Dancing Lessons, by R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 20, 2016
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Buy Link: Publisher (eBook)
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Two years of living with his controlling boyfriend left Chico worn down long before that boyfriend revealed he’d been seeing someone else. With no other choice, Chico moves in above his cousin’s garage in a small town in the redwoods, where he merely goes through the motions. To get him out of the house, his cousin pushes him to volunteer at a local dance studio to help with their annual show.
He’s not expecting to end up in a dance class, or to start feeling alive again in the arms of his dance instructor. Rafael is the studio owners’ son and was once a well-known dancer in his own right, but now enjoys being a teacher. Although Chico likes him, he’s afraid of taking a chance. But Rafael is determined, and it only takes one dance for Chico to start to realize he might still have something to learn.
I feel like I’ve read a lot of books lately about dancers. Is that weird? I love books with dancing, though, because it’s such a sensual medium, and a fantastic way for two characters to connect! In R. Cooper’s story, a young man still recovering from a bad relationship finds himself in a small town, where the owner of a local dance school helps to draw him out of his shell.
Normally I dislike novellas, but this was a short novel that I actually felt was way too long. Rather, it was overly verbose, and I struggled to keep track of conversations and plots with all of the superfluous description. Chico is anxious and introverted, but his rambling conversation comes off as more exhausting to me than awkwardly adorable.
I really liked that Chico was shown to be almost an abuse victim. He shows a lot of signs of someone getting out of an abusive relationship: depressed, self-doubting, and unable to see himself in as anything but useless. However, I don’t feel like R. Cooper showed the why, the cause of the abuse. It’s hinted that Chico’s boyfriend was controlling, but all we see are the after-effects with nothing to fall back on as a reason for his behavior. I wanted more of Chico’s past, to help show how he grows and blossoms with Rafael.
A bit too long and winding for me to enjoy the journey, but still a book with a lot of little treats tucked away if you make the effort.