*I received this book in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+.
*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.
Cobolt Winslow is involved in an unhealthy, long-distance relationship with Calvin Denvers. Calvin infected Cobolt with HIV, which cost Cobolt his dancing career in their ballet company as his body became too weak to put up with such strenuous activity. The only stable person Cobolt has come to rely on Malory Preston; a driver who works for Cobolt’s brother, Azure. As his health takes a turn for the better, Calvin comes back into the picture and Cobolt is faced with choosing between dancing and his growing attraction to Preston.
I cannot go any further without mentioning the naming conventions in this book. Yes, they are a little odd (at least for me) because it was like reading characters from a fantasy novel but this isn’t fantasy. I did get used to it as the book went on.
The relationship between Cobolt and Preston works and makes sense the way those characters are written; even if there are times where I felt Cobolt needed a swat of sense on the back of his head. If a character can frustrate you, he/she is well written.
Other than that, this book is short, sweet, sultry when it needs to be, but standard. Cobolt and Calvin’s HIV status is handled with maturity and not used as a crutch or a lame gimmick to make the characters act a certain way. The dancing was immersively written and the subtle nuances of stage culture were there but not as dark as something like Black Swan. I enjoyed it and by the end I was cheering for Cobolt but – and it’s likely my personal bias here – the attempts to make Calvin a sympathetic character failed miserably. It would take MUCH more than 204 pages for an abusive cheater to redeem himself in my eyes but this is certainly not the book’s fault. I’m betting since this is the third in the “Dance, Love, Live” series (and yes, this novel can totally stand on it’s own), I’m sure Calvin has or will get an entire book to himself to work out his issues. As for this book, a happy 3.5 out of 5.