Dance with Me

book cover for dance with me by rachel bowdler

“That laugh. That laugh could turn him into ashes and dust and he’d still want to hear it again.”

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Contemporary dancer-turned-teacher Nora Cassidy hasn’t performed since a traumatic competition in 2015, when former dance partner Julian Walker dropped her mid-lift and caused her to take a nasty fall in the middle of a group dance. They have been enemies ever since. Taunts from her peers and incessant criticism from her stern grandmother, Constance, taught Nora from a young age that there is no place for plus-size women in the dance world, so she retired from the spotlight at seventeen. Now, she works in her best friend’s café and teaches the odd lesson at her grandmother’s studio. However, she still dreams that, one day, there will be more space for diversity on the dance floor.

When Constance announces sudden plans to retire from managing her beloved dance studio, with Nora set to inherit it, those dreams finally seem within reach for the first time — but in an attempt to prove herself, she must work on a duet for the Winter Showcase with Julian, meaning she has to face both her fears of performing in front of an audience again and the suddenly complicated feelings that arise between her and her new/old dance partner.

This enemies-to-lovers romance proves that dance can bring just about anybody together, following Nora and Julian on their separate and joint journeys towards self-love, romantic love, and future success.

Reviews

This book has such heart, I want to hold it to my chest and never let it go.
– Sigrid (source: Goodreads)

though i am not a dancer, i am plus sized (or fat, if you will). reading this book and reading about nora achieving her dreams was an experience filled with joy for me because a plus sized woman was the main character but the book wasn’t about nora being plus size. nora had a handful of insecurities because of her size and especially being compared to the smaller dancers, even if she was better than them, didn’t make her feel better. she didn’t face any direct fatphobia in the book and julian wasn’t portrayed as a hero or as if he were supporting a good cause by being in love and most importantly, loving a plus sized woman.
– muzze ☼ (source: Goodreads)

This book filled my little dancing heart. It deals with weight issues and confidence so well and so carefully it’s actually beautiful to read. I love how the characters both have their own lives too and don’t fall in love instantly, especially with the gravity of their past. I just love it so so so much
– Leah (source: Goodreads)

I haven’t read a dance romance before but I’ve always loved hate to love so I gave it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised by this book given that it seems very unknown and genuinely enjoyed the story. It made me want to read more dance stories because I think this author did a beautiful job.
– Margaret Swanigan (source: Goodreads)