I love looking through the selection of books Netgalley offers. There are so many intriguing descriptions, covers, and titles in all genres, and I often request more than one (sometimes four or five) at a time based on those.
Today’s book is one that immediately caught my attention. Anyone who follows my blog regularly knows I love a good LGBTQIA/SAGA book, and this one did not fail to please.
While on holiday in Toronto, Evie Whitmore planned to sight-see and meet other asexuals, not audition for a dance competition. Now she’s representing Toronto’s newest queer dance studio, despite never having danced before. Not only does she have to spend hours learning her routine, she has to do it with one of the grumpiest men she’s ever met. Tyler turns out to be more than a dedicated dancer, though—he might be the kind of man who can sweep her off her feet, literally and figuratively.
Tyler Davis has spent the last year recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship. So he doesn’t need to be pushed into a rushed routine for a dumb competition. Ticking major representation boxes for being trans and biracial isn’t why he went into dance. But Evie turns out to be a dream student. In fact, she helps him remember just how good partnering can be, in all senses of the word. Teaching her the routine, however, raises ghosts for him, ones he’s not sure he can handle.
Plans change, and people change with them. Learning a few steps is one thing; learning to trust again is another entirely.
The idea of a dance competition like this one was fun and lighthearted, which was a great backdrop for the somewhat darker themes in the relationship between Evie and Tyler. I like the way the author played on popular geeky topics like Godzilla, DDR, and anime to bring the characters to life.
Evie wasn’t immediately my favorite character, but it wasn’t long before she endeared herself to me. There’s a strength to her that lies somewhere just under her polite shyness and insecurity, and when it finally comes out, it’s amazing to see.
Tyler is a deep, conflicted character that I felt like I knew from the very beginning. I understood his fear of not being accepted, as well as his fear, in some parts, of success, because success means he will be even more in a spotlight he still doesn’t know he wants to be in.
I also loved the backdrop of Canada (which is somewhere I definitely want to go some day), and Evie’s and Tyler’s friends. I give this book five of five stars for being a great story with vivid, funny characters and a heartfelt message. I recommend it to anyone who loves sweet romance and unique characters.
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Want more reviews? Check out all the other books I’ve reviewed in the last three years on my book review master list.