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The Reluctant Godfather

(The Tales of Ambia #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  289 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Burndee is a young and cantankerous fairy godfather, who would rather bake cakes than help humans. A disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee has only two wards entrusted to his care…a cinder girl and a charming prince.

A royal ball presents Burndee with the brilliant solution of how to make his wards happy with the least amount of effort. He’ll arrange a meeting and hope the
Published (first published January 2017)
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Allison Tebo Leona, thanks so much for your question! There is a brief non-detailed kiss between a married couple, a sentence or two of of flirting / teasing betwe…moreLeona, thanks so much for your question! There is a brief non-detailed kiss between a married couple, a sentence or two of of flirting / teasing between a married couple. There is some gentle romance (hand holding and emotions) between a unmarried couple but I have had some feedback from thirteen and nine year olds who were okay with it. Hope this helps!(less)

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
This book isn't quite long enough for me to do an Official Content Review, so I'll just share my thoughts on this one here. :)

Is it wrong that I related to Burndee, the sarcastic and reluctant godfather so many times? His smart aleck comments, oh, gosh, we would get along so well. I could honestly envision his deadpanned look and raised eyebrow whenever something dumbfounding happens. He wants to vaporize (Cinder)Ella's stepmother and stepsisters which I'm not seeing anything wrong it that idea.
Elizabeth Dragina
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memorable

Best Cinderella Retelling I've ever read.

You need this in your life, because Allison Tebo is talented.

A very N·E·A·T Cinderella Retelling with a very N·E·A·T perspective. 😂

Burndee was hilarious...and I didn't at first like him (come on...who likes vain--proud--MC's anyways??), but I knew he had an amazing character arc, so I kept reading. Burndee's character arc is one of the best. =)

Setting ~ The Fantasy world of Ambia with fairies....and neat creatures. lol Ho
The Reluctant Godfather is a delightful and entertaining novella and an incredibly original and twisty retelling of Cinderella. It is one of the best books I have read in recent memory – and certainly the most entertaining I have read in many years! I only wish it had been longer, but I made sure to enjoy and savor each page, laughing through all of it and experiencing every emotion along with the characters.

My favorite part was definitely the characters. Good character development is always my
Sarah Grace Grzy
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All ages
Recommended to Sarah Grace by: Allison Tebo
You know it's a good book when you can read it with as much enjoyment the third time as you did the first.

I was privileged to beta-read this, so I may be a little biased, but once you read it, I think you will find that I am not.

The Reluctant Godfather is a hilariously witty and endearingly sweet retelling of Cinderella. I have read a few Cinderella retellings, and most of them are only average; being cliche, trite, and rather commonplace. This is literally the best I have ever read, and proba
m a r y l i z
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh my crumpets...this story was fantastic. <3

Just from reading all my buddies' reviews on Goodreads, I knew I was going to enjoy this. Sarcasm? Cake? Grumpy godfathers? COUNT ME IN.

Fortunately, it was just as good--if not better--than I thought it would be. The characters were absolutely phenomenal, the dialogue hilarious, and the writing top-notch. I laughed out loud...more than my family would have liked. *cough* And I melted into a puddle of happiness during the ending scenes. <3333

I loved h
Katelyn Buxton
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, that was glorious! I’m left wondering why I didn’t read The Reluctant Godfather sooner. It’s a quick read, but surprisingly weighty for its briefness, yet hilariously light-hearted at the same time. (And witty—so witty! Burndee’s mental process had me laughing out loud several times.)

Speaking of which, Burndee, the main character, is a gift to mankind. No, really. He’s grumpily kind-hearted, and those characters are often the absolute best, because they’re relatable. Very few of us are nat
Kellyn Roth
Originally posted on Reveries Reviews

I got this book on a free day, and I was so excited! I’d really been looking forward to reading it. A retelling of Cinderella from the perspective of the Fairy Godfather? Sign me up! Then I skim-read it again (although it was hard; I really wanted to just settle in and enjoy it!) so I could rewrite this review. I’m going to have to read it again sometime sooner or later … it’s really that good!

The Reluctant Godfather is a fantastic story. Once I started, I co
Re-read 26-04-20

I wasn't going to re-read this one before Poppy's Peril, but I got about .5 pages into A Royal Masquerade & realized I officially no longer have a memory.

Absolutely darling, as always!

- - - - -

Ahem. Els just read a fairy-tale retelling. Yikes.

No really- I had my reasons. It was written by a friend, see? And I wanted to see what it was about....

And HERE is my first gush after reading the book.

"When I started to read this book, I assumed it would be a cute little fairy-tale retell
♠ TABI⁷ ♠
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, favorites
"You’re a disgrace to the fairy order, Burndee," Fey of Thornwild whispered severely.
Burndee spun the platter in front of him in a slow circle, observing his creation critically before he began frosting his triple chocolate cake. “I know I am,” he said complacently.'


All right so first of all, f r i c k this was SO CUTE and Burndee is my salty soulmate. Like, his sass was 100% on point and I loved his nonchalant attitude about 99% of what happened in the book. He is the type of character who
Jesseca Wheaton
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh, where to start with this review! First off, this is the most unusual Cinderella retelling I have ever read! I enjoyed the wittiness that was sprinkled throughout, and I loved Colin! I pretty much figured out the ending right when they arrived at the ball . . . but that was okay, because I still enjoyed seeing how the author worked it all out.

I loved Colin. Did I mention that above? (But really, who wouldn't love a prince that does anything he can to marry the girl of his choice? xD) He han
Quirky and sarcastic. This fairytale retelling is sure to have you laughing and smiling throughout its not-too-long entirety. :D
Kate Willis
Warning: Drooling over the cover is inevitable, so all readers are advised to have paper towels nearby so they don’t ruin their paperback or Kindle.

Another warning: Readers will end up loving a grumpy, sarcastic character nearly against their will.

Also be warned that you will find yourself first hungry then amused, frustrated, and maybe even a little bit surprised.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! There was just enough of the same old charming tale to keep it recogniz
Angela Watts
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
One of the sweetest books I've ever read!
I don't even know where to start... this little book was so GOOD. So I'm gonna break it down and have some fun- because this book was so fun OK ahhh.
-- Story: I have never read a fairy tale retelling before (that I can recall). Also, I never even got into the Cinderella fairy tale. And I finally know why - little kid me was waiting for THIS BOOK to finally fulfill the story of Cinderella! The story was vibrant, hilarious (OK, I was laughing on page one
Daisy Paquet
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Why on earth was this so adorable? Nothing should be allowed to be that adorable. it must be illegal. I'm sure of it.
It was excellent though. Ridiculously excellent. I'm sorry, but it was. I couldn't put the thing down, it was very inconvenient to have the kindle glued to my hand. And then... I felt the need to read it again immediately after. Send help.
Elsie Stoltzfus
What can I say? I laughed, a lot. This is the most uncliché portrayal of one of the most cliché stories that I have ever read. And I love it! It's witty, unexpected, and delightful. I definitely encourage y'all to read it! ...more
Katie Hanna
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a lovely retelling of Cinderella, and a very clever one, too. I really appreciated the new, original twists the author brought to this fairy tale--unlike with most Cinderella stories, you really have no idea what's going to happen next, and it's quite fun. Plus, the characters made me smile. Especially Burndee. And Ella. :-)

(Also, can I just say Colin totally rocks and I want to date him? Yes? Please? Thank you.)
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fun and unique retelling of Cinderella this is! I absolutely love the idea of having the story be told from the Godfather’s point of view. Such a creative idea! This isn’t a normal retelling of Cinderella and thats what made it special from the other retellings out there.

Burndee was by far my favorite character in this book. He had such a fun personality and I loved him! He made a great Godfather and I’d definitely wouldn’t mind another book about him. ;)

And I just have to mention the e
Victoria Lynn
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is such a delightful, adorable, warm and fuzzy story! I was literally overcome with laughter on several occasions. The characters are absoutely the best and the story telling so humorous and enjoyabe that you will want to read it again and again. This book would make an awesome family read aloud.
Burndee, the godfather has this magical sense of sarcasm that had me in stitches! Ella was adorable and cuddly and I just wanted to scoop her into a hug. And the prince! I just laughed so hard and c
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was such a sweet story with an unexpected ending, but one that I absolutely adored! Burndee was such an entertaining character and I loved laughing at his antics. One of my new favorite books! I just wish it was longer!❤️
3 1/2 stars
I got this because of the high recomendations of my freinds.
I wasn't overly impressed, but it was a cute twist on the oringal story. The wit was fun, and I found myself smiling though a few parts.
I have to admit though, I didn't find having a main character who disliked humans all that amusing. Contrary to my 16 Goodread's friends who have read and loved this... I didn't find myself really liking Burndee. I didn't really dislike him ether, it was just... meh.
So yeah, I didn't disli
Tracey Dyck
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Reluctant Godfather is a story you could read in one sitting, like a slice of fluffy chocolate cake baked by Burndee himself. It's a light, rollicking adventure seasoned with a generous helping of humor (one of my favorite things in a story) and a sweet dash of heart.


I don't think I've ever read a Cinderella retelling from the perspective of the fairy godmother--er, godfather, in this case. That instantly gave the tale a fresh twist! While the main structure of the plot follows most
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
Oh my gosh, that was just about the cutest thing ever!
I don't think I've read many novellas in my reading career. I usually prefer big ol' books with at least three hundred pages. The bigger the better. (As long as the story is satisfying)
But a review for a sequel for The Reluctant Godfather popped up on my Goodreads sometime last week and I read the synopsis and was like "Done!"
It didn't take long to read. I think it took about forty-five minutes tops. But the main characters really made th
R.F. Gammon
Well, this was the sweetest little book ever. The short review: go read it, please. But Allison gave me this book for review so review it I will.

-Burndee. Like, he was so grouchy and yet adorable, and I loved him with all my heart. I totally shipped him with Ella...
-Ella. She was adorable too. Honestly, all the characters are adorable. And she was the cutest version of Cinderella I've read in a while. There are WAY too many retellings of Cinderella out there, but if the writer can pull off
zane deann
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So, you might have seen me change my rating to five stars instead of four. Probably closer to 4.5, but I had just rated another book four stars and I was thinking, was that really as good as The Reluctant Godfather? The answer is no. So I changed it.

That was such a sweet story, and not cliché at all (something I despise)! I LOVE Burndee, I LOVE Ella, I love this story! Ella is very sweet, thoughtful, and content, which I appreciate. Burndee is hilarious. (view spoiler)
C.B. Cook
This was a really fun story! I was kind of expecting a fairytale retelling (like Cinder by Marissa Meyer), but instead, I feel like this was more of a fairytale AU (alternate universe). I thought that having a fairy godfather instead of a godmother was interesting, and the plot kept me on the edge of my seat. The ending wasn't much of a surprise to me, I kind of saw it coming, but it was a quick, entertaining read! ...more
Nicki Chapelway
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo was an amusing, original twist to the classic tale of Cinderella. As one of my favorite fairy tales, I was excited to see the direction this story would go, and I was not disappointed. This book was sweet and funny (a good combination in my book), and I found myself snickering many times at the lighthearted banter.

I enjoyed the characters. Burndee was so lovable, even if he tried to hide it with his prickly, grumpy personality. I liked his relationship wit
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairy-tales
One word keeps resonating within me as I think back on this book- and that word is pure. It is as heartfelt as a Hallmark Christmas movie and clever throughout. This Cinderella retelling is filled with many magical moments and twists that keep the story fresh and consuming.

I've had conversations with the author of this book on Goodreads and I believe this work is a mirror to the character of its creator. Allison is full of spunk and wit, graciousness and gentleness, and each of these traits are
Claire Banschbach
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tales
Well that was terribly cute. ;) You don't ever get stories about fairy-godfathers and then to have a grumpy one on top of everything makes for a great story.

Burndee was hilarious and I enjoyed his little quirks, though how Colin and Ella put up with him is beyond me. :P But really, all the characters were great and I loved the fresh little twists on the original story. It was a fun, quick read with some great quotes. It was "neat".

If you love fairy tale retellings, then I definitely recommend
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this darling little fairytale by Miss Allison Tebo. It seems much longer than it is- so full is it of cute, magical, funny twists and turns. And the love story near the end is so romantic, too!
A must read for all you fairytale retelling lovers out there.
I am looking forward so much to reading the next tale in Miss Tebo's fairytale series:
The Royal Masquerade.
Plus, precious Burndee is in it!!!🥰
Gracelyn Buckner
5 Stars


the characters

I loved all the characters in The Reluctant Godfather, but I think Burndee was my favorite. Ella was really sweet, and Colin amused me. I really liked how one of the step-sisters wasn't half bad. It was a nice change.

the plot

I wasn't sure how this would turn out. To begin, I was assuming Ella would marry Colin. But later on, I started to wonder if that would actually happen. Not gonna give spoilers, but I really liked how it turned out.

the romance

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Allison Tebo is a Christian writer committed to creating magical stories full of larger-than-life characters, a dash of grit, and plenty of laughs. She is the author of the Tales of Ambia, a series of romantic comedy retellings of popular fairy tales and her flash fiction and short stories have been published in Splickety, Spark, Inklings Press, Rogue Blades Entertainment, and Pole to Pole Publish ...more

Other books in the series

The Tales of Ambia (5 books)
  • A Royal Masquerade  (The Tales of Ambia #2)
  • Poppy's Peril (The Tales of Ambia)
  • Little Red Riding Hood (The Tales of Ambia #3)
  • The Frog Prince (The Tales of Ambia, #4)

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