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Cold Hearted

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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 servan 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. The latest novel in Serena Valentino’s deliciously devious Villains series introduces the most famed and hated wicked stepmother of them all―but turns everything you know about her on its head.


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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 servan 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. The latest novel in Serena Valentino’s deliciously devious Villains series introduces the most famed and hated wicked stepmother of them all―but turns everything you know about her on its head.

30 review for Cold Hearted

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mischenko

    Retellings are some of my favorite books to read. I've had my eye on this series for some time now. After picking up book #8 Cold Hearted, I went ahead and began reading about Lady Tremaine and her daughters. While this turned out to be a captivating story at first, I think it would've been best to read the books in order due to the mention of previous characters and events in the story. The book begins with Lady Tremaine after she has lost her loving husband and is now left to raise her daughte Retellings are some of my favorite books to read. I've had my eye on this series for some time now. After picking up book #8 Cold Hearted, I went ahead and began reading about Lady Tremaine and her daughters. While this turned out to be a captivating story at first, I think it would've been best to read the books in order due to the mention of previous characters and events in the story. The book begins with Lady Tremaine after she has lost her loving husband and is now left to raise her daughters alone. Luckily, Lady Tremaine is wealthy, and the girls don't do without anything. Anastasia and Drizella don't have the best qualities; they both have behavioral issues. Lady Tremaine sets out on a much-needed journey to visit a friend, Lady Hackle, leaving the girls at home. Here she meets Sir Richard, and she contemplates a future life with him and allowing love in her life again. Initially, what I admired most about this story was the turn of the tables as far as the characters are concerned. It didn't seem at all like it would be similar the original Cinderella, and I was fascinated to finally read a fresh retelling. Lady Tremaine's character is redeemed as her backstory comes to light. Cinderella isn't the perfect little innocent daughter either, and Lady Tremaine--at first--has some good intentions. The end of the story is left open to multiple possibilities as the reader questions what role The Book of Fairy Tales will play. My issue was the turn the story took in the end and the fate of the characters. The ending just felt generic to me, and I just wanted more. Cold Hearted was an enjoyable read, and I plan to go back and read all the books in order. It was an easy read and written well. This book can be read as a standalone, but there are a few mentions of characters and events from previous installments which would've been nice to know beforehand. 4****

  2. 5 out of 5

    Briar's Reviews

    I have a thing for fairy tales. I love jumping back into old stories and then seeing what people can do with them. I even took a course in University all about the re-tellings of famous stories. We call them "Intertexts". This one is a continuation of good ol' Cinderella. You've heard her story, you've watched the Disney movies (cartoon, sequels and live action remake) and I'm sure you've watched the Brandy version too. There's so many retellings of this story! A Cinderella Story has been redone I have a thing for fairy tales. I love jumping back into old stories and then seeing what people can do with them. I even took a course in University all about the re-tellings of famous stories. We call them "Intertexts". This one is a continuation of good ol' Cinderella. You've heard her story, you've watched the Disney movies (cartoon, sequels and live action remake) and I'm sure you've watched the Brandy version too. There's so many retellings of this story! A Cinderella Story has been redone so many times too. There are even organizations named after the story! But... what about Lady Tremaine? The evil woman with the cat (that I want, by the way. I like cats. I don't care if they are the bad guys... They are fluffy) and the ugly step sisters (who weren't that ugly, honestly). Anastasia and Drizella... There is so much there for a story! So much! I am not surprised at all that Serena Valentino decided to add her spin to this story. Wicked step-mothers aren't always wicked... Maybe just not well informed. We open up with a bit of a synopsis if you somehow did not know the basics of this story, and then get thrust into the Fairylands! Fairy God Mother gets a request from Cinderella, and it turns out she has to help her ward. The whole point Fairy God Mother brings up that villains deserve their bad endings... But do they? Do they? Look how many live action remakes we are getting with villains... It can't be true. Maybe they deserve a second chance... This book is a roller coaster ride of fun. It gives a lot of life to Lady Tremaine and makes her story way more interesting than a brooding old bat who's just a jerk. Seeing this woman be hardened over time and what happened to her... It makes you understand the story a bit more (but obviously still feel bad because Cinderella didn't deserve all the hate). Overall, great book! I recommend it if you love Disney retellings. Four out of five stars. Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Oh man! This series is so much fun and I honestly had no idea what I was going to get once I dove into Cold Hearted. I mean.. from the obvious. So, yes, I knew this was going to be about Lady Tremaine and how she became the Evil Stepmother to Cinderella. I just didn't know what twists I was going to get. Not going to lie, this was so freaking good. Another book that was hard to put down but honestly this whole series has cap I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Oh man! This series is so much fun and I honestly had no idea what I was going to get once I dove into Cold Hearted. I mean.. from the obvious. So, yes, I knew this was going to be about Lady Tremaine and how she became the Evil Stepmother to Cinderella. I just didn't know what twists I was going to get. Not going to lie, this was so freaking good. Another book that was hard to put down but honestly this whole series has captured my attention so easily. I don't know what I'm going to do since this is book 8 and there's no book 9 (yet). I will say that I'm not even one bit surprised that the Odd Sisters dipped their toes into Lady Tremaine's life. It was just way too easy to predict that they tried to "help" her in any way. I was surprised that the Fairy Godmother helped out her daughters though. I'm thinking Nanny had a helping in that because she is just really sweet to think of every character in a book. In the end, I definitely enjoyed this one and I hope Serena writes another book! Not sure who the next villain could be.. maybe Hades?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amélie Boucher

    Watch my reading vlog & review of this book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L94qL0anNvY I really enjoyed this one! I was a little hesitant diving into it since I wasn't the biggest fan of Evil Thing, but I was thoroughly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying my reading experience. I feel like Lady Tremaine is an overlooked Disney villain. Perhaps because she doesn't have any magical powers, but that doesn't make her any less villainous. Most Cinderella retellings I've encountered so far focu Watch my reading vlog & review of this book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L94qL0anNvY I really enjoyed this one! I was a little hesitant diving into it since I wasn't the biggest fan of Evil Thing, but I was thoroughly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying my reading experience. I feel like Lady Tremaine is an overlooked Disney villain. Perhaps because she doesn't have any magical powers, but that doesn't make her any less villainous. Most Cinderella retellings I've encountered so far focused on Cinderella herself, so reading a book from Lady Tremaine's perspective was refreshing. I really loved what Serena Valentino did with her story. Lady Tremaine wasn't a bad person. She just ran into the wrong circles. Let's be honest here, Sir Richard was the true villain of that story. So I didn't feel sorry for what happened to him. (To be completely honest, he deserved everything that happened to him. And then more.) But while I did understand Lady Tremaine's motivations and what drove her to become the villain we all know, I did feel like the shift in the book happened rather abruptly. The pacing felt off. We spent more than half the book getting to know Lady Tremaine and her story, but the minute she turns into a villain, everything happens quickly. We gloss over the entire Cinderella story, and next thing you know, we've reached the end of the story. The ending was also a little bit unsatisfying. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. (It might be one of my favorite books in the series so far.) However, I did have a few issues with it, mostly in the pacing of the story. I wanted more time with Lady Tremaine, to truly understand what happened to make her become the evil stepmother she's famous for.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brinley

    I don't know how to describe it, but I really wanted more from this. There was so much potential in this, and this book only tapped some of it. I did love the way that Cinderella, the stepsisters, and Lady Tremaine were written. I was worried that Cinderella would either be villainized, or the stepsisters would be made out to be monsters. I was so happy that those routes were avoided. I liked the twist that the father was the reason for the enmity. I really wish this had been longer. I wanted mo I don't know how to describe it, but I really wanted more from this. There was so much potential in this, and this book only tapped some of it. I did love the way that Cinderella, the stepsisters, and Lady Tremaine were written. I was worried that Cinderella would either be villainized, or the stepsisters would be made out to be monsters. I was so happy that those routes were avoided. I liked the twist that the father was the reason for the enmity. I really wish this had been longer. I wanted more exploration of how the stepsisters felt, and more on how Cinderella was treated. We got a bit of that, but it wasn't enough for me. This was a quick and enjoyable read, but it could've been better. It was definitely a neat twist on the tale of Cinderella though! Thanks to Netgalley and Serena Valentino for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Andres

    "She had fallen in love and traveled to a foreign land to start a new life, only to realize she had been tricked. She had endured years of abuse. And now a real fairy godmother was telling her she was, in fact, not the heroine of her own tale, but the villain in someone else's." TL;DR: WUT did I just read. An origin story for Lady Tremaine (of Disney's Cinderella) that attempts to...IDK. Give her a backstory? Make her sympathetic? It's unclear. It's a retelling/spinoff of the Cinderella story that "She had fallen in love and traveled to a foreign land to start a new life, only to realize she had been tricked. She had endured years of abuse. And now a real fairy godmother was telling her she was, in fact, not the heroine of her own tale, but the villain in someone else's." TL;DR: WUT did I just read. An origin story for Lady Tremaine (of Disney's Cinderella) that attempts to...IDK. Give her a backstory? Make her sympathetic? It's unclear. It's a retelling/spinoff of the Cinderella story that doesn't really contribute much to the tale, bogged down by subpar, cringey writing. I am honestly 100% baffled by how many 5-star reviews this book has. Vibes: Once Upon A Time meets Great Expectations and Rebecca -- but, like, C-list versions of those stories. Character MVP: Honestly? No one. I felt very little for any of these characters; they were all very flat -- as fairy tale characters tend to be, but given that this is a novel, I expected more. Verdict: I know this is part of a series, and, full disclosure, I haven't read any of the other books. I may go back and start at the beginning, because apparently the first ones are better...? But this book *can* function as a stand-alone, although I imagine certain parts will make more sense in the context of the larger world that Valentino has constructed. And my frustrations don't stem from those "I don't get the full import" moments -- they stem from the characters/writing style and just the overall point of the story. First -- I *love* retellings. I love fairy tales. I love Disney. I love all of these things and wanted to enjoy this book. But I also feel like my bar is perhaps a bit high when it comes to retellings. In grad school, I took a class on fairytale retellings and Cinderella was our case study: we looked at several of the fairy tale versions and how the tale evolved, picture book adaptations, middle-grade and YA novels. And the one thing we agreed on is that an effective retelling has to do "something" new with the story: tell it from the POV of a minor character (like Philip Pullman's I Was A Rat) or explain why Cinderella was so obedient (like Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted). Those sought to address some part of the story and explain it or transform it. Here? I honestly don't know what the point was. At first, I thought Valentino was going to question the larger issues of fairy tales -- why stepmothers are always evil (because we can't vilify bio-moms, obviously) and engage with issues of predetermined endings based on arbitrary standards of morality (princess = good; stepmother = evil). But...she didn't. Because... (2) Lady Tremaine is a textbook 'passive character.' *EVERYTHING* that happens, happens TO her; she has no agency, takes no action. And at first, I also thought this was supposed to engender sympathy towards her -- she was a caring, kind, loving woman and she's not a villain! But...she's kind of selfish, self-centered, and vain. She read like a teenager, instead of the middle-aged woman she was supposed to be. She made one decision -- to leave her daughters at home while she went on a vacation (because she was simply exhausted, even though she saw her kids for what? Like an hour a day? The rest of the time they were with their nanny) and then allowed herself to be manipulated into things. There are so many red flags along the way, but she never once slows things down and then is "surprised" and "shocked" at how unhappy she is. Really? The handsome guy who didn't actually propose to you and demanded you get on the next boat to go to him turned out NOT to be your happily ever after? The matter of the cursed brooch just makes it worse: it effectively removes any agency from her decisions. She's cold and cruel because the thing is like a Horcrux -- amplifying her worst traits and drawing out the evil in her. It's not *really* who she is; she's affected by the brooch. But then -- in the end, even though the Fairies and Witches basically admit that Cinderella's father is the real villain, they punish her anyway. So what's the point? There's no redemption arc or even a chance; she just goes all Miss Havisham and then "dies." She was initially (supposed to be) a good person, she got drawn into a predetermined role to be a villain despite that, and a cursed brooch made her even worse: which everyone acknowledged, but didn't seem to matter. This was what I loved about Once Upon A Time -- and Regina's character especially (but also Hook): as ridiculous and campy as it got, the show really attempted to show how "evil isn't born, it's made," so that you understood *how* they became villains -- but it also showed how complex that was. Lana Parilla's Regina was the best character on the show because of the depth and nuance she brought to Regina -- even though she was a "villain," there was still good in her, which was fostered until it bloomed. (Ugh. That's a cheesy line. But the point is, the villains got chances to be good. Here? No chance for Lady Tremaine.) *sigh* But Anastasia and Drizella, who don't have much of a presence and have even less to redeem them -- they get their happily ever after? Why? I wasn't a fan of how the three of them (including Cinderella) were depicted. I actually don't think the 1950 animated Cinderella is as much of a pushover as scholars/critics sometimes make her out to be; she's got a bit of a sassy side and she rebels in her own quiet way. But here? She's...flat. She's either impossibly innocent & insufferably obedient or she knows of her role in the story and what has to happen for her to marry the king. Either way -- she's presented as spoiled; her father gives her everything she wants after her mother's death the same way Lady Tremaine spoils her daughters. But Cinderella turns out fine, and Anastasia and Drizella are horrible spoiled brats. But, if Lady Tremaine is kind and Sir Richard is cruel, how did that happen? What does that say? At least it was a quick and easy read...even if we still don't know Lady Tremaine's first name. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Beckee❤️

    Admittedly this wasn't as intense and evil as most of the other books in the Villains series, however I still found myself gripped by Lady Tremaine's story and was eager to reach the ending to find out what happened! Admittedly this wasn't as intense and evil as most of the other books in the Villains series, however I still found myself gripped by Lady Tremaine's story and was eager to reach the ending to find out what happened!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melissa S

    This YA book is a retelling of the Cinderella story from the perspective of Lady Tremaine. It's a very different angle on the well known tale - it takes the whole narrative and flips it on it's head. It raises some fun ideas and questions - what if Lady Tremaine wasn't always cold and heartless? What if she was a perfectly lovely lady who was a victim of circumstance? What if she fell head over heels for Cinderella's father, then found out that he was the real villian? What if years of his negle This YA book is a retelling of the Cinderella story from the perspective of Lady Tremaine. It's a very different angle on the well known tale - it takes the whole narrative and flips it on it's head. It raises some fun ideas and questions - what if Lady Tremaine wasn't always cold and heartless? What if she was a perfectly lovely lady who was a victim of circumstance? What if she fell head over heels for Cinderella's father, then found out that he was the real villian? What if years of his neglect and cruelty hardened her to the character we all love to hate? This book is part of the Disney Villians series, which are all fun retellings of beloved different stories from new and unexpected angles. I really loved the premise of this book. I enjoyed the possibilities that it explored and how it illustrated some different dimensions to characters that have always been portrayed negatively. I didn't love the pacing in this book - in several places a nicely flowing narrative was suddenly cutoff by a jump several years into the future. As a Disney fan, I liked it well enough that I will definitely check out some other books in the series. I give it high marks for creativity. Thank you to Netgalley and to Disney Publishing Worldwide for providing me with a review copy of this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Disney fans, this one's for you. Remember Cinderella and her horrible stepmother and stepsisters? The original story just didn't get it right. Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella are the focus of this story, about their lives before Lady Tremaine met Cinderella's father and married him. And then it's all downhill from there. Cinderella isn't as sweet as those fairy tales would lead you to believe! And evil stepmother and stepsisters? As if! Things are not always as they seem i Disney fans, this one's for you. Remember Cinderella and her horrible stepmother and stepsisters? The original story just didn't get it right. Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella are the focus of this story, about their lives before Lady Tremaine met Cinderella's father and married him. And then it's all downhill from there. Cinderella isn't as sweet as those fairy tales would lead you to believe! And evil stepmother and stepsisters? As if! Things are not always as they seem in the Many Kingdoms and with this tale, you'll leasrn all about how terribly Lady Tremaine and her girls were treated. Another fantastic story in the Villains series from Serena Valentino.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Books_and_Crafts

    Summary up on tiktok :)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fifi | A Fairytale Dream

    I!!! Love!!! This!!! Series!!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE the fact that these books connect all the Disney princesses in one universe. This is Lady Tremaine’s story, but there are mentions of Snow White and other characters from previous tales, tying every Disney story together into one universe called the Many Kingdoms. The magic from the Many Kingdoms can even reach London in our world, which is where Lady Tremaine and her daughters’ story begin. Believe it or not, Lady I!!! Love!!! This!!! Series!!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE the fact that these books connect all the Disney princesses in one universe. This is Lady Tremaine’s story, but there are mentions of Snow White and other characters from previous tales, tying every Disney story together into one universe called the Many Kingdoms. The magic from the Many Kingdoms can even reach London in our world, which is where Lady Tremaine and her daughters’ story begin. Believe it or not, Lady Tremaine’s story starts in high society London in the real world before she jumps to Disney princess fairytale land! That’s my absolute favorite part about this book. It connects the divide between our world and the Many Kingdoms world where the Disney characters reside. This almost gives me hope that I can find a portal to an alternate fairytale reality one day (fingers crossed). This series is a reminder that there’s 2 sides to every story and things aren’t always what they appear on the surface. First, the true villain of this story isn’t even Lady Tremaine, and the stepsisters were not even evil. Hearing what really happened from Lady Tremaine’s POV not only had me actually taking her side, it made made me sort of dislike Cinderella. Geez, Cinderella was a passive aggressive B and over the top spoiled in this book. Not that this excuses her mistreatment in later years, but Lady Tremaine does have a legitimate for disliking Cinderella in this book, and it’s not jealousy. That, plus pent up annoyance from several years of her and her daughters being treated like slaves and having cracked dry hands from the chores Cinderella’s dad forced the three of them to do while Cinderella sat on a pedestal and got whatever she wanted. This book had me infuriated. I was angry what the Many Kingdoms had done to a previously kind woman who was warped beyond repair from mistreatment and a cruel life. This book really does show there are 2 sides to every story, and the villain might not be who you think. In fact, this book has me seeing Lady Tremaine as the victim, not the villain. I’ll never see the movie Cinderella the same way ever again 😬 The only reason why I’m giving this 4/5 stars is because this book kind of depressed me a bit to be honest, and just made me feel so much pity that I ended up just feeling sad at the end of it. Also, I did not end up enjoying this one as much as some of the prior ones to be honest, but this book still deserves a strong four stars. It’s definitely a worthy addition to the series and I most definitely will be supporting Serena Valentino and this series for as long as she writes them! Thanks to Netgalley and Disney/Hyperion for sending me an advanced copy in return for my honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from Disney Publishing Worldwide - Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I don't ever think Serena Valentino has written a horrible Disney Villains novel yet and it is most certainly not this one. The one thing I love most about this series is Serena goes in depth of the Villain's upbringing and is very detailed of what made them who they are and it was no different for Lady Tremaine This book was received as an ARC from Disney Publishing Worldwide - Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I don't ever think Serena Valentino has written a horrible Disney Villains novel yet and it is most certainly not this one. The one thing I love most about this series is Serena goes in depth of the Villain's upbringing and is very detailed of what made them who they are and it was no different for Lady Tremaine. I loved how the book began and ended and reading Lady Tremaine's story I felt as the reader, questions were being answered and my jaw dropped wide open. We have gotten all of the books in the Villains series in our collection and we can't wait to add Cold Hearted to that collection. We will consider adding this title to our YA collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Gotta keep hip with the middle schoolers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hope

    Did we all read the same book? It's highly suspicious all of these reviews sound the same, almost as if someone paid for them... The writing in this book is awful. I love retellings, but this is sub-par at best. If you'd like to watch fairies fight and exchange terrible dialog, by all means. I've now tried two books in this series, and this was worse than the B&tB retelling. Did we all read the same book? It's highly suspicious all of these reviews sound the same, almost as if someone paid for them... The writing in this book is awful. I love retellings, but this is sub-par at best. If you'd like to watch fairies fight and exchange terrible dialog, by all means. I've now tried two books in this series, and this was worse than the B&tB retelling.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Oscar

    *Disclaimer I received a free copy of this book for a honest review, this will not change my thoughts or feelings towards this book* I can’t tell you how much I am a fan of this series and was jumping for joy that I got a ARC for it. The book was not a let down compared to the past installments to the series. We follow the story through the eyes of Lady Tremaine, a sad and lonely widowed wife who one day meets a fairytale charming prince. Reading and seeing the thoughts of Lady Tremaine of what h *Disclaimer I received a free copy of this book for a honest review, this will not change my thoughts or feelings towards this book* I can’t tell you how much I am a fan of this series and was jumping for joy that I got a ARC for it. The book was not a let down compared to the past installments to the series. We follow the story through the eyes of Lady Tremaine, a sad and lonely widowed wife who one day meets a fairytale charming prince. Reading and seeing the thoughts of Lady Tremaine of what happened to her all those years ago that lead to her cold hearted self was amazingly done. I loved how different Tremaine story was compared to the last installments we have had in this series. In the end Serena Valentino did successfully make me feel bad for Lady Tremaine because of they way she was treated in the end. I thought the pacing was nicely done besides the end which felt a little rushed. I loved Lady Tremaines POV as I have stated before and Drizella and Anastasia were also fun to read. Overall this was 4.5/5 stars for me rounded up and will for sure be one of my top books of 2021.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rafael Andrade

    Lady Tramaine was a victim of the circumstances. A widow dedicated to her daughters and kind to her staff. Fate, however, decides to turn her life upside down when she meets a certain man. The story opens with Queen Cinderella sending a letter to her godmother begging her to help her two sisters Anastasia and Drizella, whose mother is keeping them prisoners in their cursed chateau. Reluctant to help the sisters, Fairy godmother is convinced by Nani to read the storybook and learn what happened t Lady Tramaine was a victim of the circumstances. A widow dedicated to her daughters and kind to her staff. Fate, however, decides to turn her life upside down when she meets a certain man. The story opens with Queen Cinderella sending a letter to her godmother begging her to help her two sisters Anastasia and Drizella, whose mother is keeping them prisoners in their cursed chateau. Reluctant to help the sisters, Fairy godmother is convinced by Nani to read the storybook and learn what happened to the Tramaines. Only reaching the end of their story will the fairy godmother be able to decide if it is worth saving the sisters or not. The book will take the readers back to the Many Kingdoms and present them with some special appearances. This book does not deserve a five-star rating, but an entire constellation.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    My Review of COLD HEARTED By Author Serena Valentino Gifted & Published by Disney Hyperion On Tour with Jaimerockstarbooktours On Sale: 7/6/21- Purchase Link in my Bio ***** What a brilliantly written retelling or possibly the real truth behind Lady Tremaine’s life before marrying Cinderella’s father. Also very likely the reasoning of why she turned so cruel along with her daughters towards our beloved Cinderella. The imaginative story conjured up by the Author about Lady Tremaine and daughters, Anast My Review of COLD HEARTED By Author Serena Valentino Gifted & Published by Disney Hyperion On Tour with Jaimerockstarbooktours On Sale: 7/6/21- Purchase Link in my Bio ***** What a brilliantly written retelling or possibly the real truth behind Lady Tremaine’s life before marrying Cinderella’s father. Also very likely the reasoning of why she turned so cruel along with her daughters towards our beloved Cinderella. The imaginative story conjured up by the Author about Lady Tremaine and daughters, Anastasia and Drizella gives such a new perspective and change of heart to characters that you once despised. Such a contemplative past makes you really feel empathy for Cinderella’s Stepmother and have a new found respect at where she came from, what she went through to ultimately what led her to abhor her lovely stepdaughter. This is the Author’s latest book #8 in the Villains series and if you are a fan of Disney, fairytales and retellings then this is one book you can’t live without. Each book can be read as a stand alone and make a beautiful set when displayed on your bookshelf. ****** Lady Tremaine was happily married, in love and had two children with her husband until he passed early in their marriage, leaving her a great fortune but also two young daughters to raise on her own. Heartbroken she went on treating all her staff with kindness and respect and always went out of her way to help those less fortunate. Her staff was like family and she loved their company. Lady Tremaine was invited by her friend Lady Prudence to come for a visit. Due to the girls outlandish behavior, Lady Tremaine decided they would be punished and have to stay at home with the nanny. This is the trip that changed the course of their lives forever. It is where she met a widowed man raising a daughter of his own. He was quite taken by Lady Tremaine and things moved rather quickly. Before you know it, Lady Tremaine and her daughters were moved away from their home to the fairytale land called Many Kingdoms. She was now married and living a life that was quite the opposite of what she had been living. Everything changed, all her fortune went to her husband who now only showed love for his beloved daughter and treated his wife like a servant and emotionally tortured her. This is the beginning to the Lady Tremaine and her daughters as you’ve come to know them. And Cinderella, manipulated by her father didn’t know any better but this will change all the their lives too come.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kaylee

    Honestly, the only reason I read these is because my mom buys them and I read a lot quicker than her so she lets me borrow them first, lol. Just not what I'd normally read. But they're entertaining enough, and quick. Overall, this wasn't bad, and better than some of the others. It was good to see these sides of The Odd Sisters and the fairies. I really did feel for Lady Tremaine - to be put in that kind of situation is just awful. I liked how the ending went as well. Very fitting all around. I stro Honestly, the only reason I read these is because my mom buys them and I read a lot quicker than her so she lets me borrow them first, lol. Just not what I'd normally read. But they're entertaining enough, and quick. Overall, this wasn't bad, and better than some of the others. It was good to see these sides of The Odd Sisters and the fairies. I really did feel for Lady Tremaine - to be put in that kind of situation is just awful. I liked how the ending went as well. Very fitting all around. I strongly disliked how often "it was like a fairy tale" or some version of that was said. If it was on my Kindle I'd look it up, it was that many. Super annoying. And... something else but I can't remember it at the moment. When I do I'll add it here (if I do). Exact reason why I normally make notes...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stéphanie Louis

    RTC coming on July 14 Thanks to Rockstar Book Tours and the Publisher for the review copy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lottie (The Disney Bookworm)

    When you’re eight books into a series such as the Villain Tales by Serena Valentino you would think that I wouldn’t be smug anymore! You would think that I wouldn’t go into the book saying “I won’t end up feeling sorry for this villain”. You would also think that I know I am always wrong! Lady Tremaine is one of the easiest villains to hate in the Disney universe: she worked Cinderella to the bone, denied her a decent party and then locked her in the attic for good measure! These are hardly the ac When you’re eight books into a series such as the Villain Tales by Serena Valentino you would think that I wouldn’t be smug anymore! You would think that I wouldn’t go into the book saying “I won’t end up feeling sorry for this villain”. You would also think that I know I am always wrong! Lady Tremaine is one of the easiest villains to hate in the Disney universe: she worked Cinderella to the bone, denied her a decent party and then locked her in the attic for good measure! These are hardly the actions of some misunderstood soul. Until Serena Valentino comes along of course! Valentino has a truly unique way of humanising these characters that we love to hate and, with the help of the Odd Sisters, proves to us time and time again that there is more to our fairytales than meets the eye. The previous book in the villain tales, Evil Thing, took the reader outside of the Many Kingdoms for the first time. Valentino takes advantage of this, neatly using Cold Hearted to join together Lady Tremaine’s life in London with both the Fairylands and the Many Kingdoms.  This timeline means that the readers meet Lady Tremaine before her role as stepmother: we learn of her worries over indulging her two daughters and her unwillingness to move on after her husband’s death. Cold Hearted skips time periods slightly so the reader is actually experiencing Nanny and the Fairy Godmother reading Lady Tremaine’s story. Don't worry: this doesn't mean we are deprived of our favourite creepy sisters, although this book may have you looking at the Odd Sisters in an entirely new light. The 8th villain tale continues Valentino’s reign of brilliant, alternative views of our villains. Lady Tremaine was to be the heroine of her own fairytale; all she wanted was her own happily ever after. Where did it go so wrong?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    Cold Hearted is the story of Lady Tremaine and how she went from being a lonely widow, and loving mother to Drizella and Anastasia. She had mourned her husband for several years before letting a friend talk her into attending a dinner and meeting a man who takes her breath away. Before the end of her visit she has accepted his proposal and makes plans to meet him right away at his home in the Many Kingdoms. Feeling that he loves her too she moves quickly from London to his home bringing her two Cold Hearted is the story of Lady Tremaine and how she went from being a lonely widow, and loving mother to Drizella and Anastasia. She had mourned her husband for several years before letting a friend talk her into attending a dinner and meeting a man who takes her breath away. Before the end of her visit she has accepted his proposal and makes plans to meet him right away at his home in the Many Kingdoms. Feeling that he loves her too she moves quickly from London to his home bringing her two daughters who are excited to meet their new father and sister, Cinderella. Once she arrives she is surprised to find the house is not what she expected and there are no servants. Soon she realizes the mistake she made. Richard wasn't looking for a wife, he was looking for someone to cook his meals, clean his house, and watch over his daughter while he was away. After several years of neglect and emotional abuse toward Lady Tremaine and her daughters he mysteriously dies. Lady Tremaine has gone from being an overindulgent mother to a person whose heart has broken and is no longer the woman of the past, but a hard, distrustful, sad woman bent on revenge toward the girl who refused to call her mother and told Richard that Lady Tremaine was planning to run away with her daughters. In the beginning she refused to believe in the stories in the book of fairy tales, especially that she would become a villain. By the time Richard dies, she decides if that is what people are going to think of her, she might as well give in and become the villain. I was given the opportunity to read this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    April B.

    Thank you NetGalley and Serena Valentino for allowing me to read an eARC of Cold Hearted The Villians series #8! Well this book in the series begins with an unexpected turn, Queen Cinderella calls upon Fairy Godmother to help her stepsisters which are living out their days locked away with their mother the evil stepmother of the story Lady Tremaine. Fairy Godmother thinks it is an awful idea to help the stepsisters, but Nanny thinks it is absolutely necessary and decides to recount the story of C Thank you NetGalley and Serena Valentino for allowing me to read an eARC of Cold Hearted The Villians series #8! Well this book in the series begins with an unexpected turn, Queen Cinderella calls upon Fairy Godmother to help her stepsisters which are living out their days locked away with their mother the evil stepmother of the story Lady Tremaine. Fairy Godmother thinks it is an awful idea to help the stepsisters, but Nanny thinks it is absolutely necessary and decides to recount the story of Cinderella and make the Fairy Council change their minds. The story begins with a 6 year widowed Lady Tremaine living in London with an inherited fortune from her departed husband and her 2 over spoiled daughters. Feeling lonely and out of sorts, Lady Tremaine decides to head out to the country to visit her dear friend Lady Hackle. It is there that Lady Tremaine is introduced to Sir Richard from the Many Kingdoms, a place that she is warned is run by witches and many terrible endings occur to unsuspecting Lady's such as herself. Lady Tremaine disregards the warnings and embarks on a new journey with her daughters to the Many Kingdoms to wed Sir Richard become a mother to his daughter, Cinderella. But for Lady Tremaine, a happily ever after is not her future.. perhaps she should have listened to the warnings after all... I will post my review on Netgalley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Google play

  23. 5 out of 5

    cheryls.books

    Cold Hearted was such a fun read! I love fairytale retellings and this one about Cinderella’s step mother Lady Tremaine did not disappoint! I felt like I was reading a fairytale book and I really enjoyed reading Cinderella’s story from a different perspective. The story didn’t over explain but also didn’t leave anything out. I have no complaints about this book. I also have not read any other Villains stories by Serena Valentino and didn’t find the story hard to follow without first reading the Cold Hearted was such a fun read! I love fairytale retellings and this one about Cinderella’s step mother Lady Tremaine did not disappoint! I felt like I was reading a fairytale book and I really enjoyed reading Cinderella’s story from a different perspective. The story didn’t over explain but also didn’t leave anything out. I have no complaints about this book. I also have not read any other Villains stories by Serena Valentino and didn’t find the story hard to follow without first reading the previous books. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    4.5 stars I really enjoy fairy tale retellings and I love the fresh twist of this one. I like that it is an origin story for Lady Tremaine. I appreciate that she wasn't always evil and that her heart was in the right place. It is a page turner, an easy read and 100% appropriate for kids and I am excited to share this one with my littles. I definitely recommend it! 4.5 stars I really enjoy fairy tale retellings and I love the fresh twist of this one. I like that it is an origin story for Lady Tremaine. I appreciate that she wasn't always evil and that her heart was in the right place. It is a page turner, an easy read and 100% appropriate for kids and I am excited to share this one with my littles. I definitely recommend it!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Célia Cross

    I received an eARC via Netgalley from Disney Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for the opportunity! "I was lost in the past, and perhaps the future. I'm careful not to linger there too often for fear of being lost there forever." *3.5 stars, rounded up* In "Cold Hearted", we follow the other side of the Cinderella's story - the one of her evil stepmother. I believe Valentino managed to capture the correct before and after persona of Lady Tremaine in Cold Hearted and defin I received an eARC via Netgalley from Disney Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for the opportunity! "I was lost in the past, and perhaps the future. I'm careful not to linger there too often for fear of being lost there forever." *3.5 stars, rounded up* In "Cold Hearted", we follow the other side of the Cinderella's story - the one of her evil stepmother. I believe Valentino managed to capture the correct before and after persona of Lady Tremaine in Cold Hearted and definitely made the before realistic and understandable. I have never thought I'd say this, but I feel BAD for Lady Tremaine, Cinderella's evil stepmother, after reading this book. Lady Tremaine is known for being one of the cruelest, coldest villains in Disney. However, Valentino allowed me to see what CAUSED her to be so evil. She was once a kind mother to her daughter's Anastasia and Drizella, but after her husband died she became lonely. Around 6 years after her husband's death, Lady Tremaine seeked companionship. When she met Cinderella's father, she thought he was perfect (although I hated this - love at first sight is such a terrible and unrealistic trope) - they seeked parent figures for their daughters and wanted love. When Cinderella's father turned out to be . . . how do I put this delicately . . . an a**hole, Lady Tremaine turned evil. She was just repaying what Cinderella's father did to her and her girls back to Cinderella. Although it was WRONG to do so, as Cinderella was clearly manipulated, I have never hated Cinderella so much in all my life (and she has NEVER been my favorite princess) - despite HER being what spurred the recounting of Lady Tremaine's story on in the first place. How Valentino delivered this story was pretty good overall except for the same adjectives and verbs used, the long descriptions, inconsistencies, and the characters themselves. Surprisingly, there was a LOT of backstory at the beginning, which is usually bothersome, but it somehow worked for "Cold Hearted." I also enjoyed the third person omniscient point of view. On the downside, Valentino used the same words several times throughout the story, and I spotted them almost immediately. It's just something my writing brain goes off at. These words include "rattled," "stoic," "livid," "drifted," "amused/amusing," "by the book." One of the main phrases that was reused quite often was "that is a story for another time" or something along the lines of that. It just got a bit annoying. Another one was calling the women "handsome" which just didn't sit well with me. With just a little bit more research (and probably the help of a dictionary), Valentino could've given the reader a better experience with word diversity. In addition, there are long descriptions of locations used in the beginning, which made it a little difficult for me to get into. Next, the way Valentino wrote Lady Tremaine. Overall, she was written well, but there were MANY instances where Tremaine would just trail off and get distracted easily by her own thoughts. Maybe this is purposeful, but I doubt it since it happened so frequently. Finally, the inconsistencies - there weren't many of these but the main one I took note of was how Lady Tremaine treated her daughters after only being at her friend's estate for two days - she was calling them "hellions" and "troublemakers" when she left and only two days later, she was calling them "my darlings." In such a short amount of time, there is NO way the whole purpose of Lady Tremaine's trip to her friend's estate was accomplished (to get away from her girls and reevaluate how she treats them). Overall though, this was an enjoyable book and I'm glad I picked Cold Hearted up because it gave me such an interesting and different view of Cinderella's tale.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Cold Hearted Author: Serena Valentino Book Series: Villains Book 8 Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: Young adult readers, retelling, Disney retellings, Cinderella story Genre: YA Retelling Publication Date: July 6, 2021 Publisher: Disney Books Pages: 294 Recommended Age: 13+ (death, emotional domestic abuse, emotional child abuse) Explanation of CWs: There is a lot of death in this book with parents. A certa Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Cold Hearted Author: Serena Valentino Book Series: Villains Book 8 Rating: 5/5 Recommended For...: Young adult readers, retelling, Disney retellings, Cinderella story Genre: YA Retelling Publication Date: July 6, 2021 Publisher: Disney Books Pages: 294 Recommended Age: 13+ (death, emotional domestic abuse, emotional child abuse) Explanation of CWs: There is a lot of death in this book with parents. A certain parent also contributes to a certain amount of emotional abuse to Lady Tremaine and there is emotional child abuse to Anastasia and Drizella and some to Cinderella. Synopsis: 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. Review: I really enjoyed this one! I absolutely love this series and while I'm not the best at reading them in order I do love that you CAN read them out of order. I love how the author made me sympathetic to Lady Tremaine and how well she crafted this revenge story. I also loved the character development and world building. The pacing was also spot on and I finished this one in one sitting! My only criticism of the book is that I didn't get that one satisfying death I wanted to see lol. Verdict: Highly recommend!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    I have to admit that I needed a few books to get into the Villains series. I had first read all the twisted tales and I really loved those to pieces and I needed a little time to switch to another mindset, the mindset you need for these stories. These stories are not so much retellings. They don't touch the Disney movies. They simply intend to build the backstory of the villain around the already existing tale, painting them in a different light. Valentino did a really amazing job with this one. I have to admit that I needed a few books to get into the Villains series. I had first read all the twisted tales and I really loved those to pieces and I needed a little time to switch to another mindset, the mindset you need for these stories. These stories are not so much retellings. They don't touch the Disney movies. They simply intend to build the backstory of the villain around the already existing tale, painting them in a different light. Valentino did a really amazing job with this one. I think it might be my favorite yet. Not just because Cinderella is one of my favorite tales, but mostly because I don't think we've met villains who were so abused by fate as Lady Tremaine. My heart broke in a million little pieces when she all of a sudden realized that she was not destined to be the hero in her own fairytale, but the villain in the fairytale of someone else. She really deserved better. What I really loved is that this book kinda built a bridge between our world and the world of the many kingdoms. Of course, we already got Cruella's backstory in the previous book, but this time we have a character from our world actively traveling to the world of fairytales. And although it always seemed as if the two worlds were much alike, we are now shown that the two worlds are actually quite different after all. That also means that Lady Tremaine brings everything she learned in London, somewhen long ago for sure, with her. She's clearly a woman of her time, a woman with money and it's quite clear that her personality and upbringing clash with the expectations of the fairytale world, especially since she's a woman alone falling in the clutches of a man looking for easy money. Therefore, I really really did feel sorry for her at the end of the story, despite all her mistakes and wrongdoings.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tori Rose

    This book is Lady Tremaine's backstory. It starts out with Lady Tremaine and her daughters living in London six years after her first husband died. One weekend, she decided to go to visit a friend of hers and while there learns that her friend had planned to set her up with a man visiting from somewhere. We learn that this man is Sir Richard , Cinderella's dad, from the Many Kingdoms. He seems really sweet and lovey while getting to know Lady Tremaine, but once she arrives at his home in the Man This book is Lady Tremaine's backstory. It starts out with Lady Tremaine and her daughters living in London six years after her first husband died. One weekend, she decided to go to visit a friend of hers and while there learns that her friend had planned to set her up with a man visiting from somewhere. We learn that this man is Sir Richard , Cinderella's dad, from the Many Kingdoms. He seems really sweet and lovey while getting to know Lady Tremaine, but once she arrives at his home in the Many Kingdoms, we find out he's not who she thought he was and life will not be like what she was hoping. After a approximately two month trip and then a very long carriage ride to get to her new home in the Many Kingdoms, she arrives at her new home and finds it's not at all what she expected. The château is run down and there are no servants. Sir Richard rushes her away the second she arrives to be married and then as soon as the very rushed ceremony is over, he leaves for several weeks. During his absence, Lady Tremaine redecorates the house and hires new staff. When Richard finally comes back, he yells at her and says that she had no right to do all of that and that she is to fire all of the new staff. When Lady Tremaine asks why and asks who will cook and clean the house, his response is not expected. "You will." he says. He then proceeds to tell her that he only married her for her money because he was broke and to be a housekeeper and caretaker for Cinderella. For the next several years, Lady Tremaine and her daughters are servants in their own home. Life is not at all what she thought it would be. Soon after, the story picks up on the story we all know. I liked this book. I felt that it gave Lady Tremaine a very believable backstory and explanation on my she went 'evil'.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gmr

    Once upon a dream... ...a lovely place to be... ...depending upon what side of it you're on. As I said, I've been wanting to check out this series, so when I saw this tour come around and the villain it centered on, I couldn't resist! I mean, who doesn't love to loathe Lady Tremaine of Cinderella's story fame? The thing is...the story sheds a light on her time before becoming a stepmother, let a one an evil one with cruel intentions and self serving ways. For you see, once upon a TIME, she was a Lo Once upon a dream... ...a lovely place to be... ...depending upon what side of it you're on. As I said, I've been wanting to check out this series, so when I saw this tour come around and the villain it centered on, I couldn't resist! I mean, who doesn't love to loathe Lady Tremaine of Cinderella's story fame? The thing is...the story sheds a light on her time before becoming a stepmother, let a one an evil one with cruel intentions and self serving ways. For you see, once upon a TIME, she was a Londoner widow reeling from the loss of the love of her life, realizing the two daughters she adored were fairly spoiled brats, and tryin to see her way through to another day. Doesn't sound so evil, right? Ah, and you're assetment would be spot on...at least until the magic of the Many Lands works its way into her character, both heart and soul, turning what appears to be a chance at an ending much more pleasant than her current state of affairs into a nightmare from which she can't escape. Oh, my friends, you are certainly in for a treat with this one. Meddling witches, fairies strung too tight, forgiving stepdaughter Queen's, and former households turned haunts for more than bad memories...all these things and more await you as you dive between the pages. I can't say it was what I expected, and yet I wasn't disappointed in the least. The different viewpoint given to a story that we've known our whole lives certainly makes you stop and think...but that forgiveness that Cinderella so easily offers is much harder to come by. Step into a fairytale that holds echoes of the things we held certain, while smashing to bits assumptions made with truths hard to swallow, but nevertheless revealing. **copy received for review; opinions are my own

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jill Jemmett

    When Cinderella asks her Fairy Godmother to help her stepsisters, the Fairy Godmother is reluctant to help. She doesn’t agree with the way her stepmother and stepsisters treated Cinderella, so she doesn’t want to do anything for them. The Fairy Godmother has to read the story of the stepmother, Lady Tremaine, to learn why she treated Cinderella the way she did. Lady Tremaine wasn’t always an evil woman. She was a kind wife with a future planned for her daughters, when she met the man of her drea When Cinderella asks her Fairy Godmother to help her stepsisters, the Fairy Godmother is reluctant to help. She doesn’t agree with the way her stepmother and stepsisters treated Cinderella, so she doesn’t want to do anything for them. The Fairy Godmother has to read the story of the stepmother, Lady Tremaine, to learn why she treated Cinderella the way she did. Lady Tremaine wasn’t always an evil woman. She was a kind wife with a future planned for her daughters, when she met the man of her dreams. She was whisked away to live with him and his stepdaughter. However, things happened in this new life that turned Lady Tremaine into the evil stepmother that we know in the story of Cinderella. This was a great origin story about Cinderella’s evil stepmother. She wasn’t inherently evil. She was actually a kind lady in London before she met Cinderella’s father. However, after she moved in with him, she became a different woman. It was interesting to finally see what Cinderella’s father was really like. He is the person who brought Cinderella and her stepmother together, yet he is rarely seen in the stories about Cinderella. He played an influential role in this story and shaped Lady Tremaine into the woman she became. Cold Hearted is a great origin story for Lady Tremaine! Thank you Disney-Hyperion for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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