by Willa Hix

December 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-7358-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Lucy is not your average historical romance heroine – she’s no governess, debutant or perhaps just a “lady”. No, Lucy is a circus performer, a trapeze artist to be exact, who has been raised by Harry and Shirley Conroy, the owners of the Conroy Circus Cavalcade and also her adoptive parents. But with Harry’s health failing and the circus losing more money than it’s bringing in, the financial backers for the Conroy Circus decide to bring in someone to help turn things around. Enter Sir Jeremy Barrington.

Jeremy is not pleased to be going to the middle of nowhere to be in charge of a bunch of circus performers. However, he made a mistake, a very big mistake, and in order to redeem himself to his boss, he has to make the Conroy Circus a success. It’s his punishment in a way, but it doesn’t seem too bad when Jeremy spies Lucy in her leotard!

Lucy has been burned recently by a smooth talking charmer a lot like Jeremy, or so she assumes, so she is not eager to take a chance on being hurt again, even though Jeremy does look mighty fine, both coming and going! And Jeremy can’t take a chance on being distracted from improving the circus since his future is on the line, but Lucy is enough to distract any man and Jeremy is falling for her quicker than even Lucy’s jumping to her safety net!

When I first realized that Gone Courting was a story set in the midst of a group of circus performers, I couldn’t help but think “oh great, our heroine is a carnie”. But I was pleasantly surprised to learn another whole side to my preconceived notions about circus performers. Gone Courting does an excellent job of portraying the characters in the Conroy Circus as real artists, as serious about their craft as any actor or actress. (And there wasn’t a bearded lady or “freak” anywhere among them!) Ms. Hix’s writing of the circus performances was dramatic and helped me to easily visualize the theatrical events depicted. I was so involved in the story that I found myself holding my breath at Lucy’s daring and dramatic trapeze stunts!

Lucy and Jeremy’s love story was just as well written. I loved the lengths Jeremy went to at convincing Lucy that his affection was real and lasting. And fans of good-old, storybook romance will be delighted at the truly romantic ending that is sure to make anyone say “awwww”, if they haven’t already before that!

With a story full of the excitement of the circus, a passionate romance and even a mystery to solve, Gone Courting is a definite keeper!

Reviewed in April 2003 by Nicole.

Read more reviews of Willa Hix books.Click Here