…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
He called himself Stardust, but one of my friends told me his name was Jean. I met him during the summer I worked at the cotton candy stand when the circus came through town.
He was made of big dreams, sunshine, and raw sense of being that I’d never known existed before him. His eyes were black as mud, his lips were the same color as the cotton candy I sold, and his smile could put a solar eclipse to shame.
He was everything I wasn’t. He was the first man I ever loved, and he left without me ever telling him that the way he looked at me broke my heart.
I’m older now, and even if that circus never comes through town again, I’ll still call him Stardust.
A good story can transport you inside the pages – make you feel like you are part of the characters’ lives or being in the world where they are. You feel like you can smell that green grass, or hear the noises on the street, just like the words on the page. Or in this case… the sound and smell of a circus.
Anyta Sunday’s second contribution to the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Annual Free Stories Event, “Love’s Landscape”, brought the circus to me … the smell of the dust, the sounds of performers preparing, the colors of the clowns… and the allurement of falling in love with a performer.
The story began in 1949 where 17-year-old almost 18-year-old Nathan saw Blue, the Acrobatic Trick Rider. He enchanted Nathan; Nathan called him Stardust because Blue and his horse left shimmering dust trails like cosmic dust. But Stardust was a performer, a bird he called himself. While Nathan was the one who stayed, a cage. And this bird still wanted to fly.
Until twelve years later where the broken bird returned to town again with the circus, where Nathan was now older and still remembered his first love. One might say that this felt like a tragic story because of the fact that Nathan and Stardust were separated for a little more than a decade.
But I couldn’t think of it that way.
I thought the years they were separated gave them time to grow older, to mature. Nathan was surely more confident when he confronted Stardust again, twelve years later. Sometimes the bird needs to fly to realize that he has a home to land safely. Besides, I thought Nathan and Stardust would still have their best years ahead of them (heck they were both were still in their 30’s!).
I did feel that I was being a bit robbed from reading more about the budding friendship between Nathan and Danny (a clown that was left behind). I thought Danny was a very good secondary character; he shined in his own way. I would love to read more about his love for Danny’s sister, Rosa. While this was Nathan’s story, I couldn’t help but want more of Danny and Rosa’s story as well. It is probably because I have been reading some good MF romance stories too lately. So I would love to read a hundred more words of this. Although to be fair, this story has also done a lot to stand out in my mind, compared to many others that are four times lengthier.
So in conclusion, Bird Meets Cage is definitely my personal favorite of Anyta Sunday yet (and probably her best so far). It was magical, atmospheric, and rather melancholic (probably the era) writing. Simply put, it is mesmerizing from beginning to end. And I loved every minute of it.
Title: Bird Meets Cage
Author: Anyta Sunday
Release Date: August 11, 2014
Download Links: Multiple format available MM Romance Group