Published by Independent on December 12th 2014
Love is a circus
"Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”
The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”
When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future--acrobaticpartners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world.
Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.
This sexy and exhilarating New Adult Romance can best be described as Cirque du Soleil meets the steamy, athletic romance of Center Stage.
*standalone & no love triangles—recommended for readers 18+ for mature content*
The circus is one of those things that just scream wonderment and mystery. A world like no other; filled with characters sporting strange appearances, exotic animals and men and women with immeasurable talent and courage. From the tamer who faces off with some of the world’s deadliest predators to the acrobats who fly through the air as if they have wings, a visit always evokes an emotional response. When I spotted AMOUR AMOUR on my twitter feed and read the synopsis and the fact it was written by some of my friends’ favourite authors, I knew this book would be right up my street.
Thora is a gymnast who has always harboured a love for the circus. When the opportunity to audition for Amour Amour, a show in one of Las Vegas’ premier Circus shows, Thora risks her college scholarship and her parents’ and friend’s approval and heads off for the craziest city in the world. A chance encounter with the show’s biggest star, Nikolai, in the most unlikely of circumstances ensures Thora’s Vegas adventure gets off to the rockiest of starts. As Thora fights to keep her dream on track, facing setback after setback, she also must contend with her potential co-star and his magnifying presence. Their chemistry may be off the charts, but in the uncertain world of acrobatics, is it enough for them to risk everything they know and want for simply a chance at love?
Krista and Becca Ritchie have been on my TBR since they published their first book and while it’s taken me until now to finally read their work, the love my blogger friends have for their scintillating stories ensured I bought every single book to date. Unwilling to commit to yet another series, when I read that AMOUR AMOUR was a standalone, I knew it was time to take the plunge and boy, was it worth it!
I loved the chance to get an insight into one of the most unique ways of life. The circus – with its nomadic lifestyle, brutal training regimes, its inherent danger and most of all, its strong family ties with generations picking up the baton and embracing the traditions with no hesitation. It was thrilling to learn about the sacrifices and the love and above all strength and bravery that are needed to survive this life. While the acrobats may not receive gold medals and endorsements from cereal companies, they are truly athletes who must commit the same amount of time and energy to ensure they are at their peak as those training for competitions. I loved how atmospheric this book was and how the Ritchie sisters dropped you right in the middle of the action and ensured the experience was authentic. The Vegas strip was another star of the book and the crazy, hectic pace of the city was felt with every passing page.
I loved Thora’s strength and tenacity in this book. Despite getting knocked back, several times, she simply dusted herself off and endeavoured to work harder. She doesn’t complain or look back; she keeps moving forward, always focussed on her goal which was refreshing from other NA novels where the “heroine” throws it all away at the first sign of attention from a guy.
Nikolas was certainly an interesting character. Oozing sex appeal from his first appearance, I was worried that perhaps that would be all he had to offer but he was seriously one of my favourite New Adult “Heroes”! A man who knows sacrifice, who lives it every day, I loved how he unfailingly supported Thora in her dreams and never hesitated to have her back.
The development of their relationship was one of my many favourite things about this book. I loved how it progressed. There may be instant chemistry but hell to the no, there’s no insta love here. My nerves were fraught with the deliciously slow pace as we get to experience every moment of this pair’s descent into emotional and physical lust and love.
My absolute favourite thing about this book (can you tell there was many? lol) was the emphasis on FAMILY! Oh boy, I don’t know how many books I’ve read where family is simply a plot device to emphasise just how crappy an MC’s life is so it was heartening for it to be given a positive spotlight. Niko and his brothers and sister had the most complicated, emotional, loving and craziest relationship and I enjoyed every moment they appeared. I loved how each of the secondary characters received the same rich development and I was aching to know more about each of their personal stories.
This was definitely a Danielle book and focussed on some of my favourite things to read about in a book, most notably self-respect, standing up for yourself, not sacrificing your personal happiness for the first guy who comes along, establishing a partnership with the person you love and above all, following your path and recognising that inner love and worth is vital to realising your dreams. I simply loved it!