From USA Today bestselling author K Webster comes a brand new forbidden romance that’s going to leave you speechless.
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, her submission. 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.
Stroke of Midnight can really only be described as: wild.
Told from a dual perspective, Stroke of Midnight follows Winston Constantine and Ash Elliott as they navigate a unique, and often tricky, relationship in this Cinderella-inspired tale. Ash is a newly turned 18-year-old girl, desperately in need of college funds and to get away from her deplorable step-family. Winston is the cold, harsh CEO of a mega company who stumbles upon Ash by chance ad spontaneously decides to offer her a new “job”.
I found Winston to be a very different sort of hero from what I’m used to reading. Yes, he’s a take-charge, alpha, dominant sort of man. He starts off cold and calculating, and expects everyone to follow his every whim. But, he’s also got a huge kink when it comes to humiliating the heroine.
For the most part, Ash is happy to go along with whatever Winston asks of her, even when she’s cursing him out in her head. He’s willing to spend massive amounts for each request and she needs the money, so she grins and bears it (in her typical sarcastic way). There are moments when Ash appears wise beyond her years, and other moments when she shows her young age and acts quite immaturely. I think the author created a good balance of Ash’s maturity to remind readers that she has only just entered adulthood and is allowed to make mistakes, but can also meet Winston’s level in the development of their relationship.
Another aspect I enjoyed in this story was the role-reversal when it came to Ash’s family. Unlike in Cinderella, Ash’s father is still very much alive and married to her awful stepmother. I’m used to many Cinderella retellings that show a kind and loving father, recently deceased, but in Stroke of Midnight, Ash’s father portrays an almost indifference to Ash. He now has a new life, and therefore, Ash can live her own life too – disregarding the fact that he’s used most of her college funds to spoil his new bride.
It was also interesting to see the infamous evil step-sisters become psychotic step-brothers in this version. And, I do mean “psychotic”. I don’t know how she’s put up living with them for so long, but I cannot wait to see how she triumphs over those creeps in the second installment, Prince Charming.
Overall, I found this to be a really intriguing retelling of Cinderella. Although, many of the humiliation kinks requested by Winston and performed by Ash had me sitting there like:
“Did he just say…?”
“Is she gonna…?”
Despite the craziness, it was a great dark romance and I really enjoyed K Webster’s writing style. Be warned though, this book does end on a cliffhanger! Thankfully, the next installment is being released on 26 January and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Candi Kane PR for the arc in exchange for an honest review.