Winner, Rainbow Awards 2011, 3rd place Contemporary • Nominee, 2011 Cupid & Psyche Awards, Contemporary • Best Book of 2011, Joyfully Reviewed
Format: Novel • Genre: Contemporary • Length: 94,000 words
Publisher: Heidi Cullinan
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9961203-2-6
Print ISBN: 978-0-9961203-3-3
Characters: Ed Maurer, Laurie Parker
Short Summary: A football injury has stopped Ed Maurer's semi-pro career in its tracks, but when he finds himself teaching tango with prickly, wounded former professional dancer Laurie Parker, he finds himself caught up in a whole new kind of game, one with his heart at the center of the stakes.
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.
Retailers: Direct from author (all three formats!), Amazon (universal link), All Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo. The paperback edition is in process and will be coming soon. See below for more information about signed paperbacks.
Audio: (coming soon) iTunes & Audible, read by Iggy Toma
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review.***
I'm in love with this book! Truly, madly, deeply. From the first paragraph until the last word, this story is simply perfect.
Ed hurt his neck playing semipro football and now suffers from chronic pain that is almost incapacitating. Still, he draws a smile on his face and tries to move forward, past the pain, past his depression at not being able to play football again, past his loneliness. He volunteers at a local community center, where the thorn to his side, Laurie Parker, volunteers, too.
Laurie is an award-winning dancer, who after a big faux pas, decides not to dance any longer and just give classes, both in his own studio and at the community center. Everything would be great, if he didn't bang heads with Ed every time their paths cross.
Needing a favor, Ed signs up to be Laurie's assistant at a ballroom dance class and from there things change. Ed learns that Laurie is not the stuck-up snob he pegged him to be, and Laurie discovers there's more to Ed, too. They grow closer, striking a tentative friendship, as Laurie helps Ed improve on the ballroom dances he'd learned during his rehabilitation after his injury.
This is a slow burn romance, but every little thing about it appealed to my romantic heart. Heidi Cullinan's writing is lovely and it flows magnificently as she created a timeless love story. The language, the descriptions, the way she narrates every action, every emotion and interweaves it with the Dance theme was just amazing. The love scenes, the dance scenes, hell, even the angsty scenes as Ed and Laurie navigate through depression and anxiety and pain, the sizzling chemistry burning between them while dancing and those crazy hot sex scenes that could make my temperature spike, *fans self* make this my favorite story ever. One I'm sure I'll read over and over again. Just knowing that we'll be getting a novella starring Ed and Laurie makes me so damn happy!!! So yes, definitely recommendable read, trust me, you so won't regret it!
Rating: I swear if I could give this story 10 Stars, I so would, but since we just go up to 5+, definitely 5+ Standing Ovation Stars!!!
- First edition publisher: Loose Id, July 26, 2011
- Though this book has been re-edited for the second addition, it has not been materially changed. Readers who wish to keep their original copy are not missing anything significant in the new version.
- The main characters in this book have been known to cameo directly and indirectly in other books. Look for them in the background at Matt's Bar in Fever Pitch, referenced as help for the town festival in Sleigh Ride, by name for the same in Winter Wonderland, and as active secondary characters in Lonely Hearts.
I will also be having a worldwide virtual signing for Dance With Me and any in-print paperback book in late September. Information will be coming soon via my newsletter.
Huge thank you and hat tip to Kanaxa who designed this meme!