According to my Goodreads account I have read the book Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips four times. By my estimate, it might actually be more like six. There is something about this book that I love.
Daisy finds herself in an arranged marriage with Alex Markov, though neither of them wants to be married to the other. Alex drags her away to work in the circus, live in a travel trailer, and be his neglected wife until they can go their separate ways. So to tick off what it has that I adore in a book, it’s a contemporary, yet it is a marriage of convenience (or inconvenience in this case) story, they’re in forced proximity, traveling on the road, and best of all, it has a circus.
I love everything about the circus (except animal abuse, more on that later) and every time I find myself craving a circus romance I scour the internet for something worth reading.. and end up back at Kiss an Angel. I can’t seem to find anything else to scratch that itch in the same way. I’m here today to ask our lovely AAR readers for suggestions.
Do you know of a great circus romance I haven’t found?
Let me tell you about a few of the titles I’ve either read, or that I’ve come across, so you know what I already have under my big top, so to speak.
Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips – As I said above, this is a contemporary romance, a road trip romance, a marriage of convenience, and so many other wonderful tropes rolled into one. It’s a big pile of dated angst I can’t stay away from. I would feel bad if I didn’t warn readers, however, that there are animals in the circus receiving poor to dubious treatment. Daisy tries to improve their lives as much as she can. Also, I always like to warn people that this book is kind of an odd duck that features weird woman-tiger telepathy and I can’t explain it but you just have to ignore that.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – This is more historical fiction than just romance, about a young man in Great Depression who runs away from veterinary school to join the circus. I read it maybe ten years ago and really enjoyed it. I found the movie version passable. I think it is totally worth the read but if you have a tender heart for animals this one is going to boil your blood.
Amour Amour by Krista and Becca Ritchie – A young woman named Thora wants to be in an acrobatic act on the Vegas strip and develops a romantic and training relationship with a skilled acrobat. I’m a Cirque du Soleil junkie and saw them four times in the last calendar year, so this should have been a shoe-in for me but it was flat. I wanted more circus than this provided and I think the concept had more potential than was met.
Buy it at: Amazon
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I sometimes think of this as the book that everyone has read but no one knows the plot of. The Night Circus is what I would call Literary Fantasy, full of very lush prose, intricate writing, and book club potential. It is beautiful but neither the plot nor the romance are what will knock your socks off.
Buy it at: Amazon
These titles have been mentioned to be as worth reading, but I haven’t read them yet:
The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey-Berrick
Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
Please share some more recommendations with me! My preference is for contemporary settings but I am open to historical ones. They can be any romantic pairing but romance is a must. Paranormal is not a genre I tend to read but others might love a circus paranormal. Young Adult is a possibility for me but I’d prefer adult. Suggest away – and thank you in advance!