Like You’ve Never Been Hurt, by Jaime Samms
Series: Dance, Love, Live: Book 2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 13, 2016
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
About to lose the only thing he ever loved, Adam Pittaluga is at a crossroads in a dancing career that has hardly begun. He has always wanted to be a ballet dancer, but now that it’s impossible, he turns to Peridot for comfort. Peridot has been rebuilding his life after losing his ability to dance professionally, his marriage, and very nearly his daughter. He has a lot of reasons to be leery of starting something new, especially with a man as young as Adam.
Adam and Peridot have to believe that starting again can lead to love and success and that sometimes, the strength needed to love like you’ve never been hurt can be borrowed from unexpected places for a while. But ultimately, they must find it inside themselves to be each other’s happy ending.
I’ve always admired dancers, especially those who dance ballet and put their bodies through the most insane torture. Jaime takes us into the world of ballet dancing with this novel, but with a really interesting twist: the main character, Adam, has been told that he will never be able to dance ballet professionally.
That’s really the emotional crux of the entire novel. Adam has banked his entire life on ballet, and is now going through some pretty drastic changes because he physically cannot do so anymore. Enter Peridot, who understands what it’s like to lose the one thing you love more than anything else, and who helps keep Adam grounded.
I love romances where characters have lost something and realize in the end that they’ve gained something more. And I did enjoy parts of this book, including Adam’s self-discovery and the way he struggles to redefine himself.
But I had some serious problems with the book that were really personal pet-peeves more than anything else:
– I really wish authors would stop pimping their author friends in their books. Like, I don’t care if you’re BFFs with Amy Lane, there is ZERO relevance to including a scene between your characters talking about one of her books. It rips me right out of the fiction and into reality… which defeats the entire point of romance for me!
– Nicknames. Oh god. Okay, look, nicknames are awesome, but literally every character in this book gets a cutesy nickname that ends in a “y”. Addy (Adam), Cammie (Camille), Coby (Cobalt), Perry (Peridot), etc. Eventually I just found myself rolling my eyes.
– If the characters aren’t even sure why they’re together, then… how am I supposed to believe it as a reader?
“Us. Not so long ago, you were pretty sure I was a bad idea.”
“Well.” Peridot dragged his fingertips over Adam’s stubble. “I guess I was wrong. Changed my mind. Is that a problem?”
“Just not sure why.” Nor was he sure why he was asking and not just going with it.
“You convinced me, I suppose.”
Peridot’s smile was as soft as his touch as it trailed over Adam’s jaw and down the side of his neck. “Honestly?” He tilted his head and picked up a corkscrew of Adam’s hair to wrap around his fingers. “I’m not sure.”
– Jumping into a series that’s well underway can be really daunting, especially when you aren’t sure how much of the previous books carry over into the most recent stand-alone work. Unfortunately with this story, I did feel very confused at times. There were a lot of references to events from previous books, but no explanation or understanding of how those events fit into the current narrative, so I felt lost more than i would have liked.
Final conclusion: This book has a lot of potential, and a really gripping plotline that can definitely draw a reader in. But the little things built up to the point where I wasn’t able to remain in the story at all.
Jaime is the author of several novels, including The Foster Family– a menage M/M/M romance– and the Tales from Rainbow Alley series.
You can find her on various social media platforms, and on her website:
- Website: www.jaime-samms.com
- Blog: www.jaime-samms.com/blog
- Twitter: twitter.com/JaimeSamms
- Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms
- Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/2631049.Jaime_Samms
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.