Series: Tales from St Giles 02
Author: Andrew Grey
Narrator: Jack Wesley
Length: 5 hrs, 57 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (10th April 2018)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts
Blurb: Family can be a blessing and a curse, but for artist Florian, it’s a nightmare he longs to escape.
As chief designer for Bartholomew Porcelain Studio, Florian specializes in painting birds. He also watches them in the wild to distract himself from his short-tempered mother, at least tempo-rarily. Florian’s heart is too soft to leave his stepsister, Ella, to suffer alone. Still, he can’t help dreaming about one day finding happiness and love.
When Count Dieter von Hollenbach arrives in town to visit a friend and present an award, he isn’t looking for romance. Then again, he doesn’t expect someone as perfect as Florian to come into his life. To make sure Florian is all he seems and that their connection is genuine, Dieter keeps his title to himself.
But he isn’t the only one with a secret.
At a masquerade ball to celebrate the award, some of the masks fall away, but those that remain in place could destroy the love beginning to grow between them.
Review: Redeeming the Stepbrother is the second book in Andrew Grey’s Tales from St Giles series. Andrew Grey is up there is as one of favourite authors, I always connect with his stories and his characters, and I love the depth and complexity he gives to his MCs. This is, for the most part, based partially of the classic tale of Cinderella. I love books that are either inspired by or are simply a modern MM retelling of the classic fairy tales. Here, Grey only takes elements of the old tale and crafts the lives of people in an idyllic, sleepy town which is dependent on the Bartholomew family porcelain business to hire a great deal of the locals.
The story is the romance between Florian Cinderson and Count Dieter von Hollenbach. Dieter keeps his title a secret for much of the story, and with the last name Cinderson and a stepsister called Ella, it’s clear that Florian is the character to have elements of Cinderella injected into his story.
Florian tends to share the Cinderella story with Ella. Ella is the one that is treated as a slave by her stepmother. Florian misses his deceased stepfather a lot, the man was an important role model for him, but the only reason he sticks around is because his mother and brother can be fairly horrible people. He loves his sister to bits and will do anything to protect her. It’s a complicated story to unpack, but that is why you need to read the book and I won’t make any potentially spoilery comments.
Dieter on the other hand Mr tall, dark, handsome and mysterious. He feels an instant attraction to Florian, the main reason why he was in town anyway. It was because of Florian’s artwork that the Bartholomew porcelain works were honored with a very important prize. Dieter has a complicated family as well, although his are not intrusive like Florian’s. Quite simply, in finding love Dieter begins to find peace with his past as he realizes the depths of what he feels and the importance of Florian in his life. The main hurdle these guys have to deal with in the end is the fact that they live and work in two different countries on two different continents.
The narrator of the audio is Jack Wesley, a new narrator for me, as I have only heard his performance of both Tales from St Giles stories. He does a good job and lifts the story and characters so much so that I found that I enjoyed the audio of this book more than I did reading the book. I particularly liked his performance of Florian. Although he also did a pretty good job with Dieter, I felt the accent he used was a little shaky but after a bit I got used to it and let it slide.
I really adore both books in this series so far, I love the fairy-tale element. I’ve loved reading these books and listening to the audios. I sincerely hope that there are more Tales from St Giles to come in the future.