Tuesday, 31 July 2018

REVIEW: "A Dance for Two" and "A Dance for You" by Colette DAvison

Title: A Dance For You
Author: Colette Davison
Cover Artist: Colette Davison
Publisher: Self Published
Genre(s): MM, Contemporary Gay Romance
Length: Approx. 64,000 Words

Warning: Contains explicit language and sex scenes including mild and consensual BDSM


New job, new city: Mason hopes both will lead to him escaping burnout as a ballet dancer. Not living out of a suitcase anymore is a bonus. His new life gets off to a steamy start when he encounters his new neighbour, David. Things soon become complicated when Mason turns up for his first day at BalletEast, to discover that David is not only his choreographer but the man who inspired him to take up dancing in the first place.

With two divorces and a string of failed relationships behind him, David has no intention of promising ‘forever’ to anyone. But when he meets Mason, he falls hard and fast for the enigmatic young dancer. As David becomes more serious about Mason, he wants to open his lover’s eyes to the kinks that he enjoys.

Whilst the two men are navigating the early stages of their romance, Mason is facing immense pressures in the rehearsal studios that threaten to dampen his natural enthusiasm for life. Will David’s love and support be enough to help Mason continue to hold his head high and dance like he’s never danced before?

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A Dance for Two

Adam and Luc’s story was a joy to share. The author did a great job of drawing two very different characters, coming from very different perspectives. At first glance one might think Adam and Luc couldn’t be more different but they are actually rather similar in personality. Both give their all to their chosen careers, both have made huge sacrifices to do what they think is right and both like to have the upper hand – of themselves and each other.

I loved that the story revolved around a dance school and we got such a fascinating glimpse into what it was like, and what it took to run one. There are so many little details that make the story come to life.

The thing I like best about the book is how real and honest the characters are. None of them are perfect. They all have their hang-ups and prejudices, but they play off each other to make the whole situation and all their actions feel logical and unforced. The author allows the story to unfold at its own pace, with the tension coming from the dynamics within the people and the family rather than outside influences.

One thing I struggled with a little and that was the way Luc had treated Adam in the past. He’d turned against him at a time when Adam really needed him to be there for him, then he’d run out on him altogether. Although Luc has a reason for this, it still isn’t an excuse, and to be honest there were times when he was still a dick to Adam. When we were introduced to Luc I was ready to invest and to like his character, but as the book progressed I lost some of that and my sympathies lay squarely with Adam. I’m not saying that’s a flaw in the story, in fact it adds more to the appeal and the sense of honesty within the characters.

The only criticism I can make of the book as a whole is that it could feel a little stiff and/or preachy at times, especially when Luc was talking to Adam. Nothing significant or near enough to pull me out of the story, but notable.

The secondary characters were almost as well drawn as the two main characters. I loved Adam and Luc’s parents. They were so warm and loving but there were enough hints with regard to their personalities, especially grumpy Ken, to make their reactions at the end, both good and bad, feel natural and not forced, as were the boys’ reactions.

I took to Mason straight away, which is just as well as I went on to read his story in book two, and I would love, love, love to go for a drink with Luc’s boss.

All in all this was the kind of book that is perfect for a holiday, or curling up on a cold dark day with a snuggly blanket and glass of wine. It’s definitely not fluff. There’s enough sex to spice things up, enough tension to keep you awake and interested and enough humour to make you smile. There are plenty of feels along the way.

I highly recommend this book.

A Dance For You

This is the story of Mason, to whom we were introduced in A Dance for Two. It’s not necessary to have read the previous book to enjoy this one as there are only brief mentions of events and people from Book One. Adam appears, but only in the same capacity as Mason had in his story.

Whereas A Dance for Two is set in a ballet school, A Dance for You is set in a ballet company. Again, we are given a flavour of what it’s like to be the new person in a ballet company. There is some resistance and a jealous bully, but mostly there’s hard work and commitment. There are tantalizing glimpses of technical work and a much broader brush of the richness of being a dancer in classical ballet. It doesn’t hurt that they’re staging A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is by far my favourite Shakespeare play. Also, Mason is playing Puck, my favourite character.

Mason is everything I love in a character – young, pretty, bouncy, talented, full of life but also of doubts. He tends to overthink everything, which is something I’m very familiar with.

David is very different. He’s twice Mason’s age, so has twice his experience. He’s a much calmer and more grounded character and I liked him very much. He’s the perfect foil for Mason’s ceaseless energy.

Due to the fact David is the choreographer of the ballet, and technically Mason’s boss, and given 
Mason is the new guy, they decide to keep the relationship low key and that is far more difficult for Mason than David. I love that David is very understanding and empathetic regarding this.

As well as all the lovely details about the ballet company, this book has the added depth that David is a Dom and very much wants Mason to be his sub. Mason has no idea about any aspect of BDSM and David leads him into it gently. It’s great to see their trust and love grow naturally and organically. Nothing feels forced about the character development or the relationship development, although I have to say there were times where the narrative lapsed into exposition and preachiness. Again, it wasn’t something I think detracts too much from the story and certainly not jarring enough to pull me out of it, but it was there and it was noticeable.

In this book, there was a bit of a villain and I do so love to have someone to hate.

This one is a bit spicier than the first book, with the added BDSM element, although it’s very light. 

Again, it’s a good book to read on holiday, or when cosied up by the fire. A gentle unfolding of a jolly good yarn with enough sex to spice it and enough drama to keep it interesting, while still being well grounded and honest.

I would highly recommend this book.

About The Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairy tale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

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