• BLURB •
Ballet takes everything from you.
I’m no longer a professional ballerina.
No longer a kept woman.
No longer a virgin.
The fact that I still ache for a man who shattered me so easily… there is no getting over that.
I should’ve listened to Calum when he said that he was broken.
Some things, once shattered, cannot be made whole again.
Still, all it takes is a look from him and I start to melt.
When he offers me an even sweeter deal, will I be able to say no?
The Dancer is a contemporary billionaire romance from Wall Street Journal Bestseller Vivian Wood. It’s full length and the second of three books in the gritty, raw, passionate Broken Slipper Trilogy.
• MY REVIEW •
Oh my. Blackmail, secret romances, and danger lurking at every corner! This elite world of ballet is vicious and cutthroat! I haven’t read much contemporary romance books that centre around the dance world (more specifically, ballet), and it had me so intrigued.
Make sure to read The Patron first as it’s a continuous storyline and this is book two in the trilogy. This one delves into Kaia’s and Calum’s tumultuous relationship. What started out as a straight forward contract, quickly became a complicated hot mess!
I enjoyed this book overall and there were plenty of things I adored, but I would be lying if I didn’t mention some of the things that irked me whilst reading it. The story is somewhat of a secret/ forbidden romance between Kaia, a ballet student, and her ballet teacher Calum who also happens to be a powerful business mogul and billionaire. The age gap between them isn’t blatantly obvious but what I quickly discovered is Kaia is very much a naïve young lady. There were a handful of situations throughout that I felt could easily have been avoided or resulted quite differently if it weren’t for her ignorance. I found her very frustrating in this book — it’s like the girl never learns! 🙄 Thank goodness that some of my sanity was saved knowing that there were secondary characters that had common sense. Lol.
It focuses a lot on the protagonists, so seeing secondary characters, even for a brief time was a nice change of atmosphere and really helped break some of the story’s attention away from their interactions alone. There are a couple of side stories happening simultaneously in the background that adds an extra level of tension and edge to the overall storyline.
I did find some things a little repetitive (mostly the sexual *cough cough* content). I’m all for some steamy scenes — I mean what romance reader, wouldn’t expect it? But all in moderation. I felt like the bedroom romps were all similar too. I’m not going to lie after the first couple of them, I almost wanted to skim through the rest. 😬
I would’ve really loved to have seen more hearty progression in their relationship. By the time I finished the book it almost felt like they hadn’t made too much headway. And then of course, it concludes on a cliffhanger, and I was left sitting there thinking, “Dammit, I wanna know what happens next!”
Let’s talk the plotline, shall we? My favourite bits to see in the entire book was the slow but gradual development of Kaia’s and Calum’s relationship. I know I just mentioned that there wasn’t much progress in this book in regards to their relationship, but the parts where they were simply conversing had my attention. They have a complex relationship (and I’m using that term loosely because they don’t really have a proper bf/gf relationship per se… and on top of that they’re trying to keep it a secret), but despite the roadblocks they have a buddle of chemistry and zing between them. If you like a damsel in distress heroine, and a confident (almost fringing on arrogant) alpha hero, then this will be right up your alley. Scenes where they’re dancing around (excuse the pun) their feelings for one another were the scenes that had me anxiously sitting up and glued to the pages. It’s a bit of slow burn romance, just so you know. Fair to say I was frustratingly eager to see Kaia and Calum admit their feels already. 😅
I applaud Vivian for creating such characters, who I got invested in despite not always agreeing with their actions or favouring their personality. I like that this storyline wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops. There’s always something popping up that keeps these characters on their toes and us readers second-guessing. I, for one didn’t see some of the things that occurred a mile away.
I do have to point out that this book contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers. There is a small scene involving sexual assault. It also contains violence and profanity. Readers 18+ only!
I’m excited to get into the next book. I’m itching to see what happens after the cliffhanger that went a completely different direction that I had not anticipated. A great second book that I truly enjoyed reading. It’s contemporary with some slight darkish elements. It’s suspenseful — honestly, anything can happen! It’s romance with a ballet backdrop, along with a diverse range of characters you’ll either love or loathe. A character driven storyline with still plenty of secrets to be revealed and explained further in the next book. It has a fairly well-paced storytelling and it’s told from dual points of view.
Although there were certain aspects of this book I wasn’t completely a fan of, I would still recommend this story to fellow romance readers.
Thank you Vivian Wood and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💛
🔔 Interested in reading the Broken Slipper Trilogy? Grab your copy here:
🩰 Read my review for the first book in the trilogy!
Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo