Title: Dancing Lessons
Author: R. Cooper
Narrator: Brian Schell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 5 hours and 17 minutes
At a Glance: The story here is sweet and loveable. The narration is spotty in places. It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t the best either.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Two years of living with his controlling boyfriend left Chico worn down long before that boyfriend revealed he’d been seeing someone else. With no other choice, Chico moves in above his cousin’s garage in a small town in the redwoods, where he merely goes through the motions. To get him out of the house, his cousin pushes him to volunteer at a local dance studio to help with their annual show.
He’s not expecting to end up in a dance class, or to start feeling alive again in the arms of his dance instructor. Rafael is the studio owners’ son and was once a well-known dancer in his own right, but now enjoys being a teacher. Although Chico likes him, he’s afraid of taking a chance. But Rafael is determined, and it only takes one dance for Chico to start to realize he might still have something to learn.
Review: Chico has gone into hiding after a bad relationship and an even worse breakup. He has retreated to the redwoods of Northern California and taken up a spot above his cousin’s garage. He works a boring part time sales job and avoids all else like a bat avoids daylight. Chico’s cousin Davey drags him out to volunteer at a local dance studio, home to a prominent family in the world of dance.
After several accidental run-ins, Chico finds himself responding to and dreaming of the son of the owners of the Dance studio, Rafael. Chico and Rafael find themselves drawn to one another, though Chico seems to be the champion at date related mishaps, and blurting out the exact wrong words at the worst possible times.
Chico gets drawn into doing something that he really loves at the dance studio; he sews. He begins to remake and rework worn, tattered costumes that become a symbol of his repairing his own life, to be able to love and really live again.
The story of the ballet he is making costumes for, and Rafael is directing and doing toe choreography for, serves as a second metaphor for real love versus love that is faked for various reasons.
The story here is short and sweet and gives those who enjoy them the HEA in a tidy package.
The narration of Dancing Lessons is haphazard at best. The narrator switches between just reading the words for us to attempting accents. Some are successful others, like that of Rafael’s Russian prima donna mother, sound like West Texas more so than Moscow. There’s also an attempt at a Portuguese accent that fails. Others are nice and the female voices are at least passable, without being nasal or whiny, which is a feat as the narrator’s natural voice is at times grating. The depictions of sex between the MCs is a little thready because of the narration style, and at times it seems a bit off.
The story here is sweet and loveable. The narration is spotty in places. It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t the best either. Get it if you like this author or you like this narrator.
You can buy Dancing Lessons here: