Title: Sinders and Ash
Author: Tara Lain
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Fantasy / Fairytale
Length: 44,000 words
Rating: 4 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: A light hearted, hot, and diverting contemporary interpretation of a well known fairy-tale.
Blurb: Work hard, stay anonymous and don’t expect much. That’s resort housekeeper Mark Sintorella’s philosophy of life. After being kicked out of his family home at sixteen for being gay, Mark knows what it takes to survive. But how is he going to stay anonymous when he wants to be recognized as a great fashion designer? And how can he control his expectations when he’s desperately attracted to Ashton Armitage, the son of the fifth richest man in America?
If Ash doesn’t find a woman to marry, he’s going to lose his inheritance, but he can’t seem to resist the beautiful kid who cleans fireplaces while hiding behind a black cap and heavy glasses. And then this crazy elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, has Mark running around looking like a fashion model wearing gorgeous women’s clothes.
The clock strikes twelve and the wedding follows the ball. Two beautiful princesses line up for attention. But one isn’t interested, and one isn’t even a woman. Who will be the bride? And will the shoe fit?
Only the fairy godmother knows for sure…
Fun, games and two very cute, gorgeous but thoughtful heroes made this an entertaining read. Although the Cinderfella story has been done many times before this contemporary interpretation showed some flair. Points were not laboured nor similarities forced. Tara Lain kept well away from over used fairy tale language.The dialogue had a bit of a buzz about it and the story flowed with unexpected freshness.
Mark Sintorella, aka Sinders, is far from the usual victimised ingenue waiting to be rescued, nor, happily, is he feisty. Rather he’s a hardworking, creatively brilliant young man with a vision of what he wants from life. I loved the details of his designs and the way he is gently manipulated into modeling them himself appearing mysteriously as a beautiful dark haired Andrej Pejic. His prince Ash, was sympathetic as a young man trapped into conformity by his ultra wealthy but well meaning familie’s expectations. His dissatisfaction with himself and his dishonesty and his plans for the inheritance added another layer to his personality. This was far different to that of the more usual Walt Disney strong jawed loser on a overpriced shoe hunt.
The luxury hotel was a clever setting – a controlled environment where Mark was made to work hard and as a lowly employee was believably vulnerable. There is a sweet, not in the original, subplot which I saw a mile off, but it was still fun. Our storie’s fairy godfather Carstair Pennymaker gleefully pushed and pulled the main players into position for their sexed up and happy ending.
I thought the conclusion was a little too sweet with an over abundance of ends tied up with a collection of big flouncy bows…………. but hey we are talking fairy tales here.