By: Heather Dowell
*Originally posted of Heather’s blog.
Can a ballerina and an amateur put aside their differences for the sake of dance?
A ballerina only wants to dance…
Lillian Preston has always known who she is, a debutant. The daughter of a famed prima ballerina, she is destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps. While attending the prestigious Defiance Academy, ballet is her life until a mishap with a choreographer leaves her without a routine weeks before a competition that could shape her future.
An amateur wants to prove his worth…
Jack Butler loves his family, but he also wants more. A chance to live his dreams. A chance to dance. As an employee at his cousin’s studio, he sees dancers come and go, but he’s never seen anything like Lillian Preston. She is everything he isn’t allowed to want, but the one thing he wants? To dance with her.
A Deal is made…
A school project forces Jack to share his passion for dance as he choreographs steps for the entire class to see, but he needs a partner. There’s only one girl who can fill that role, one in desperate need of a choreographer. Lillian might hate him, but if she wants to win, she’ll need his help. She agrees to dance for his video, but as they work together, Jack realizes there is so much more to Lillian Preston than ballet. And he’s going to prove it to her.
I’ve read very few books about dancers but this one was great. It had a rich dancer who was pretty set on doing the exact moves and being completely technical and she was competing for an arts scholarship. But she didn’t want to work with the choreographer her mom chose who was really stiff and wouldn’t be able to push her. She doesn’t want to continue to rehearse the same dance that her mom wants her to use to get into an elite ballet company. Instead, she wants to win this competition so that colleges can see her perform and she can have that as an option rather than making being part of a ballet company her life.
But the choreographer that her mom hired is well known, and now that she has refused him, it doesn’t make her look too good. The janitor at the studio, who happens to be around the same age, loves dance. He thinks he can help her out by showing her how to loosen up and incorporate multiple styles beyond straight up ballet. But of course the rich girl isn’t going to take a janitor seriously when it comes to dance. Her future is on the line. She is a school girl at a boarding school; he is a townie with a mother who’s a waitress. But then one night she sees him dance. He lacks technique, but puts his passion on full display. Maybe he could teach her a thing or two after all.
I really loved getting to see a romance where they’re kind of on two different sides of the spectrum. She’s also having to follow along with what her mom wants and to be a debutante. When she invites him as an escort to kind of shove it to her mom’s face and show her that she does still have some control of her life, he taken the wrong way and drama ensues. But there’s nothing like a competition to bring people together.
The couple was super sweet, and I liked how he really helped her grow as a person and a dancer. In a way, he made her braver, but it was her bravery that also impressed him. If you like swoony romances, I bet you’ll like this one.
Were you ever a dancer? If so, what’s your favorite type of dance?
Ann Maree – I love Ballet but I was never, nor should ever be a dancer of any sort. I’m not coordinated enough!
Michelle – I do NOT have the grace to be a dancer. Lol. I love to watch dance movies though. More modern dance though.
What’s the most trouble you’ve gotten into?
Ann Maree – I was once chased by a huge flock of geese when I was a kid because I got too close to a nest. It was a harrowing experience that ended with me standing on a picnic table waiting for my dad to rescue me from my shenanigans.
Michelle – I was never much of a trouble maker. A friend and I got in trouble for prank calling the school when I was like eleven. Lol. We didn’t take into account things like caller ID.
What’s the most romantic thing a guy’s done for you?
Ann Maree – An ex boyfriend of mine was a huge sports fan, but I really don’t enjoy the sports ball stuff. I always went to games with him — like a lot. And he would always surprise me with trips to art museums and the symphony, which I really love and he hated but never complained and always asked me to teach him about the art of the music so he could see what I saw.
Michelle – Big gestures don’t really do it for me. I like the little things that let you know you’re being thought of. I once dated a guy who would text me the sweetest things like “you look beautiful today” or “Just wanted to say I love you.” Anything he knew would make me smile. Anyone can be sweet and romantic for a single night, but can they do it on a daily basis?
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