DIVERSE READ: #Ownvoices Puerto Rican MC
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Synopsis: Natasha Díaz is having a day. She’s trying to prove she can make it as a professional dancer, but she’s overworked, out of cash, and her roommate has just moved out. When she comes home to find a hole in her ceiling and her bedroom flooded, she’s desperate enough to crash with the one guy she can’t quit. She accepts his offer with one condition: no sleeping together while she’s living with him.
Dimitri Kovalenko has never lived with a woman before. But when Tasha’s in need of a place to stay, he suggests she move in without a second thought. He accepts her condition, hoping she won’t stick to it. They’re good together, both in the ballroom and the bedroom. Since their first dance, she’s never been far from his thoughts. Sure, she’s a pro and he’s one of her show’s judges, but they’re not currently filming, so no one needs to know.
Living in close quarters shows Dimitri a side of Natasha he’s never seen before, and he likes it. A lot. Too bad she’s doing everything in her power to keep him at arm’s length. When an injury forces Natasha to take it easy or risk her ability to dance, it’s his chance to show her that the rules have changed, and she can trust him with her heart.
My thoughts: Alexis Daria is becoming one of my favorite diverse authors because she creates the cutest novels ever! She crafts the cutest characters together in a story that I end up reading in only a few days because I am so attached.
This book is the second installment in the Dance Off series, and I loved it more than the first installment Take the Lead. I probably loved this story more because it follows two people who are friends-with-benefits that end up sharing a house together, due to unforeseen circumstances. Whenever two characters become roommates, I immediately fell in love with the story because that is one of my favorite tropes used in romance novels. There’s something about pushing the two love interests together in the same house that makes me love a story even more, whenever this trope is used.
The two characters in this novel were so well written and I loved their character development as they both supported and cared for one another while hiding away their feelings for the other. They also both had strong personalities that flowed off the page and made me connect to them right off the bat. Natasha was a strong-willed girl who wanted to stand on her own two feet while Dimitri was a protective and caring man who just wanted to help others. Their slow-burning romance was also fantastic and well-paced enough that it didn’t feel rushed which is important in a romance novel.
I really enjoyed this story and the dance elements that were thrown into the narrative as well. I also loved seeing the main characters’ two cultures (Natasha is Puerto Rican and Dimitri is Ukranian) being shown off with the use of their languages and traditions. This story was just what I needed to get back into reading, and I am so glad that I picked it up.