Housekeeper Mark Sintorella (Sinders) works diligently at a resort hotel while designing clothes anonymously, hoping to get into fashion school. Then his carefully planned life is upended with the arrival of Ashton Armitage, son of the fifth richest man in America - and the most beautiful guy Mark has ever seen. Ash must find a wife or he'll lose his grandfather's inheritance, and he settles on Bitsy Fanderel. But secretly Ash is gay, and the guy who cleans the fireplaces sets his heart ablaze.
Further stirring the pot is the little elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, who has Mark wearing his own designs and masquerading as a girl to impress the fashion investors in the hotel. When the clock strikes 12, two beautiful princesses line up for the wedding - but one isn't a woman. Will the slipper fit? Only Mr. Pennymaker knows for sure.
©2015 Tara Lain (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
Mark “Sinders” Sinterello is a housekeeper who dreams of being a fashion designer. Ashton Armitage is a closeted millionaire in search of a bride in order to satisfy the terms of his grandfather’s will. The will states Ash must marry prior to his twenty-fifth birthday in order to receive his $500+ million inheritance or it all goes to charity. Ash has procrastinated because he’s gay and doesn’t want to marry a woman and he literally only has weeks before his birthday to meet and marry someone.
Enter Carstairs Pennymaker, a tiny elf of a man, who acts as a sort of Fairy Godfather and takes Sinders under his wing, and works diligently to steer the two men together.
This is definitely a “fairy tale” and it requires almost complete suspension of all disbelief. I’ll be honest and say, for me, it was alright, especially the narration by Kale Williams, but the story didn’t really thrill me.
Bottom line: The pacing is good, the narration better, it has some nice sexy times, and a hard won HEA.
This is book one in Tara Lain’s “rebooted fairy tales” series. As the name suggests, it’s a take on Cinderella in that Mark Sintorella is a dress designer working at a resort where he does a bit of everything – including cleaning fireplaces. He meets his “fairy godmother” in the form of the eccentric and rich Mr. Pennymaker who helps him find his place in the fashion industry and gives him nudges in his romantic life as well.
Our “Prince Charming” is Ashford Armitage who must be married to gain his inheritance. He’s a closeted gay man so he’s willing to find a marriage of convenience. Ash meets Bitsy (Tara’s version of a step-sister) and the two strike a bargain. But in the meantime, Ash and Mark find one another and Ash can’t get Mark out of his mind.
Will Ash be willing to give it all up for love? Will Mark have the nerve to ask for what he really wants in life? Mr. Pennymaker is there to help these confused boys make the right decisions!
I am a big Tara Lain fan and I love the “Cinderella” trope but I’m not a big fan of re-working the specific storyline – so I hadn’t picked this up til it came out in audio. I was interested in the new-to-me narrator and I knew it would be an interesting story and well done since Tara wrote it.
Well, it’s a bit… different. I really enjoyed it far more than I thought I would – the twists and turns are fascinating and unexpected (though predictable once you’re in the story). I didn’t always care for the way the characters thoughts were conveyed – that method – one word sentences – really worked for me with the Harker Pack series because we were dealing with shifters and a more animalistic mentality – but here it felt a bit … off. Maybe it was harder because I was listening instead of reading… I’m not sure.
I really loved the secondary characters – Bitsy and Ronnie, Mr. Ashford and Mr. Pennymaker especially were really fun and a nice bonus.
I didn’t feel the connection between Mark and Ash was very strong – it seemed they had one or two moments together then suddenly – POW – HEA – but I know – fairy tale and all that – I just didn’t feel as connected to them as I usually do in a Tara Lain story.
In any case, it was fun and much more than I was expecting. I loved the unique spin she put on the old story and found myself really entertained.
Story 3.75 of 5 stars
(The new cover is MUCH better than the first edition!)
Like I said Kale Williams is a new narrator to me and he did a great job with this. He gives everyone a unique voice but doesn’t go over the top with strange affectations or anything that distracts from the story. I enjoyed his interpretation and thought it was a great way to experience this unique fairy tale.
Narration 4.5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars
This is a modern take on a gay Cinderella story, literally. Overall I enjoyed this, but I think the author tried a little to hard to stick to the story. I really didn't think some elements of the story were necessary, namely the "drag" aspect. But for the die hard romantic, it doesn't disappoint. Since it is a fairy tale, you truly do have to suspend belief to enjoy. The narrator does a great job.
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
Mark and Ash's resolve to not only be true to themselves regardless, but to love each other without regret.
Mark. I loved the way he was written with this hard exterior shell, but vulnerable, beautiful and unique underneath. The only person to ever crack the surface is Ash, and Pennymaker just a smidge, in a father figure sort of way.
He breaths life into the characters.
Dear audible, can you remove this question from any further reviews I do please. I don't understand it, I don't understand why you'd want to change an Author's title.
Definitely not your classic Cinderella story. Lain adds her own twist to the tale that gives the story an extra edge. So you have Mark/Sinder (Cinderella) who works as a Housekeeper as well as a rent boy of sorts behind the scenes. Ash/Prince Charming keeps his sexuality a secret, only being true to himself behind closed doors. He's a show pony, preparing to marry a woman he doesn't even really know, much less love, to gain his inheritance. Everything change for both men when their paths cross. Finally, true love gives them both the strength to be who they are, and damn the consequences.
It's always refreshing when an Author can take a classic story and make it their own, which is definitely what happened here. There were a few times the story didn't flow well from one chapter to the next and a few secondary characters I'd rather have shot than listen to, but overall, I really enjoyed this book. Narration was rather nice, lots of tones and differential voices brought to life by Williams. A couple of times during a conversation with multiple characters he didn't transition well from one to the next, to the next and it pulled me out of the story simply because I was confused exactly who was speaking. Overall, he too did a great job though.
Love listening to great stories matched well to the right narrators.
I really enjoy Mark , I love the cover picture , he is very beautiful.
He was exellent , doesn't have many recordings. But he should .
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