By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 6/10 it is pretty, but not really my style. I love the lettering, but the background is a little hard to make out and I just wish this had a little bit better of a design.

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Publish Date: February 6th, 2018

Number of Pages: 300

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon


A kiss is never just a kiss.

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Opening Sentence: “Apologies to the people who love it here, but Claremore, Oklahoma, might actually be a circle of hell.”


The lore of the circus will never stop reeling me in. It has never failed me. It doesn’t fail me here. By a Charm and a Curse is magical, unexpectedly heart pounding, and full of the promise of love.

What I Loved:

An honest description of what it would like to be a tin man. I hadn’t thought about how the tin man from the wizard of oz would actually feel like. Being metal and hard and lacking warmth especially with the lack of heartbeat. Living through the mind of someone experiencing that sort of lacking bodily is intense and so achingly sad. It makes me see the tin man in a totally different light.

Crazy brothers. There is a set of brothers in this novel that do some intense acrobatics because they are protected by the charm and can’t get hurt. I don’t like them, but boy do I wish I could see them in action in real life.

A question of morality. Passing on the Curse takes a person completely away from their family and life before to live the life of a cold and almost dead doll like thing. Would you pass on a Curse like this if it was the only way to be free of it? Or would you live with it if only so others could be free?

A protective mother. The mother of the boy Emmaline falls for is as protective of him as my mother is of me. That is a rare gem in a novel and I am all the happier for it.

It’s a carnival. What more could I want from a novel then for it to be set in the mystique of a carnival. No matter what there is always some beautiful description to behold and that’s all part of what I love so much about this novel!

Final thoughts:

By a charm and a Curse will make you think twice before you go kissing that guy you just met a few hours ago. It’s a magical adventure that all Circus lovers will come to enjoy!

About the Author:

Jaime Questell is a writer and graphic designer from Houston, Texas. She has also been a bookseller, a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and an administrative assistant. None of these jobs involved wrangling corgis, which is quite sad. She lives in the ‘burbs with her husband, children, very anxious dog, one surly cat, and one recently acquired cojack, which is what happens when a corgi and Jack Russell terrier combine to make doggy magic.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

9 thoughts on “By a Charm and A Curse: A Review

      1. The Night Circus is the book I was talking about actually. This book sounds almost similar to it in a lot of ways. But I really loved The Night Circus so who knows? Maybe I’ll like this book too.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s