Rating: 3.75 stars
Jem’s life has been hard since his father died. His stepmother has control of the family business, his step brother and sister have all her affection, and his health, both physically and mentally, was shattered by his loss. Only his good friend, Byron, makes it possible for Jem to get through his day of cleaning and restocking the shelves in Diamond, the bar where they both work. Then in an instant, Jem’s life changes when he rescues a stranger being attacked on his way home.
The stranger is none other than Prinz, the only son of the Space Station’s galactic billionaire businessman. He is immediately attracted to Jem, and when the gorgeous young man disappears after rescuing him, he vows to find him. Jem can’t get the man he saved out of his mind, and the stranger occupies his dreams nightly. Byron is mystified and more than a little protective when Herne appears in the bar asking for Jem. Herne is Prinz’s best friend and bodyguard, sent to look for Jem and reunit him with Prinz. He doesn’t count on his reaction to Byron or Bryon’s to him. It seems like love is all around the space station. But there is more to all 4 men then they are telling. Secrets mount up until the night of the Station ball when one is revealed to Jem’s devastation and he runs away. How will this fairy tale end when the futures of not one but two couples rest in the balance.
This is a very cute retelling of the Cinderella story, ala Cinderfella times two. It has been relocated to space with a mixture of alien shapeshifters thrown in for good measure. It’s light and frothy and the slight danger to our hero is never more than that. The main issue here is that the secondary pairing is much more interesting than our Cinderfella and Prinz. All the characterization details and depth is given over to Byron, a shapeshifting being with a slutty reputation he neither earned or deserved and Herne, Prinz’ best friend and associate, who finds himself falling for the alien despite the rumors around the station. Not making these two the main characters was a missed step in my opinion. I got the feeling that even the author had to remind themselves to return to Prinz and Jem’s storyline after getting carried away with Byron’s backstory. Alas, the names Prinz and Jem (get it, he is a priceless gem) says look at me, fairy tale here while the other duo asks for more serious respect. And they get it.
There is, of course, the evil stepmother. The bratty step siblings make a slight appearance as well. Sinister doings are happening aboard the station and it is never in doubt as to the villain behind it all. Alls well that ends well. Again, almost too well as a third pairing makes an appearance at the end and its a Gay for All, toasts, celebrations and well, you know, a Happily Ever After in caps. Come at this with low expectations and a small amount of time to spend reading it and you will find an enjoyable fairy tale read. But if you like our fairy tales done expertly in an adult manner, then perhaps this is not the story for you. But I will pick up the next book by Pelaam if only because of the promise shown by Byron and Herne.
cover: Cover art by Lee Tiffin. Great cover. I love the colors, the graphics and the font choices.