The Bachelor Auction
Rachel Van Dyken
October 4, 2016
Once upon a time, there was a poor, kind-hearted girl who spent her days caring for her terrible, ungrateful sisters. One night, when she least expected it, the girl was swept off her feet (and out of her shoes) by a rich, handsome man, with whom she (eventually) lived happily ever after.
If this story sounds familiar to you, it’s not a coincidence. It is not, however, the story of Cinderella. Except, well, it kind of is. Say what? Keep reading!
Rachel Van Dyken’s The Bachelor Auction is a modern-day take on the classic fairytale. In her version, Jane (Cinderella), the owner of a cleaning business, meets Brock (Prince Charming), a bajillionaire CEO, at a dance club (the royal ball). When Jane is knocked to the floor of the club by her drunken sisters, tearing her dress and losing her necklace and shoes in the process, Brock sweeps her into his arms and out of the fray. This heroic gesture becomes the stuff of Jane’s many fantasies— and, before long, her everyday reality— as she and Brock fall head over heels in love despite their many differences.
The book has its appealing aspects—both a hero and a heroine who are decent, caring people; a billionaire/regular girl fantasy come true; and love scenes that go beyond chaste Disney-style kisses. The prose is good, and there’s a fair amount of humor that really adds some fun. That said, I largely found myself unenchanted with this 21st century version of one of my favorite fairytales. The obstacles that keep the couple apart and the entire bachelor auction gimmick around which the book is structured felt far too contrived. I liked that part of the story was focused on Jane and Brock learning to set healthy boundaries with their families and the ghosts of their pasts, but I couldn’t get past how annoying the lack of boundaries was in the first place! I felt like most of the problems that drove the plot could’ve been solved with one straight-forward conversation that none of the characters were willing to have. All this would be forgiven, of course, if the sex scenes had gotten my glasses even a little bit steamy. Alas, they did not.
This book didn’t capture my heart, but I do know others who have liked it very much, and suspect that romance readers who really love modern takes on classic tales would appreciate Van Dyken’s version. I would recommend it to any such readers, as well as those who like a read for humor (one of the book’s strong suits).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!