Review: Cold Hearted (Villains #8)

Title: Cold Hearted (Villains #8)
Author: Serena Valentino
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


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.

What to read next:

So This is Love by Elizabeth Lim

City of Villains by Estelle Laure

Other books in the series:

  • Fairest of All
  • The Beast Within
  • Poor Unfortunate Soul
  • Mistress of All Evil
  • Mother Knows Best
  • The Odd Sisters
  • Evil Thing

Have you read Cold Hearted? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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