Cold Hearted

Disney Villains, Book 8

What makes a villain a villain?

The Disney Villains Series by Serena Valentino answers that very question. No one is ever born evil. Something happens to make a person that way. The back stories of the Disney villains are startling and captivating.

Lady Tremaine is no exception. Cold Hearted tells the tale of how a wealthy widow whose only real vice was spoiling her daughters became a wicked stepmother with nothing but bitterness and resentment in her heart.

Convinced to come out of mourning years after her loving husband’s death, Lady Tremaine is lured to a party being given by a close friend. In fact, her daughters are betrothed to her friend’s sons. However, Lady Tremaine makes this trip alone, much to the dismay of her daughters. While at the party, she is charmed by Sir Richard. She is certain that he and his daughter are a perfect match for her and her daughters. Lady Tremaine feels things she has not felt since her husband died. The possibilities are endless for Lady Tremaine, Sir Richard, and their children – including Cinderella. This is finally her happily ever after.

Answering Sir Richard’s urgent plea to join him in the Many kingdoms, Lady Tremaine meets her girls at the port to make the long trip from London. Lady Tremaine is warned not to go, but she is so smitten by Sir Richard that she ignores the warnings. After all, how different can the Many Kingdoms really be?

Upon arrival, Lady Tremaine is whisked away to an impromptu wedding without her wedding dress or her girls. She believes that surely Sir Richard has planned a grand reception to follow the ridiculously small wedding for people of their status – a wedding for which Lady Tremaine was not even allowed to prepare. However, Sir Richard disappears before the ink is even dry on their marriage certificate.

Lady Tremaine soon realizes Sir Richard is not quite the person he presented to her when they first met. His chateau is a disaster. There are no servants to help repair or keep up the dwelling. When questioned, Sir Richard informs Lady Tremaine that she and her daughters will be doing the cooking and cleaning. This is the life for which she left London, where she was comfortable, had everything she could ever want or need, and was surrounded by people who cared for her. Those days are gone. No one will be there to help her and her girls maintain the life to which they had become accustomed. Lady Tremaine really believed that she and Sir Richard were in love. Nonetheless, the longer she is there, the more she begins to see why she was being warned about going to the Many Kingdoms.

Cold Hearted shows the evolution of a woman full of love and hope and elegance as she becomes the bitter, angry, vengeful stepmother in Cinderella’s story – just like it is written in the Book of Fairy Tales. Hers is a tale of lies and deception, resentment and revenge. Of course, she would not transform without the help of the Odd Sisters. As they are the ones who wrote the Book of Fairy Tales and make sure that what they write is what happens.

Serena Valentino has given us another surprising twist on a beloved Disney tale. Everyone knows the story of Cinderella and her wicked stepmother. Now we know the story of what made that wicked stepmother wicked.

The latest installment of the Disney Villains Series is Serena Valentino at her best. Everything about Lady Tremaine’s story is unexpected. I finished Evil Thing in January and have been waiting for Cold Hearted to be released. I was not disappointed. Her masterful story-telling skills set Serena Valentino apart from many others who try to write/rewrite the Disney fairy tales. I can hardly wait to see where Book 9 takes us.