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Sometimes life requires a partner.
Ed Maurer has bounced back, more or less, from the neck injury that permanently benched his semipro football career. He hates his soul-killing office job, but he loves volunteering at a local community center. The only fly in his ointment is the dance instructor, Laurie Parker, who can’t seem to stay out of his way.
Laurie was once one of the most celebrated ballet dancers in the world, but now he volunteers at Halcyon Center to avoid his society mother’s machinations. It would be a perfect escape, except for the oaf of a football player cutting him glares from across the room.
When Laurie has a ballroom dancing emergency and Ed stands in as his partner, their perceptions of each other turn upside down. Dancing leads to friendship, being friends leads to becoming lovers, but most important of all, their partnership shows them how to heal the pain of their pasts. Because with every turn across the floor, Ed and Laurie realize the only escape from their personal demons is to keep dancing—together.
This novel has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.
Overall, this was a nice read, even if it was a bit too long, for my taste… However… THAT COVER! Dude! That. Damn. Cover! I could marry that cover. I need that cover to be a huge poster in my books room, because it’s absolutely amazing.
I loved how Ed and Laurie’s relationship started. There was this lovely attraction, but in the end their relationship started over a friendship that was presented in a lovely way through the book. I also loved that they gave each other what the other needed, and that it was natural. By natural I mean in a sort of it just happened, kind of way. It didn’t seem overdone, or too hard. It was simple, but strong, and evolved naturally.
Both men have had their struggles in life. They are both broken. They are both lost. They are both trying to move on from a past that holds them back, even though it holds them back in different ways. They are complex, and that complexity shows when they are together, as much as when they are apart. I loved layers, and I love characters that have a bit (or a lot) more than what initally meets the eye, and this book gives me that.
There are topics in this book that are worked well. Depression is one of them. It was hearbreaking to read, but as a woman that lives with a person who suffers depression, I can say that the picture was mostly accurate.
The fact that the chapters in this book were named after dancing steps was incredibly lovely. I appreciated that a lot… I am not a dancer, and I swear that despite my mom’s insistence and faith and money she spent on dancing classes for me, I still have two left feet (let’s break the latin stereotype that we’re all dancers, shall we?), nevertheless, I enjoyed this. It brought me memories of when I was attempting to dance, and memoreis of an old couple I met (grandparents of one of my best friends) who used to dance tango, and who would go and dance tango when they were angry at each other… Weird, I know.
The reason I’m not giving this book a higher rating, is more personal, than book realatd, really. While I enjoyed all of the things mentioned above, I found this book a bit too corny for my taste. I really can’t stress this enough. This is me, and not the book. I also felt like in some way, while trying to break the stereotypes of gay men, it still works on stereotypes and can’t break them, if that makes sense. The book was a bit too long, and even though it was revised (I never read the original version, so I don’t know what changed) I believe it could have used a bit more editing. There were scenes that, in my opinion, weren’t necessary for the book.