Title: Dancing Lessons
Author: R. Cooper
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Release Date: January 20, 2016
Page Count: 129
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 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.
Oh my sweet sweet book…! I want to hold you and keep safe forever and everrrrrrr. I absolutely adored this little novel. It brought me back to the simple recipe romances that got me into this mess -reading like a maniac.
Chico is an adorable little kid at heart who is sort of failing…at life. He’s out of his apartment because of his cheating ex and currently living with his very loving cousin Davi. Davi is trying his best to motivate Chico but Chico looks like he’s going through a depression that’s kicking his ass, understandably so, and can’t motivate himself to do much of anything other than work retail part time. From selling high end suits to selling shoes…oh how the mighty have fallen, or so he thinks. After a lot of harassment from Davi, Chico agrees to volunteer his free time to the local dance studio and help prepare the big shindig they’re putting together. Lo and behold, Rafael is the hot teacher whose parents own the studio and the game is on.
There’s so much flirting here! And let’s note that it’s not flirting as a precursor to making out or hooking up or anything. Flirting for the sake of flirting. Because it just can’t be helped on either side. Rafael is sort of seeing someone else –just a date, no relationship and no sex either as far as we know. And Chico…well he’s pretty much decided that he won’t even entertain the idea of getting involved with anyone simply because he can’t trust himself to make the right decisions when it comes to these things. See, history has shown that he tends to lose himself in a relationship and let himself be doormatised. Shut up. I can make up words, didn’t ya know?
So. Back and forth they go and it’s sooooooo delicious!!!!!!!! I tend to get impatient when it comes to my characters getting some action but honestly, I was so swept by the longing, the intensity, oh my god, they both had it so bad! And the writing style captured that intensity in such an original way –I’m so impressed with this author.
“The way you stare at me sometimes. You kill me and you’re not even trying.” Rafael sighed deeply. “You have all these feelings, and you show them like it’s nothing.” He briefly took his hands off the steering wheel to gesture helplessly. “Everyone around me is about passion for the art, passion through the art, and there you are, wounded by my ballet and curled up in my car and gazing at me. God. How you look at me makes it hard to remember where I’m standing. Do you even realize?”
If, THAT is not a freaking love confession, I don’t know what is.
The relationship doesn’t really happen until the very end. And dear lord that scene. Such pure romance right there. I was smiling so freaking wide reading it. It took a while, yes, but the way there…I am so in love with this book and the way it was written, and how fragile Chico is, and how madly in love Rafael fell with him and EVERYTHING!
But, the end was way too abrupt -HFN, at best, without any serious resolving of Chico’s main issues, living situation, career etc. I wonder if there’s more in store for these two? I hope so. I would love to read more about this couple.
Highly recommend this amazing piece of romance to all fans of mm.