Sunday, September 25, 2016

Counterbalance by Aidan Wayne

From the blurb:

John loves his job as head rigger for Cirque Brilliance. The heavy scarring over half his face makes it a little hard to meet new people, but John's got a good crew and a nice found family, and he’s content with his lot in life.

When Cirque hires talent for a new show, John meets Bao, a bright, ever-cheerful acrobat. Bao seems drawn to John and becomes a constant presence at his side—talking to him during downtime, spending time with him at lunch, and generally seeking out his company.

John doesn't know what to make of this. Sure, he likes Bao—maybe a little too much, honestly—but he’s had enough experience to know that Bao couldn’t possibly like him back. Or so he thinks, anyway. Fortunately, Bao seems determined to prove him wrong.

Heather's rating:

Counterbalance was a cute story from a promising author, Aidan Wayne, but it was too short to really do much for me.

I'm of the point of view that for a novella to be impactful, the author has to really go for it from the get go. That's really difficult to do in a novella, and that's why so many authors fall short in that format. Aidan Wayne did an admirable job with a sweet story about an eager, bubbly Cirque acrobat, Bao, and the lead rigger for the performance, John, but I still wanted more.

I liked the upbeat Bao (maybe because he's a bit like me, HA!), and I was curious about his attraction for John, which happened right off the bat. John is disfigured from being burned in his youth, and he isn't the most outgoing personality, so I didn't quite grasp the insta-GIMME from Bao. I think it's hard only having one POV in some stories, and that was the case with this one.

Though there is very little steam, I did enjoy the chemistry between Bao and John. I thought that they seemed well balanced, and I was happy with their pairing.

I had a few issues with John's backstory seeming a little... out of place in modern times (no spoilers!), but I went with it. What do I know about the circus anyway?

A cute story, though not super memorable, but still a pleasant read.

*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Buy this book:

  Riptide, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble

Enjoy reading, my friends!

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