Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 10/11/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Gay Romance
Dance with your heart, and love will follow.
Kindergarten teacher Spenser Harris has carved a quiet, stable future out of his tumultuous past, but his world turns upside down the night a homeless teen appears on his doorstep—a boy whose story mirrors the one Spenser has worked so hard to overcome. The decision to shelter Duon is easy. What’s tricky is juggling the network of caregivers in Duon’s life, especially Tomás Jimenez.
Tomás wouldn’t have hesitated to take Duon in, but his plate is already full working three jobs to support his family. Though Spenser’s carefully constructed walls are clearly designed to keep the world at bay, Tomás pushes past Spenser’s defenses, determined to ensure the man is worthy of his charge. As the two of them grow closer, Tomás dares to dream of a life beyond his responsibilities, and Spenser begins to believe he might finally find a home of his own after all.
But Spenser and Tomás’s world is poised to crash around their ears. Duon’s grandmother isn’t sure she wants him to be raised by a gay man and challenges Spenser’s custody. Tomás’s undocumented parents could be deported at any time, and all the while the state of Minnesota votes on a constitutional amendment against marriage equality and the US Supreme Court debates whether or not Spenser and Tomás get a happily ever after. All they can do is hold tight to their love, hope for a better future…and remind each other to enjoy the dance.
The second book in the Dancing series was a long time coming but finally we are back with Tomas who we met in book 1 and his life certainly hasn’t got any easier!
The story-line is set from late 2012 onward and that was a very political time in terms of DOMA and legalising same sex marriage in Minnesota which is where the story is set. A lot of this book is given over to political facts, which is good given that those facts were and are so important, but I felt the romance between Tomas and Spenser faded to black and got lost.
Spenser works at a strictly religious school where the headmaster is determined to rally and promote the need to keep the current marriage laws as they are. Spenser is under no illusion that his co-workers have realised that he is gay but it is definitely not acknowledged or talked about. The headmaster is constantly on his case about handing flyers out and attending and supporting rallies – it is just one aspect of Spenser’s life that is a crapshoot. In other news he is tired, he is lonely, he needs a man in his life, the neighbour across the hall is cute but he has no idea whether he is gay, he misses intimacy and then he arrives home to find a young man bruised and battered on his doorstep – just like that his life is changed. Duon is bloody and bruised and looking for Tomas but instead gets Spenser – a man who will go to the bat for him even if they are strangers.
Tomas is balancing the world on his shoulders or at least that’s what it feels like between his various jobs, his problems with his parents, his partying sister and her children who he is practically raising. There are very few good things in Tomas’s life but he loves to dance, he has good friends in Laurie and Ed and he only wishes he had the time to chat up his good looking neighbour.
Against the odds Tomas and Spenser build a solid friendship based at first on their desire to keep Duon safe. This is slow burn with so many different aspects to the story that their romance doesn’t stand much of a chance at first. It’s a story that revolves around family and makes you realise what’s important in life and that even if people laugh – you should always try to dance.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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