Circus Hearts #3: All Aces | Prepare to be amazed!

Title: All Aces (Circus Hearts #3)
Author: Ellie Marney
Published: November 2018
Publisher: Bearded Lady Press
Readership: Young Adult #loveozya
Genre: Dark Romance
Rating: ★★★★★
RRP: $3.99 AUD

I received a copy of All Aces from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A teenage contortionist and a young cardsharp risk danger to right a family legacy of injustice.…

Nineteen-year-old contortionist Ren Putri is committed to circus, study and self-discipline – in that order. But after being rescued from a carnival fire by cardsharp Zep Deal, she’s overwhelmed by some highly disorderly thoughts. Zep has a history of trouble, and now he’s been suspected of sabotaging the circus that’s become his whole life. Ren is already coping with family, and keeping secrets of her own – but she can’t resist a mystery. Will Ren’s penchant for solving puzzles bring the case against Zep to rights, or will digging further into the bad blood between rival carnivals only put them both in danger?

Dark YA romance, with a criminal twist – Circus Hearts: Step. Right. Up.

It’s hard to believe that the final book in the Circus Hearts series (for now, I hope!) has been released and that there’s nothing more to read from the circus I’ve come to know and love so much. It’s been a wild ride and so worth it.

After the events in All Fall Down, contortionist Ren is dealing with the after effects of smoke inhalation all while trying to maintain her regular, routine-driven life. She’s committed to her studies, her family and her work, and her rescue by Zep Deal from the carnival fire has thrown all of that in disarray. Zep, on the other hand, is dealing with the fallout from his family’s past, and is being looked upon with suspicion by members of the crew even as he’s trying to move forward and do something positive with his life. Their two paths collide and they must work together if they want to stop their secrets from causing further problems for the carnival – or danger for themselves.

Can I just say how adorable Ren is?

She really is. Despite being a contortionist, she’s a realist who knows that no matter how much she loves her work, she can’t do it forever and so she’s studying for a life after being a performer that still keeps her in the business by being a positive influence in the lives of future performers. I think she totally rocks. She’s also a perfectionist, which comes out not only in her studies, but also in her performances and the pressure she puts on herself to be back at peak performance level after a serious medical issues – she keeps pushing and pushing herself, which many people do, and there are ramifications for that which she ignores until she can’t anymore. It felt very real.

Zep, on the other hand, is the tortured soul of the story, haunted by past misdeeds and a notorious father who won’t stay gone. But he’s a good guy who wants to move past all that and find his place in the world and showcase his talents (and his performances sound AMAZING). He doesn’t quite understand why Ren keeps trying to help him at first, but as they grow to get to know one another the chemistry is there and sparks begin to fly and honestly, it’s just great.

I love the trouble the two of them find themselves in, and the minor appearances by past lead characters, especially Fleur, who seems to have continued to grow as a character since her book, which I really appreciated.

Ellie Marney has done a great job describing the various performances and I really wish this carnival was real because I would love to see all of it in person.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy of these books in December. They’ve been on of the absolute highlights of my reading year in 2018.

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