Book InfoAerial by Manuela Rouget
Series: Flying High Duet #1
Rating: Book ratings explained
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
My name is Fauve, I’m twenty-two years old, and two months ago, I was a normal French college student. Now? I was just accepted into the prestigious National Institute of Circus Arts of Montréal and moved to the other side of the Atlantic to attend their 10-month Intensive Program.
The catch? Every term, the lowest ranking half of the class has to go home, and the best student wins a job at the legendary Cirque des Etoiles at the end of the year, guaranteeing a long, prosperous career as a performer.
Will I be good enough to stay in the program until the end? Will the open relationship with my boyfriend help us overcome the distance? Will the connection with my flatmates be the end of it all or is it just the beginning?
One thing is certain: the show must go on, and failure is not an option.
Aerial is a steamy, fast-burn Reverse Harem Romance Novel intended for audiences 18+ only. It ends with an HFN and no cliffhanger. The story is focused on the female main character but a polyamorous relationship builds in the first book and is fully developed in the second one. By the beginning of book two, all her men have relationships with each other.
Aerial – My Review
I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a book with so few triggers, quite so much.
Aerial was one of the books that have been sitting on my Kindle for months, just waiting for the perfect time to be read. If I’m honest, I’m not entirely sure what drew me to it in the first place; it’s certainly not my usual sort of pitch-black read. But, after reading When The Sun Goes Down I needed something that wasn’t going to break me or leave me questioning my dark romance-loving existence. A circus-themed reverse harem novel would do just that.
If I’m reading a light coloured romance it’s really important to me that the characters are solid and real, that their emotions and reactions mirror real life, even if they’re faced with less than average circumstances. For me, this was really where the book shone. At times it was gritty and painful, and I couldn’t always tell if the promised ‘happy for now’ was for all characters or solely Fauve (the FMC).
While this was clearly Fauve’s story, Manuela Rouget didn’t shy away from dealing with the varying emotions of her three men or their intertwined relationships. This is the first reverse harem novel I’ve read where each of the protagonists has a romantic relationship with all of the others in the group. It was refreshing to read; although you often see one or two characters do this, it’s rare to see a whole harem so interlaced.
Be smart, bold, and know your limits. That’s the best advice I can give you.
Of course, this meant that the steam levels were off the charts. Cody calls it when he says “there are so many options, so many possible combinations.” When you add in the sexual acrobatics three of the group are capable of, Rouget’s steamy and sensual ideas really blow your mind.
The book isn’t afraid to shy away from real-life issues. Early on, some of the characters have that awkward STI talk and subsequent visit to the clinic to get tested. It would have been all too easy to skate along with the usual ‘I’m clean’ excuse and have done with it. Instead, Rouget sensitively illustrates the additional sexual health risks of polyamorous relationships.
Along with potentially impossible circus acts, the book does incredibly well at normalising its characters. All three men have average-sized dicks – not ridiculously huge and rarely seen lengths of most book boyfriends. People get injured, they deal with visa issues and money concerns instead of country hopping on private jets. There’s psyching up to have difficult conversations about relationships and strain between characters when not everybody feels the same. There’s no instalove or enemies to lovers, just normal people growing together, apart, and becoming stronger.
I think what really pulled me into the story and made me love it so much wasn’t the circus aspect as I expected. In fact, the circus could have been any other setting and the parts of the book that stood out to me would still have done just that. It was its beautiful approach to communication within relationships, whether in friendship or romance. The characters didn’t have it easy, they didn’t fall into their group with one big bang, but the world wasn’t against them either. It’s proof that a good relationship takes work, whether that’s with one other person or three.
I was surprised by Aerial. I didn’t expect to love it so much. And yes, I’ve already one-clicked the second book in the duet, Stellar. Now I’m off to read it.