Audiobook – I happened to buy Audible, but this one is widely distributed and available all the places plus in some libraries.
Sometimes all you need is a little push.
Running from his shattered gymnastics career, Charlie Avrill’s one hope for redemption is the strange and colorful world of the circus. His skills should make him a good fit for seasoned performer, Darius Lungo. But Darius won’t compromise his high stakes act for just anyone.
Still mourning the loss of his performance partner who unexpectedly abandoned the show, Darius’s heart can’t take another temporary filler. No matter how perfect Charlie might seem at first glance. But the circus is dying, and Darius owes his bosses a stellar act to sell.
Putting their differences aside to recreate the star attraction, Darius and Charlie grow closer with each rehearsal. But Charlie’s only in the ring for a one-night-only performance and the circus is due at its next stop — off the island and into Europe.
Can Charlie push aside his fears and take the leap of faith to change his entire life? And, if he does, will Darius still be there to catch him?
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating perspectives, not by chapter, but clearly defined.
I grabbed this on release day because I consistently enjoy CF White & Piers Ryman. I also love age gap & unique tropes – CIRCUS! I’m thankful for other reviews that pointed out this was slow burn – because I saved it for a day when that’s what I was in the mood for.
Darius is turning 40 and while he thoroughly enjoys his life with Godeaux’s Travelling Circus, he pines for something more permanent in his personal life. He’s also quite the grump. While Charlie is in his early 20s, he’s definitely not a sunshine either. White really lets us get to know these two characters and their history and readers see how their lives actually intersected long before they met. I got to know and love Charlie’s family and the Godeaux “found family” which really helped with understanding the MCs better.
Once they get together (about 70% mark) – it gets pretty steamy, but they still struggle to communicate well on what they each want and need in life and from each other. Obviously – ROMANCE! – they do finally work it out. I liked the epilogue in terms of Darius & Charlie’s relationship, and while not a cliffhanger it did kind of open the door to more story.
Note: White commented on another review that she IS continuing Darius & Charlie’s story in a serial on her website called, “Encore!”. Chapter 1 is even in audio. (also, if like me you find it when you need a little more caffeine in your system, scroll down to the bottom & read “up” or you’ll end up reading chapter 2 before you listen to chapter 1.)
I again enjoyed Piers Ryman’s performance. I really liked his growly, grumbly voice for Darius. He did a good job with all the other voices as well. It was easy to listen to and kept the various characters consistent in my mind.
About the author:
Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail–leave.
Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.
Eventually she moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.
After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed and it brought pen back to and paper after having written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C F White can’t stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride
You can connect with CF White here:
My Favorite Quotes
He was far too important. He was the star after all. And a grouch. A prickly grouch. A prickly and now officially old grouch. – Leap of Faith by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #Romance #AgeGap #Gymnast #Acrobat #Circus #SlowBurnTweet
He stroked a hand through thick, almost jet-black hair, then when the couple parted, and the full length of him came into view, Charlie widened spellbound eyes. – Leap of Faith by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #Romance #AgeGap #Gymnast #Acrobat #Circus #SlowBurnTweet
he’d effortlessly transformed from the ever-grisly Darius Lungo into—The Flying Romanian, The Angel Air Dancer, The Death-Defying Darius—the performer. – Leap of Faith by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #Romance #AgeGap #Gymnast #Acrobat #Circus #SlowBurnTweet
There was a glint of something mischievous, something dark, something roguish twinkling in his eyes and Charlie had to blink to cut himself off from the continued penetration. – Leap of Faith by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #Romance #AgeGap #Gymnast #Acrobat #Circus #SlowBurnTweet
A performer without an outlet is merely a mannequin. – Leap of Faith by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #Romance #AgeGap #Gymnast #Acrobat #Circus #SlowBurnTweet