PIERCING THE NIGHT
Cary Stilwell has been existing since he was ten years old, and each year it gets harder to find meaning in his bleak life. The only exception – his work. As a top-billed aerialist in a popular travelling circus, he enjoys accolades and applause, but little else. When notable photographer, Rhys McIntyre, joins the circus to catalogue its inner workings, Cary fights the attraction that hits him from the moment they meet. But a kind soul wrapped in a beautiful body has a way of battering all the walls Cary has built around his cold, dark heart.
Rhys McIntyre is on his third iteration of reinventing himself. Once a hotdog financier, he embraced his passion for photography and became an eminent war photo journalist. Until one too many bullets lodged in his body, and he gave up the front lines for the softer side of chronicling life. When he accepts the assignment to record life in a circus, the last thing he expects is to find the man crush of his dreams. Except Cary Stilwell is a cold, tortured man who seems incapable of any warm emotion, never mind love. But Rhys is known for his persistence, and this time the pay-off might be more than he could have ever imagined.
The story had a good premise. Circus aerialist with a secret past (and present) and a photographer sent on a cushy assignment to document the circus for a coffee table book. Being that this photographer was a well respected war photographer, it seemed kind of odd but I was ok with it.
Trigger warning of self harm.
A lot of time was spent on Cary’s self harm. I mean, it was a huge part of who he was, but there were pages and pages and pages of it. How he kept it a secret from everyone else in the circus was a mystery to me. Of course he was super prickly and didn’t seem to like people, which kept them at arm’s length but still.
Rhys, the photographer, is immediately drawn to him. And even though Cary treats him like crap he keeps going back for more.
Much is said about the circus being a family, but Cary is so mean. To just about everyone. I don’t know why they all put up with it.
There are times when the dialogue is a bit to flippant for the scene. A serious, heartfelt scene comes to a screeching halt for me with silly dialogue.
It was good, not great. I didn’t feel the connection between Rhys and Cary until nearly the end of the book and needed more of an emotional connection with them. Cary was just too antagonistic.
3 Pieces of Candy