Alrighty, since we can all use a bit of levity right about now, I am proud to announce that today is National Dance Like a Chicken Day. This is a reference to the beloved (is it, really?) Chicken Dance song often heard at wedding receptions and Father/Daughter dances. Someone felt those specific times didn’t give us enough opportunities to shake our tail feathers, so a glorious Dance Like A Chicken Day was born. Seriously, friends, I can not make this stuff up! Needless to say, I was unable to source out any romance books that featured anyone participating in the chicken dance ritual, so I’m going to take a little writer’s license and tone down the chicken part to simply focus on books centered around dancing. Why should we pigeonhole ourselves with just chickens…okay, I’ll stop with the bird humor and show myself out!
Dance All Night by Alexis Daria
Nik Kovalenko is a Broadway hotshot, confirmed bachelor, and Jess Davenport is a ballroom champion and bona fide Scrooge. They share a kiss at the stroke of midnight that rattled both of their cages so much, they’ve spent a whole year trying to get over it. A year passes, and the holidays are back upon us, and Nik has decided one kiss is not enough, Jess is the one. Now, he just has to convince her he’s not full of BS. Alexis Daria incorporates dance in a way that left me breathless. I would imagine writing a dance scene is a lot like writing a fight scene, or even a sex scene. Lovely and exciting to read but have to be written in just the right way, not too much to get caught up in the tiny details but not so vague that body parts and positions get lost in the shuffle. It is, dare I say, a delicate dance to choreograph. Daria clearly has a full understanding of the intricacies of dance movement, as well as the ability to incorporate music in her beautifully descriptive sequences. When Nik and Jess dance, the chemistry is explosive, and it’s a whole level of foreplay you’ll love to witness.
A Season to Dance by Rebecca Heflin
The first book in Helfin’s Seasons of Northbridge series is a second chance romance. Olivia James and Zach Ryder were high school sweethearts. At eighteen, Olivia left her small town to follow her dreams of being a ballerina with Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet. All was going well until an injury threatens to end her career. After seventeen years away, Olivia is back home, and she’s not exactly happy about it. Seeing Zach opens up a lot of memories, her heart thought it had safely compartmentalized away. For Zach, he’s known all along that he’d never gotten over his first love, seeing her around town only amplifies the loss he’s felt for years in his heart. A small town with a dance studio at its center means Zach and Olivia have no choice but to cross paths and figure out their pasts so they can finally give love a second chance.
Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
Truth be told, when I saw the opportunity to write an article about books with dancers, I immediately thought of Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren. This is because I will always run with any possible opportunity to talk about Ansel Guillaume. And no, he is not the dancer in this tale, he’s the sweet filthy French boy our heroine Mia Holland has a Vegas-style one night stand with. Ansel is my favorite in this series, and you won’t convince me otherwise. Mia is a recent college graduate who is not taking the path she’s trained for her entire life. An injury has sidelined her dancing dreams, and her overbearing father has all but broken her spirit. Thank goodness for Ansel’s sweet, and sometimes filthy words. As expected, Christina Lauren never disappoints with their tales of love and woe. Their writing is so fluid, the characters come to life and leap from the pages. Typically, I am not a fan of new adult romance, my children are way too close to that age, and it often feels a little weird to read about that age group’s sexual exploits. But, I can push those thoughts aside and genuinely love this story.
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole
Book #4 of Cole’s Immortals After Dark series is the story of Neomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a century past who was murdered and now haunts the house she used to live in. Vampire warrior Conrad Wroth is consumed by madness, and his brothers have imprisoned him in an abandoned house for his safety and for the protection of others.
Conrad’s brothers already think he’s gone off the deep end, so they consider his recent mentions of a beautiful phantom only he can see, they chalk it up to his dissent further into madness. Neomi is a balm for Conrad’s wretched soul, but the evil that murdered her still surrounds her and the house she haunts…and everyone within its walls. How far will they have to go to set her soul free, and what is Conrad willing to do to finally quiet his inner demons and find true love? Kresley Cole’s IAD series never disappoints. The world-building is so incredible, and the characters are so intriguing, getting lost in her books is one of my favorite things.