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  1. Midnight in Everwood by M. A. Kuzniar - Book Review & HQStories Tour


    In the darkness of night, magic awaits…

    Nottingham, 1906

    Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but, as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered – she must marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But, when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in Marietta’s life.

    After Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance on Christmas Eve, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own – a magic darker than anyone could imagine. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself transported from her family’s ballroom to a frozen sugar palace, silent with secrets, in a forest of snow-topped fir trees. She must find a way to return home before she’s trapped in Everwood’s enchanting grip forever.

    In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…


    My Review

    Highlighted as a retelling of The Nutcracker, but offering a new story in its own right, it has everything you want in a book! Beautiful prose, wonderful story-telling, mystical magical elements, a mysterious toymaker and a wonderful protagonist in a young ballerina called Marietta! The latter is held back from fulfilling her dreams to be a ballerina by a controlling father who expects her to marry, settle down and become a dutiful wife. Enter the mysterious Dr Drosselmeier, toy maker extraordinaire with tempting magical talents beyond your wildest dreams! He's a charmer and used to getting his way...

    Set to star in her last allowed ballet performance on Christmas Eve, Marietta soon finds herself trapped in the clutches of Everwood! I was captivated by this beautiful magical world of sugar and spice and all things nice, balanced with things a little darker and deadly. 

    There's gorgeous gingerbread apartments,a decadent palace held within iced sugar walls sure to please the biggest sweet tooth! Marietta is now able to pirouette her way through all the dances and balls held in Everland! This all sounds marvellous except for an evil controlling King (Gelum - the villain I loved to hate) with an army of  faceless soldiers and the dangerous shadowy paths surrounding Everwood! Despite this we see a strong female sisterhood form between Marietta and the other women held captive. Marietta also finds herself falling in love against all odds and learns that she's braver than she thought possible! What happens when the fallen take a stand? Can a ruthless ruler be stopped? Can Marietta get back to her world? Would she want to? These were questions I was asking myself as I wondered how this story would end, and although it came too soon, it was the perfect ending with a cherry on top!

    I adored this whimsical dark and gothic historical fantasy! Set in a winter backdrop on Christmas Eve, it's the perfect winter read (for any time of year but especially colder months)!

    It's a full 5 stars from me!

    I received an arc from HQ stories (thank you). The view are my own views and opinions about the book. I loved it so much I purchased the Waterstones edition.

    Where to buy this book



    Thank you to everyone who has stopped by – I hope you have enjoyed my review.  Please check out the rest of this blog tour for more thoughts and reviews about this book!



  2. * Gild by Raven Kennedy * Review and tour with Love Books Group



    By bestselling author Raven Kennedy, comes the first book in a stunning new fantasy series, perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Jennifer L Armentrout.

    The fae abandoned this world to us. And the ones with power rule.


    Gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, gold clothes. In Highbell, in the castle built into the frozen mountains, everything is made of gold.

    Even me.

    King Midas rescued me. Dug me out of the slums and placed me on a pedestal. I’m called his precious. His favored. I’m the woman he Gold-Touched to show everyone that I belong to him. To show how powerful he is. He gave me protection, and I gave him my heart. And even though I don’t leave the confines of the palace, I’m safe.

    Until war comes to the kingdom and a deal is struck.

    Suddenly, my trust is broken. My love is challenged. And I realize that everything I thought I knew about Midas might be wrong.

    Because these bars I’m kept in, no matter how gilded, are still just a cage. But the monsters on the other side might make me wish I’d never left.

    The myth of King Midas reimagined. This compelling adult fantasy series is as addictive as it is unexpected. With romance, intrigue, and danger, the gilded world of Orea will grip you from the very first page.

    My Review

    Gild is the first instalment of this adult fantasy trilogy by Raven Kennedy. The synopsis lets us know that it's a reimagining of of the story of King Midas but I felt that it was also an original story in its own right too.  

    The story is set within Orea and it's six kingdoms. King Midas is known as the one who sits on the throne of the sixth kingdom that can turn things or persons into gold. The main protagonist Auren is gold-touched - almost everything about her is gold - even the cage she's bound in. As his most treasured she's placed above his other 'saddles' who are there to commit to his every whim and pleasure, but a cage is still a cage.  In the beginning, Auren thinks herself in love with the King and he with her (despite him marrying another for the title and power).  She thinks he's her saviour, but their relationship read's more like the stockholm syndrome kind.

    As the story develops Auren finds that maybe he's not her knight in shining armour after all and a lot of internal struggles follows as she tries to justify his terrible behaviour. 

    The first page jumps straight in to remind you that it's an adult fantasy, that is sometimes raw, with sexually explicit and non-consensual elements in its story-telling. *Please read the trigger warnings for more details. 

    The earlier parts of the story introduces you to the main characters and their wonderful golden dipped world in all it's glory as you begin to see the cracks behind the glamour. Warring kingdoms, espionage with power hungry and lust filled kings, some ready to bargain and trade for the gold-touched one. The story speeds up the pace midway through and suddenly you find yourself in the middle of an adventure from land taken to the high seas with rough pirates, mysterious creatures and fae.  

    The introduction to the fae, their world and little descriptions of different magical elements appearing in characters was one of my favourite aspects of this story. Also seeing Auren's character develop from is another aspect and I'm sure there are some more surprises in store with her. There's also a potential love interest which I won't say anything else about because of spoilers.

    The story felt a little too short but there was lots of twists and surprises to keep it interesting and I'm looking forward to reading the next part in the series. You just feel like this was the start of something big and I can't wait for the fae and human world to collide!

    Please Note: This book contains explicit content and darker elements, including mature language, violence, and non-consensual sex. It is not intended for anyone under 18 years of age. This is book one in a series.

    Gild (1)

    Where to buy this book

    Thank you to Love Books Tour for the ARC. I was #gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Thank you to everyone who has stopped by – I hope you have enjoyed my review.  Please check out the rest of this blog tour for more thoughts and reviews about this book!


  3. The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright  

    9780764233890 (2)

    * The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright * Review and tour with Love Books Group



    The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the "Watchman," she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa's search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

    Present Day
    The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk's shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot's history, she's also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

    My Review

    I was so intrigued when I saw the synopsis for this book - with the tale of Bonaventure Circus and a mysterious 'Watchman' it gave me Phantom of the Opera vibes, gothic murder mystery, dual linked timelines and also featured two very different protagonists each facing their own battles and fears, but were similar in that both had disabilities that affected the way they were perceived in the world!

    Meet Pippa - often overlooked, ignored and left feeling like she doesn't fit in. She's also trapped within the confines of being a woman in the 1920s. We follow her journey and her connection with the mysterious stranger and watch as she finds her voice, female empowerment as well as uncovering some terrible secrets. In contrast, Chandler has the benefits that comes with being a woman in more modern times but still faces similar battles (some tied into her autoimmune disease) with having to fight for her job, her independence and being a single mother. With Chandler, we see how having a chronic illness affects her everyday life and how she tries to hide it. She closes herself off as a way of protecting herself and finds it hard to accept help whether from family or the townspeople.

    Both characters have love interests who play a part in the story, secrets and mystery but I liked Pippa's character and her interaction (I won't name with who) the most.

    On taking on the project of the Circus depot, Chandler finds herself quickly dragged into it's mystery, danger and hidden secrets from the past. All of which link back to a series of horrible events that occurred during Pippa's time. Pippa also puts herself in danger by meeting up with the Watchman as she seeks to find out the truth about her past.

    The ending was a bit rushed for me compared to the rest of the book but the story kept me intrigued right up until the end and I loved the aspect of the dual timelines going back and forth as each clue was discovered or wrapped up. Old towns and hidden secrets really brought this book alive and both story timelines build up to a thrilling end.

    CW: Some outdated terms are used for describing disabilities.

    Note: This book is listed as Christian fiction - I didn't find that this was a main feature of the book. It came through in the voices of some of the characters when discussing their faith, and questions about whether what was happening was related to the supernatural.

    The Haunting of Bonaventure Circus - Twitter

    Author Bio

    Jaime Jo Wright is the author of five novels, including Christy Award winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She's also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her cat named Foo, her husband Cap'n Hook, and their littles, Peter Pan, and CoCo. To learn more, visit

    Where to buy this book

    Thank you to Love Books Tour for the ARC. I was #gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Thank you to everyone who has stopped by – I hope you have enjoyed my review.  Please check out the rest of this blog tour for more thoughts and reviews about this book!

  4. All the Stars and Teeth

    All the Stars and Teeth 1

    "...we all know the danger of multiple magics. How they consume you slowly, and then all at once." ~ Adalyn Grace, All the Stars and Teeth


    Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.

    She will reign.

    As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

    When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

    But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

    I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

    My Review

    All the Stars and Teeth is the first instalment of a YA fantasy duology by Adalyn Grace. The synopsis promises magic, monsters, mermaids, a princess and a pirate, and this dark magical high sea adventure didn't disappoint!

    We have Amora, the main protagonist, princess of Visidia and welder of soul magic! Amora has been kept away from the other Islands and seas in the kingdom by her father and under his instruction she has been prepared to contain the most dangerous form of magic and acted as executioner of those with no chance of redemption from a young age. On the day she's set to demonstrate she can control her magic and everything goes wrong and this leads her on a dangerous sea adventure with a mysterious pirate called Bastian, and some others along the way!

    What this entails is a wonderful adventure in a world of magic that sits and flows through various Islands within the kingdom of Visidia in various shapes and forms. I love the magical systems which varied from soul magic, to elemental magic, to time magic! Each magical subset was detailed and specific and the introduction of characters using their magic was a joy to read. Add in scary sea monsters, magical mermaids using their powers at sea, against some bloodthirsty action including cutting off limbs, tooth and blood fused magic, and you'll understand how thrilling and high pace this story is.

    Amora, a worthy and feisty heroine is right in the middle of the action and takes no prisoners. She's a strong female character, while still showing vulnerability and humanity, and this is a strong theme throughout the book especially when having to fight against patriarchal imbalances! She learns some truths about what's really going on in the kingdom and moves forward bravely (albeit putting herself in danger sometimes) without making excuses for herself or for others!

    The relationship between Amora and Bastien, the mysterious pirate whose magic has been stolen, is both fun and romantic. The relationship between the main group of characters is something I loved - characters so very different but who formed a connection and sense of loyalty that made them a formidable group together.

    If you love dark magic, high sea swash-buckling adventures and strong female protagonists, you will love All the Stars and Teeth!

    4 stars from me for this wonderful epic fantasy!

    Thank you to Sarah Mathers at Titan Books for the ARC. I was #gifted this book in exchange for an honest review

    About the Author

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    Adalyn Grace is a New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth, which was called “2020’s biggest YA fantasy” by Entertainment Weekly.

    Prior to becoming an author, Adalyn spent four years working in live theatre, acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper, and studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular series The Legend of Korra.

    Local to San Diego, Adalyn spends her non-writing days by watching too much anime, and by playing video games with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs.

    More information and where to buy to buy this book

    • Paperback : 397 pages
    • ISBN-10 : 1789094062
    • ISBN-13 : 978-1789094060
    • Publisher : Titan Books (UK); Titan Edition (4 Aug. 2020)