Friday, August 19, 2011

Dance with Me

Title: Dance with Me
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Loose Id
ISBN: 978-1-61118-420-4
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating:  Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Ed is a blue collar worker, who knows his days at work are numbered.  Laurie is a dance instructor, wondering if he has truly left his glory days behind him.  They may not get along very well but when they dance together, they don’t want to be anywhere else. 

Ed was a semi-pro football player, who was forced to quit after a serious injury.  His everyday job is going nowhere fast, with lay-offs happening on a regular basis.  The stress, from both his job and injury, has Ed’s emotions going crazy.  The way the author brings this character across is so realistic that those of us going through the same things Ed is will nod their heads in understanding.   

Laurie was a well known dancer who could conquer any dance step put in front of him.  When he enters a professional ballroom dance competition and performs with another man, the reaction he receives is not the one he expected.  To say that Laurie lost his confidence is an understatement and it is totally understandable that he would shy away from putting himself out there like that again.   

These two are in conflict with each other from the very beginning.  Watching them move from adversaries to friends and then lovers, at the pace set by the author, gives the readers a chance to know the characters better.  Their past’s play a strong part in the relationship and more than once, pride gets in the way, yet the two are more than willing to fight for what they have found together. 

Dance with Me has become my favorite story by Heidi Cullinan.  Ed and Laurie are probably the most realistic characters I have ever seen.  The drama that the two go through, first with Ed’s injury and later with Laurie’s interfering friends and family, are so true to life that each scene is like peeking into someone else’s life.  If you have not yet tried any of this author’s books, I strongly suggest you start with this one.

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