Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan

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Dance with meBlurb

Ed Maurer’s life would be fine if he could just get Laurie Parker off his back. He’s bounced back, more or less, from the neck injury that permanently benched his semi-pro football career, and he volunteers now at a local community center. It’s just that every time he turns around, that damn professional dancer is in his way, hating Ed right back. But when a bargain Ed strikes at the center lands him as an assistant in Laurie’s ballroom dancing class, their perceptions of each other turn upside down. Both Ed and Laurie have heartbreak in their pasts, but somehow dancing together eases their individual pain. For Ed, dancing with Laurie becomes a way to reconnect with his body after losing football. For Laurie, partnering with Ed has erased some of his fear of performing and brought back joy to a sport he wasn’t sure he could ever truly love again.

As Laurie and Ed lose themselves in dance, their lives continue to spin around them: Ed’s injury makes it clear he’s nowhere near recovery, Laurie feels the pressure by friends and family to perform once more, and the community center that has become such an important part of both their worlds threatens to close. Alone, they haven’t had the strength or spirit to face what life has hurled at them. But as the turns of their personal paths lead them into the arms of love, Ed and Laurie begin to think that if they dance this dance together, they might be able to succeed.

Review

Ed is an out and proud football player (semi-pro) who hurts his neck and has to look for alternative ways to stay in shape and rehabilitate against the debilitating pain.

Laurie is a dancer who runs a small studio but who used to be on the path to greatness until he and his then partner (both dance and life) tried to break into a couples dance competition as the only same sex couple and failed, epically.

At first these two are enemies – Ed plays the music too loud, Laurie is a priss, but then… magic (sigh). They begin to dance together and it is everything they’d hoped to find. Laurie loves how Ed can be the strong partner he’s always needed and Ed loves how Laurie can give him some of his self respect back.

Along the way they become lovers, too, and that, by far, is their most important relationship.

There are many road bumps – Laurie’s mom, Ed’s pain and ego, Laurie’s fear of rejection and his past sexual history, money…

But in the end they conquer them all for a very, very satisfying HEA.

**

This is one of those books I have read and then read again and again. I just love it so!

Some of the things I really appreciate about it:

The real sex. It’s not all hot and sweaty, panting and perfection. There’s pain, and gas, and preparation, and mess. Wonderful!

I love the scene in the hot tub with the other, older couple… again, real, messy, normal, but still hot.

The real problems. Pain and money and egos. Who hasn’t had one or both of those issues in their life – even to the point of ruining their relationship?

Their love. I just fell in love with them as a couple because they are so very different but when they put down their walls you can see just how perfect they are for one another.

All in all it was an amazing book that I can’t recommend more highly than: you must read this!

I give it 6 of 5 stars – Amazing!

amazing

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