Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Jen's Review: Dance With Me

Dance with Me by Alexis Daria
Publisher: Swerve (December 12, 2017)
Series: Dance Off, 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The second book in Alexis Daria's dancing duology finds one playboy charmer falling for his new roommate.

Natasha Díaz is having a day. She’s trying to prove she can make it as a professional dancer, but she’s overworked, out of cash, and her roommate has just moved out. When she comes home to find a hole in her ceiling and her bedroom flooded, she’s desperate enough to crash with the one guy she can’t quit. She accepts his offer with one condition: no sleeping together while she’s living with him.

Dimitri Kovalenko has never lived with a woman before. But when Tasha’s in need of a place to stay, he suggests she move in without a second thought. He accepts her condition, hoping she won’t stick to it. They’re good together, both in the ballroom and the bedroom. Since their first dance, she’s never been far from his thoughts. Sure, she’s a pro and he’s one of her show’s judges, but they’re not currently filming, so no one needs to know.

Living in close quarters shows Dimitri a side of Natasha he’s never seen before, and he likes it. A lot. Too bad she’s doing everything in her power to keep him at arm’s length. When an injury forces Natasha to take it easy or risk her ability to dance, it’s his chance to show her that the rules have changed, and she can trust him with her heart.

Where to Buy*:
Kindle | NOOK | Kobo
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Reviews for  Daria's Books:

Jen's Review:

Put on your dancing shoes! The second in Alexis Daria’s Dance Off series is here. It’s no secret that I absolutely loved the first book in this series, and I’m happy to report that once it hits it stride, Dance With Me is just as satisfyingly sexy.

This is the story of dancer Natasha Diaz, who is a dancer on the hit reality TV show The Dance Off. The book starts immediately after the series wraps for the season, and Natasha has had a run of bad luck. Her apartment gets flooded and she has to move out, but financial difficulties mean that she can’t afford to just move into a new apartment. The person who comes to her rescue is a Dance Off judge and semi-regular fuck buddy, Dimitri Kovalenko, who tells Natasha she can have his guest room until her apartment is fixed. Natasha agrees, but with a firm “no sex” stipulation.

It feels like I’m familiar with pretty much every romance trope under the sun, and I’ve definitely read “hook-ups that turn into long-lasting relationships” books before. But usually, the booty call portion of the relationship is brief; but in this case, Natasha and Dimitri had been occasional fuck buddies for three years! I’ll admit that this book got off to a bit of a slow start for me. With the preliminaries of the relationship already in the past, it was harder to fire up that dramatic tension. There’s maybe a few too many chapters that end with either Dimitri or Natasha thinking about how they aren’t going to make the same mistakes, fail again, or risk their hearts. Natasha’s “no sex” rule sort of makes sense, but at the same time felt like a ploy to keep them apart and the sexual tension rising.

Even though it takes a while to heat up, I loved the interplay between Dimitri and Natasha. Dimitri is famous and successful, but he’s still afraid to risk himself professionally and personally. Part of the reason he’s relegated Natasha to a booty call, even though he’s sure she’s “the one”, is that he’s afraid she’ll reject him. And Natasha focuses only on her failures, which means she feels unworthy of love. Alexis Daria does an amazing job of showing how these two gradually let down their guard and learn to trust each other.

There are so many pleasing, beautiful things about this book. In a series, I’m always wary of that same-same feeling. I semi-expected that this book would, like Take the Lead, be set against the background of the reality show being filmed. But this book is a fresh, creative original. It takes place during the off-season with Natasha hustling to make ends meet and Dimitri contemplating his dream of producing his own, original work. Yes, it’s an absolutely sizzling romance! But, at heart, it’s a book that explores creativity as a vibrant, personal, and urgent human activity. Natasha and Dimitri are both connected to the show, but they each have individual hopes and dreams. Loving themselves and and each other is inextricably tied to that deep well of creative energy that they both possess. The glorious thing about their romance is that being together makes them more creative, more capable, and more confident. And isn’t that just how love is supposed to be?

Dance With Me is another great book from Alexis Daria. You’ll fall in love with Dimitri and Natasha, and like me, you’ll be fervently hoping that there are more books coming soon from this talented author.

4 1/2 STARS! 

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Jen received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

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Thanks for the review, Jen! I need to get my ass in gear and read both of these -- they're on my Kindle, but I am a horrible, horrible reader lately.

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on December 28th for a chance to win an ecopy of your own!

Have you read Alexis Daria? Or any good romances with dancers (heroines OR heroes)?


Until Next Time,

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