Book Reviews

Griff And Ash by D.J. Manly at Amber Allure

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Fairy Tales / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 03-January-2013

Book Blurb

Ash became a virtual slave to the wealthy Denare family after his mother disappeared, upon the promise that one day he’d see her again. His stepfather and two stepbrothers treat him cruelly, and his life is misery.

In this mysterious land, the bad-boy prince is next in line for the throne after his father’s sudden demise. But Griffen is not keen for the job, and refuses to marry a female. But given that his sister has a son, he has no need to procreate, therefore the queen agrees that Griff may take a male partner. Although he would prefer to take no mate at all since he likes his freedom and enjoys lustful adventure, he also knows time is running short before the coronation, so he reluctantly agrees.

Ash’s stepfather is related to the queen, however, and he wants one of his two sons to be chosen. The scheming man also has a secret, one that will propel the queen to bring her son to the Denare home, and insist Griff select one of Denare’s inept and unattractive sons.

But when Griff meets the handsome Ash and learns he is Denare’s stepson, he insists that Ash become his mate, which doesn’t sit well with many folks in this fairy-tale land.

Can these two men, both slaves to their situations, save one another?

Book Review

This is definitely one of the more interesting versions of the Cinderella story I have read. The beginning, except for the fact the second main character, Ash, is a man, is deceptively similar to the well-known fairy tale. Ash's mother vanished after marrying a cruel man, and Ash ended up being treated badly by his stepfather and his two natural sons. The prince is looking for a mate, and the stepfather thinks it should be one of this two sons. But that is where the similarity ends, and D.J. Manly made it a different story. While this version is definitely "loyal" to the original in spirit, and in the language it used, the actual plot and its twists was refreshingly different. There was also a great sense of humor behind the telling and that shone through beautifully.  It is a difficult balance to strike, but made the book really interesting.

Ash, or Nathan, as that is his real name, long forgotten as part of the cruel treatment he is exposed to, has had a very tough life. He's being treated worse than the servants, but the hope to see his incarcerated mother again keeps him going. The evil stepfather holds his knowledge of where she is over his head all the time; Ash only needs to behave until he's twenty-one to see her again. Ash wants nothing more than to see her safe, so he acquiesces. He manages to find a sort of contentment with one of the servants, but it takes meeting the prince to teach him about love.

Griffin is a "bad boy prince". That concept alone made me grin, and the man definitely lives up to his reputation. He isn't interested in mating at all, preferring the freedom to sleep his way through the kingdom, but he has no choice. His mother is being blackmailed by the evil stepfather, and the secret could ruin the monarchy. But Griffin is no dummy. He may be a playboy, but he notices that something is off with the family he's been told to marry into, and digs for the truth. He is determined to discover all the little secrets, doesn’t want to marry one of the idiot stepbrothers, and generally gained my respect by the way he behaved in the end.

If you like "remakes" of fairy tales that add some really original ideas to the mix, if you enjoy reading about a playboy prince falling in love, and if you’re looking for the villains to really get their own, you will probably like this novella. I have to say, it really grew on me and as much as I liked the original story, this version is just as good, if in a very different way.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Amber Allure for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 29000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-November-2012
Buy Link