LadyC reviews Dance for Me by Allison Cassatta and Remmy Duchene.This book was released by MLR Press on March 19th 2014, 228 pages.
This book was provided without charge for the purpose of an honest review.
Why I read this book: I wanted to see how hate at first sight can turn into strong love.
Blurb: LO… When they dance into your heart and falling can’t be helped …VE
Alexander Benton is used to getting what he wants. With his wealthy parents MIA most times, he is left to rule Julliard and half of Manhattan with impunity. He hides his misery behind meaningless sex and condemning behavior.
Augusto Catalan grew up poor. To make a living, he dances at a local gay performance club and survives on the poverty line. His crappy New York apartment and simple life make him happy—except for the death of his lover, his brother being in a war zone and his life-long dream of getting into Julliard slipping away with each passing day.
When Alex meets Augusto, he knows there is no way this ghetto boy is getting into /his/prestigious school. Then he sees Augusto dance.
Excerpt of “Dance for Me”:
“I want to hold you in my arms and feel our bodies melding into one. I want to make love to you until you know the difference but I can’t. I don’t want to be a rebound and I don’t want you running to him if we have arguments. I like being alone with my men. I don’t play well with others”
“Augusto, I only want you. Now. Tomorrow. Ten thousand tomorrows from now. I. Want. You.”
The title is one of the reasons that made me want read this book. Obviously, it’s about dance, modern and classical as the cover implies, but also about the dance of lovers, trying to give the right rhythm to their love, to their life.
This is the story of two dancers, Alexander and Augusto (Gus), both studying in Juilliard.
Alexander is from a rich family, knows more his nanny than his own parents and acts as a jerk most of the time. Nobody has any idea who he really is inside.
Augusto has a very loving but poor family, fights to be accepted in Juilliard and works as a dancer at Santo’s, a performance gay club.
The two MCs are very different and hate each other at first sight. But then Alex sees Augusto dancing and falls head over heels for him.
It was hard for me to write a review for this book as I had very mixed feelings about it.
Each one of the characters is well depicted. The background for Gus is profound. We have a lot of information. While reading, we learn a lot about his family, his adopted brother Donny, one of his lover, Kemar, who died a few years ago and his lover’s father Luther who owns the club where he performs. These information anchor the character in the story. We don’t have as much information about Alex. His family and a former (awful, should I add !) lover are almost the only insight we get about his life. They have some great friends too, specially Carolynne, Jason and Keith that I loved. I would love to know more about them, especially about Keith and his love life.
I have to say there were great sex scenes too. Very hot sex scenes and that’s a good point, to me 🙂
All of this was interesting to read but other details were less successful for me.
First, there’s a French teacher in Julliard. When she speaks English, she uses some French words. It’s just odd in my opinion, because except for snobs, no French person I know would do that in real life. And I can speak freely about it because I’m French. Plus, she says ‘qui’ at the end of some sentences which is completely weird. (Sometimes, when we speak quickly we add ‘quoi’ at the end of phrases – and it’s mostly local, not a national rule 🙂 – but never while using another language)
As a rule, no use of foreign language if you’re not fluent…
Second, even if I liked what the story could have been, some sentences seemed to be overdone, like they had been taken from romantic poetry and it didn’t feel authentic for the characters. Personally, phrases like “If I could give you the world, that would be but a fraction of your worth to me” and the response “See ? That’s just it. I don’t want the world. I just… I want you.” just felt too cheesy to me and not at all what I expected from the characters, based on the way they acted and talked in the rest of the book. Stop or I’ll cry… It may do it for some people but it was just too much for me. I’m usually a sucker for HEA, but it just didn’t feel believable in this story.
I’m just saying I’m a little disappointed by the book, because there was so much potential. I really connected with the characters and the plot was interesting and well-developed! I’m sure the authors meant well and there are many great aspects to the book, but it wasn’t for me. It could have been so much more. As usual, just because it didn’t do it for me doesn’t mean that someone else won’t like it. So try it and send me a comment so we can talk about it. I hope you’ll enjoy more than me 🙂
Remmy Duchene is a Canadian-hockey-watching-baseball-playing kind of guy. He loves walking in the rain and bugging his friends about his latest story ideas. Remmy believes that true love comes in all shapes, sizes, and sexualities. He is always saying “I’d rather see two gay people in love get married than two straight people that hate each other.”
Allison Cassatta: It all started with a dream that made her heart wrench and a set of mesmerizing eyes that begged to be seen, and Allison Cassatta the writer was born. A techie by trade, the day-dreamer in her wanted to sail away from the mundane, while the hopeless romantic in her searched for the perfect love story. Many poems and short stories were written before her first attempt at a novel and once that piece of her soul spilled onto paper, there was no stopping it.
She has an eye for the visually stunning and a mind that screams to bring that beauty to life. She gives her readers something they can feel in the depth of their heart, creates worlds they can touch and characters that become your best friend or worst enemy.
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, big-city life was a rat-race that kept her busy in her career. It took moving with her new husband to a sleepy Mississippi town to make her realize that dreams can come true, and did they ever. She found herself a published author. She found her perfect romance.