Title: Dancing Lessons
Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 20, 2016
Page Count: 129
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
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.
There are two books I have read in my life that contained a sex scene that made me cry. Where the emotion and passion was so intense that I wept because I was so touched. The first one was The Final Line by Kendall McKenna. The second one is Dancing Lessons by R. Cooper.
The actual story of Chico (pronounce “Sheeco” for its Portuguese, not Spanish, origin) and the sudden re-planting of his life was good. Not great, but it was good and held my interest. Chico has been mistreated emotionally and is extremely depressed. That’s a personal hard read for me since I also suffer from depression. His self-esteem is shot and he is sleeping too much, isolating himself and not eating enough. His shot-in-the-arm is his cousin, Davi, who encourages him to volunteer at a local dance studio. Chico reluctantly accepts the volunteer position and meets beautiful, posed, graceful, charming dance teacher Rafael. With his self-esteem so low, he doesn’t believe he has a chance in hell of catching Raf’s eye.
But catch Raf’s eye he does. Raf is the epitome of kindness and patience and he is adorably smitten with sad, lonely Chico. (He is prime book-boyfriend materiel.)
The burn between Chico and Raf is excruciatingly slow but delicious at the same time. The sexual tension between the men is outrageous and palpitate. I enjoyed every minute of these two together.
But, again, the actual story itself wasn’t that big of a deal for me. The thing is, you have to read the whole book to understand and feel the emotion of the final scene. So, I HIGHLY recommended you read this book. The whole book. If you are bored and feel like DNF, DON’T. The payoff at the end is worth every minute of your time.
One more thing: We do not get a HEA here but do get a HFN with speculation that these men will walk off into the sunset together. I would have given my eye teeth for an epilogue.
But I still fucking loved this.