Marc reviews the audiobook version of ‘Dance’ (West End #1) byTeodora Kostova. The book was released by the author on March 31st, 2014 and is 289 pages long. The audiobook was released by the author on December 17th, 2014, narrated by Todd Smith and is 8 hours and 29 minutes long.
This audiobook was provided free of charge by the author for the purpose of an honest review.
The author is a part-time reviewer for this blog and the reviewer considers her a friend.
Why I read this book: I own this book as eBook and signed paperback, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it. With limited reading time, the increased number of M/M audiobooks is a blessing for me, because it allows me to ‘read’ much more. Teodora Kostova is a part-time reviewer for Rainbow Gold Reviews and a friend and I was granted an early excerpt of the audiobook narration. As I love hot, British accents and wanted to read this book for a while, I jumped on the chance to review this book.
Jared Hartley is happy. He has a starring role in a popular West End musical, great friends, adoring fans and his own flat in Central London. A relationship is not something he has ever really wanted. Making big plans for the future is not in his nature – Jared is content with his single status and enjoying all the benefits of that lifestyle.
He doesn’t even realise something is missing in his life.
Until he meets Fenix.
Fenix Bergman has a dream – to perform on Broadway. When he gets offered the lead role in Poison – a new musical based in London, he accepts, immediately recognising the huge potential of the show.
Fenix thinks he has his life completely figured out – he will move to London, help Poison become the new West End hit and bide his time until Broadway comes knocking on his door. He has never wished for anything else but proving to himself and the world that he is a performer worthy of the biggest theatre stage.
Until he meets Jared.
Jared and Fenix’s lives collide and they fill each other’s missing pieces. Neither of them expects to feel so much, so fast for the other.
Neither of them expects to need someone so badly when love hasn’t even been in their plans.
But when Fenix’s star becomes too bright for London, will the dream he’s chased all his life ruin the dream he’s holding in his hands?
Will he survive getting everything he’s ever wanted?
This title is really short, easy to remember and summarizes the most important thing for the two main characters, at least before they realize the love they can find in each other. Dance. It’S a way of life for them, their dream, their world.
I often talk to friends about the many ‘naked torsos’ that are put on M/M covers to get attention for books and how they blur together and fail to be intriguing and unique enough to get people interested in a book. Readers do often judge a book by its cover, me included, because there are so many books out there that we can’t give all of them equal attenion, regardless of the first impressions they leave behind.
For me, this book cover manages to stick out from the rest. This is a book about dancers and the body and movement of the cover model is not just hot to look at, it fits together well with the content of the book and is very artfully depicted. This is a cover you will be able to look at for a long while and drool over.
I really loved the narration after a short period of getting used to it. The accent is sexy and adds a lot to the story, bringing the words to life in a seductive and authentic way. It must be difficult for an author to find the right narrator through auditions. Someone who manages to do right by their characters and the world they have created on stage. I think Teodora has chosen well and I really think Todd SMith has done a great job with this book.
First of all, I think it’s awesome when M/F authors dare to follow their characters wherever they lead. M/F has a wider potential readership and it will always be a risk for an author with an established M/F readership to allow characters to be gay or lesbian or bi or trans. Not every reader will take this new journey with the author, but there are always some readers who discover the fantastic world of M/M Romance. I love when authors are open-minded and would rather be true to their characters than t force them in a potentially more profitable box.
This was the author’s first M/M Romance book and I think she did a great job creating two characters with an undeniable chemistry that readers will remember for a long time.
Jared and Fenix are both sympathetic characters who stole my heart in their own rights. When we meet them, they both have plans with their lives that are very different from each other, yet both revolve around dance. They meet and while they hadn’t planned on love at all they instantly fall in lust and start to care for each other more and more as they et to know each other better.
Both men work hard in a very cut-throat business and I think it helps them to fall for someone who understands the dreams they have and the energy they have to put into them in order to make them come true or keep them.
Jared already made his dreams a reality and gets to do what he loves. He is content in his life and his role in the success of the popular West End Musical he is starring in. Finding someone to share his success and his heart with is unexpected for him, but he greatly enjoys it.
Fenix is a rising star, who has taken all the chances he has seen in his life and taken risks to fullfill his dream of performing in Broadway. He realized that the new musical ‘Poison’ is the perfect vehicle to show everyone his talent and move on to even greater things afterwards.
The two men find to each other rather quickly and readers get to reap the benefits through very sexy and erotic love scenes. In many books the ‘how do they get together’ is the focus. Here, the chemistry is there and the characters know they fit together well. Their relationship seems wonderful and effortless. They are even in jobs that are more open than many others about same-sex couples and their union is rather good publicity instead of endangering their jobs.
The conflict in this story is that Jared and Fenix’ dreams don’t quite line up. I think that happens quite often in real life. We mostly ignore it in the get-to-know phase, because most of the time we will never get far enough into the relationship for it to become an issue. Our dreams change over time, our circumstances change. We can’t let a potential problem rule our lives and destroy connections, before we can make them.
The two seem perfect together and everything goes well, but they choose not to hear the doomday clock. There are decision to be made that can make or break the relationship and drastically change the way the future each character played will play out.
I really enjoyed this part of the plot, even though it pained me to see the characters I grew to love struggle. But it is something we all struggle with. We work for years towards a certain goal and have to decide if that goal or love is more important to us. Love can be fleeting and giving up our dreams for it might make us resent the person who forced us to choose, but reaching our dreams without the person we love might leave us unhappy as well.
We might all dream about having it all, but that unfortunately is only a nice fantasy. Reality forces us to make decisions and life with the consequences.
For me, this book was fun and emotional. It had humorous banter and pop culture references and a lot of very erotic and well-written love scenes . I love musicals and I was able to see the shows in my head and loved how visual the book was. I loved the conflicts and the way they challenged the characters to find out what was most important in their lives.
I can highly recommend this book and hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
9 out of 10 pots of gold/ 4.5 out of 5 stars. 90 percent recommended 😉
Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband Ted and my son Jason. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job in 2010 when I decided that everything else I’ve tried bores me to death and I have to do what I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the guts to fully embrace. I’ve been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among another things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It’s the only time that I’m truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time – my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I’m procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Wii game by a six year old.