Monday, February 12, 2024

Spotlight-Excerpt & Giveaway: AFTER MIDNIGHT by Blake Allwood (A Fallen Fairytales Dark M/M Romance)

After Midnight: A Fallen Fairytales Dark M/M Romance

Author and Publisher: Blake Allwood

Cover Artist: Samrat Acharjee

Release Date: January 26, 2024

Genre: Dark M/M Romance

Tropes: Fairytale Retelling, Hurt/Comfort

Themes: Self-discovery

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 91 585 words/332 pages

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.


Buy Links Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

In the shadows of Denver's comedy scene, a bartender named Dominique becomes the unexpected star of his own twisted Cinderella tale. Is love strong enough to save him from his wicked stepmother?


After Midnight is an enchanting tale that reimagines the classic Cinderella story as a dark and passionate gay romance. In this modern retelling, Dillon, a talented and aspiring comedian, finds himself drawn to Dominique, a sexy bartender at the local comedy club.

Dominique, whose unfortunate life mimics the story of Cinderella, selflessly cares for his younger stepsisters while facing a treacherous stepmother.

Amidst the glittering lights of the comedy club, Dominique and Dillon’s love slowly grows as they overcome the challenges created by a willful and selfish adversary.

After Midnight is a captivating journey of resilience and the power of love; but is love enough to save Dominique when his hateful stepmother tries to end him once and for all?

Fallen Fairytales is a dark M/M romance, multi-author series. Each book may be read as a standalone, but why not load up your Kindle, kick back, and enjoy sexy men, shenanigans, and deliciously dark fairytale retellings.

Content warning: This is a dark romance, and readers sensitive to certain content should make note of the following triggers: racism, homophobia, child neglect, kidnapping, false allegations, lawsuits, embarrassment, loss of parent, grief and loss, manipulation by a parent figure, MC close to death.


Ashton Pipkin was hilarious, even though I had to Google most of his nineteen eighties references that went right over my head. The early crowd seemed to get his jokes, though. I knew I’d be lucky if I could get a third of the laughs he did, but I sure wasn’t gonna let that put me off.

I listened to him for several minutes before he stopped abruptly. “Hey, kid. I didn’t give you permission to listen to my set. What are you doing, trying to steal my material?”

I glanced around the room, not knowing who he was talking to. When I looked back to the stage, Ashton was standing with his hands on his hips, staring directly at me. “Yeah, I’m talking to you. What’s your angle?”

“Sorry, sir,” I said, sitting up straighter in my seat. “I just wanted to listen to your set. I didn’t mean any harm by it.”

He put his hand up. “You shouldn’t be watching another performer rehearse without their permission. By now, you should know that basic etiquette. So, I’m gonna ask you again. Are you trying to steal material from me?”

“No, of course not.” I tried to sound smooth even though his accusation took me by surprise. Inside, I was mortified. “I’m still finding my feet performing for the older crowd and I wanted to get in the mood.” My lame justification sounded pathetic even to my ears.

The older man cocked an eyebrow, not unlike my Papa K did when he suspected I was lying to him.

“In the mood, you say? Hey, barman,” he called out toward the bar. “Please come here a moment.”

The bartender must’ve finished shelving some more bottles first because it took a few moments before I heard him walking toward us. “This kid is telling me he’s sitting in on my rehearsal so he can ‘get in the mood,’” Ashton said, using air quotes. “Do you think that’s a load of garbage, or am I way off my game tonight?”

“Hmm, well, let’s see,” the man said in a sinfully deep voice that, honest to God, sent shivers down my spine. 

I looked up and caught him scanning me up and down. I could feel my face growing warm from his intense perusal. When our eyes met, the corners of his mouth turned up into a cheeky grin.

“What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever said?” he asked me.

I sputtered, my mind going blank. He had the most piercing green eyes, accented by his rich dark skin tone, and his attention never wavered from me. I’m not sure if it was his question or having a man this good-looking raking his gaze over my body, but I was officially flustered. 

When I didn’t answer, he asked, “Do you find Mr. Pipkin funny?”  The man’s cheeky grin was still in place, now accompanied by adorable as hell dimples. I’d always been a sucker for dimples. My mouth felt as dry as the Sahara and I swallowed thickly.

“I, um… I don’t know,” I said stupidly, my entire body flashing hot.

“How do you not know? Haven’t you seen him perform before?” he asked.

“Y-yeah,” I stuttered, unsure where this was going.

“So, if you’ve seen him perform, did you think he was funny?”

I shrugged, feeling embarrassed but trying to play it cool. “I didn’t really get most of his jokes,” I admitted. When I chanced a glance toward the stage, Ashton’s scowl signaled that he’d grown significantly more agitated. Dammit, I was clearly saying all the wrong things and making a fool of myself in front of him and a seriously hot barman.

“Why didn’t you get his jokes?” the guy asked, sounding curious. I took a moment to gather my thoughts and regain control of myself. 

“I think I’m too young to understand the old pop culture references,” I replied honestly, feeling a little more confident now. If they wanted my honest opinion, I’d give it. 

The man looked up at Ashton and shrugged. “I think you’re safe. He doesn’t seem to be old enough to get your humor.” His grin was now a full-on smile and I adored it.

Ashton was grinning now too. “And I suppose you do?”

The man shrugged. “Oh, I know quite a few old people who make me watch old TV shows. I would call them classics, but I’m not that rude.”

Ashton snorted a laugh. “Old and classic, is it?” he asked, and I suddenly realized with great relief that the conversation was no longer about me. “You know I can tell Miss Rita you called her old, and she’ll rip you a new one.”

“Miss Rita adores me,” the handsome man said with a laugh, then gave me a playful wink before he strolled back toward the bar. I couldn’t help my eyes following him as he left. It wasn’t my fault they trailed down his backside and came to rest on his very well-filled pair of pants.

“That may be,” Ashton called after him, “but if you call a prideful woman old, you might not be adored much longer.”

He shrugged but kept the huge smile on his face as he resumed his work behind the bar.

About the Author 

Blake Allwood was born in west TN, then moved to Kansas City MO after attending college in Lamoni, Iowa. He met his husband in 1995 and they officially married in 2015, once gay marriage was legalized. In 2017, he and his husband sold their home, purchased an RV and began traveling the country with their two dogs. Their travels provide the inspiration and settings for many of his novels.

Typically, Blake can be found relaxing in the RV or by the fire with his laptop and their Jack Russell Terrier, Buddy, curled up between his legs demanding attention. Denver, their Siberian Husky mix is often asleep at his feet or playing tug of war with Blake’s husband.

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