Title: Fragments of Ash
(Inspired by “Cinderella”)
Collection: A Modern Fairytale
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2018
From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a dark and twisted retelling of the beloved fairytale, Cinderella!
My name is Ashley Ellis…
I was thirteen years old when my mother – retired supermodel, Tig – married Mosier Răumann, who was twice her age and the head of the Răumann crime family.
When I turned eighteen, my mother mysteriously died. Only then did I discover the dark plans my stepfather had in store for me all along; the debauched “work” he expected me to do.
With the help of my godfather, Gus, I have escaped from Mosier’s clutches, but his twin sons and henchmen have been tasked with hunting me down. And they will stop at nothing to return my virgin body to their father
…dead or alive.
** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Fragments of Ash is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection: contemporary, standalone romances inspired by beloved fairy tales.
Visit the Fragments of Ash Website: https://bit.ly/2uVJnv
When my mother and I first moved in with the Răumanns five years ago, it was summertime, and I was only thirteen, but Mosier forbade me to wear anything more revealing than a T-shirt and a floor-length skirt or loose-fitting pants, no matter how warm the weather. No shorts. No short skirts. No sundresses. And further, the T-shirt couldn’t have a V or scoop neck. It had to cover me completely to the base of my neck. Having lived most of my childhood in LA, where I spent my entire summer running around in bathing suits, shorts, and tank tops, it was a difficult adjustment, but my mother insisted on my compliance, telling me that Mosier valued modesty and only wanted the best for me.
At one point, toward the end of that summer, Damon and Anders, who were sixteen at the time, were swimming in the pool on an especially hot day while my mother and stepfather attended an event in New York City. Even though Tig had warned me to stay in my room while she was gone, I got bored and lonely, and eventually found myself on the pool deck outside, looking for company.
“Anders,” said Damon, who paused in the middle of a game of water volleyball, “look who it is: Ashley.”
Anders flicked a glance at me. “You should go back inside.”
“Why?” I asked.
But Anders ignored me, gesturing for the ball. “Throw it back.”
“No, no, no, bro,” said Damon. “Our new sister’s finally come out of her room. We should be social. Welcoming.” He looked me up and down in my shapeless, baggy pants and high-necked blouse. “Bet you’re pretty cute under that outfit, huh? Tan all over from the California sun?”
Damon and Anders were identical twins, both dark-haired and dark-eyed, but Damon’s eyes were flirtatious and playful, while Anders kept his gaze carefully averted from me.
“Tată nu-i va place,” said Anders to his brother, a warning in his voice.
“El nu este aici. Taci!” said Damon, waving his brother’s words away and still staring at me. “Hot day. Why don’t you come in? Join us!”
I grinned at him, shrugging my shoulders. “No bathing suit.”
“Dă-mi pace,” said Damon, clapping his hand over his heart as he winked at me. “You got underwear on under those clothes?”
“Maybe,” I said, winking back at him.
I’d unbuttoned my pants slowly, doing a little striptease for my stepbrothers before pulling my blouse over my head and throwing it on the pool deck. Clad in only white cotton panties and a matching bra, I’d executed a perfect dive into the deep end, joining Damon’s team for water volleyball, despite Anders’ disapproval.
An hour later, my mother and Mosier returned to find me on Damon’s shoulders, serving the ball to Anders.
“What the fuck is happening here?”
Vhat d’ fuck ees happening here?
Damon gasped, scrambling to push me off his shoulders, so I fell backward into the pool. By the time I gurgled to the surface, my stepbrothers were pulling themselves out of the water, standing side by side on the pool deck before their father.
“Dracu’ să vă ia!” Mosier thundered. “There is only one rule! She will be pure!”
Standing by myself in the pool, my eyes widened with shock as his fist shot forth, breaking Damon’s nose with a loud crunch before blackening Anders’s eye with a quick jab that sent his head reeling.
“Du-vă în pula mea!” Mosier roared. “Get out of my sight!”
All rights reserved. Used with permission.
An imaginative retelling!
It’s possible that if you’re not a huge fan of the original fairytale (especially the Disney version–I love what she did with Gus and Jacques/Jock Souris!) and you somehow missed the clues all over the cover, that you might not even realize that this is a Cinderella retelling. The ugly stepsisters are twin stepbrothers (though they think they’re nephews), and their antagonist status *might* be in question. (Or it might not. You’ll have to read it to find out…) The evil stepmother is an absolutely horrible stepfather (he’s just as horrific as a brother-in-law; especially when you find out it doesn’t matter to him which he is, it won’t change his plans for Ashley) and the beloved father is a mother who’s posed as an older sister and who Ash has had a tenuous relationship with all of her life. So it’s subtle, but fun to pick out all the ways that this reflects the original story.
Ashley and Julien are great characters, and it’s easy to root for them to find their HEA. Ms. Regnery strikes a good balance between developing their romance and the suspense portions of the plot; having Ash’s mother’s diary provide much-needed background is a nice touch. Secondary characters are a lot of fun here too–I loved Julien’s sister Noelle, his dog Bruno, and Ash’s “godfather” and his partner 🙂
I have to admit, I was a teensy bit bummed that there aren’t actually any glass slippers in the story. Julien’s a glassblower! They’re pictured on the cover! Oh, well. It’s still a clever adaptation of the original–I can’t wait to read more from this series and see what Ms. Regnery does with the others!
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE MODERN FAIRYTALE COLLECTION:
The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) – available now
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) – available now
Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) – available now
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) – available now
Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid) – available now
Sheer Heaven (Rapunzel) – available now
Fragments of Ash (Cinderella) – available now
Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – coming soon
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract, and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.
Forty books later, Katy claims authorship of the multititled New York Times and USA Today bestselling Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other stand-alone novels and novellas, including the critically-acclaimed, 2018 RITA© nominated, USA Today bestselling contemporary romance, Unloved, a love story.
Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, became a New York Times e-book bestseller.
Katy’s books are available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.
Website/Newsletter Signup: http://katyregnery.com