Title: Rhythm & Blues
Author: Shae Connor
Length: 76 Pages (Kindle)
At a Glance: Rhythm & Blues definitely had some fine moments, and the story was well paced and just the thing for those looking to escape into a tender love story.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: When life tears apart your dream, build a new one.
After a knee injury ended his career, Broadway dancer Pate Hawkins limped his way back from New York to Atlanta to implement Plan B: open a dance academy to train the next generation of song-and-dance dreamers. When model-gorgeous contractor Ace Samson answers his request for an estimate on renovating his studio space, Pate hits pay dirt in more ways than one. As construction gets underway, the red-hot attraction between the two men flares, and soon they develop a fledgling relationship. Then the siren song of the stage calls Pate back, and he has to choose between the dream he left behind and the new life he’s building—with his studio, and with Ace
Review: Reality in the form of a serious injury has sidelined Pate and taken him from the world of dance. While he may never have the grace and skill that made him stand out in the crowd, he will be able to dance well enough to open his own studio and perhaps one day rejoin the stage in a limited way. The last thing he is looking for during his last two months of therapy, while he has his studio renovated from the ground up, is any kind of emotional entanglement. That resolve flies out the window when one of the contractors bidding for his job enters stage left and knocks the wind out of Pate’s sails, and then some. Now the question remains: is the attraction to Ace merely physical, or is there something deeper going on?
Author Shae Connor offers up a fast paced novella that is long on romance but short on page space. Rhythm & Blues is a tale of starting over and rediscovering what a comfort home can be—but it’s not that easy when part of your heart still yearns for something you can no longer have. Pate loved dancing, and while he will be able to dance again, it will never be with the same intensity that always made him fly. Now trying to restart his life as a dance academy owner/instructor, he must come to grips with the fact that life will be very different from the hustle and bustle he had while living and working in New York. It helps that the contractor he hired is a hottie and totally into Pate as much as Pate tries not to be into him. Slowly but surely that changes, and Pate tries to no avail to keep himself grounded in reality and not fall head over heels for Ace.
I think the best part of this novella was the running dialogue Pate had with himself. He tries so valiantly to keep the relationship between he and Ace professional, but there is no denying the electricity they both feel at every encounter. Each glimpse into Pate’s thinking allowed me to understand him more and grow to really like who he was as a character. I do wish there had been a bit more time for Ace on the page—he comes off much more one dimensional than Pate and so the love that is developing between them is harder to gauge, as we get just glimpses of how affected Ace is by Pate as well. I wish there had been a bit more to their story—a longer build in the relationship. Had there been, I believe that the moment when Ace felt betrayed, and the subsequent time Pate spent asking Ace to reconsider, would have been a bit beefier and more satisfying rather than feeling so rushed. However, there was still smart dialogue and an engaging plot to this sweet romantic tale.
Rhythm & Blues definitely had some fine moments, and the story was well paced and just the thing for those looking to escape into a tender love story. It definitely made me put Shae Connor in my sightline for future reading.
You can buy Rhythm & Blues here: