Reviewed by Kini
“Tell me what you want.” She panted and twisted her hands in the bedsheets. “Why do you keep asking me?”
“Because this is all for you.” He kissed a line up the inside of her leg, adoring the strength of her in the tension of her skin.
“You’re a goddess. You deserve to be cherished, and given all you desire.”
She pressed a hand to her cheek and looked away. Amazing that sweet words embarrassed her more than anything else they did together in this bed. “I’m just a regular woman, Dimitri. Not a goddess.”
“To me, you are. It’s about time I started treating you how you deserve.”
“Don’t be too good to me, or I’ll get used to it.” Her voice was soft, and shy. Wistful.
“I want you to get used to it. Now, tell me what you want.”
This is book number two in a series that centers around a fictionalized version of Dancing with the Stars, of which I am a fan. I reviewed book one earlier this year and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to seeing these side characters and learning their story. I think this would read fine as a stand-alone, but the first was so good, you should probably just read it first.
Natasha could be described as a prickly heroine. She’s used to being independent and is the absolute worst for asking for help. Seriously, she’s terrible at it, and it did get a tiny bit annoying. Natasha has been friends with benefits with Dimitri, one of the judges from the dance show for three years. When she has a housing emergency and he offers to let her stay with him, she begrudgingly says yes.
Dimitri is a judge on the show, a restaurateur, and sometime actor. He came to the US from Ukraine when he was ten. He is successful but because of life and family experiences, he is almost always holding back a little bit of himself. He is described early on as a womanizer and douchebag, but I think that was Natasha’s slightly skewed version of him. I found Dimitri to be a pretty good hero, and definitely a great match for Natasha.
Tasha and Dimitri have been having casual sex for three years, but both of them seem to be interested in more. Just neither knew how to ask. Or believed that they could. This is a theme with both of them, they both feel a little unworthy. Tasha’s mom is borderline unkind to her and not demonstrative of love. Dimitri’s family is amazing, but he put his heart on the line for a woman before and she stomped on it. But the housing emergency gives Dimitri the opportunity to show Tasha how much he cares for her.
This book was a little shaky at times for me. Donna, the evil producer from book one, shows up again. And I didn’t like her then, I really did not like her in this book. I felt like the drama and conflict she brought was unnecessary. Tasha had enough to work through with her own issues of self-worth and to add to the workplace drama felt like too much. As mentioned above, Natasha is really, really bad at accepting help. She practically fought every time one of her friends offered to help her. It started to become annoying. I was more annoyed with her inability to accept her friend’s love and assistance than when she was hesitant about Dimitri being in love with her. That was something he needed to show her, because of their history. I also would have liked to have learned a little more about Dimitri and his broken heart.
One last superficial quibble I have is that when authors have characters that speak a different language, I find it irritating when my Kindle doesn’t recognize the words and can’t translate for me. The characters will usually give a translation at some point, but I am impatient and I don’t want to have to wait. Tasha and Dimitri had great chemistry and Daria writes great and sexy love scenes, that really helped balance out the parts that dragged for me. I liked this story, but less than the first book. When Dimitri and Natasha finally got their heads out of their asses and let themselves love and be loved fully, it was great. They do have some sexy and tender moments together that I enjoyed. I look forward to future books from this author.