Book Review – Antagonist by Ana Ashley

Dads of Stillwater #1
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 342
Characters: Harrison/Fletcher
POV: 1st
Genre: Contemporary, Series

One artist. One attorney. Two single dads.

Meeting at a bachelor auction for charity had trouble written all over it as far as I was concerned, especially when the guy that won the bid for me seemed to be after only one thing…a good time between the sheets.

Refusing Fletcher’s advances was easy the first time round. After all, we weren’t meant to see each other again.

Except I’ve just moved to Stillwater where Fletcher lives.

Except both our kids are in the same class.

Now the kids are fighting and I’m ready to throw my own punches.

If only Fletcher wasn’t as goddamn irresistible as he is irritating.

When the fight moves from the playground to the bedroom, who will come out on top?

Antagonist is book 1 in Ana Ashley’s new series, Dads of Stillwater.

Single dads, sassy kids, Ana’s usual cast of intriguing secondary characters, Stillwater has it all.

Buy Link


I love stories about single dads, and this sweet read hit the spot, especially with the added bonus of a small town setting and opposites attract. I enjoyed getting to know Fletcher, Harrison, and the people of Stillwater. I’m looking forward to more in the series.

Fletcher and Harrison’s first meeting is full of misunderstandings and comments that shouldn’t have been made. But, given their histories, I thought their initial reactions and their relationship of a step forward and two back were realistic. I liked both men, and enjoyed them getting to know each other, and slowly lower the barriers they’ve made to keep their hearts safe. I also liked that as things progress, Fletcher has Harrison sussed, although he still needs to learn a few things about himself.

I liked how Fletcher and Harrison’s ex’s are part of the story yet are totally different. Stella totally rocks and deserves her own HEA. She’s a great friend, and I liked how she and Harrison are still raising Megan together although they’re no longer a couple. Fran, on the other hand, is a total piece of work. I liked how her part in the story played out, and how Fletcher finally figures things out.

I loved their group of friends, and how they look out for each other. I want their stories too, and am very pleased that Ellis gets his book next. I get the feeling we haven’t seen the last of Karina either, unfortunately. I loved Pete, the cop, and his reaction to events. Nicely done. Arlo’s a great friend, and I liked how he tells Fletcher what he needs to hear about Fran.

Megan and George both have strong personalities, and I thought their actions very much reflected their ages. I loved the strong family vibe, with Fletcher’s parents playing a part too. The scenes with Harrison, Fletcher, and the children having a weekend away at the lake are sweet, and a lovely preview of them as a family.

I loved the epilogue catching up with them three months later with its mix of a HEA for these guys, and a hint of what’s to come.

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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