The Storm Before the Calm by Cate Ashwood ~ Book Review by Caroline

25487470Title: The Storm Before the Calm

Author: Cate Ashwood

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist:

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/05/2015

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: M/M Romance


Charlie has one passion in life: dancing. It’s his salvation when it feels like the world is swallowing him whole. When his mom secretly secures him a spot in the summer intensive at the Free Rein Dance Company in New York, he is thrilled. He knows that once the summer ends, he’ll have to return to Beacon to get a job and help support his family, but for those two months, he can spread his wings.

In New York he meets Max, a junior instructor who is everything Charlie wishes he could be. Bold and self-assured, Max radiates pride in who he is. As they spend time together, Max shows Charlie what life can be like past the walls of his closed-minded home town. But Charlie doesn’t know if he’s ready to show the world who he truly is when standing in the spotlight is the last thing he wants.

My View:

This is quite a gentle story of discovering who you are and first love.

Charlie has two weeks left at school and those two weeks are going to be pure hell. He tries so hard not to be different or stand out but the bullies have made him a target. They call him names, push him around and insinuate things about him that he hasn’t/can’t or won’t even admit about himself. The one good thing in is life apart from his mother is dance. Charlie lives to dance and completely loses himself to it.

When his mother surprises him with an intensive summer dance school in New York Charlie can’t get out of his small home town quickly enough. Staying with his aunt he has freedom and acceptance like he has never known. This will be the summer where Charlie learns who he really is.

Max is a junior instructor at the dance school and is immediately drawn to Charlie. He asks Charlie to pair up with him for an end of season concert and this is how they end up spending nearly all their spare time together. Every weekend is spent practising and choreographing and then suddenly they are kissing. Everything that Charlie has tried to hold back and hide comes rushing forward and with Max’s support and patience Charlie can finally say those three words….I am gay.

Their love affair is sweet and exploratory but always under time constraints as Charlie is adamant from the start that he must return home at the end of the summer. As the weeks pass we see Charlie becoming more confident with who he is, more settled in his own skin and he now feels the music and his dance on a much more emotional level.

The one thing that I couldn’t totally understand was Charlie’s fear of telling his mother. She always seemed so supportive of everything he did that his fears seemed slightly irrational and unfounded.

We don’t learn that much about Max but his actions and endless patience with Charlie show him to be compassionate and loving… oh, and he pole dances!! He adores Charlie but will his adoration be enough to see them last past the summer?


The Storm Before the Calm on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

This post may contain affiliate links.
Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

Leave a Reply