Book Review – Midnight Ash by Ana Ashley

MM Fairytale Romance
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 292
Characters: Ash/Xander
POV: 1st
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fairytale Retelling, eries

If I didn’t know better, I’d think my life is a fairytale.

Orphan? Check.

Evil stepmom? Check.

The only problem with my theory is the lack of a dashing prince coming to my rescue.

That is until Xander comes along. He’s charming, gorgeous, and caring. With him my life doesn’t feel like a neverending list of chores.

After my stepmother does the unthinkable, my only hope is winning a publishing competition. But when I find who Xander really is, even that becomes a lost cause.

Midnight Ash is a sweet romance with a sexy kinky twist on the side, and a cast who don’t quite behave as you’d expect.

Midnight Ash is a contemporary Cinderella retelling, and part of the MM Fairy Tale Romance series. All books are completely standalone and are modern retellings of classic fairy tales with a gay romance twist.

Buy Link


This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I loved it. I got caught up in Ash and Xander’s story very quickly, and had to keep reading to see how they’d get their HEA.

I thought this was a wonderful retelling of Cinderella, and I loved the tweaks made to the original story. Ash and Xander are both strong characters who connect instantly, then find that connection isn’t just physical attraction. This is also very much a story about family as they’re both dealing with family expectations. Although I could understand Xander’s reasons for keeping his identity a secret, I kept waiting for him to reveal the truth to Ash. I thought Ash and Xander made a cute couple. I loved that Xander stuffed up his first baking attempt, and how he stands up to his father. I loved the interactions between Ash and his sisters, and how hard he works to provide for his family and keep the farm going.

Ash’s sisters obviously love him, and vice versa, and his stepmother isn’t evil, just financially naive so she has no clue about making the right choices. I particularly loved the scene where she and Ash talk things through, and the reason behind her behaviour comes out.

Mia and Nicki, Xander and Ash’s best friends, are wonderful, and both intelligent, strong women with a great sense of humour. I loved that they have their own HEA within the story.

Mark’s a nasty piece of work. I was very happy with how his story ended. He deserved everything he got and more.

The epilogue was wonderfully feel good, and I loved the glimpse into their future together.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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