A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Sinders and Ash (The Pennymaker Tales #1) by Tara Lain

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Sinders and Ash coverA fairy tale for the grownups, this story is so sweet it will definitely leave a warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart.

Mark Sintorella, aka Sinders as he’s known among the housekeeping staff at the resort hotel where he works doing all the dirty janitorial work no one else wants to do, has a secret dream to go to school to formalize his training in fashion design. His couture designs are amazing, considering the fact that he’s never had formal training, but the only person he has available to model them is himself.

When he meets Carstairs Pennymaker, a cute little elf-like man who seems to take an inordinate interest in Mark and his designs, Carstairs convinces Mark to model his clothes as they stroll through the grounds of the hotel since there are many fashion designers and wealthy patrons present this week. But Mark will need to disguise himself as a woman and be introduced as Pennymaker’s niece, Mariel.

Ashford Armitage is about to turn twenty-five and his grandfather’s will, from which he stands to inherit millions of dollars, is hanging over his head like an axe. If he marries before age twenty-five, he will have the money; if he doesn’t, he’ll be left penniless. Ash is gay and doesn’t want to marry anyone, but he shows up at this luxury resort to scan the potential brides one more time before giving up. He spots a young woman he may be able to marry. She’s witty and banters beautifully with him, plus she doesn’t really want to marry either. Bitsy is sweet and if he has to pick someone, he’ll hold out for her. But when he spots Mariel, aka Mark, across the room, his heart is lost.

Thankfully, he doesn’t realize this is the same young man he had saved from an attack earlier that day. One of the young housekeeping staff was nearly raped by the lecherous sous chef until Mark intervened. He thought the guy, Mark, was a sweetheart, and the two hit it off really well, though Ash didn’t reveal his secret fully, just allowed some passionate embraces with Mark to speak for him.

There’s plenty of intrigue here, including a F/F romantic subplot, as the couples finally come to terms with who they are and what they want. But it’s not until the ball at the end of the weekend, where Mark’s family is hoping to meet his chosen bride, that things turn truly magical.

I really enjoyed this story. I know it’s not realistic, but I don’t care. It’s an adult fairy tale, and the beautiful young man dressed as a princess gets his HEA with his handsome young “prince.” It’s the fun of what happens along the way, watching the way they overcome their problems, enjoying the interference of Mr. Pennymaker, and appreciating the beauty and magic of the finale that will leave you with a wide smile on your face and a warm place in your heart. I highly recommend this to all of fans of fairy tale romance with a capital R.
Cover Art by Reese Dante depicts a gorgeous young man with long brown hair and a beautiful countenance. He’s exactly the way I would picture Sinders to look.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, Re-Release
Published October 14th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press(first published March 31st 2012)
original titleSinders and Ash
edition languageEnglish
url http://taralain.com/
seriesThe Pennymaker Tales #1
charactersMark “Sinders” Sintorella, Ashton “Ash” Armitage, Carstairs Pennymaker

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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