Leap of Faith ~ C.F White
This was my first book by this author, and I found it to be a very enjoyable read. Although there are many books both M/M & M/F that work within the realm of a circus, it is not your everyday background.
I wonder why though, as I’ve always loved reading stories set inside a circus setting, maybe it is because I watched (many many times) The Greatest Show on Earth with Charlton Heston and Betty Hutton from childhood (and now), or maybe it’s because that the circuses themselves are not that common anymore. I remember when I was a kid (1980’s) a circus would come to our city once a year if not more often. These days the old traveling circus is much rarer – in Australia anyway!!
I loved becoming invested in this circus of the author’s imagination. Leaving aside the two main characters (MCs), the wide variety of unique and sometimes quirky secondary characters this author created allowed you to be fully immersed into the world of the circus. It was easy to imagine the big top, the ringmaster, the clowns, the acts, and of course the trapeze.
The two MCs, Darius and Charlie, worked together. Here we had our grumpy/sunshine characters, and I’ll admit it’s one of my favourite pairings. There’s nothing like a grumpy MC trying to work out what to do with the ray of sunshine character that has just exploded upon his life. To be fair, Darius has been in a bit of an ugly place since his performance partner left him.
From flashbacks and dialogue, we see that even when his partner was there Darius had been stuck in a hopeless position (in love with a straight man) and unable and masochistically reluctant to try to change his feelings. He had become accustomed to the depression, and even with Charlie coming onto the scene, he didn’t want to let go of his sadness, as it was the only thing he knew. Luckily, Charlie is persistent, and it is his amazing gymnastic and performance skill and his ability to be just as stubborn as Darius that finally allows him to push through Darius’ walls.
As for the big climax, I had a hint of it in the beginning, then disregarded it. It wasn’t until a few chapters before the reveal that I thought about it seriously. Although Darius could have handled it better, it was also a natural reaction. Although there is a definite HFN, I’d even venture a possible HEA, the last chapter leaves it open for a second book where Darius and Charlie’s relationship may be tested further.
If you enjoy a slow burn romance set in the intense and magical world of the circus, I’d highly recommend checking out Leap of Faith.