Tag Archives: series: the pennymaker tales

Beauty, Inc. by Tara Lain

Beauty, Inc.

Beauty, Inc. by Tara Lain

Series: The Pennymaker Tales, Book 3
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on June 8, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Dr. Robert “Belle” Belleterre is more than just a pretty face. He’s a skilled chemist who has just developed an innovative face cream that will prove a breakthrough for his father’s cosmetic company. Belle’s success seems to go unappreciated by his father. The older Mr. Belleterre’s alcohol and gambling problems keep the company on the brink. And when a series of events find him facing a debt he can’t pay, he offers up his son to Magnus Strong, CEO of Beauty, Inc.

Belle finds himself on the other side of the country from his family and his best friend. And all he knows of Mr. Strong, aside from his position, is that he’s known for a major scar across his face. But any man who would accept a year of his service in his company to pay off a poker debt can’t be a great person, right? How can he be expected to work for a rival company? But with a family like Belle’s, perhaps the family business shouldn’t be his main concern.

And what of Magnus Strong and the man behind the mystery? What are his motivations? And who is he? As Belle settles into his new home, he soon finds that there may be something unexpected behind the scar…

I’ve been really enjoying The Pennymaker Tales, of which this is book three. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering they’re modern adaptations of fairy tales. I live for retold stories that offer new perspectives and elements not present in the original. And who doesn’t like seeing the story of that princess retold with someone like themselves in her place?

Tara Lain approaches these stories in a masterful way. There’s always just enough of the source story for you know what’s being referenced. But the new story still feels fresh and original. Even knowing that a fairy tale is being referenced, you don’t feel like you’re just seeing and hearing the same thing all over again.

I’m not sure if more of these are planned, but I certainly hope they are. I’d love to keep reading more about the men who are fortunate to have Mr. Pennymaker cross their paths…

Driven Snow by Tara Lain

Driven Snow

Book Info

Title: Driven Snow (The Pennymaker Tales, Book 2)
Author: Tara Lain
Published: November 25, 2015
Pages: 210
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Snowden “Snow” Reynaldi is a chess genius at NorCal University and the star pupil of his mentor, Professor Kingsley. He’s shy and awkward, and that’s perfectly fine for an aspiring chess champion. But it’s never going to endear him to the guy he can’t get off his mind: star quarterback Riley Prince. Not like it really matters, though, since Riley isn’t gay and he’d never give Snow a second glance even if he was. Right? And even though he knows it’s probably a bad idea (both in terms of his attraction and having time for chess), Snow willingly agrees when Riley needs a physics tutor. A crush and time management turn out to be the smallest of Snow’s worries when his professor marries a mysterious woman who doesn’t seem to hold Snow in very high regard–so much so that his life might be in danger. With the help of seven fraternity brothers from Grimm College and a mysterious man by the name of Pennymaker, will Snow be able to get his life back together and save himself, his professor, and the man he loves?

Another great adaptation from Tara Lain. I absolutely love the way she can take these classic fairytales and update them to the point where you can clearly see the nods and references but you get an entirely different story in the process. It removes the whole “gee, that was obvious” type of reaction while taking the reader on a new and exciting journey that is well worth their time. I recommend giving this a read if you’re a fan of adaptations of classic stories and fairytales.

Sinders and Ash by Tara Lane

Sinders and Ash

Book Info

Title: Sinders and Ash (The Pennymaker Tales, Book 1)
Author: Tara Lain
Published: March 31, 2012 (Re-released October 14, 2015)
Pages: 167
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Mark “Sinders” Sintorella is a housekeeper at an upscale resort, responsible for many of the more involved cleaning tasks: fireplaces, chimneys, and the like. But he secretly aspires to be a fashion designer, making dresses in his room during the little spare time he can find. Things at the resort turn on their head when Ashford Armitage, son of the fifth richest man in America and a very attractive and eligible bachelor, arrives for stay. It’s no secret that Ashford is looking for a wife; he needs to get married to keep his inheritance. Mark is immediately smitten, though he knows he’d never stand a chance. But around the same time, a mysterious guest–one Carstairs Pennymaker–shows up and takes an interest in Mark and his fashion career, having him masquerade as a woman in his own designs to impress some investor friends. But Mark’s designs are stunning and he quickly gets noticed, even by a few unexpected people…

Adaptation is an art, and it’s something that I think few people do extremely well. But Tara Lain’s clever adaptation of the classic Cinderella fairy tale is extremely original, with just enough nods to the original to know what’s being referenced without feeling like one has read this story before. There are a couple of points where I feel like the plot hits a lull here–hence not giving a higher rating–but I really enjoyed this and recommend it to people who are looking for a fun and entertaining but sweet romance with a hint of fantasy and a nod back to one of the all-time classic fairy tales.