Title: Dance Off
Author: Ariel Tachna and Nessa L. Warin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages
At a Glance: This book was disappointing for me personally, but I will be giving the authors another try.
Reviewed By: Janet
Blurb: On the reality show Dance Off, pro rugby player Olivier Gautier and Olympic swimmer JC Webster each have one goal in mind: to stay on the show as long as possible to earn his charity of choice maximum exposure and a larger donation. As the competition heats up, their goals expand to catching each other’s interest, but Olivier is firmly in the closet and plans to stay there. JC is willing to be discreet, but not to hide forever.
Starting a romance with another man is challenge enough for any celebrity, but doing it under the microscope of reality TV—and one majorly intolerant costar—is even harder. Add in meddling dance pros, JC’s overbearing family, and the need to play up chemistry with dance partners to win America’s hearts, and JC and Olivier’s time together is looking more and more like a recipe for disaster.
As the pressure to stay in the competition mounts, JC and Olivier must face their inevitable separation at the end of the show as well as decide whether a relationship as complicated as theirs can survive in the real world, outside the bubble of the set and practice studios.
Review: This was the first story I have read by either of these two authors, and I was pleased with the harmony of their writing. I felt that only one voice was speaking throughout the story, as it was smooth and flowed well, and the tone was consistent for the whole book.
The story was cute and a very fun idea. The MCs were believable in their roles; the family of characters that made up the secondary players surrounding them also resonated with me as being realistic. I got to know the characters well, and seeing a dance competition unfold was kind of fascinating, but at the end of the book I was not enthralled with the characters or completely invested in them, so I was left with a sense of disappointment in the story. I think this failure to engage was mostly caused by the tone of the dialogue. There wasn’t that much direct dialogue between the main characters that wasn’t overshadowed by description of the circumstances they were in, or the background to the scene that was playing out on the pages. There was a sense of being told what the characters were up to as opposed to the reader doing it with them. That feeling of distance is what kept this book from being great for me, as I am very partial to clever dialogue and revel in submerging myself in the characters through their voices. I missed being able to do that with this book.
I think the plot was the strongest feature of the story, and the idea of having a bird’s-eye view of a reality TV show centered on dancing was brilliant. The authors totally captured the conflicts between the different types of people involved in the show, and gave us fascinating glimpses of how it all plays out for the contestants in a very realistic manner.
This book was disappointing for me personally, but I will be giving the authors another try. There was too much good about this story not to check out some of the other books they have written, though I believe this is their only collaboration, so maybe separately first.
You can buy Dance Off here: