Title: Dancer and Sexy Big Man
Author: Jeff Adams
Length: Nap Sized Dream (49 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M, contemporary, romance
When Hollywood electrician Todd Stewart is asked to help out on the hit show America’s Next Top Dancer, he’s thrilled at the chance to see his favorite competitor, Nathaniel Mayer, dance in person. While Todd loves watching the show, he’s always considered himself too big and clumsy to dance , but Nate is determined to teach Todd some moves—on and off the dance floor.
This was a charming, very enjoyable story about Todd who gets the chance not only to meet, but to experience a lot more with his fantasy man.
At first, I found the author’s style rather simplistic, and I was concerned it didn’t give enough emphasis to the emotions of the characters. Todd’s excitement at his new job opportunity and the anticipation of seeing his screen hero seemed to be muted by a very linear storytelling style. He got my votes every week. Now I’d see him dance in person. I was practically bouncing around the kitchen in excitement. However, this was deceptive, as gradually I discovered the storytelling worked very well, its flow drawing me into the story with a skilful ‘sharing’ of the characters’ lives. Some of the grammatical tenses slipped out of kilter occasionally, but this wasn’t a major problem to me.
The dance competition setting was clear and well described, without too much information dumping. It was interesting to learn about the world of media from behind the scenes. I haven’t watched the programme that the story’s obviously based on, but know enough to understand it. Meeting your fantasy TV star is a common theme and maybe a little unrealistic, but I’m sure many of us relate to it! I consider the story will still be enjoyable, even if you haven’t seen the programme, or when it’s no longer on TV.
Todd seemed a straightforward guy to start with, but gradually I fell for his self-deprecating charm and wry wit. “Look at me: six foot two, big. I lumber more than anything else.” It was a delight to follow his romantic progress. Nate could have been a two-dimensional character in response, but there was enough of him in his dialogue and through Todd’s eyes to see both the public and the private side of a talented rising star, driven by ambition but still endearing.
They made a delightful, sympathetic couple and the sex scenes were both hot and illustrative of their developing relationship. I liked the way the author gave them time to become friends before having sex, allowing for Todd’s very realistic tentativeness. The use of dance in their seduction was charming. The story was well balanced for its length, offering a full story yet engaging the reader enough to want to know more.
The one thing that jarred was the ending which seemed very abrupt to me. It’s a short story so there’s no time to waste, and the author by then had sensibly and skillfully made me care more about the characters than the competition. But the built-up tension was very swiftly wrapped up in a couple of sentences, and appeared uneven. However this is a very slight complaint and in no way detracted from my reading pleasure.
This slice of life was well written with captivating and plausible characters, an intriguing peek into media world, and an enjoyable romance. I rate this story a B+.
by pettyprose…my opinion alone.