Read Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story by Ines Johnson Online


Single mother Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares lost faith in fairytales after she fell for a toad. Now she believes she’s not cut from the storybook, heroine cloth and searches for Mr. Good Enough amongst the sidekicks and supporting men of the town.Love at first sight isn’t a cliche for town royalty Armand “Manny” Charmayne. For generations the Charmaynes have spotted their soulmSingle mother Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares lost faith in fairytales after she fell for a toad. Now she believes she’s not cut from the storybook, heroine cloth and searches for Mr. Good Enough amongst the sidekicks and supporting men of the town.Love at first sight isn’t a cliche for town royalty Armand “Manny” Charmayne. For generations the Charmaynes have spotted their soulmates by seeing a golden aura the first time they laid eyes on The One.When Manny meets Pumpkin he sees…nothing, but sparks fly off the richter scale. The more he gets to know her the more he considers defying fate, if only he can convince her to take a chance on love again....

Title : Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780990922841
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 266 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story Reviews

  • Camille
    2019-04-16 09:39

    2 stars for the cutesy fairy tale spin, which was sweet...even though we know nothing of what the hero looks like besides having grey eyes. I kept seeing these disembodied grey eyes floating around. Anyway. 3 stars though for the heroine, an English high school teacher, addressing the "customer is always right" model that is American education. Because, thank you!The customer of course being the lazy, indisciplined little fucks who think showing up in class entitles them to an A grade participation trophy. In my country we earned our education. Here, the teachers are the ones being tested and graded. Can't get the entitled assholes to score 80- something and teachers' livelihoods come under threat. America's education system is the fricking Titanic and teachers are the ones below deck seeing the iceberg mere metres away while everyone outside of education is up top dancing along to the string quartet, singing "what a mighty super power we are."Wait for it, America is raising a generation of appallingly indulged idiots, and the chickens will come home to roost. But don't listen to the people in the classroom. Just go, you know, bomb something or whatever.

  • Francesca Forrest
    2019-04-15 10:45

    This was great in all kinds of ways. I thought the overall structure--retelling of Cinderella with a single mom in the title role--was really well executed, and I liked that it was self-consciously done. (Pumpkin has dreams of being a screenwriter, and she's always thinking in terms of casting, plots, movies, etc.) I really liked the setting and background drama: the election, with the accompanying conflict between the fishermen and the BP-like company that's polluted the waters off the coast of Louisiana. I really liked the background relationship between Pumpkin's two students, and the fact that Pumpkin was wrong about them. I really *loved* Pumpkin and Manny's talks about issues, and I liked Pumpkin's character a whole lot--her remorsefulness when she sees she's messed something up, and her determination to keep trying. She always speaks truth to power--like this excellent speech on the impossible standards single moms are expected to live up to:"Society sets single mothers up for impossible expectations," Pumpkin continued. "Better yourself through education, they say. Work two jobs, make a nutritious dinner from scratch, get your kids into enrichment activities after school and after your long day of work. Work harder, do better, even though we're already maxed out. And then we're told to keep it tight and sexy so that we'll find a daddy for our kid. Is it any wonder we start to think that love is a fairytale? And no fairytale involves mothers, definitely not single mothers."One of the best things (though also one of the most painful things) in the book is (view spoiler)[Pumpkin's ill-fated relationship with Darrell. I really appreciated that Johnson didn't smooth over the pain that that caused Darrell. Pumpkin's and Darrell's conversations were some of the most real. I was glad at the end that Darrell says he is still going to maintain his relationship with Pumpkin's son Seth. (hide spoiler)] I also thought the portrayal of Seth's father was really good. It would have been easy to make him a complete and irredeemable jerk. Instead he's just a... not-so-great guy, but one who wants to try to have a relationship with his son.My only complaint was the really stock Hollywood betrayal, which I knew was coming but hoped against hope the story would avoid. Manny fell significantly in my estimation for letting himself feel/be betrayed when the secret Pumpkin hasn't been bold enough to reveal comes out. As Pumpkin herself thinks, here's a guy who's willing to stick up for Pumpkin's student Tyler and see to it that Tyler gets a second chance, but he doesn't consider doing the same for the woman he loves? Of course he does come round eventually but--oh, it's just that I hate Hollywood betrayals like that. I'd rather have *anything* else keep the lovers apart. But I liked everything else about the book and would recommend it for anyone who wants a fun, thoughtful romance with a wonderful single-mom protagonist and excellent supporting characters.

  • Sophia
    2019-03-29 10:27

    AwwwThis was a beautiful story. I enjoyed reading this book. Very Cinderella like. Manny was a wealthy bachelor looking for the one and she was standing in front of him the whole time. Pumpkin (Malika) had given up on love because of the frog that abandoned her. But an accidental encounter led her to her prince.

  • Anino
    2019-03-30 07:38

    Review soon to come.

  • Courtney Filigenzi
    2019-04-18 08:34

    A fun and entertaining single-mom fairy-tale that kept me turning the pages! I adored Pumpkin and enjoyed her journey to her happily-ever-after! I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.

  • Empi Baryeh
    2019-04-04 03:53

    Taking a fairy tale and giving it a modern twist can be tricky, which is why I approach fairy tale adaptations with caution. Although, to be honest this one had me at 'cindermama' (and the simple, but beautiful cover design).Where do I start! The story starts off with an introduction to the heroine, Pumpkin, and her unenviable relationship with her cousins. In drawing a contrast between Pumpkin and her cousins, the author is able to show her heroine to be a woman of substance.The first meeting with the hero is sweet, with just the right amount of humour woven in that made the scene magical. Speaking of magic, the hero, Manny, has a family history of 'the third eye', which allows them to 'see' The One. Unfortunately for Manny, he has had to kiss many many frogs in search of the one. And the scene where he 'sees' her is so well-described that I could picture it.***sigh*** I loved this story. I loved how the heroine challenged the hero, how he was ready to at least consider what she had to say, how they 'got' each other. I haven't been so engrossed in a book in a long time. A definite must read.

  • Lisa Tetting
    2019-04-07 03:44

    Do you believe in fairy tales? Well I certainly do and so does the mc in this book, Pumpkin. Pumpkin is a modern day Cinderella with a twist. She's a single mother! When her parents died in a car wreck, young Pumpkin was taken in by her mean spirited aunt and raised with her cousins, who make her life miserable. After college she rushed into a loveless marriage due to an unexpected pregnancy, only to find herself deserted by her husband soon after. Her evil twin cousins are stereotypical short sighted recipients of welfare, each with multiple children by different men. When she meets her 'Prince Charmayne' aka Manny, she is smitten right away, but both are too stubborn to give in to the feelings they have. The story goes on with twists and turns and ends like all good fairy tales with a HEA. I enjoyed the writing style of the author and found myself lost in Pumpkins fantasy world. The relationship between Pumpkin and Manny was sexy, fun, flirty and right up my alley with all the references to movies. This story made me laugh out loud with Manny's silly antics. It was a fun read and a great twist on a classic fairy tale.

  • Deena
    2019-04-08 04:43

    Cute read. Loved the fairy tale aspect. It took me a minute to get into the story, but I enjoyed it.

  • Red
    2019-04-13 11:39

    Disclaimer : I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for a review. So here it it !That was a pleasant read. At first I feared it would veered into a caricature of the "urban" twist on a fairy tale, especially because of the way the heroine and her cousins were portrayed, but fortunately it didn't. The writing was smart enough to acknowledge all the tropes and run with it in a fun and entertaining way. I liked the heroine and her little boy. She was smart and sensible, and I surprisingly didn't get annoyed by her, even when she was holding out the truth and avoiding to be honest, which was a very predictable BAD move. I felt for the B-guy though. The hero, though being a millionaire, was devoid of the way too usual uber alphaness and was rather a respectful, smart and sexy love interest. So all in all a nice story that i recommend !

  • Melody
    2019-03-28 03:41

    Fun storyNice twist on an old fairy tale. Enjoyed the story plan on reading the next one. I really liked it.

  • Michaela
    2019-04-04 10:48

    Such a great read! Now I need the second one. Pumpkin and Manny were a modern fairytale romance. Filled with second chances and recasting the roles of ones own destiny.

  • The Book Junkie Reads . . .
    2019-04-05 06:53

    Pumkin had her hand full with her child and two grown children, her cousins and their children. She never ever expected to be swept off her feet in front of the welfare office. Then swept in to politics and the limelight she did not want anything to do with it. This was a different take on Cinderella. With some urban flare.

  • Barbara
    2019-04-18 08:38

    The love story of Pumpkin (Malik's) and Manny (Armand). Pumpkin is a single mom who has stop believing in love. She meets Manny and her hold world changes. Can Pumpkin find her dream again or will she find another frog. Get story and African-American Cinderella story.

  • Allegra
    2019-04-03 04:38

    Like no other fairytaleWhat a fun read! With reference to fairytale characters of our youth, this adult version is fun and sexy. A real page turner. Downloading another book now....

  • gail addison
    2019-03-20 06:23

    Great storyI enjoyed escaping for a little while with the story. Not too long for a quiet afternoon read. nice ending

  • Shanelle
    2019-04-01 03:24

    The story was cute, but I felt it was lacking a bit. The ending felt incomplete and Manny desperately needed a physical description. We just got eyes and only the color of those eyes. G*psy shouldn't've been in the book, since it's a slur. But I still enjoyed the characters. I thought character development was there for our main. I love that second chances were a theme in the book. Manny and Pumpkin felt real. And Seth was the cutest child, I adored him.

    2019-03-21 11:25

    Repetitive with the constant references to fairy tales. It was a quick read

  • Nana Prah
    2019-04-14 07:52

    This was a wonderful story. A fairy tale for the contemporary woman. Malika has gone through so much in her life, from childhood straight through adulthood. I really empathized with her and that added a depth to the story. Armand was a true prince- his backstory wasn’t as intense as Malika’s, but it didn’t make him any less of a complete well rounded character.I loved the way Malika challenged Armand and made him think in a different way than where he’d originally been heading— which in turn made him a better person and character.The romance was heart warming The concept of destiny was heavy in the story and drove it forward in the most engaging way. I won’t give any spoilers, but when that moment occurred, I was like – Ahhhhh, because it was so incredible and smile worthy just like the story.I’ll warn you that there are a lot of references in this story to the 80’s and 90’s. If you are a child of this era then you will get them and really enjoy how Ms. Johnson incorporated them in. I did have an issue with the constant references of fairy tale in the story by almost every character – I found it to be a bit much, but not annoying.

  • Lebrondae Shei
    2019-04-12 10:28

    JudgementalPumpkin needed to live in reality instead of her head, how in heavens did she raised a child especially as she was very judgemental concerning her students which really bothered me, how could anyone judge another person so harshly and not look within their own insecurities, failures, and their world view on what went wrong with their life, it takes two, especially in the case of a relationship going south, to understand the many mistakes we make you should always look within, the only time she blamed herself was to say she was a B character/sub plot in the main story as if she was blameless, but when you read thru this story she chased down a shy, introverted insecure guy down to be in a relationship that you could clearly see that they did not have any sought of connection whatsoever or anything in common, any decent person would of done the right thing and end it neatly with compassion, O' but not pumpkin no, she stuck the knife in and twisted it with no real remorse whatsoever, what she decided to do was the first chance she got with hardly any restraint on her part considering that she thought she was a B character, is kissed the A star character without any hesitation or lack of consideration for the guy that she came to the ball with, she really didn't give two sh!#s about the guy she hurt, embarrassed with her cheating absorbing self, then she couldn't even be upfront and honest with Manning about her personal status especially knowing that he was in the public eye. I found Pumpkin to be a very selfish self-centered childish, self-righteous judgmental two-timing ditzy fairy desperate woman who I would never would like to meet under any circumstances. I am sorry but I did not like her character at all or even felt sorry for her, to me she was a disaster waiting to happen and I felt sorry for anyone that happen to be in her sphere, I agreed totally with what her husband said to her "You were so busy pretending you were Cinderella with your wicked aunts and cousins, thinking you deserved some guy to come and sweep you off your feet". There is a saying; as you grow to adulthood you put away childish thoughts and toys! "Grow the f#@k up PUMPKIN! And accept the part you play, you are not blameless, you accepted and was and still is a needy person". Apart from me not liking the heroine I loved Manning he was a true romantic, ready to forgive and help his community a real gentleman with a heart of gold and a true champion with an understanding of what is right and wrong and that there is people who need to learn a lesson to grow to be an upstanding citizen in life. The story was well written. At least Ines Johnson brought out a strong critical (my) pov in her storytelling of this novel that many authors have not expressed in their books for me to even be able to rant or think deeply about, a character or plot. I most definitely will buy another book from this author to read, this was my first time I have read anything from Ines Johnson.

  • Wall-to-wall books - wendy
    2019-04-12 04:27

    Well this was definitely a fairy-tale Cinderella... I mean Cindermama story. It was sweet, cute, romantic, funny and infuriating at times, but all good romances are. This one made me laugh out loud in a few spots and also brought a few tears near the end, but they were sweet-tears.The character development was great! I loved all the characters. I really became emotionally invested in them. Let me start with Pumpkin - What a cutie! I just adored her. I fell in love with her in the first chapter. She was definitely the hero of the story and such a good role model.Her two cousins, now they were a different story. What a piece of work they were! But I have to say, they did keep me laughing!And now the men - There was kind of a little love triangle going on (nothing wrong with that, adds more interest to the story!) Who's going to get the girl? Darrell or Manny? Problem was, I liked them both! You do know from the story blurb that it is probably Manny. I felt sorry for Darrell though and I want to know what happens to him. I want Darrell to find "The One". I want to know if her ever finds his Cinderella. I was going to write to Ines and ask her, but then I read at the end of the book - "Darrell's story should be released in the Spring of 2016." YAY!!!! It was like she read my mind! I love it when authors do that ;-) I am going to try to get her to send me book two "Rumpled" Midori and Guy's story - I'm hooked!I even loved all the minor characters, the B-story characters - their stories were just as interesting as the main plot.Here is a few excerpts to hold you over till you download your own copy - "You're a smart girl, my dear. But love, true love, is a decision between the head and the heart. Not just one or the other." "It's not your responsibility to try to teach him right from wrong, Dae." "There I disagree with you, Ms. T." Wise eyes smiled back at Pumpkin. "How can someone learn calculus, if they don't first know arithmetic?""But if someone's not willing to learn arithmetic?" "But he is," DaeHo insisted. "It's just that no one ever paid him enough attention to see that." ~ I loved that!And this is my favorite - "Work harder, do better, even though we're already maxed out. And then we're told to keep it tight and sexy so that we'll find a daddy for our kid. Is it any wonder we start to think that love is a fairytale? And no fairytale involves mothers, definitely not single mothers." ... ... "You want to know what a single mother is? She's a hero. All mothers are. We never give up. We face insurmountable odds every day. All this time I've been looking for someone to rescue me when the only person who could save me, was me." ~ WOW! Where was she when I was a single mother? This needs to be printed out and framed!This is a very touching, heartfelt story. It does have a few graphic sex scenes in it - but they were tastefully done. It was more romance and love, not just sex, and that's what I like. I would really love to continue with this series.

  • Polenth Blake
    2019-04-03 05:35

    Pumpkin is a single mother, who has given up on fairytale happy endings. Manny is from a rich family and running for mayor. When they meet, Manny knows Pumpkin isn't the one, because all his family have a gift where they see a golden aura around their true love. But whatever the magic may be saying about it, both of them have other ideas.This is a contemporary romance retelling of Cinderella, with light magical elements. Basically the ability to see auras taken to a more magical level. I liked the idea of subverting destined magical soulmates, and that is the general direction of the book. Love is something that takes work and there are no guarantees because the golden aura said (or didn't say) so.The writing was generally conversational and easy to breeze through. There are some things that worked well, like Pumpkin having to realise she couldn't force people to be like a movie script. Some of her people predictions are very wrong, because she's more caught up in stories than reality. The mayoral campaign worked well enough as a plot to tie things together.My main issue is it wasn't quite the book I expected it to be. As it starred a single mother, I wasn't expecting so much hate to be piled on single mothers. Pumpkin is only okay because she's the idealised single mother, who has a day job, and hasn't dated since her husband walked out. Her cousins (the ugly step-sisters of the tale) are horrible welfare queens who take food stamps when they don't need them, and purposefully try to have children by lots of men to get child support. It's frequently laid on how terrible they are. Empathy is for Pumpkin, not single mothers as a whole.In Pumpkin's own words about welfare: "I think the flaw with social programs is that the poor start to believe they can't do for themselves without it and the rich believe the poor can't act without their help." This doesn't match my experiences at all, where it's more that poor people wish they didn't have to rely on it, and rich people wish they could stop paying out because they'd have more money if they let people starve. But the narrative proves Pumpkin right. After all, people collecting food stamps are like her horrible cousins.It turns out the golden aura is because Manny and his family are gypsies. There are certainly times when Roma people might reclaim that word, but a book where it's the source of fairytale magic, because Roma are like magical fairytale people, is not one of those times. There wasn't any other cultural connection, outside of golden auras and fortune telling.I can see this romance might appeal to some readers, given its fairytale themes. For me, I couldn't really get past the policing of what makes someone a respectable poor person.[A copy of this book was received from the publisher for review purposes]Review from:

  • Ezinwanyi
    2019-04-09 05:35

    2.5 stars.Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares and her son Seth are dropping off Pumpkin’s s cousin pick up their welfare funds when they run into Armand “Manny” Charmayne, who has a voter’s registration table there. Immediately Pumpkin is mesmerized by Manny’s eyes but her head knows there is no way a guy like Manny could be with her. They come from different sides of the track and she learned the hard way that fairy tale romances are just fantasy.After an exchange of social views, Manny invited Pumpkin to work on his mayoral campaign and thus began this Cinderella style fairy tale romance.I liked this book but I didn't love it. I will admit that the names in the beginning were jarring. LaRon, LaRico, LaTom etc. In the beginning, I thought this book was going to be super ghetto and I was cringing. But the message ended up not being about the hood but about finding happiness after getting kicked in the teeth! So it eventually blended in with the author's message. Pumpkin was a woman who got trained in school of the hard knock life and Pumpkin only depend on herself. She had a very myopic view of those who used social welfare programs like it only created dependence. She was a tad judgmental in that regard but her cousins were poor representatives of responsible citizen. Manny took me a while to like because he was just too perfect. But his optimistic personality turned out to be perfect for Pumpkin’s cynicism.What I loved about Pumpkin was how she related to her son as it was honest and pure. The supporting cast in this book added flavor but I felt the main characters could have been developed. The writing was flowed and it was a quick read. It just lacked emotional depth for me and so the story was a little flat. I do love happily ever after and this fairy-tale retelling had it. I also the little theme of love and magic thrown in as Manny's family could see the aura of their true love. But fated loves take away from the leap of faith aspect since Manny was assured that this person was the one. I think I would have imagined Manny taking a blind leap of faith more. This book was okay for my first time reading this author. I will check out more from the author in the future.*Special thanks to Patchwork Press - Cooperative via Netgalley for the reading copy, which was given in exchange for an honest review.

  • Julie Jefferies
    2019-03-25 07:35

    Pumpkin is living her B grade life, hoping one day she might find her B grade guy, because if Pumpkin knows anything, it's that life's not easy, and not everyone gets a happy ending. Manny is from a wealthy family, he's also from a family that knows their true love as soon as they see them, so he has a rule, he only dates women for three months, that way they won't grow to find before he lets them go. Manny can't wait to find that woman he'll know is hos forever at first sight. When Pumpkin and Manny meet, they have an attraction of the mind, and Pumpkin knows she would never be his because he's A grate to her supporting cast, but he has a great friend that is reliable and caring, but once she starts dating him Manny starts to see things differently, and Pumpkin finally tries to deal with her past, but everything collides and Pumpkin and Manny's worlds fall apart.This was a great take on the Cinderella story, but with a bit of life's realities thrown in. It was still a beautiful fairytale, and I must admit I love Manny's Auntie Gale, she made an awesome fairy godmother type, while also laying down the reality of things. I'm hoping we'll get to see Dale's happily ever after in one on Ines books, my heart broke for him.This is the first of Ines stories that I've read, but I really look forward to reading moreI received an ARC for an honest review

  • Jessi
    2019-04-20 05:28

    I got this book as an ARC last week but it looks like it's already been published. I'm really hoping that the fact that it's in NetGalley means that it's going to be re-released with some better editing. This was a fairly charming story (heh, charm-ing?) but the grammar/spelling mistakes started pulling me out of the plot. I don't mind one or two mistakes, especially in a book that hasn't been released yet but this looks like it's already out. Hopefully the second book (which I can't wait to read) has a better editor (although the fact that Midori refers to "Jimmy Chu's" and "has that affect" in the sneak peek doesn't give me hope.)Malika "Pumpkin" Tavares has always thought her life was that of a fairy tale. She's a modern-day Cinderella, complete with two evil cousins and an aunt standing in for the traditional "steps." Manny Charmayne knows that his life is charmed, literally. Descended from a long line of gypsies, it's his destiny to see gold when The One appears. So why is he so attracted to Pumpkin?To be honest, if this hadn't been an ARC, I would have rated it two stars because of the issues noted above. I also didn't love that Manny hurt his friend Darrell just because Malika was his Twu Lurv. He's supposed to be a good guy; he could've talked to Darrell first.

  • Ukgardenfiend
    2019-03-22 07:24

    I liked the way the author took the fairytale concept and spun it into a new story. She writes a gently amusing story which is not deep but good for a lazy afternoon in front of the winter fire.Thus Pumpkin has 2 cousins who are selfish and use her for their own selfish means - small things like using her as a taxi, and failing to show up as a babysitter because they want to do something else.And Rumpel has the gypsy Sight to help him find talent - which he spins into gold disks. He sees talent as a gold aura and he then can help and assist the person to become better musically.. which of course earns him money. [2nd Book in this series].I am also all for dress designers who design for the fuller figure as the author is correct in writing what suits runway models doesn't suit the average woman - especially if you have a fuller figure and only just top 5 foot like me!So, Go Midori! I'll buy your clothes!I am also pleased to say that Ines is a black author writing about black women and thus a welcome addition to my bookshelf.

  • Angela
    2019-03-25 08:39

    I love second chance at love stories! And combined with a Cinderella theme and you have me hooked.Pumpkin is a smart, sweet single mom that doesn't believe she deserves a prince. She tried that and it left her heartbroken and miserable. This time she wants to play it safe. Date the nice guy. You know the one that is usually in the friend zone.With a touch of magic this love story has some very realistic themes and beautiful characters. It was a fast easy read that I highly recommend!

  • evette w
    2019-04-04 10:30

    A.Mama.RomanceThis is such a funny romantic story that you just fall in love with it from beginning to end.I love the fact that writer captures all those little insecurities even the most confident of us can't escape.This is such a grown-up love story that lets you see the struggle between two intelligent people.This is a must read for anyone who want to be entertained and made to think a little.Also in case I forgot to mention this story also has a good.not of humor.I can't wait for the next installment.

  • Wauktown Thumper
    2019-04-01 07:32

    IThe story line was a great idea. Being a single mom is very difficult. And where as we all look for our Prince Charming, our Christian Grey, this was a little to fairy tale cheesy for me, I gave it 3 stars because again the idea of a single mom as the heroine was great but as you can see the chessiness of it took me some time to read it. There were to many fairy tale & movie references.

  • Sara Allen
    2019-03-23 04:50

    Great finishWhen I started reading I wasn't impressed, but that changed before, I knew it, and I was finished by dinnertime. A great finish to a great story of every girls dream. Just the right amount of heat, the right balance of fairy tale and reality, made it a satisfying read. Well done!

  • Lakeeta Smith
    2019-03-23 05:49

    Wonderful Story! A must for single mothers who still believe.I absolutely love this book. As a single mom of three I know the struggles. I love Pumpkins speech she gave to the reporters. This book brings hope to all single moms who still dream their Prince Charming is still out there somewhere. I recommend this book to all who still believe in Fairytales.