RELEASE DATE: 20th January 2016
BLURB: Two years of living with his controlling boyfriend left Chico worn down long before that boyfriend revealed he’d been seeing someone else. With no other choice, Chico moves in above his cousin’s garage in a small town in the redwoods, where he merely goes through the motions. To get him out of the house, his cousin pushes him to volunteer at a local dance studio to help with their annual show.
He’s not expecting to end up in a dance class, or to start feeling alive again in the arms of his dance instructor. Rafael is the studio owners’ son and was once a well-known dancer in his own right, but now enjoys being a teacher. Although Chico likes him, he’s afraid of taking a chance. But Rafael is determined, and it only takes one dance for Chico to start to realize he might still have something to learn.
I have read and enjoyed a couple of R. Cooper’s books and I knew I was in for some solid writing, intriguing story and great characters. Still I got a wonderful surprise with Dancing Lesson. This is my favorite book by her so far, and I love this story with all my heart. It has so many wonderful details (from secondary characters and ballet recital, to the setting) that they just made my heart soar, filled my eyes with tears, and gave me a heartwarming few hours of reading.
First, I was a little lost and didn’t know what to expect but after a few chapters I got a feel for Chico, and I fell for him so hard that I just couldn’t read fast enough and slow enough at the same time. He is a very well written, very special character. We root for him to be able to overcome all his insecurities, the mental abuse he had suffered in a previous relationship, to be able to find his real self again. He meets the perfect candidate to help him heal, help him enjoy and live his life the fullest. Rafael is a gem. His life is well put together. He enjoys having a content life teaching dance, managing his family’s dance studio in a small town. This book is the story of Chico’s self -discovery. It is a wonderful tale of starting anew, and second chances. I love the way their relationship develops. The way their encounters make you smile, melt, think and they will fill your heart with the sense of rare, true love.
What makes this book really special, beside the fantastic characters, is the story in the story. The ballet recital the studio is preparing for, The Clockwork Dancer. This idea, and the way it is woven into the slowly blooming romance between Chico and Raf, is brilliant and makes this love story all the more unique. Highly recommended!
**** The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in Exchange of an honest review.****