Just like the subtitle suggests, this is a fairy tale of sorts and it has the feel of one. I love fairy tales so I was eager to give this story a try.
A young woman, Harmony, lives in a small town in the Midwest where nothing exciting ever happens. Now that her grandmother is gone, she is alone- alone with debts due to her grandmother’s illness and the not so thriving feed store they ran together, alone with her dreams of going off to college dashed when she stayed to take care of her grandmother and now can’t afford it, and alone because she is the last of her family. About the time of her grandmother’s funeral an interesting coincidence takes place that has the whole town excited. An old-style traveling troupe comes to town to perform. A handful of the travelers even come to her grandmother’s funeral. Like everyone else, Harmony is curious, but unlike many, Harmony sees no harm in the group being there. In fact, she notices the handsome young horse handler right away and he seems to notice her too. Later she discovers that he is also the show’s magician.
Harmony carries on running the feed store, but finally comes face to face with the attractive young man in an embarrassing way. He introduces himself as Kieran and calls himself a traveler. There is something different about him. They run into each other a few times, but then he saves her life. There were things about the way he did it that make her curious, but he only tells her that it’s magic. They agree to see each other and their attraction grows, but in the end Kieran is a traveler and will be gone in a few days. Harmony has a fateful decision to make. In the meantime, others notice their budding relationship and it is the source of danger.
The fairy tale quality of the story is there throughout and that is why I was able to make allowances for things like the sudden deep romantic connection between Harmony and Kieran. Harmony narrates the story in first person and she is also recently out of high school which gives this a Young Adult feel to it too. I enjoyed watching the story develop through Harmony’s eyes. She is deeply attracted to Kieran, but she keeps her head too. I loved the idea that this lonely girl from a small town got to experience the magic of romance with a handsome stranger who leaped to her rescue more than once and on a few occasions sought her out just to share time together.
I would have preferred to have a better understanding about Kieran’s family and their abilities in the end and I groaned when it ended the way it did. The ending made sense, but I guess I wanted the full fairy tale ending to complete it. Maybe it continues in a sequel? Not sure. These observations weren’t enough to detract from the story as a whole which as I said I found enjoyable.
As to recommendations, I’d recommend it to Young Adult, New Adult and Adult audiences who enjoy contemporary fantasy or paranormal romances that lean more toward the sweet romance side of the spectrum.