Now this author has my attention

Counterbalance - Aidan Wayne

This is so sweet!

Aidan Wayne really knows how to write feel-good books. Reading a story of these is a promise of a smile threatening to split my face in two.

They are kind of theatre plays.

Basically they are about two characters with flaws, but this kind of flaws that are not really defects, but an aspect of their lives that prevents them from really looking for happiness because of the fear of how they willl be viewed and judged by society. The problem is, this view and judgment they are scared of focuses only on the superficial aspects rather than the real person beneath. The characters grow thanks to the other one, they get free of their chains and embrace and cherish what’s truly important of themselves. Or at least, they find the way to go there.

John’s surname in the Cirque is Phantom. It’s no wonder why that is, as half his face is scarred, like part of his body. People try not to get close to him if they can help it.

Until Bao.

Bao is the new Chinese acrobat. He is cheerful and doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He loves talking to everybody. And, apparently, he seems to like to be close to John more than to anybody else.

John doesn’t know what to make of it. At first, he has no clue why someone like Bao would want to do anything with something like him. At first, he tells himself Bao is nice to everybody, and for once, he doesn’t make an exception with him. At first, he tells himself Bao just want him as a friend.

However, John begins to wish for something more, things that he gave up ages ago: a connection with someone. Love. He tries to lower his expectations, to extinguish hope before it ever has the chance to sparkle. He can be described as deliberately obtuse, but you also understand his reasons to be so blind, even when reality is so painfully obvious.

Because he knows it’s not possible. For someone to love him. For Bao to love him.

Is it?

Bao is adorbs. John is too cute for words. Their interactions made me hop on my seat. The action goes smoothly and their closeness happens naturally, without forcing the situation, which, by the length of the book, is impressive.

Bao can be considered too bright, too perfect, too selfless. But hey, John is the epitome of a generous heart, too. This may feel more like a fairy tale than the real world. But in the Cirque magic happens, right?

All in all, I can see this relationship being developed beyond that open ending, resulting in a great novel. In fact, I’m curious enough to know how this author is when writing a full story.


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