FAA2018: Valarie Kinney-In the Presence of Knowing

Yesterday, I introduced you to Valarie Kinney. Today, I’m going to start reviewing her books. I hadn’t read any of her work yet, so everything is going to be new to me, which is yay! We all know how I feel about new to me authors. So, anyway, here’s the first of her books I’m reviewing, In the Presence of Knowing. (You don’t even want to know how many times I’ve misspelled presence today.)

So, this one is a mostly light, sweet, slow burn of a romance. It does take a while to get to the payoff, but your patience is compensated quite well, in my opinion.

Keisha has just left her abusive, alcoholic boyfriend, right after she found out she was pregnant. She knew that the next time he hit her, it would be really bad, and she wasn’t going to let that happen to her. So, she ran to her best friend, Layla. Layla is a professional seamstress and part-time slutty pirate. During the summer, she goes to Windy Springs and sells the wings that she makes at the Ren Faire. This year, she’s hired Keisha to go with her. It’s a good place for Keisha to hide, because she’ll be even further away from her ex, and even harder for him to find her.

On her very first day, her wings get caught in a tree branch, and Gibble the Troll helps her get unstuck. He seems like a very nice guy, with an unfortunate underbite. The two of them run across each other off and on, and he even helps her when she ends up running off into the woods while she’s throwing up. She tells Gibble, whose name is Rogan when he’s out of costume and doesn’t have an unfortunate underbite, that she’d like to be friends with him, because she doesn’t have many.

The majority of the book takes place at the Ren Faire, with just a little bit taking place at off-site locations. There are pirates, including Captain Dash who steals chili from pregnant women, fairies, trolls, gnomes, a queen, and an evil witch. There’s also something else going on, something that Keisha doesn’t know about, but it seems like everyone else in the joint does. I liked Keisha, especially as the book went on and she settled into herself and got more comfortable at being at the faire. She did seem to have some problems with it in the beginning, but dressing as a fairy probably is hard on you if you aren’t expecting it. On the other hand, I used to have my own fairy wings and dressed as the Fairy Queen for a couple of years for Halloween. And, I really want my own tutu. Plus, there’s the whole getting used to a new place and dealing with the aftermath of an abusive relationship and being pregnant. I’m really looking forward to the next part of her and Rogan’s story.

OK, for those of you who are new to the blog, this is where you have a choice. I’m going to put a pretty picture here, and then talk about spoilers after the picture. They generally aren’t very spoiler-y spoilers, but people have differing feelz about spoilers, so you have been warned.


I’m really looking foward to finding out what the wicked witch wants with Keisha and Evie. It’s not going to be anything good, of course, because, you know, wicked, but it definitely will be interesting.

I’m hoping that Layla and Jack can manage to get together, more than just during the summer. They seem to like each other well enough.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check it out. The entire series is on KU. Happy reading!

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