Sure, this works in the author’s favor sometimes. (I’m sure plenty of books have been polished and improved and corrected by the traditional publishing teams) But other times...not so much. I saw this phenomenon with Lynn Turner’s first book, Between You and Me. With that book, I think the publisher got in the author’s way a few times. But that certainly wasn’t the case with Pas De Deux, which was an indie effort. This time around, I think the author got to write the book of her heart, and her joy is almost tangible on every page of the book.
Now, for my next shocking admission, I’ll go ahead and tell you that I’m not a fan of ballet. I was forced to go see a ballet once when I was in high school, and I was pretty sure I was going to die of boredom, right there in the theatre, before the thing ended. It was roughly 700 years long (give or take). So, when I tell you that the dance scenes in this book were so beautifully written that even I (a self-proclaimed uncultured, grumpy, unsophisticated old lady) loved them, you can maybe get an inkling of how much someone who actually appreciated ballet would enjoy them.
Another thing I loved about this book was the fact that this is a multicultural romance featuring diversity. This isn’t a story of two perfect, pretty, all-American white people falling in love, and I think I’ve made it pretty clear that we need WAY more diversity in the romance genre. I appreciated the hell out of the diversity here.
Zach is a great hero. He’s cocky and stubborn and talented, but he never ventures into alphahole territory, which I really loved. Mina was a little harder for me to warm up to in the beginning because she was so darned perfect and poised. But I really started to enjoy her as a heroine when she broke down a little and threw a little temper tantrum when she failed to instantly be great at Zach’s complicated choreography. That little character flaw (her hot temper and OCD-like perfectionism) made her more relatable to me. By the end of the book, I was really rooting for her HEA with Zach.
So, why not a perfect 5-star rating? The book was a little long for my liking. It’s about 426 pages long, and in my opinion, a tightly written romance should be no more than 300 pages long. (Not always, because, absolutes and all. But usually) But, like I said, that’s just my opinion. I’m sure there are tons of readers out there we appreciate longer books.
Long-story-short, this book should be required reading for readers who appreciate the ballet and romance novels featuring diverse characters. It’s highly 1-clickable.
Full disclosure: we received an ARC from the author free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It’s clean and sober. No rehab needed.
Other reading suggestions
If I were you, I’d be keeping an eye on this author’s future releases. Consider checking out Between You and Me while you’re at it.