Dance With Me by Alexis Daria
Series: Dance Off #2
Published: December 12, 2017 by SMP Swerve
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Natasha Díaz is having a day. She’s trying to prove she can make it as a professional dancer, but she’s overworked, out of cash, and her roommate has just moved out. When she comes home to find a hole in her ceiling and her bedroom flooded, she’s desperate enough to crash with the one guy she can’t quit. She accepts his offer with one condition: no sleeping together while she’s living with him.
Dimitri Kovalenko has never lived with a woman before. But when Tasha’s in need of a place to stay, he suggests she move in without a second thought. He accepts her condition, hoping she won’t stick to it. They’re good together, both in the ballroom and the bedroom. Since their first dance, she’s never been far from his thoughts. Sure, she’s a pro and he’s one of her show’s judges, but they’re not currently filming, so no one needs to know.
Living in close quarters shows Dimitri a side of Natasha he’s never seen before, and he likes it. A lot. Too bad she’s doing everything in her power to keep him at arm’s length. When an injury forces Natasha to take it easy or risk her ability to dance, it’s his chance to show her that the rules have changed, and she can trust him with her heart.
Natasha and Dimitri have been hooking up for 3 years, ever since they met on the Dance Off. But they don’t have a relationship and they both have slept with other people in between their hookups. But Dimitri’s feelings are far from casual, in fact he thinks he might be in love with Natasha but he’s afraid to put his heart on the line and have it rejected. Natasha also has some feelings for Dimitri but she’s never known love and is more focused on making it as a dancer. Just like with Take the Lead, the dancing in this was great. It the off season for the show so we don’t see any competition but Natasha is teaching dance and working on her own choreography. Natasha and Dimitri are on fire when they dance together.
So I was really surprised by Dimitri because he’s presented in the first book as this arrogant, bad boy but he’s really a big softy. In fact he’s practically head over heels for Natasha from the start and all he’s concerned with is taking care of her. I actually preferred him this way but it made it hard to believe everyone’s claims that Dimitri was an asshole. Cause he really wasn’t.
I loved how real Natasha was; she had flaws and a hard past and she was far from perfect. Readers often see romance heroines who are capable and put together but they don’t always feel like actual people. Natasha however, is written really well and I praise Alexis Daria for that.
“When she danced, it was the closet she came to knowing peace.”
Natasha might be a fighter but she’s also terrible with money and this plays a big role in her problems. She even has breast implants; not because she needed to meet a standard but simply because it’s what she wanted. There’s a lot of fire and passion and unexpected strength in Natasha. However, Natasha was just so negative in this book especially in the first 50% but even after that. It was tiring keeping up with her lack of self-esteem, her doubts about her intelligence, success, and ability to make it as a dancer. I understand that these are her personal struggles and they make her the person she is but it was hard to be in those trenches with her for so long.
I don’t care if characters have a sexual history and I certainly don’t expect them to be virgins or only have sex with someone they love. However, I don’t really want their past sexual partners to constantly be brought up in the story, and especially not to use them as a way to start fights between the hero and heroine. I really could have done with less references to Natasha and Dimitri’s casual hookups between their own hookups.
3 stars – it was good
ARC provided by NetGalley for honest review
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