Author Guest Posts

Cinderella is far more than a romance trope


Cinderella is far more than a romance trope

Annie West’s new book, Reclaiming His Runaway Cinderella, is a Cinderella story to celebrate its release, we asked her why she loves writing this trope.

As a romance writer so I’ve written many familiar themes. There have been enemies to lovers, reunions, marriages of convenience, beauties changing the lives of their beasts, masquerades where identities are hidden, forbidden loves, secret babies, bad boys, nights with consequences, revenge, forgotten lovers and plenty of cases where the course of love simply doesn’t run smoothly.


Among them Cinderella holds an extra special significance. I’m celebrating the release of my 50th book for Mills & Boon – Reclaiming His Runaway Cinderella. And my first Mills & Boon book – A Mistress for the Taking – was also a Cinderella story. Isn’t that neat? I’d love to say I was organised enough to plan that…😊

The coincidence is fitting. I’ve always enjoyed the transformation in Cinderella and the idea of poor Cinders shining. I’m drawn by the way she overcomes the problems that kept her down. I like Cinderellas who work for what they want. Ones who aren’t magically transformed, but who show courage in tough circumstances and stand up for themselves to get their happy ending.

In my first book Marina overcame the restrictions she’d placed on herself as well as the machinations of someone who was damaging her family. She had body image issues and didn’t see herself as attractive, so being thrust into the role of pretend lover to a sexy, high profile businessman forced her to face her fears and overcome them. In Reclaiming His Runaway Cinderella, Ida has been under the thumb of a dreadful man all her life, then discovers the man she’d married doesn’t care for her the way she’d hoped. She leaves, choosing a life of hardship and independence rather than be beholden to someone who thinks badly of her. I adored writing the way she and Cesare begin to understand the truth about each other and learn trust, respect and true love.   


The Cinderella theme is fitting for another reason. That’s how I felt all those years ago when my first book was accepted by Mills & Boon. It was like getting my own personal invitation to the glittering event I’d wanted to attend for so long. I’d been a romance reader since my teens and toyed with the idea of writing romance on and off for years. It took a long time to convince myself could actually succeed. I can still recall the delight and excitement, the feeling like Cinderella being invited to attend that glorious ball where dreams came true.


I had that feeling too when I began writing romance. Because that’s when I got to know others in the romance writing and reading community. There was a tremendous buzz, not just of anticipation that maybe I could do this, but of excitement, acceptance and happiness, feeling I’d found a place with like-minded people where I truly belonged.

Have you had any Cinderella moments? Is it a theme you like reading about? I’d love to hear. You can leave a comment here or contact me at

If you’re interested, you can search my books by theme. On my website ( hover the mouse over All Books on the top left and a menu will appear with books by theme. Have fun!

Speaking of fun, I’m celebrating this 50th release with a huge giveaway in late October. Details will be in my October newsletter (you can subscribe on my website). The website also has some short articles on writing romance if your dream, like mine, is to write romance.

Warmest wishes, Annie


Annie has devoted her life to an intensive study of charismatic heroes who cause the best kind of trouble in the lives of their heroines. As a sideline she researches locations for romance, from vibrant cities to desert encampments and fairytale castles. Annie lives in eastern Australia with her hero husband, between sandy beaches and gorgeous wine country. She finds writing the perfect excuse to postpone housework. To contact her or join her newsletter, visit 

Don’t miss Annie’s next book Reclaiming His Runaway Cinderella

Reawakening unresolved passion complicates everything in bestselling author Annie West’s 50th book for Mills & Boon!

She ran from their wedding…now the Italian has found her!

After years of searching, Cesare Brunetti finds his wife Ida, cleaning homes to make ends meet. The Cinderella heiress fled mere hours after their vows, even though he was the one blackmailed into the convenient union!

Cesare intends to finalise their divorce. Yet he hadn’t counted on discovering Ida’s total innocence in their marriage sham. Or on the attraction that rises swift and hot between them, beneath the Tuscan sun…before they say goodbye for good, dare they indulge in the wedding night they never had?

Find it here

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