The fifth star is for Tater the elephant.
Generally, my tastes run towards unusual heroines with bold and snappy comebacks and heroes with snark for brains behind their easy smiles. This book, therefore, should not be able to rate as many stars as it did at the outset, but as I kept reading, those stars just kept piling up.
This is something like a Beauty and the Beast story, only the castle is a circus and a much martyred and unwanted Belle has to shovel elephant dung through a great deal of it. I'll admit Daisy may have opened my eyes a bit to a softer kind of heroine, but she did come out in the end with her own fair amount of snark. I really liked her, actually.
At some point I'll admit that SEP laid it all a bit thick with the bit about Alex's ancestry, but by the time she really brought it to the fore I was too far in to even think about backing out.