Circus-themed romances are few and far between, but a few stand out as literary gems—and then there are some that would make the Ringling Brothers blush.
The first book that stands out in most people’s minds is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which is a Romeo and Juliet story with dueling magicians, Celia and Marco. You’ve got magic, history, and a rich backstory, all of which has put this book on the best-seller list.
A common theme in circus romances is the idea of the hero or heroine running away to look for a fresh new start. The nature of the circus is by and large nomadic, the performers and workers literally pick up and go on to the next destination. For many heroines (and in a few cases a hero), this presents a unique opportunity to start fresh with a group that they want to be a part of.
For fans of young adult, Kendall Ryan writing as Ryann Kerekes presents The Cirque about a good girl ballerina named Ariel and a bad boy knife thrower named Gabriel. For those of you who found the knife throwing scene in Divergent suspenseful, basically take the sexual tension between Tris and Four, add the circus to it and you’ve got The Cirque. Ariel is a good girl looking for adventure while Gabriel is running away from his problems. The Cirque is a tightly written young adult novel that presents the circus as a backdrop for angst and romance.