Title: Dancing Lessons
Author Name & Publisher: R. Cooper (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 20, 2016 – 129 pgs
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.
Wow just Wow. This story was very touching and was a great read. Chico was quite clear mistreated and I loved how patient Raf was with him. They took time to discover each other and didn’t just jump into bed, as Chico was clear depressed. I loved everything about this story from the main character to the secondary characters. I absolutely adored Mrs. Winters and loved the way the author portrayed her. It was clear she expected everyone to do their best. I loved how she didn’t seem to pull any punches when dealing with Chico but definitely was clearly on his side. This story had the right amount of everything.
Hmmm, this book was just OK for me. It was slower than what I am used to and despite the fact that there was some very good emotion written in to this story, it really didn’t have much going on.
Chico is healing from an emotionally abusive relationship, but we don’t really know much about it – we just catch snippets of how he felt – some inner monologue that he sometimes uses. And, while he is trying to put himself back together, he is so skittish that I found him annoying at times.
I really enjoyed Chico’s cousin, Davy though. He was out there, wanting to help Chico figure out a way to live again. He’s spunky and I wish that we had been able to have more of him in the story.
Then you have Rafael – the dance instructor. He is patient, kind and allows Chico to come to him. And, while he is portrayed as this big, strong dancer, his softer side is what I really enjoyed. Plus, what’s not to love about the fact that he can lead Chico around the dance floor?
So, with the slowness, I would imagine a lot of people would stop reading, but in the end, you do get a lot of emotion in this story. And, while we don’t really know what happens in the future – if there is a future, the book had a deeper level than I was expecting.
I write strange but shiny things, like steampunk spies and detectives, and pirates, and cowboys, and dragons, and fairies, firebirds, and, well honestly, even my stories set in the here and now are a little broken and weird too. Because I am a messed up weirdo and that’s who I like to write about.
I fall in love with my characters when I’m writing them, so I have a lot of self-written fanfiction about them that uh…I really have no excuse for, but oh my god how cute are they?
You can find all that and a lot more at my livejournal. (Which is, incidentally, where I am originally writing the blog posts that repost over here at Goodreads.)