by Alexis Daria
Series: Dance Off #2
Also in this series: Take the Lead, Dance All Night
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
The second book in Alexis Daria's dancing duology finds one playboy charmer falling for his new roommate.
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.
“Who are you if you’re not a dancer?”
I enjoyed the second entry in the Dance Off series even more than the first! I loved that they were already friends with sometimes benefits when the story started, and things are accelerated by a mishap that ends up with Natasha moving in (temporarily) with Dimitri. Only, neither is content with the state of their relationship, but they’re certain the other doesn’t return their feelings. Both Natasha and Dimitri are strong, driven characters, and it was so much fun as they learned to lean on and support each other. I loved the mixtures of their Puerto Rican and Ukranian heritages.
I found Dimitri frustrating, but in a good way. Dimitri’s main goal in life is to take care of those he loves, and he was constantly baffled by Natasha’s insistence on standing on her own two feet. He was constantly putting his foot in his mouth around Natasha! I found this very endearing, as finding a balance between mothering and smothering is something I struggle with, personally. Watching him gradually come to an understanding of how to best support her, and her acceptance of it, was sweetly adorable. I loved the growth of their relationship, the descriptions of them dancing together, and, holy crap, the sex was hot!
At heart, though, this is a story about dealing with failure. Natasha is convinced that if she can’t support herself – by herself – as a dancer, she’s a failure. She attributes most of her success to following in Gina’s wake, and is convinced that now that she’s on her own, she’ll fail. Dimitri has been both a colossal success and a failure, and the fear of failing again has led him to postpone following his dreams. It’s also kept him from sharing his feelings with Natasha for fear of rejection. With some interference from Dimitri’s family and Fucking Donna, though, Dimitri and Natasha are forced to face their fears of failure.
In minor spoilers, I was glad to see Fucking Donna get her comeuppance. But – what the heck was up with Kevin? I’m hoping a third book is planned for him!
Overall, tons of fun, and I’m looking forward to more books from Ms. Daria!