Reviewed by Kini
I was a little worried about reading two dance related books so close together, and although they share several common things like Latinx author, Latinx characters, and dancing, they are very different.
Yazmine, our heroine, has been a dancer since she was a young girl. She went to New York after high school and was working in the industry but left New York when her dad got cancer. Right before her dad fell ill, she was struggling in New York because of a bad relationship and was doubting if it was really for her. Yaz has been back home for almost two years caring for her father and teaching at the local dance school. One of her students is little Maria, who has a dad that doesn’t show up when he is supposed to and Yaz is mad at him for it, even though she doesn’t know it.
Tomas is a single father. He doesn’t intend to be absent in Maria’s life and really desires to make a good life for Maria so that means he works too much. Maria’s mom left shortly after her birth and because of that, Tomas is not interested in getting involved in a short term relationship, he wants to make sure Maria has stability and consistency in her life. Yaz deems him in need of her “Perfect Partner” and they both believe that Yaz is not a perfect partner.
Yazmine and Tomas meet when Tomas is participating in a father-daughter dance routine in the recital. Yazmine is instantly drawn to Tomas. He’s handsome and she quickly realizes that he is a really good father. There are several instances where they end up spending time together- lunch with Maria, dinner with Yaz’s dad and Maria. And then Tomas’s nanny gets called away on an emergency so naturally Yaz offers to fill in. I LOVE a good single parent/nanny trope. I think because it usually forces the couple to spend time together and is slightly forbidden. Needless to say, this setup worked for me.
I thought the writing and descriptions in this book were top notch. It is told in dual POV so we get insight from both MCs and see their thought process as they fall for each other. I loved every moment of it. Tomas really becomes a rock in Yaz’s life. She’s been a caretaker for two years, but doesn’t have anyone to lean on. Tomas was everything I like in hero, supportive and loving and take charge when needed.
“You’re an incredible woman, Yazmine Fernandez. I’ve seen you in action— with your family, your students, pushy parents, on stage tonight. More importantly, with Maria. You amaze the audience, and you light up a room. You make people feel good about themselves. Like you said to Rosa, don’t short-change yourself.”
There was a lot to like in this book. Good chemistry, strong family bonds, hero and heroine that were loving and kind, a child that was not just a plot moppet, but there are two big things that some readers may not enjoy. Yaz’s father is incredibly ill. And it is sad, heartbreakingly sad.
The second thing is that this is a chaste book. I finished the book feeling a little cheated out of being able to see the characters connect on a physical level. There are some pretty good scenes where they display their chemistry and build up of sexual tension and to not see it pay off is a downer. Around the 60% mark I was thinking it was going to be a really great slow build, but it just kept building with no pay off. If there has been sex on the page, I could give this book an A-.
I liked so much about this book. Yaz and Tomas were a perfectly matched couple. I was really invested in them. The author also did a great job and piquing my interest in Yaz’s younger sisters and their stories. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a great love story but knows going in there will be an emotional heaviness and no sex. I definitely look forward to reading more from this author and will have appropriate expectations in regards to the sexy times, or lack there of.