Modern Fairytale Retellings

Modern Fairytale Retellings

For this month’s new selection of Mills & Boon Modern romance books, our authors have been tasked with writing their own spin on a number of heartwarming fairy tales. From Disney classics to childhood bedtime stories, these tales have stood the test of time to become firm favourites.

Read on to find out which fairy tales our authors chose to write about for our Passionately Ever After series!


The Kiss She Claimed From The Greek by Abby Green

My love affair with fairy-tales started when I was very young. They fascinated me, and even more so as I grew up and discovered their slightly darker origins. My book this month is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a little of The Ugly Duckling thrown in. But in this instance, instead of the prince waking the princess with a kiss, the heroine is the one doing the kissing and waking the hero from his slumber. When Sofie rouses the beautiful stranger, she is totally unprepared for the way her life becomes a whirlwind of passion and glamour, a far remove from her quiet, sheltered life on a small Scottish island.

I hope you enjoy this retelling of one of my favourite fairy-tales!

Undone By Her Ultra-Rich Boss by Lucy King

When I was invited to contribute to the Passionately Ever After… series, I jumped at the chance. But which fairytale to choose? Apart from the classics, what else was there? Off I headed to the internet where I discovered that as it turns out, there are a lot. Many were international variations of the favourites. Some were so gruesome that try as I might, I just couldn’t turn them into a romance. But despite the fascinating research, an opening scene in which a woman wakes up in a bed that isn’t hers took root in my head and wouldn’t budge, and so I eventually settled on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I had a lot of fun with the themes and motifs of this particular fairytale. Orla, which means ‘golden princess’, is a perfectionist who snacks on oat bars and needs everything to be just right. Duarte has a tendency to prowl around like a bear with a sore head (see what I did there?!) and is still traumatised by the loss of his wife and still-born son. So what does happen when Duarte finds Orla asleep in his bed? And how will they overcome the obstacles to reach their fairytale ending? Well, once upon a time…

Her Secret Royal Dilemma by Chantelle Shaw

A few years ago I watched a documentary about a young woman who was a wild swimmer and wore a monofin mermaid’s tail. I knew there was a story there, and when I had the opportunity to write a fairytale inspired book for Mills & Boon I immediately thought of The Little Mermaid. The Hans Christian Andersen original is quite a sad story, so I took inspiration from the Disney version. My heroine Arielle loves to escape from her difficult life by swimming in the sea off the wild Cornish coast with her mermaid’s tail. One day she rescues a handsome prince after his boat capsizes. Prince Eirik takes Arielle to his Nordic kingdom. They are drawn to each other, but Eirik must marry a suitable bride who will be his royal consort. Eirik gives Arielle the confidence to face up to the terrible events in her past, but she knows she can never be part of his world. The twist in my story is that Eirik is prepared to give up his royal life for the woman he loves.

I had such fun writing this book, I hope you enjoy reading it.

The Princess He Must Marry by Jadesola James

As a child, I owned a well-worn copy of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, a story in which the title characters escape from a domineering father to dance the night away in an ethereal fairy-land till dawn. Magic finds them there, as well as love. The Royal Baby He Must Claim and The Princess he Must Marry put a multicultural twist on this old favorite of mine. Going into the duet, I already knew that I wanted to set my story at least partly in Nigeria, where my family is from. Many young women in Nigeria remember devouring Mills and Boons books as schoolgirls (including me!) and these books, in a sense, are an homage to them.

My heroines are princesses, the only daughters of a Nigerian king. Modern-day Nigeria has an enduring legacy of kingships and chieftaincies. States, towns and villages still often have kings (or, Ọbas, in the Yoruba language) who contribute much to their local communities. Kemi and Tobi are the daughters of the Ọba of a small fictional town just outside Badagry, a real-life coastal city in Lagos State. He is quite domineering, for reasons we find out in the books! These young women do manage to ‘steal away’ at night – Kemi, to an Abuja nightclub, and Tobi, into a marriage of convenience to a North African prince.

In doing so, like the princesses in the original story, Kemi and Tobi also find the loves of their lives. Besides Nigeria, the books also visit other gorgeous locales, including the Seychelles and the United Arab Emirates.

I hope you enjoy their Twisted Fairytales and love Kemi and Tobi as much as I do.

A Baby To Tame The Wolfe by Heidi Rice

I’ve always loved Little Red Riding Hood as a fairytale since my younger son Luca brought the house down as the wolf in his Year Six production of the tale. So when my editor asked me to pick a fairytale to twist, that seemed like the only choice. In my version I’ve added an accidental pregnancy, a marriage of convenience, a cupcake baking heroine who is even fiercer than the original Little Red (she’s not very little either), and a big bad billionaire called Mr Wolfe who happens to look very hot in Granny’s frilly pink dressing gown!