Guest Reviewed by Morgan
Author: Teodora Kostova
Series: West End #1
Heroes: Jared Hartley/Fenix Bergman
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 291 Pages
Publisher: Teodora Kostova
Release Date: March 31, 2014
Available at: Teodora Kostova, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Jared Hartley is happy. He has a starring role in a popular West End musical, great friends, adoring fans and his own flat in Central London. A relationship is not something he has ever really wanted. Making big plans for the future is not in his nature – Jared is content with his single status and enjoying all the benefits of that lifestyle.
He doesn’t even realise something is missing in his life.
Until he meets Fenix.
Fenix Bergman has a dream – to perform on Broadway. When he gets offered the lead role in Poison – a new musical based in London, he accepts, immediately recognising the huge potential of the show.
Fenix thinks he has his life completely figured out – he will move to London, help Poison become the new West End hit and bide his time until Broadway comes knocking on his door. He has never wished for anything else but proving to himself and the world that he is a performer worthy of the biggest theatre stage.
Until he meets Jared.
Jared and Fenix’s lives collide and they fill each other’s missing pieces. Neither of them expects to feel so much, so fast for the other.
Neither of them expects to need someone so badly when love hasn’t even been in their plans.
But when Fenix’s star becomes too bright for London, will the dream he’s chased all his life ruin the dream he’s holding in his hands?
Will he survive getting everything he’s ever wanted?
I bought this book originally because it sounded very sweet and the initial reviews were so excellent. I love books about the arts and the cover is hot! (Does that make me shallow?)
I am never put off by the idea of “insta-love” and, as the author shares with us, love at first sight happened for her so why not for Fenix and Jared? Sometimes the “love at first sight” can be a great story because it is the “relationship” that needs work, just as much as the “finding true love”, so in this sense, Dance acts like a sequel book, where we see the MCs after they have already gone through the angst of “does he love me, do I love him, what ever shall we do?” stage and are now working on the “nitty gritty making the relationship work” stage.
In this story, we have plenty of conflict: First, Adam (Jared’s friend) is opposed to the relationship and Jared sort-of has to choose love over friendship. Then Fenix gets an offer to go to Broadway, his dream job, and he takes it, no questions asked. Jared (again) has to choose, this time love versus career. Finally, there is conflict about getting together again.
What we find is that the “love at first sight” didn’t really stick. We actually spend a good 20% of the story with our characters in different countries! That was hard to read. I wanted to praise the author for adding some obstacles to her super-sweet romance – but… it didn’t really make sense.
For some reason, the two lovers – who swore they could never, ever be apart – agree to break up. They don’t even talk to one another! Huh? For two years our lovers are separated and all we see are tears, self-destruction and regret, but zero attempt at re-connection. That just didn’t make sense to me. Why would Jared completely alienate himself from Fenix without giving a long-distance relationship even the attempt at a chance for survival? Why would Fenix shut Jared out so completely. It didn’t seem consistent with their hearts and flowers romance.
Later, when our MCs do finally re-connect, it is disjointed and strange. Fenix comes back, essentially for Jared but doesn’t reach out to him or even really apologize. Weird. But yet, somehow, the two do manage to get back together, only to be faced with yet another obstacle in the form of a bizarre threat.
By this time, I was pretty done with the book. I’d had it with the two of them acting so strangely, and though I was (of course) rooting for them to get back together, I was no longer invested in it. The story had too many odd twists and turns, and though I applaud the author for perhaps aiming at adding some realism to her fairy tale, I just didn’t buy it in the end.
So overall, I liked the story, there are definitely lots of hot smexy scenes in it, and the theatre story in the background was really interesting, but the love story itself left me wanting more.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book and received a copy from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*