Book Review: The Clown

The Clown by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


There is no way out and Cora has finally accepted her fate. Stuck in an “inversion”–a pocket dimension–her attraction for a dangerous man deepens. But, acceptance does not mean peace and there are other dangers in the form of smiling faces. 

The writing in this story is phenomenal. Kingsley has always captured my heart by the poetic way she strings words together. It is modern, dark, but also classic in a “creepy-vintage-circus” way that I love. 

Cora continues to be my favorite in this series. I am really attached to her and love the way she handles situations. She is growing as a character and really blooming into her new role in the Faire. I also love how organic and sweet her interactions are with Clown. Although his intentions are vague and ominous, his POV was a welcome addition to the story. 

As for Simon? His wicked antics were amped UP. The reader is reminded again that he is not a “good” man and he is very much still insane. There were moments where I was turned off by his toxic behavior but Kingsley still does a good job stating that these behaviors are NOT right but this is who he is. Despite this, he proved to have other sides that were soft and fluffy. 

The first two books did not have any sex in them but this book seems to have made up for that fact. The heat level is REAL my friends. If you were wondering when that was going to happen… trust me, you will find it here. However, I was a little disappointed by how it all led to that moment. The first two books were leading up to this and yet, it fell a little flat to me. 

I personally read romance for the romance and not the sex and there was an abundance of it. But for those who look for that in your books, it was… NOT vanilla to say the least. Despite this, I still enjoyed it and understand that this is an adult book, a DARK one at that, and those who want that HEAT will be very pleased. 

Plot-wise, there was not a whole lot going on besides Cora and Simon’s relationship. I really like that but I found that I was not devouring this one as much as the first two. The ending, however, was great and I was pleased by the outcome.

In all, I enjoyed it and will come back for more.


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Favorite Quote

“First of all, I’m not your boss. Second of all, I’m not stupid enough to waste my breath. And third, I don’t want to fix you, Simon.” She snickered. “Anybody who looks at you and goes, ‘he’s just moody and misunderstood, I can fix him with a little casual sex,’ needs to get their own freaking head examined.” She set down her coffee mug. “I know exactly who you are. Do I approve of your puppets? No. But I didn’t go into this naïve. Whatever the hell ‘this’ is.”

Book Blurb

A friendly face and laughing heart…will be what tears her soul apart.

Finally accepting that there would be no leaving Harrow Faire, Cora sets out to try to find her new way of life as part of the Family. With that comes her slow acceptance of her attraction toward and, even worse, her feelings for the Puppeteer.

But just as things seemed to be falling into a pattern, things turn upside down—seemingly literally—as Harrow Faire enters “the Inversion.” And her troubles don’t end there when the mute Clown takes a keen interest in her. One that she doesn’t understand until it’s too late.

Mr. Harrow took her from her life to become the Contortionist. But it seems…the Faire itself has other plans.
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If you’re drawn to compelling villains and sinister love stories, The Clown—book three of the Harrow Faire series by Kathryn Ann Kingsley—is your next book obsession! Dark fantasy and occult horror blend seamlessly with romance in this gripping page-turner!

Book Review: The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cora is now trapped in a world she had believed to be impossible. Yet, she refuses to accept her fate. She will fight until she is free but will it cost more than she bargained for?

The second installment of the Harrow Faire series did not disappoint. Kingsley is gifted with story-telling and creating complex characters that I never thought I would root for. I was looking forward to learning more about our insane Puppeteer and I was delighted by the outcome.

Although Simon is insane and by no means innocent, he is full of charm and wit that pulls you in for more. I loved that despite his misgivings, there were lines that he was not willing to cross which made him more likable and sympathetic.

Cora was amazing. Simply amazing. I love her so much and I am more than happy that she recognizes how to pick her battles and when she picks them? She goes all out. I chuckled more than once during some of her interactions with Simon and loved that she was sensible as always.

I was also charmed by the romance. I am usually not so forgiving when it comes to toxic relationships but Kingsley has masterfully handled this one very well. Both characters are imperfect but they both grow and learn together. It’s dark but also complex enough to keep me interested.

Overall, I cannot get enough of this series and am off to read book three!

Tata!


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Content Warning

Language and suggestive, sexual conversations. 18+

Favorite Quote

“I’m not brave. All I’ve done is panic since I got here.”

“Is that so?” He was still stroking her cheek. She didn’t know when she stopped being afraid of his touch. All it left behind now was warmth, and a strange electricity that crackled through her. He hummed thoughtfully. “I am not so sure. You came here to save your friend, knowing it would be your own demise. You have stood up to me at every opportunity. I think you are not as weak as you have come to believe.”

Book Blurb

Silver strings she can’t outrun…her trouble now has just begun.

After Cora Glass’s life was stolen by Harrow Faire, things just keep going from bad to worse. Unable to run, unable to escape, there seems to be no way to avoid what she’s become—the Contortionist. But a girl can only take so much.

Haunted by an abandoned and seemingly sentient circus? Fine.
The life of her best friend threatened unless she sacrificed herself? Fine.
Tormented and stalked by a grinning madman who wanted to kill her, and now wants to do worse? That’s where Cora has to draw the line.

As she struggles with the knowledge that magic is real and she will never go home again, she is also forced to contend with the advances of a man who may be the devil himself. And just like the tales of old, she finds herself drawn to him. If only Harrow Faire would slow down and give her a second to catch her breath.

Too bad that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

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If you’re drawn to compelling villains and sinister love stories, The Puppeteer—book two of the Harrow Faire series by Kathryn Ann Kingsley—is your next book obsession! Dark fantasy and occult horror blend seamlessly with romance in this gripping page-turner!

Book Review: Curse of Dracula

Curse of Dracula by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have only read one of Kathryn Ann Kingsley’s books and I am a big fan of the way she writes. There is something beautiful and gothic in her prose that sucks me into her stories.

This book in particular was a sequel I have been meaning to read for months and I finally got around to it. I was really excited to finish Dracula’s tale and find out what happens after our protagonist is left seeing the horror he is capable of.

At first, I was excited because the book started off very strong and picked up right where the first one ended. Our protagonist is left with a very interesting internal conflict that is highlighted throughout the story. Her relationship with Dracula and how she feels about him was the most fascinating aspect of the book, hands down.

Mordecai to Bella

However, I was not a huge fan of one of the side plotlines concerning Bella. I really liked her as a character in the first book, but I was left confused about her motivations in this one. Although the author attempts to explain why she chooses to do what she does, I could not help but think of the other facets of the situation. For example, why was her relationship with the other two vampire hunters not thought of in all aspects? Why was the only reason Bella changed was because of the unfair societal expectations on her? Although the topics and themes of sexism, sexuality, and women’s roles were impeccably explored, I wish that there was more complexity to the situation other than, “You are a woman that has been treated unfairly. Come join me in the dark side.”

In other words, I wish that there was more of an internal struggle to turn her life upside-down. I also wish she had considered the career she had built as a monster hunter. She had been training and killing monsters for years. Certainly that should at least be considered and not thrown away so easily?

Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised by Maxine’s choice and was happy with the outcome. I did not think it needed a “happily ever after” ending but, if you were afraid of not having one, do not fret. It does end with both Maxine and Dracula living that HEA that many are fond of.

To conclude, I liked this book. But, I did not like it as much as the first one.

I gave it a 3.5 star rating but rounded it to 4 stars. It is a dark tale with dark themes but there was never any moment where the lines of assault are “blurred”. The author makes sure that every sexual act is given verbal consent and I greatly appreciate and give kudos for. That is one line I will never be willing to compromise as a reader and I give praise to the author for handling precarious situations with grace.

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Content Warning:

18+ book. There are several explicit sex scenes.

Favorite Quote

Humanity is its own downfall. No one else is to blame for their plight. Ignorance is their greatest sin.

Book Blurb

Maxine Parker expected to lose her life when the Vampire King swept through her city like a plague. She did not expect to lose her heart to him as well.

Caught between her desire to protect the living and her love for Dracula, she suddenly finds herself the enemy of the hunters who had once been her allies.

As the Vampire King unleashes his army of the damned and turns Boston into a sea of carnage, she must decide if she can love the monster for what he is, or if she must be the one to end his bloody crusade through history once and for all…