Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Review: Amour Amour - Krista and Becca Ritchie

From Goodreads

"Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”

The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”

When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future--acrobatic partners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world. 

Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.

This sexy and exhilarating New Adult Romance can best be described as Cirque du Soleil meets the steamy, athletic romance of Center Stage.

*standalone & no love triangles—recommended for readers 18+ for mature content*

My Review

Thora is a small town girl with a big dreams. She's a gymnast, and aspires to join the circus (no, not the clowns and elephants kind. Think Cirque du Soleil!). 
With only a year left in college, and a scholarship hanging in the balance, Thora takes an enormous risk and leaves her hometown in Ohio to audition for a role in Amour, a sexy acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Despite having no formal training and a near non-exsistant support system, she dives in head first. 
On her very first night in Vegas she meets Nikolai Kotava, the intense, sexy, and gorgeously strong Russian. Sparks fly, but they part ways after an absurdly sexy scene that shouldn't have been as hot as it was. 

(Seriously, I didn't think I could get turned on reading about nipple piercing. 
That got your attention, didn't it?)

The next day is the audition, and Thora is shocked to see Nikolai as Amour's leading man. Unfortunately, Thora fails the role. She is understandably crushed, but instead of running back home with her tail between her legs, Thora accepts Nikolai's offer to train her until the show puts out its next audition early in the new year. I can't say much more without spoiling it, so you'll just have to see for yourself what happens next!

"Thora James: A series of fails, but she'll stand up again."

I'm a huge fan of the Ritchie twins' writing, and Amour Amour did not disappoint! This book was inspiring, passionate, uplifting and intensely arousing. To me, there is nothing more attractive than passion for what you do. The characters' intensity for their dreams exploded off the pages, and the book was all the more sexy because of it.

I blew through this in less than a day. It was incredibly engaging, and it's written in an almost simplistic way that drives each and every emotion home with precision. It was beautiful, and has more than earned its spot on my favorites shelf.

"Why help me?"

"I admire your courage. I know what you've given up to be here. I know the kind of artist it takes to land a role. I know that you won't receive one on your own. And I imagine you, myshka, two years from now, working at Phantom with the same aspirations, the same dreams, the same place where you are now. It's wasted courage. And wasted love. You shouldn't have to waste those things."

I found Amour Amour to be so unique and refreshing. The message of staying true to yourself and pushing forward even in the face of adversity and doubt was so well done. The concept as a story line sounds cheesy at best and preachy at worst, but it really wasn't like that at all. I felt so inspired while reading this, and even after putting it down.

"This is who I am today. 
Tomorrow I may be the same. But in years, I'll be someone else. 
Someone I may like more. 
Someone I may like less. 
And that's okay. Because I'm still living."

One of my favorite parts the book story was the cast of secondary characters, especially Luka, Timo, John and Katya. They were all so well developed and I cared deeply for each of them by the end of the book., Instead of being background noise for Thora and Nikolai, they each had their own voice. It made the story more believable and dimensional.

I don't think I've ever read such a sensual book, and I'm not talking about sex scenes. The way the physical aspects of their training and performance were described...god, I can't even put it into words.  Both Thora's own performance and that of Nikolai were so vivid, so intense. It was gorgeous, and unlike anything I've ever read. Amazing!

I was completely enthralled every time an acrobatic scene happened. I could picture it so clearly, and Thora and Nikolai's passion for it was incredible. They came to life in those scenes in ways I rarely see in the NA genre!

Speaking of which, their relationship!!!  I ship them, hard. It was real, it was sexy, and they had amazing chemistry. It was surprisingly tender, just a bit angsty, and very emotional. I loved how they were so firmly staying with that they'd choose the circus over each other in the beginning, and struggled with that as the story progressed. It felt like a real life story, like they were tangible people.

A totally pointless point that I loved was their height difference. Thora is tiny, and Nikolai is 6'5". 

"You can't be that surprised. When people see a giant fucking Russian man with a five-foot-something tiny blonde, it's the first thing we all think."
People aren't that curious. But then I envision myself in their shoes. I internally groan - how do they have sex would be in my top five thoughts, for sure.

"And what's your speed?"
"Much faster. Harder. Deeper.''

Nikolai was the perfect male for me. He was sweet, sensitive and loyal, while still remaining a protective and commanding alpha male.

"The things greater than us, Thora, they're not impossible. It's just fear talking, telling you that you can't when you can. I know you can."

I did see the ending coming to some extent, but it was what I was dying for, so I was completely fine with that. 

There's a few minor issues I had with the story, like some grammatical errors and things that just didn't sound right - seriously, how can one bite their own gums???

Overall though, Amour Amour was a fantastic New Adult book that didn't fall into the NA stereotype. If you like strong characters with a drive to follow their dreams and a heaping helping of steamy romance, this is a book for you!


Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: New adult, contemporary romance
Series: Standalone
POV: First person
Steam/sexual content: Very steamy, arousing, moderately graphic sex
Cliffhanger: No
Warning: Sex, some language
Length: 395 pages


  1. Huh. Biting my own gums is impossible. I can't say I would have noticed that if you hadn't pointed it out Amanda! I can bite my cheek or the inside of my bottom lip, but not my gums ;-)

    That aside, this sounds AWESOME! I have yet to read these two ladies despite all the rave reviews for their other series, but this one sounds too good for me to pass up. I want to read more about their height difference too... ;-)

  2. Oh this sounds so good. I like the circus setting, and I have been told numerous times to read these authors. Sigh... why aren't there more hours in the day for reading.

  3. Oh wow, this one does sound different from all the other NA :D Adding it to my TBR Thanks!

  4. Ack! This needs to be read, stat. I can't get into their Addiction series, but I might be persuaded to read this one since it's a stand-alone.

  5. that's definitely new. I've read ballet books, but not about gymsnasts and Cirque! Must be intense!