Genres/Themes: contemporary romance, opposites attract
Author: Elyse Mady
The premise may not feel absolutely fresh and original, nor does the supporting cast of characters or major plot dilemma. But what the book does it does well, providing an outrageously sweet romantic tale. And man, what an opening act!
Book Description (via Goodreads): Leanne Galloway has no time for dating; her focus is on launching her academic career. Dragged along to her childhood frenemy Gillian's bachelorette party at a male strip club, she just wants to get through the evening—but she can't help interfering when Gillian sends a note to a sexy dancer proposing a hot hookup.Review:
Brandon Myles is working backstage at the Foxe's Den to fund his post-graduate studies in dance, but he's forced onstage when the headliner fails to show up. He feels a surprisingly strong connection with a quiet woman watching from a table full of tipsy bridesmaids, and he's delighted when she appears backstage after his set.
After a scorching spontaneous encounter, Leanne and Brandon agree to go their separate ways. But they're both grad students on a small campus, and avoiding each other and denying their attraction won't work for long, especially when a jealous rival appears, determined to ruin both their academic careers.
Oftentimes, as I’m reading through a book I try to jot down really brief impressions, just to maintain a sense of how my opinions change (or not) over a span of time. For this book, my notes are full of variations of the same comment: “Very, very sweet!”
But really, the damn book has sweetness in spades. The premise is rather straightforward, though it might cause a little niggling of familiarity at the corners of your brain (freewheeling guy with immense talent strips to pay the bills; meets uptight girl who always plays it safe...will they overcome their differences to make it work?). And the plot progression is uncomplicated—rather movie-like, even, given how focused it is on character interactions. I personally thought the book had a great first and last act (hence the rating of “4 of 5 stars”). The middle, in comparison, was “okay.” Which is still far from “bad”; the whole book was fun, it’s just that the best stuff really bookends the piece. It starts and ends with a bang, so to speak.
Main character Brandon provided particular enjoyment for me. His personality, motivations, and actions were quite well-done and in-depth. His whole deal of working at a strip joint whilst putting himself through university; it could’ve been cliché, but it worked well here. It was often the scenes that involved him that were the most memorable.
The couple (Brandon and Leanne) were…you guessed it: sweet! There’s no better way to put it. Their initial connection was mega intense (yes, I’mma re-read it again and again), and everything that flowed from there was engaging. There were times I wanted to smack one or the other (or both) upside the head…but hey, that’s often the case with romances, is it not? ^_^
All told, I found this book to be exceedingly easy—and pleasant—to read. This is a total beach book, in that it’s perfect for frivolous, sunny-day reading. The premise might not be the most original, but the story is executed well. I’d recommend this first to readers of paranormal or historical romance (especially of the dark sort) who want a brief change of genre.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
"I really liked it."