Review: Sinders and Ash by Tara Lain, Narrated by Kale Williams

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.

Suspend belief all ye who enter here!

Not saying that’s a bad thing. But, you do need to know that this is very much a Hallmark type fairy tale so you can appreciate it for what it’s giving you. Everyone is exceptionally beautiful, the drama is dramatic as are the reactions to the drama and the ending is perfectly perfect.

Sinders, or Mark, is a beautifully sad and quirky character that cleans the fireplaces at a luxury resort along with a bunch of menial bullshit things that no one else wants to do. He lives in an attic room, saving all his money to one day go to design school. Ash is a delicious rich boy who, in order to claim his inheritance of eleventeen trillion dollars, must marry by his birthday. Needless to say he doesn’t have that handled and he’s at the resort to try and find himself a bride.

Mark is taken under the wing or a strange little man with the ultimate connections in the fashion industry named Carstairs Pennymaker. Mr. Pennymaker is the mastermind behind the meet cutes in the story and his plans to put Mark on the fashion map come with pearls of wisdom and self-confidence building bits of enlightenment. He’s very charming and quirky and I liked him a lot.

The bad guys were especially ugly and the part of the Evil Stepmother and sisters was played out well in a modern way. One of the sisters ends up being a good friend to Ash and the side story with Bitsy and Ronnie (Ash’s assistant) was really my favorite part of the story. I liked both of their characters and they were the most “real” of the lot.

I listened to the audio version of this story and I did like the narrator’s voice, my only problem was that his Mark and his Ash sounded the same as the story progressed. I never got confused about who was talking, but the sameness of it made it too easy for my brain to wander. When I read the book many moons ago I never realized how much the characters talked to themselves, the narration really emphasizes that and it got old after a bit. I started thinking, “who the hell are you even talking to?” It made the story sound more narrated than organic.

Go into Sinders and Ash knowing you are getting a contemporary fairy tale with a plethora of voice inducing situational boners and beautiful people getting happy endings with very little realism. Sometimes that flavor of brain candy is exactly what a person needs and if you’re in that moment, this is the story for you.

Check out Sinders and Ash for yourself over at Dreamspinner Press.

**a copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review**

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