(Lover’s Dance, #1)
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
She was hidden from the world. Then he arrived.
An emotional new novel from six-time USA Today bestselling author Deanna Roy
For four years, I’ve lived in almost total seclusion. Home schooled, forbidden from social media, seeing no one other than the dancers at Dreamcatcher Academy, where I teach ballet to little girls in wheelchairs.
Then Blitz arrives.
He’s the disgraced host of Dance Blitz, a bawdy reality show where Blitz sleeps with as many dancers as possible while looking for his perfect partner.
At least he was. A few weeks ago, he got kicked off his own show.
He’s at my academy for a publicity stunt, and my wheelchair ballerinas are his ticket back into the public’s good graces.
I intend to hate him and stay as far away as possible. But when he looks at me, I can’t resist. Before I realize what’s happened, we’re sneaking into back rooms, dancing, kissing, planning dates away from the cameras and the wrath of my family.
But I’m afraid. I have a secret at the academy, a small, wonderful, terrible secret, and if I stay with Blitz, the world will find out.
Forbidden Dance is a full-length standalone HEA, although fans who fall in love with Blitz and Livia can continue the series to follow more of their love story
Forbidden Dance is the story of a nineteen-year-old young woman named Livia. After becoming accidentally pregnant at 15, her family forced her to give the baby up for adoption and they all moved from Houston to San Antonio to avoid the shame of an unplanned pregnancy. Even worse, she became a prisoner in her own home, rarely allowed to leave without one of her parents, even at 19. Her one joy is dancing at Dreamcatcher Academy where she started ballet at age 17 and now helps with dance classes, including a ballet class for children in wheelchairs. Blitz is from San Antonio but has been in L.A. for years filming a semi-reality tv show where women vie for the chance to become his dance partner and wife. After an embarrassing and inappropriate tweet destroys his reputation, his manager sends him home to Dreamcatcher Academy to volunteer his time as a dance instructor. Then he meets Livia.
I had a difficult time getting into this novel because I found it insane that Livia was still living so close under her parents’ watchful and critical eyes at her age. She could only watch tv if it was with and approved by her parents. She could not have a phone or any sort of computer or internet access. Her only opportunities to be out of their house were when she went to dance class or to a volunteer job at a church. Despite all of this, I found myself very invested in Livia and her story once Blitz showed up at Dreamcatchers. I loved their instant connection and especially loved watching Livia slowly come out of her shell and start making choices for herself, rather than constantly living in fear of her parents.
Without giving spoilers, there are some heartbreaking moments with Livia flashing back to having her baby, as well as, what the future has brought as a result. But again, the novel was a joy to read as Livia started taking chances and making decisions for her adult self, rather than the child/prisoner her Dad still viewed her as. I also noticed how others that had always been so protective of her started to tear down their own walls and opinions to allow her to flourish and gain some life experience.
Something else that did bother me was the almost “Cinderella-like” story of her being whisked away into a happily-ever-after with Blitz. Not that I’m some major, militant feminist or anything, but I kept thinking to myself, “even if she were to run away with him, she has no job experience or skills, no higher education, no real friends (at least over the age of 18), so what would she do if one day he decided he no longer wanted to be in the relationship?” But then again, this is a work of fiction, so I am guessing I shouldn’t stress over such details!
I truly enjoyed Forbidden Dance and found myself quickly swept away in the author’s easy writing style. I loved the idea of the famous, hot tv star falling for the sheltered, shy hometown girl. I also loved the focus on the ballet class for the children in wheelchairs, which completely pulled at my heart strings! What I’m most excited about is that I learned from the author’s website that there are several more installments coming out in this series about Livia and Blitz! I cannot wait to read more about their story and where life takes them!
*Many thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and author Deanna Roy for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Deanna Roy is the six-time USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction.
She is a passionate advocate for women who have lost babies. She has several books on the subject, including her bestseller FOREVER INNOCENT, a romance about a couple whose baby is taken off life support at seven days old.
She has run the website PregnancyLoss.Info for fifteen years, including many large spin-off support groups both online and in person.
To learn about new releases, sign up for her subscriber list at http://deannaroy.com/news. She has regular giveaways in conjunction with major pregnancy loss events.