The Baker and the Wolf: A Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood by J. M. Stengl (Villain’s Ever After)
Cerise believes she’s happy being a baker, even as she continues to mourn the loss of her father. Her mother gave her a cloak that repels men, yet is constantly throwing suitors at her. Cerise has no interest in romance until a man with golden eyes promises more – love and closure.
When he guides her through the wood to visit her grandmother, Cerise learns she’s been lied to her entire life and that she’s in grave danger.
While this is a Little Red Riding Hood story, there were elements of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast (Maybe – the lifting of the curse wasn’t explained clearly.) It was fun to spot the little nods to the various tales throughout the story.
The romance was sweet and clean. Although, Cerise does risk her reputation to steal a kiss “for fun” as she says, which felt a little odd to me. And she continues to force him to kiss her throughout the story. This one lacked the sparkle of many others in this series. It may have been the first person present POV, but I struggled to get into the story. I found it strange that neither of the two main characters were remotely villainous in this story.
???? Four Roses.
? Maybe 1.5. There were a couple of instances where Cerise demands kisses.
⚔️⚔️ Mention of blood, especially in one scene near the end.