Friday, 17 July 2015

Review ~ Fever (A Ballroom Romance #1) by Tonya Plank

Fever (A Ballroom Romance, #1)
ebook received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 10th 2015

Publisher: Self-published

Rory’s once promising ballet career was destroyed by family tragedy and illness. She turned her life around and became a lawyer. Now at the start of her legal career, she lacks passion in her work and self-confidence in her abilities. But when she meets gorgeous, mysterious Russian ballroom dancer, Sasha, at a firm holiday party, her passions for life and dance are immediately re-kindled.

Since being torn from his Siberian family as a child, Sasha’s life ambition has been to be world ballroom champion, a path he was destined for until his former partner pulled the plug on their partnership. She went on to win the world title, leaving him, without a partner equal in ability, forever in second place. The instant he lays eyes on Rory, he recognizes the depth of her passion and talent, and falls hard for her in more ways than one.

But she also reminds him of great pain from his past. He must not only overcome his own demons but convince her to leave her demanding law career, and all that she has worked for in her adult life, to train with him full-time in order for their partnership – both on and off the dance floor – to work.

My Opinion

When I read the description for this book it sounded great. I mean, sexy dancer, passionate dances, and a little tragedy thrown in for good measure, what more could you want? I assumed it would be a steamy, hot romance ... and it had the potential to be one. However, sadly this one ended up missing the mark for me.

The main problem I had with this book is the writing style. The author uses very little speech and because it's written in first person, you only hear from Rory. As frequent viewers of my reviews will know, I need lots of dialogue to keep me interested. For me, that's where the characters' personalities shine through and without it I never really form a connection. It also moves the story along so it doesn't drag. It's a shame really as towards the end things did pick up slightly, but it was never enough for me to care about the characters. I felt I was told everything rather than experiencing the conversations and actions.

Similarly, this also hindered the romance. In fact after reading it, I don't think I'd class this as a romance--book 2 seems to be where the romance is going to begin. There was hardly any interaction between Sasha and Rory, rather it was more of an infatuation of Rory's part. It took forever for them to finally start interacting and at that point my hope increased, only to be squashed when little happened. I assumed there'd be more passion from the dances and that's how the relationship would build. Unfortunately it didn't happen. There was literally no connection.

Moreover, the characters were very two dimensional or similar. James was an asshole whose actions were predictable and so was Mitchell. They felt like the same guy, and then Rajiv started pressuring her too, and Sasha acted like an ass for no apparent reason. They could have been interchangeable and there wasn't enough variety. I don't know if this is down to viewing everything from Rory's eyes, but yeah ... they weren't likeable. 

Then there's Rory. For the majority of the book she's weak. She allowed herself to be controlled, broke down, allowed people to walk over her, and wasn't a very good lawyer--even if her client was difficult. I found it hard to connect with such a weak character because there was no growth. Her strong moments came out of nowhere before disappearing, never to be seen until a few chapters on. It was inconsistent and the lack of speech did nothing to help it.

Saying all of that, it was still an okay read. It was an easy story to get through, despite its length and I liked the general idea. The author's knowledge of dance and the law also came across in the writing. The description of the dances felt authentic and I could understand what she was trying to get me to imagine.

Overall, this was an okay read. It didn't draw any emotions from me and I would say it needs a serious content edit to trim down unnecessarily long sections and add more development so it would connect with readers and flow better, but it has potential. The world the author's set up is intriguing and holds a lot more room for emotion, passion, and sensations than expressed in Fever.


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