This was another case of me getting lucky and having an author send me a hot read. I knew going in that it would be hot as the writing team of Katie Porter never disappoints… They know how to write very strong characters that go after what they want and need.
This is a hot friends to lovers story where you just want two very stubborn people to let down their walls and admit that what they need is standing right in front of them. Dima and Lizzie have been competitive ballroom dance partners for years. They know each other better than anyone else will probably ever be able to but even with all of this intimacy they have never been able to open up to one another about their true feelings. I mean they are friends who live, train, and travel together but neither wants to ruin the friendship they have to find out if they could be more. Lizzie gets hurt and is unable to compete which leaves Dima at loose ends. He decides to try out working/dancing at a local club to keep himself in the game. He learns that while he enjoyed ballroom this new style of dancing and performing fulfills something deep inside him. He gets the rush of performing but also gets to express his creativity outside of the rigid rules ballroom entails.
Lizzie is very shocked to see her partner wasting his talents on this new style of perfuming and isn’t shy about telling him that she doesn’t feel it is the right thing. She reacts strongly but it is more driven by fear of losing him to this new life than being truly offended about the dance. She wants him for more than a friend but is so frightened of losing her other half she can’t take the risk. She tries to push him by making moves on the bartender but Dima knows it is fear talking and not what she really wants. Even while with the bartender he knows she is thinking of him and imagining him there. I loved how he pushed her almost to the breaking point but was willing to take that risk to have the woman who holds his heart and soul. The scenes with Paul were incredibly hot but at the core of this story is a wonderful friendship that morphs in to the thing everyone I think wants…. A partner in everything….
Again.. thanks to Katie Porter for giving me the chance to read this with no expectation of a review let alone a glowing one… Ya’ll can send me anything… (Hint Hint)