Counterbalance by Aidan Wayne
Released on September 12, 2016
Published by Riptide Publishing
Page count/words: 88 pages/21,500 words
Categories: Drama, Contemporary, M/M Romance
Book link: Riptide
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.
Counterbalance is one of those stories that I ate up as I was reading. Just enough drama, romance, sweetness, and humanity to keep the pages turning. John is disfigured by a relative as a teen. It’s not easy being different and people aren’t always tolerant of his difference. He’s been called names and watches as people shrink away from him. His job as a rigger for a Cirque show is perfect. The talent in this type of show is a bit quirky too, so he feels at home behind the Cirque sets.
Then Bao enters John’s life. Bao is from China and new to the Cirque Brilliance show as a balancing talent. He’s super friendly and outgoing, meeting everyone. He approaches John and treats him exactly the same as everyone else. As if he doesn’t even see John’s disfigurement. Bao was sweet and innocent. He is almost childlike in his mannerisms but he grew on me quickly because it’s apparent he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body!
The attraction builds but John isn’t about to make the first move. The question is, will Bao be able to maneuver through cultural and language differences to get John to see what they could share together, or will this romance never see the light of day.
If you’re looking for the perfect afternoon getaway, Counterbalance would be a great choice!