Author: R. Cooper
Narrator: Brian Schell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Story Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 05/25/2016
Length: 05 hours 17 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
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 really enjoyed this sweet but steady romance. It was light and cute but had just enough slow burn to keep me pulled along until the end.
Chico was such a tragic character, yet he was real. He was full of anxiety and self doubt and really just needed someone in his life to show him that his ex was full of crap and that he was not broken or weak or fragile. Normally I hate whiny, overly self deprecating characters, but Chico never crossed that line into annoying for me. He was broken and constantly second guessing everything, but the author presented him in such a way as to garner my sympathy rather than my annoyance. And it was wonderful to see him slowly blossom as he gained his confidence back.
Rafael on the other hand was Chico’s perfect complement. He was strong and patient and understanding and exactly what Chico needed while he healed. Rafael never did the healing for Chico but helped him to see his best self. Together these men were sweet and perfect for one another.
Finally, I loved the ballet and how the author used the story of the Clockwork Dancer to bring out the evolving romance between the main characters. And I loved the ambiance the author so easily created with the stars and the tension and the emotion. It really emphasized the romance while not becoming tedious or distracting. Would I have loved more images of Rafael and Chico dancing, yes. But that was just me wanting that tension, no something lacking in the story.
I enjoy a sweet romance from time to time and Dancing Lessons by R. Cooper hit the spot when I needed it. I have now listened to this one three times and plan to come back for more
This narration was…ok. Brian Schell’s voice was clear and his reading of the story flowed well, But I don’t think he was the right fit for this novel. He did not do any voices or really perform and often his take on the emotions did not fit the story. In the end, I enjoyed this one but it was more because of the story than the narration.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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