Dance with Me by Hazel Hughes

For the love of the Bolshoi, why can’t the ballerinas of the world just get along?!

What’s it About?

dance

When reporter Sherry Wilson-Wong wakes up in bed with ballet bad-boy Alexi Davydenko, she knows she’s crossed the line. But the dancer with the body of Apollo and the panty-removing stare wasn’t talking, so what choice did she have? Playing his little drinking game – a shot and a kiss for every answer – seemed like the perfect way to loosen his sexy lips. She gets her story, he gets his fun, win-win. But his answers only lead to more questions. And Alexi wants more than fun.

Investigating into the ballet company’s shadowy secrets, Sherry learns that the beauty on stage masks ugly dealings, some of which seem to bear Alexi’s signature. But the more truths she exposes, the more lies she is forced to tell herself. That digging up dirt on a company with ties to the Russian mob isn’t dangerous. That licking every inch of Alexi’s naked body while hunting down evidence of his guilt isn’t a conflict of interest. That with each touch, each kiss, she isn’t falling deeper in love with the very man who could destroy her.

First Impressions

Seriously, if I ever came across a professional ballerina in real life, I’d probably pull them aside and conspiratorially whisper, “Alright, who did you have to deceive, maim, or kill to get where you are today? I won’t tell anyone, promise! Just my own curiosity.” I know sometimes you’ve gotta do what you gotta do to succeed, but goodness, these artists can really take it to the extreme. Maybe it’s from the unfortunate lack of calories.

Joy Womack, a 17-year-old dancer who is to become the first American to graduate from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, takes part in a lesson at the academy buildings in Moscow

 

Sexy Meet Cute

This book has a lot going for it, from a sexy male lead, to some journalistic intrigue, and even a few interesting family dynamics thrown in as well. My favorite part of the novel though would have to be how our two love-birds first meet. She’s interviewing him for an article, and he’s always close-lipped when it comes to talking with the press. To mix things up a bit, Alexi suggests a rather adult version of 20 questions.

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Basically, nothing is off limits, it includes a bottle of vodka, and Alexi gets a kiss for every question asked. Needless to say, things escalate pretty quickly. My only complaint is that we aren’t witness to all the drunken revelries throughout the evening, just the expected hangover the morning after. Don’t let that fool you though, these two are smoking hot in the bedroom. And hallway. And alleyway behind a bar.

Drama at the Ballet

The mystery and intrigue in this novel was also pretty unique. I must say it’s the first novel I’ve read that deals with possible criminal activities at the ballet which don’t involve two ballerinas trying to kill each other over a lead role.

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It was compelling to see the development of what was initially a puff piece written by Sherry evolve into something more dangerous. That being said, I really think this aspect of the story could have been taken one step further as it progressed. In my opinion, the criminal mastermind was kind of predictable, and I kept hoping for one final twist to the story which would throw off all your preconceived assumptions.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Nope

Should you read it? A sexy read to be sure! I did feel there was more focus on our couple in the bedroom rather than an in-depth exploration of the ballet conundrum. I would’ve liked to see a bit more of the journalistic side of things as well!

Smut Level: Alexi’s mother tongue might not be English, but that doesn’t mean the man doesn’t know how to talk dirty. Let’s say he’s rather obsessed with Sherry’s “petals”.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Evernight Publishing. 175 Pages.

 

Pointe of Breaking by Sarah J. Pepper and Amy Daws

In this book we learn just how flexible ballerinas can be…on and off stage! Tee hee, giggle giggle.

What’s it About? 

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POINTE

Getting screwed over backstage by my married-ex tears my heart into a million tiny pieces.
Sitting in the audience at the ballet with my former fling wasn’t my idea of fun. 
I live in my pointe shoes, not even my ex can taint my love for ballet.
I hate the ballet. This on again/off again crap was getting old.
And then my whole world changes when I notice the smoldering gaze…
Then I look to the stage, and I can’t take my eyes off…

OF…

Leo Richards. Adeline Parker. 
Concentrating on anything except his sexy…everything, is impossible.
Her presence commands my attention…I’ve never experienced this before.
He makes me second-guess everything I’ve ever dreamed about.
She makes me question everything I’ve ever known.
Fighting him is a strategic sport–no clothes allowed.
All I can think about are her sexy ballerina legs wrapped around me–tutu definitely on. 

 

BREAKING

Our scandalous rendezvous is plastered all over NYC’s tabloids.
Because of my status in Manhattan, now I’ve dragged her into the limelight.
My ex will stop at nothing to tear us apart.
Seriously powerful people forbid me to be with her.
Rumors about his past keep building.
I can’t tell her this secret.
When it came to Leo, I only knew the big things.
When it came to Adeline, I knew nothing about the little things.
But uncovering those things about him [her] may push us past our breaking point.

First Impressions

So I could never be a ballerina. It’s not that I don’t have any flexibility to speak of (which I don’t), but more that I have a very strong affinity for cupcakes and cheeseburgers that simply can’t be abandoned. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the absolute beauty of the dance scenes described in this book. Adeline is able to bring forth so much emotion that it isn’t hard to imagine why Leo is so quickly smitten with her moves. There are some decent sex scenes in this novel, but in my opinion the dance scenes far surpass them in terms of brilliance. Just be sure you have a copy of Center Stage on hand when you finish this book, because you’ll have the desire to watch it ASAP.

Center Stage / Center Stage

Emotional Performances
There are two main performances in this book which will seriously make you consider taking up ballet as an extracurricular activity. The first happens at the start of the book, and takes place immediately after Adeline’s douche of an ex, Blake, tricks her into having sex with him one more time. When she realizes that his declaration of love was just a ploy to rip off her tights, she puts on a performance full of sass and attitude that you can’t help but take notice of. Leo is sitting in the front row for this spectacle, and as soon as he locks eyes with Adeline he feels that she is putting on this passionate dance just for him.
dancing
The second memorable dance takes place later in the book after Leo breaks things off with Adeline for her own protection from some not so savory characters. She takes all of the despair and heartbreak from the end of their relationship, and puts it all into a dance about a woman who loses her love to the trials of war. Hands down, the best scene of the book, and you’ll feel as though you are right in the audience watching her express it all on stage. Brava!
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Hmm…

Leo belongs to a fraternity and secret brotherhood which disapproves of his relationship with such a low-class ballerina. Adeline’s ex, Blake, is also a member of this brotherhood, and his father is the leader. There is definitely some suspense with this brotherhood, as we wonder how Leo and Adeline can possibly escape their control. That being said, the whole concept of a secret brotherhood is kind of ridiculous when you think about it. Couldn’t we just have some disapproving parents? Seems a bit more believable. There was also a lot of build-up surrounding this brotherhood, and I felt like the ultimate climactic scene came together almost too easily.

purecoincidence

Overall, I really enjoyed the storyline and romance at play in this novel, but there were some aspects that I would have liked some more information about. Firstly, Adeline’s former relationship with Blake. He always seemed like a dick, and yet at one point she was so in love with him that she accepted his proposal of marriage. Why exactly was she drawn to such a sleezeball? Lastly, there is some drama surrounding Adeline’s sister who is now living on the streets, and Adeline feels responsible for that. However, I felt like this story was never fully explored, and the issues between these sisters were never fully resolved.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: I don’t think so, but I would totally read a sequel featuring Adeline’s sister.

Should you read it? You don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy this one. The brotherhood aspect was a bit far-fetched, but interesting nevertheless.

Smut Level: For a delicate ballerina Adeline certainly likes it a little rough, and loves a dominant man who can push her to her bending point…if you catch my drift.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Dawper Publishing. 265 Pages.