Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Kaito Watanabe has finally nabbed an interview with his idol, Cristian Alvarez. Kaito is a journalist who’s spent his entire life looking up to the figure-skating champion. Cristian’s passion on the ice unearthed a love of dance in Kaito and made him believe in the power of artistic expression.
Now Kaito is face-to-face with the man he’s always admired. He believes himself insignificant and ordinary, a moth drawn to the light Alvarez casts. He can’t allow himself to believe Cristian’s flirtations are anything but natural charm—but Cristian has other plans. The tension pitches higher, legs and fingers intertwine, and Kaito begins to wonder if his fantasies have a shot at becoming reality.
Another Dance by L.A. Ashton is a sweet contemporary romance that charts the beginning of a love story between journalist Kaito Watanabe and his long held crush, champion ice skater Cristian Alvarez. The characters are very well drawn here. Kaito is downright adorable. Awkward in his crush, hiding behind his bangs, humble and yet surprising in so many other ways. I wish Ashton had explored his love of ballroom dancing more. This element , along with it’s intersection with Cristian’s backhistory could have propelled this story further. It’s already swoonworthy, this could have taken it to another level had it been explored past one scene.
Cristian on ice. Cristian the professional skater is well represented here. From the interview to the pitfalls and the highs of being a pro skater. I regret we get to see Cristian “dance” across the ice in the story only once because Ashton’s descriptions are so vivid that the author makes us see why Kaito and everyone else loves him so. The person is also present and layered, from his love of Luna his elderly cat to his appreciation of Kaito’s writing in all its styles and what it reveals, this is a character who you can love and relate to.
Ashton also brings in interesting details about the world of the professional skater, such as most have poor eyesight due to continued exposure to the harsh glare of the ice and the use of composers for the music the skaters use and train too (the composers too have their own followers). And the international politics of voting. Fascinating!
All this mixed up in a short path to a new love and romance. For me I wish there was so much more. This could really be just the first quarter of a lovely novel instead of a novelette. That’s the frustrating part. You are just loving them as a couple and the story is over.
The story ends with the acknowledgement that, even with all the difficulties of their professions and locations, they want to get to know each other and go forward. So it’s definitely a HFN. Hey, we all knew they would end up together so that’s not exactly a spoiler.
Ah well. Perhaps, another story will follow and we will get to see this couple at another stage in their relationship. I can always hope for this is an interesting world and I’d love to see Ashton return to it and them. If you love contemporary romance, check out Another Dance by L.A. Ashton and see what I mean. I think you will be captivated by this couple. I certainly was.
Cover art: Natasha Snow. Just lovely with the entwined legs. Perfect.
Expected publication: July 8th 2019 by Ninestar Press
Edition Language English