Thursday, March 8, 2018

Review Tour: Living On Air by Susan Mac Nicol (Review + Excerpt)

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Title: Living On Air
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Released on February 22nd 2018


For aerialist, Cary Stilwell, aside from performing forty feet in the air, life holds little comfort until he meets Rhys McIntyre, who punctures all of Cary's defenses.
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.


This book delves into subjects some people may find disturbing. There are elements of the main characters' pasts that include paedophilia, the dark side of religion, and the horrors of war. Aspects of the story include self-harm, depression, and suicide, and the book is set in a circus where clowns are featured.
None of these elements are gratuitous, but instead are included because they are part of the human condition, and are essential to our main characters' journeys. I hope you join Cary and Rhys as they navigate their way to love.



4.5 Stars!

First of all, if you're going to read this book, please read the warnings posted by the author. They are there for a reason, which is that some scenes might be triggering for certain readers.

That said, this was a hard book to read at times. Susan Mac Nicol didn't shy away from showing us the depth of Cary's pain and how he dealt with it. It was difficult seeing what he did to himself, but she did it in a matter-of-fact way, which helped a bit. She didn't go overboard or brought on more angst than what was needed. That doesn't mean that this wasn't angsty, because it was, just that it wasn't excessive.

I loved Rhys, even when he'd gone through his fair share of difficult times, he was easygoing, sweet, supportive and above all, patient. I liked Cary, too, and my heart broke for all he went through as a child. There were moments in which I wanted to shake him a bit, and really, I expected that when they met again, it would've been less... easy, maybe? But, I guess all's well that ends well. Cary was pricklier than Rhys, but they complemented each other well and had amazing chemistry. The sex scenes were hot and detailed and did I mention hot?

I loved seeing the life in a circus as portrayed in this book, it's obvious the author did her research and managed to show us a view of it that few have before. The secondary cast, Greta, Marco *sobs* and the rest, were a great support system for Cary, from when they took him in as a kid and gave more depth to the main storyline.

Overall, if you like angsty angst and hurt/comfort with some darker elements, you just can't miss on this story. It was well-written and poignant and I'll certainly re-read it at some point.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***



Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called 'the boyfriend' by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there'd be no need for him. Susan hasn't had the heart to tell him there's an app for that...

She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a 'half full' kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.

In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that's never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful review and for taking part in the tour. I very much appreciate it ♥♥