Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: Midnight Masquerade (& Giveaway!)

Midnight Masquerade

by Marcia Lynn McClure

Why did you choose this book? I love fairy tales and retellings
When did you read this book? Aug 2013
Who should read this book? readers who enjoy fairy tales and happy endings
Source: author
Here is a synopsis of Midnight Masquerade from Goodreads
Stavos Voronin was not as blind-eyed as many nobles and royals. Evony’s physical gestures—even the simplest movement of her hands—revealed that she had not always been destitute. The same was true of the children—of their polished manners and the boy’s knowledge of horses and tendency to be bold and fearless of strangers.
Ah yes, Stavos enjoyed a good mystery. After all, interest in the inexplicable circumstances surrounding the royals of Abawyth was the very thing that had lured him to the kingdom—the enigma of Abawyth’s twelve sleepy princesses. And yet now—now his mind was all the more intrigued. Not only was the obscurity of what had caused the profound and baffling torpidity of Abawyth’s princesses laid out before him, but also he found his curiosity intensely piqued over the riddle surrounding the very lovely Evony and her siblings.
As Stavos strode through the village resting on the outskirts of Abawyth Castle, his mind reeled with possibilities. His musings were drawn back to why he had come to Abawyth at all—to solve the conundrum surrounding the twelve beautiful princesses of Abawyth kingdom—to solve the seemingly impenetrable crux and thereby win the hand of one of Abawyth’s princesses, as his father, King Letholdus of Ethiarien, had commanded.
My Review 

I love fairy tales and retellings, so when I heard about this one, I couldn’t wait to read it! This is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses story. I have to admit, I was not really familiar with this fairy tale. I do have vague recollections of some sleepy princesses going through shoes quickly, but I didn’t really remember the story. So I can’t say how much of the original showed up in this retelling.

This is a cute story with a happy ending. Stavos is the prince who comes to town to solve the mystery of the dancing princesses. He is handsome, rich, strong, smart, and very honorable! Evony is a princess in hiding, smitten with Stavos from the moment she meets him, and also honorable! The story has ‘bad guys’, danger, and suspense. It is a fairy tale, so of course you know it ultimately has a happy ending, but there are still some tense moments which keep the story interesting.

Even though this is a cute story with a happy ending, this is NOT a children’s story. While there is nothing ‘R’ rated in the story, there is a bit of ‘sizzle’ in the kissy scenes and the motives of the bad guys are less than honorable. There is also a tiny bit of violence. It should be fine for teens, but probably not for a younger child, even if she is an advanced reader.

This is a quick, fun read with a handsome prince, and beautiful princess, and a happy ending. What more could you ask for!

Book Excerpt

She was tired—oh so very, very tired. Never—not in all her life—had Evony Elorietta known such thoroughgoing fatigue. As she trudged out of the dark woods still veiled in the shadows of early sunrise, out across the expanse of cold, dew-drenched grass and onto the main road of the village, Evony wondered how she would ever endure a day that was only just beginning. Every bone in her body ached—every muscle throbbed in misery, every inch of her flesh begged for respite. Yet there would be none—at least not until she had finished her stitching—finished the near thirteen hours of sewing she now faced under the ever observant, incessantly critical eye of seamstress Agnes Teche.

After such a long, chilled, and sleepless night spent in watching—peering through the darkness and into the rooms of the inn in the woods, until her eyes were too dry to watch any longer—after listening to the shallow, often vile conversations, until her ears hurt from the foul ferment of it—Evony dreaded sewing for Mrs. Teche more than ever before. The woman was a banshee of an employer. And yet, she was grateful Mrs. Teche had had the keen eye to recognize Evony’s superior skills with needle and thread—for how else would Evony have managed to feed Mikol and Tressa—to shelter them—to keep them hidden?

Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”

Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

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My Rating:  ★★★1/2   3-1/2 Stars

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