The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers

Genre: Historical Fantasy Fiction


Sneaky. That’s how I’d say this book starts out. The main character, Lara Barnes is about to be married. Unsatisfied with her dress, she casts an enchantment to make it ideal. Honestly, the opening chapters hint at a fairy tale wedding and a happy ever after, and then…the groom disappears.


The Ladies of the Secret Circus, like the painting that becomes a focal point of the story, has so many nuanced and lovely layers, I was hooked pretty much from page one. The title and cover hint at something a little darker, but the author takes her time, drawing you into the magic and mystery of a woman who has no idea how powerful she is and where her magic actually comes from.


With excellent character development and an author who wasn’t afraid to take the time to really root the reader in the story, this was my favorite read this year. Tragedy, magic, Paris, a family secret, and fate all intertwine to a satisfying climax.


Because I love a book that can meld the past and the present, and for the rich, sensory descriptions and interesting subplots, this book earns five stars.


This book is set to release on March 23, 2021. It is available for preorder on Amazon.


Book Blurb


Paris, 1925: To enter the Secret Circus is to enter a world of wonder—a world where women weave illusions of magnificent beasts, carousels take you back in time, and trapeze artists float across the sky. Bound to her family’s circus, it’s the only world Cecile Cabot knows until she meets a charismatic young painter and embarks on a passionate affair that could cost her everything.


Virginia, 2004:Lara Barnes is on top of the world, until her fiancé disappears on their wedding day. When her desperate search for answers unexpectedly leads to her great-grandmother’s journals, Lara is swept into a story of a dark circus and ill-fated love.


Soon secrets about Lara’s family history begin to come to light, revealing a curse that has been claiming payment from the women in her family for generations. A curse that might be tied to her fiancé’s mysterious disappearance


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