— BLURB —
Money can buy anything. And anyone. As the head of the Constantine family, I’m used to people bowing to my will. Cruel, rigid, unyielding—I’m all those things. When I discover the one woman who doesn’t wither under my gaze, but instead smiles right back at me, I’m intrigued.
Ash Elliott needs cash, and I make her trade in crudeness and degradation for it. I crave her tears, her moans. I pay for each one. And every time, she comes back for more. When she challenges me with an offer of her own, I have to decide if I’m willing to give her far more than cold hard cash.
But love can have deadly consequences when it comes from a Constantine. At the stroke of midnight, that choice may be lost for both of us.
— MY REVIEW —
What’s better than a fairytale inspired story or retelling? A dark fairytale story or retelling! The fact that Stroke of Midnight is a Cinderella story, just had me even more excited to read it! 😊
But I hadn’t encountered a lot of things when I started this book. The blurb certainly tells you a loose outline, but soon discovered it was so much more that what I was expecting. I think this book will be eaten up by romance readers who love some kinky BDSM in their reads.
I’m an avid romance reader but I have to admit romance books that contain BDSM are usually ones I steer clear of because they’re not my type of story. But I would never discredit these books, authors who write them, or the readers who enjoy them. To each their own.
I have to point out that there’s also a relatively sizable age gap between our protagonists. It’s a trope I’m slowly reading a lot more of these days but even then I tend to be picky about which ones I read. I find that if the age difference isn’t as noticeable when the characters converse, then it’s not going to be an issue. With Stroke of Midnight, the age difference is practically one of the focal points in the story. If it’s not mentioned by the characters themselves, it’s displayed in the way they behave towards one another. It’s a bit of a hit and miss for me because it was either funny to witness or at times a cringy reminder. 🙈
For someone like me who’s just venturing towards this romance trope, I was taken aback in the beginning, but the further I read on, it became the norm with Winston and Ash that I eventually shrugged it off and accepted it. Although I may have huffed at the fact that being in your thirties is considered “old”. But I suppose when the heroine is still a teenager then yeah… I can see why it may seem old in comparison. Lol. 🤦♀️😂
If you like the following themes in your romance books, then you’ll be sure to enjoy this one!
- Age gap
- Erotica/ BDSM
- Office Romance
- Dark fairy tale retelling
- The whole sugar daddy kink!
In saying all that — I did surprisingly find this book entertaining to read. I was hooked on the aspect of the whole Pretty Woman, make-me-an-offer bit, which I think is initially what kept me engaged… that, and the fact that I enjoyed seeing Winston and Ash’s nonstop bantering. It kept me chuckling and turning the pages!
“He’s a villain who looks the part of a golden prince.”
I’m not going to lie, I had trouble deciding what to rate it. I have a love/ hate relationship with this book. As I mentioned earlier, this is not my usual type of romance read. I know there’s a massive fanbase for this romance trope. Based on some similar ones I have come across (and DNFed) in the past, this one managed to have a lightness added to an otherwise dark romance.
But before I go further, I have to mention it contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers. It contains violence, sexual harassment and assault. So please keep that in mind when deciding to start this novel.
Another issue I have to bring up is that it ends on a cliffhanger. It’s not a deal breaker for me, but I know plenty of readers who have issues with it considering it’s not mentioned at all in the blurb (which would’ve been nice). Unless you specifically check on Goodreads, you won’t know that it’s not a standalone until you’re already well into reading it. Sigh.
K. Webster is a new-to-me author, so I had no idea what her writing style would be like. Despite the romance tropes in this book, I did get invested in seeing how things would pan out for Winston and Ash (especially with how things concluded), so I’m looking forward to the next book!
It’s a relatively well-paced storytelling and told from both their POVs. A definite modern, twisted take on the classic fairy tale.
A handful of shifty secondary characters to look forward to. The villainous stepmother and her disturbingly cruel spawns is just the start of it. But there’s also some cool characters included to keep the scale from tipping entirely to the evil side. Hehe.
Winston and Ash, as weird as their relationship is, do have zingy chemistry. Their conversations more than anything is what I enjoyed reading the most. For the majority of the time I wasn’t a fan of Ash’s immature personality and naivety, but it does display a dynamic between Winston and herself… and she is a stereotypical teenager so… 🤷♀️
*whispers* I would’ve rated this book a little higher if Ash’s actions didn’t bother me as much. Her heart is in a good place and she has clear opinions but her decisions don’t necessarily reflect that.
Successful, powerful Winston has the world at his feet, but I also questioned his decisions when it came to Ash’s welfare. He just didn’t make a big enough impact on me as the guy you don’t want to mess with. Know what I mean?
I can only hope the sequel we’ll get to really see his full potential as a Constantine, and see a lot more growth from Ash. There’s so much potential and possibilities with their story.
I’m a sucker for fairy tale stories where the hero is so affected by the heroine that he gradually changes from the cold-hearted man into one full of love and emotion. Winston and Ash have that potential of a love story.
In my honest opinion Stroke of Midnight would be an absolute smash for readers who like these specific types of romance stories. I can totally see its appeal. It’s not my usual preference but I did end up liking it for the most part and I would recommend it to readers looking into this romance sub-genre. A nice quick read you can finish in one sitting too! 😊
Thank you to K. Webster and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💙
Happy reading, guys! As always, catch you in my next one! Xo