4.5 stars Actor/Theatre adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Book Contemporary DA Dancer Fade to black/No Steam Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Morgan NetGalley Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Riptide Publishing

Counterbalance by Aidan Wayne




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.


Coming September 12 to Riptide:


What an interesting setting! John and Bao both work for Cirque Brilliance a circus act with acrobats and martial arts and exciting new routines who travel the world. John is from Texas and has a terrible burn across his face while Bao is a fresh new acrobat from China who falls for John’s accent first and doesn’t seem to mind the scars.

This is hurt/comfort at it’s best. Bao is open and honest and enthusiastic and John is sweet, kind and unassuming. John is NOT bitter, but he’s fairly resigned to a life alone.

I love Aidan’s writing. It’s smooth and easy to fall into. I was swept into this story right away and didn’t want to put it down. I fell in love with both Bao and John and their friends and – to me- that’s what makes a really good romance – when the reader cares about the MCs so much that you end up rooting for them.

I wish the story were longer, our couple only just gets together by the ending and the steam is pretty low – but – the feels are huge and the ending is sweet.

I really liked it and give this 4.5 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for Honest Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.