Title: An Occasionally Grim Fairy Tale
Author: Ann M. Noser
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, YA/NA crossover
Prince Bane Baronne has baby fever. He is in search of a wife with the proper mystical bloodline to bear him the heir of prophecy. Anna Leon is chosen, but Bane only pretends to be Prince Charming. When Anna questions his intentions, she vanishes from the castle.
Convinced she is to blame for her younger sister's disappearance, Maria Leon is coerced into the royal marriage instead. She is older, wiser, and should know better—but Bane always gets what he wants. And he is not above using trickery or treachery to do so.
Maria attempts to salvage what she can of a "happily ever after" by working hard to be the best mother and wife. Until the day she learns that every woman who has married into the Baronne line disappears soon after they have produced an heir.
And she is next in line.
Take one Prince Charming (who’s devious and has baby fever) plus two dramatically different sisters who each have a magical gift and you’ll get a fairy tale the Grimm brothers would love.
Anna is the beautiful, thin, younger Leon daughter and her mother does everything in her power to throw her daughter into Prince Bane’s arms. While Anna is domicile to her mother’s wishes, she’d rather be by herself and not fussed over. She’s not witty like her older sister, Maria, and finds the Prince rather dull. What she doesn’t know is that the Prince is up to no good and her life is in danger.
Maria is the full-figured, smart older sister to Anna. In her mother’s eyes, Maria can’t do anything right and is such a disappointment. Maria puts up with her mother’s verbal abuse for the sake of the family. Her favorite place is the garden, where she can be herself and use her special abilities.
When Anna mysteriously disappears from the castle and the Prince looks to Maria to fill in for her sister. She reluctantly agrees and tries to make the best of a bad situation. Looks like she won’t get her “happily ever after” or will she? Fate is a tricky mistress and Maria will have to gather all her inner strength to save not only herself but her subjects as well. With the help of some shapeshifting nuns and Wesley, the court’s chemist, Maria uncovers a wicked plan and enemies where she least expects it. Will Maria survive or will she end up like the rest of the female Baronne line, six feet under?
I love fairy tales and this one carries a lot of the themes of classic fairy tales but with a modern twist. Ann M. Noser writes honestly and her humorous dialogue made me laugh out loud.
I love Maria as a character because I could relate to her the best. An overbearing mother? You bet! Smart, funny, beautiful? Check, check, check. Lol! Maria has to deal with a lot of adversary in this book, but I love watching her grow. She sees through people and overcomes a lot.
It was delightful to have a wicked Prince Charming in a fairy tale. He looks the part of the hero but he’s anything but.
Note: there is a huge amount of bullying that takes place in this story. While I know this is popular in YA/NA fiction these days, I found it a turn-off and overly done. I had to take a full star off my review because of it.
This is a very long fairy tale and while the twists and turns kept me vested, it really could be broken into two stories. If long books are your thing, you’ll love this.
Favorite Character/Quote: The shape-shifting nuns. I mean, who doesn’t love a magical nun? They not only added comical relief to the story but were intriguing.
My Rating: 4 stars
Buy it now:
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Occasionally-Grim-Fairy-Tale-Desiderata-ebook/dp/B079QM8QGR
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Occasionally-Grim-Fairy-Tale-Desiderata-ebook/dp/B079QM8QGR
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Occasionally-Grim-Fairy-Tale-Desiderata-ebook/dp/B079QM8QGR
Growing up an only child, I learned to entertain myself. During summer vacations, my greatest form of exercise consisted of turning the pages of a book. Now I'm all grown up, and full of stories half-written in my head. I have to write them down so I can find out what happens next.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N