The Official Description: 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 colourful 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?
Leap of Faith is a standalone age-gap, enemies to lovers, mm romance where the twists and turns don’t only happen in the ring.
Just the facts: M/M romance, complicated family relationships, Deaf sibling, circus performers, gymnast
There were times when reading this that I felt I was up on that trapeze flying with the performers. C.F. White has written a gripping story complete with heart-stopping spins and swerves – and not all of them happen in the big top! – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: “Leap of Faith” by C.F. White is beautiful. I have rewritten this first sentence a few times because there are so many things I want to say about this story… and I’m not convinced there is a simple way to sum up how fantastic it is.
Let’s start with the beginning of the novel. When the reader first meets Charlie, he’s fleeing a career in gymnastics and a shot at the Olympics. It’s unclear why he’s fleeing, but he’s definitely on the run. He returns home to Jersey Island. Jersey is the home of his mum and his sister (who has a different father … Charlie has the sweetest relationship with his little sister who happens to be Deaf. All Charlie knows of his own father is that he’s not in his life. From the first time he appears, it’s clear that Charlie has been hurt
When Charlie meets up with his best friend Josh… and proceeds to get drunk, he’s still in the bar when a group of circus performers appears. This is the first time that Charlie encounters Darius.
Oh, Darius. I may have a new favorite dark and brooding character. Darius has been with the circus his entire life. For most of it, he was partnered with and in love with Louis. Louis was unattainable… but their high-flying routine under the big top was like magic… that is until Louis left with no goodbye and no way for anyone to contact him. Darius has spent a long time cutting himself off from his friends/family but he’s in trouble. The circus is in trouble and they need a better, more exciting act from Darius to keep the big top full.
Once these two characters meet – and let me tell you it was an amusing and mortifying situation that you won’t forget – there are instant sparks. They get under each other’s skin right away but Darius’s prickly exterior is a bad fit with Charlie’s insecurity and wounded soul.
There were so many things that I loved about this book. First of all, I was so wrapped up in the story that I couldn’t put it down. White’s writing is engaging and emotional and it was such a joy to slip into the story (and I didn’t want it to end). White really captures the way that our decisions can have a huge impact on our lives, and how there are times when we simply don’t want to move on from the past without a fight. Both of the main characters are facing battles that are all-encompassing.
The circus, the trapeze in particular becomes the thing that binds Charlie and Darius. Charlie is not only enraptured by Darius’s skill, but he can also apply his gymnastics talent to high flying. As they work together, they become more and more intrigued with one another. The attraction is visceral and smoking hot even when they are nowhere near one another. White has such a convincing and beautiful way of writing the relationship between the two main characters. It is no easy road for either of them; there’s push and pull, hurt and attraction and so much to overcome.
I have no intention of ruining the plot for you. Suffice to say, the plot is intricate, a little mysterious, and thoroughly engaging. I enjoyed all of it.
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) perceived power imbalance in a relationship in the past, a character was drugged in the past and this lead to a sexual encounter, a character does not know who his father is.
I received an ARC of Leap of Faith by C.F. White from The Author in exchange for an unbiased review.