Thursday, June 22, 2017

Book Review for Tender Dance by Deanna Roy

It’s happened. The worst thing I could have imagined.
Despite how hard we tried, the world has discovered my secret child.
Everyone is against us. Her adopted mother, my friends at the Dreamcatcher Dance Academy. Even Blitz seems at a loss at how to handle my grief at losing my tender relationship with my little girl.
When a small ballet troupe asks me to join their ranks as a dancer, I wonder if it’s time to start over, leave everything behind, and make a life for myself.
But Blitz Craven has one more plan for me. And when he holds out his hand, I have to decide for the first time, what is it that I have always wanted?


Readers are once again pulled into the world of dance and the sweet and sensual romance between Blitz and Livia that began three books ago.  After reaffirming their relationship in the previous installment under the watchful eyes of America, and throughout a reality show competition, their romance is once again put to the test here as Livia goes out on her own after being given the chance of a lifetime.  Because of all her hard work, and being seen as a media star, she's offered the chance to dance on tour as a character that will have people (and herself) seeing her in a whole new light.  It also means long hours of dancing and trying to prove her worth, lots of loneliness, and being forced into relying on herself as Blitz will be miles away.  It's not just the stresses of being part of a touring dance company that weighs on Livia though, there's also the reveal of a secret she's long struggled to keep hidden...the existence of a daughter she was forced into giving up for adoption.

There was joy at the start of this book as Livia and Blitz had just proved in front of millions of tv viewers that they're a match made in heaven.  There was contentment too surrounding the special dance lessons she was giving, and the opportunities to get close to, the daughter she once gave up for adoption.  That happiness quickly went up in flames though as the paparazzi discovered her long hidden secret which once again tore her daughter away from her and left Livia mired in depression.  Livia's depression was palpable and had her acting out in over-the-top ways, trying to push Blitz away, and it had me angry at her for taking her loss out on him.  Therefore the chance to hit the road and leave all the unhappiness behind came at just the right time and through her time away readers got to see Livia mature and become more assertive.  Life on the road was vividly depicted and consisted of grueling practices, sore bodies, and endlessly trying to prove her talent.  Cattiness and jealousy from other dancers was on display, but there were also new friendships formed which gave Livia a sense of belonging she hadn't felt before.  Livia's time on the road allowed for lots of introspection on how she saw herself and what she wanted out of life.  Her guilt over giving up her daughter was dealt with vividly, and a bit hypocritically, in an exchange with another dancer that brought out a judgmental side to Livia but ultimately helped her reach inner peace. Issues regarding her family, and her father's treating her like a pariah, were also dealt with head-on and saw her finally standing up for herself after many years of her father's treatment of her that bordered on abusive.  In her time away Livia finally started liking herself and taking pride in all she accomplished which had me cheering.

With this installment Livia took center stage as life on the road saw her becoming a woman, a woman who could stand up for herself and who took charge.  I liked seeing Livia's growth but I missed Blitz as he was relegated to the sidelines this time around. What we saw of him though was the immensely appealing man he's become since meeting Livia.  He's sweet and supportive and quick to do whatever it takes to make her happy.  He takes great pride in her accomplishments and never took over her spotlight because of that pride.  His focus was totally on her and her career and his actions endeared him to me all the more.  His grand gesture at the end of the story was dreamy and solidified his place as the quintessential book boyfriend and has me eagerly awaiting the final installment.  This has been a delightful series thus far with only a few frustrations along the way and though I look forward to what comes next I'm sad that the end of their journey's creeping ever closer.  This has been a charming, heartwarming, and sensual series that readers should definitely add to their bookshelf for its appealing main couple and its ability to pull at your heartstrings!

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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