Review: Shae Connor – Rhythm & Blues

rhythmAuthor: Shae Connor
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: MM Dance

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: 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: Pate was a successful dancer who suffered a career-changing knee injury. Because he is a smart man, he had a backup already thought out. So he’s returned back home to Atlanta to open his own dance studio. He may not be able to dance six days a week anymore but he can teach new students to be stars. I liked that Pate realizes he loves dance but is firmly grounded in reality. That reality includes the renovation of the building for his dance studio. He has an awesome friend in Billy, “And I thought you were straight anyway.” “I can still appreciate a hard body now and then.” He’s the best.
When he’s getting quotes he ends up with Ace, who happened to go to the same arts high school Pate did. While Pate followed his dream and went on to dance, Ace went into the family business of contracting and really doesn’t paint anymore. “He’d thought manbuns nothing but a silly affection until he’d seen Ace’s man piled on top of his head.” Right there, yes. Manbuns, on the right guy? Perfect.
They get to know each other through the progress of building the studio and become friends first. They talk and get to know each other. They just fit.
I wavered a bit on the rating here because I liked both Ace and Pate and I liked how it was written. It’s a little quick in the relationship department but it didn’t feel like insta-love to me. The wavering came from the trip to New York. I just didn’t see it as something that was a deal-breaker. They haven’t been together long and while it might be an omission, it wasn’t terrible. But I kept my 4 hearts because I did enjoy these two together. And I think that situation brought into focus for pate what his future could hold, even as, “He knew he’d always feel the loss, no matter what else he did.” Because that seemed so real to me. You may have a Plan B and find a different way but you still miss something that was so much a part of you.
And the mural? For the romantic, that was a lovely gesture.

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