet it’s also a good look at how we perceive people, how we think we know everything worth while knowing and base our assumptions on a pack of misconceptions and even lies.

There were reasons behind how and why Mac and Jacob had acted in the past.  Number one is… teenage years, anyone?  Beyond that is the fact there has always been an attraction there, never acted on but there nonetheless.  Cinderella Blackmail gives us a couple who need to let down their walls a bit, to really see each other for people not products of their upbringing.  Once they start to care about the person in front of them everything changes for them.  The possibilities are endless, but they have to take a few risks that won’t be comfortable – and they have to believe in each other over everyone else.

I completely enjoyed this story.  I was looking for a light-hearted romance, what I got was a slice of real life, with true emotions and situations that no one should have to face.  What I got was a love story that brought out emotions, sadness, anger, tears and happiness for the people I was watching.  I’d have no trouble recommending Cinderella Blackmail to any Romance reader.  You’ll find a solid story, a couple worth rooting for, a despicable villain and a story to remember long after the final page is turned.

I read this title through my Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Available for the Kindle