SHALL WE DANCE?

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Member Reviews

As usual, Shelley Shepard Gray gives us another addictive series surrounding characters that feel like best friends or family to us. In Shall We Dance, the first in a series of three, we are introduced to three sisters who are forging a relationship. Separated as young children and sharing the same mother, the girls work on becoming sisters by moving in together. Shall We Dance revolves around Shannon, a dance instructor. The girls move into the apartment above Shannon's dance studio in the small town of Bridgeport, Ohio. Shannon's new student, Dylan, is only there because he lost a bet with his police buddies. Of course, sparks fly between the two but they aren't really the plot twist of the book. This revolves around Dylan's younger sister, the victim of a brutal attack. Shall We Dance blurs the lines between family and friends and proves it really does take a village. 
I voluntarily received a copy of this book from NetGalley.
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This is a wonderful start to a new series. It is well written and holds your attention. It has enough drama to keep you turning the pages to see what happens next. I cant wait to read the next book in this series. Thank you Blackstone Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I enjoyed reading Shannon and Dylan's story as well as the secondary story of Shannon and her two sisters.
Shannon and her sisters were separated when still small children by DCS and sent to different locations.  Shannon convinced both sisters to live together for a year as they get to know each other.
Dylan, who is a police officer, and Shannon's sisters' new partner, lost a bet and has to take dance lessons from Shannon.  He's pleasantly surprised when he shows for late for his first lesson.  The two grow closer during this time.
All in all this was a very enjoyable read and I do and will recommend to anyone who wants to read a feel good romance.
Thank you Shelley Shepard Gray, Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Shall We Dance by Shelley Shepard Gray
Book #1: The Dance with Me Series
Source: NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing
Rating: 4/5 stars


Shannon Murphy is embarking on a tremendous new journey, a chapter in her life she never expected, but is, nevertheless, extremely excited about.  Her two sisters, whom she only recently discovered are moving in with her and she’s opening her own dance studio.  Given enough time to think about it all, Shannon may just crack from the nerves, but there’s no more time to think about it and it’s time for the adventure to begin!

Within moments of meeting her sisters Shannon is certain she made the right choice when she invited them to the move to the sleepy little town of Bridgeport.  One is a tall, nerdy, gorgeous model and the other tough, no nonsense police officer.  Their skills and interests are varied, but they have three very important things in common, they want to know one another, build a life together, and not even one of them can cook.  In addition to her new roommates, Shannon also has a new business to run.  As a former competitive dancer, Shannon is beyond her competition days, but not nearly over her dancing days.  With a variety of class and private lessons, Shannon is thrilled to be dancing for pleasure rather than points.  

Dylan Lange isn’t a big fan of losing, especially when the result is having to take dance lessons to satisfy the terms of the lost bet.  Dylan has no intention of working any harder than he must in order to settle his bet, and then he meets Shannon Murphy.  Shannon is fiery and beautiful and dedicated to dance and has no interest in teaching someone who doesn’t want to learn.  What’s more, she isn’t afraid to kick Dylan out and that intrigues him.  After an attitude adjustment and an introduction do-over, Dylan is not only ready to get down to business but to become better acquainted with Shannon Murphy. 

In betwixt and between dancing lessons, life moves along and much of that life for Dylan includes looking after his sister who is still recovering from a brutal assault several years ago.  Though the interceding years have been very hard, Dylan’s sister is finally coming through and finding herself again.  To that end, she meets Shannon and her sisters and within a hot minute she becomes a member of the group.  What’s more, once the sisters discover the stellar cooking abilities of Dylan’s sister, she becomes a valued and beloved member of the group.  

As so often happens in life, just as everything seems to be going well, the bottom falls out.  In this case, the bottom falls out for Dylan and his sister.  Just as she was getting her life back, the past comes screaming back causing her to somewhat regress and her brother to absolutely lose his mind.  As events play out, Shannon and Dylan draw closer to one another, Shannon and her sisters draw closer to Dylan’s sister, and Dylan’s sister proves to everyone, including herself that she won’t be ruled by her past not fear. 

The Bottom Line:  I am always, always going to be drawn to books about dancing and dancers and this one sure did deliver.  Shall We Dance is a true super-sweet romance with all the feels thrown in for good measure.  At its core, this book is all about love, support, friendship, loyalty, and what it takes to be a family.  This is a super easy read filled with fine characters, a good plot, and loads of room for more books to come.  I’m all in on this one and look forward to the next installment.
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Really enjoyed this book! I love the idea of finding out you had sisters and convincing them to all live with you. Sounds like a story I would want to be apart of.
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As a dancer and romance novel lover, I really wanted to like this novel more than I did. I was ready for a slow-burn romance between Shannon and Dylan, and two dance classes in, I knew I was going to be disappointed. While there were many redeeming qualities about the writing and characters themselves, there was just too much going on to really get into the story and enjoy it. On one hand, you have Shannon trying to form new relationships with sisters she has just magically found and convinced to move in with her (I wanted to know sooo much more about them). On the other hand, you have her falling in love with a rude man the third time shes even met him (This created a seriously unbelievable relationship). And then, there is some magical additional hand that appears that reveals an issue between Dylan's sister and a rapist that is still after her (Why was this completely necessary??). There are many parts of this story that could have been made more enjoyable if they were explained, described, and more spread out.
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I loved the author’s series Bridgeport Social Club, and couldn’t wait to being this book. This new series takes us back to Bridgeport. Where, thanks to Shannon Murphy from West Virginia, three sisters that never knew they existed,  now have uprooted themselves and are living together in an apartment above Shannon’s dance studio.
We meet police officer Dylan Lange when he looses a bet and is forced to take dance lessons with Shannon. But what he thought would be torture, changes when he meets Shannon, and is surprised to discover she is the sister of his new partner.
We also meet Jennifer, Dylan’s sister, who has been living with him and whose past is tragic.
I don’t want to give the story away, but suffice is to say it’s a story about family. About the love siblings have between themselves to the point of doing anything to keep them safe. In this case , Dylan’s love for Jennifer .
The plot is touching and engaging, and the characters perfect in their imperfections . I can’t wait to see what else the author has for us in future books.
Lastly, as a dancer, I had so smile reading the quotes about dancing we find throughout the book. All so very true.
I was entrusted a copy of this book by Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
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SHALL WE DANCE - Shelley Shepard Gray
The Dance With Me Series - Book 1
Blackstone Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-9826-5852-6
ASIN: B07XPDJB9G
January 28, 2020
Contemporary Romance

Bridgeport, Ohio - the Present

On a whim, Shannon Murphy did a DNA test only to shockingly learn her parents were not her biological parents. Then she discovered she had two older sisters: Kimber, a New York model, and Traci, a policewoman in Cleveland. Now at age twenty-seven, she convinces Traci and Kimber to live one year with her in Bridgeport, Ohio. They are strangers, but all three are eager to establish a relationship. So they agree to live in Shannon’s recently purchased building where the three sisters will live on the third floor which has been converted into a living area, and Shannon will use the first floor to establish Dance With Me, her ballroom dance studio. Kimber will continue to work as her agent calls her, and Traci has joined the Bridgeport police department.

Policeman Dylan Lange must take five dance lessons as penance reparations for losing a bet with his fantasy football league. He is not excited about it, but the dance teacher is not anything like the old woman he had envisioned the instructor must be. Shannon is an attractive young woman. Later he learns his new partner Traci is Shannon’s sister. He thinks his initial reaction to the forced dance lessons has made Shannon see him only as a temporary client, not someone interested in her. Dylan has another, more serious problem. His younger sister Jennifer is living with him. Two years ago, she was found beaten and raped in her college parking lot. Ever since she has had trouble just leaving his house, and any type of social function frightens her. She desperately needs her brother.

These situations create an intriguing and emotional story which will compel readers to continue until the story’s end. As the details of the three sisters' backgrounds and Jennifer’s plight become known, the reader becomes attached to the characters. Everyone who reads SHALL WE DANCE will be eager to read about Traci in the next story in this series, TAKE THE LEAD.

Robin Lee
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Shelley has done it again! She has written something that sucks you in and hangs on til the last word of the last page! This book is amazing! The conflicts are real life relatable conflicts and the mystery is captivating! I could not put the book down! The book is full of love, forgiveness, new beginnings, new lives, strength, courage, and overcoming situations that have a hold on the lives of the characters! It is a wonderful read and I know any reader would love this engrossing work!

I received a copy of the book from the publisher for my honest opinion and review.
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Shannon has only recently found her sisters, and now they are all living together above her dance studio.

Dylan is her new dance student. Things don't get off to a good start when she realises he is only taking lessons after he lost a bet.  Soon they are spending more time together, so will they ever become more than friends? 

I liked the quotes at the start of each chapter.

Looking forward to the next book in this series.
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I love the idea of dancing - and this book feeds right in to that.  Although, there isn't a whole heck of a lot of dancing that actually happens! Shannon is a lovely person who is starting a new business in a new town.  She's moved to town with her two sisters, whom she had never met before the start of the story.  She was adopted early in life and separated from her siblings.  In this book we learn a lot about Shannon's sister Traci - but not as much about Kimber.  Overall - the general theme of the book revolves around siblings.  Both Shannon and Dylan are navigating interacting with their siblings.

Dylan's sister Jennifer survived a brutal attack by three men - and for that this book does need a content warning.  She has come out the other side of the attack as a survivor and two years after is ready to start moving forward without fear weighing her down as much as it had.  Her attack changed her and her brother - and their relationship.  As a police officer, Dylan is all to aware of what can happen and what did happen to his sister.  Being a small town, he was involved in the investigation and prosecution of the men involved.  A lot of the book revolves around Dylan and Jennifer coming to terms with the way things are post-attack and in letting go.  

To be totally honest - this is a romance, without a heck of a lot of romance.  I would classify it much closer to women's fiction that romance.  Dylan and Shannon actually get very little page time together.  Even though the sparks are there - they don't even kiss until the final third of the book and never go out on a date.  I liked them together as a couple - but I would have liked the book to focus a little more on them and less on the other relationships.  I also didn't like  that Dylan never apologizes for reaming out Shannon after Jennifer gets lost in the woods and that they move from basically ending whatever was between them (I can't even call it a relationship - maybe friendship with potential?) to Dylan saying he loves Shannon with very little in between. 

Overall despite some of the heaviness of the issues touched on, this is a light, sweet read.  It focuses on family relationships and is very lightly christian in theme.    

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley - but all these opinions are mine!
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I love Shelley's Contemporary books!  This is another great book that takes place in Bridgeport.  I have enjoyed each character in these books and this book was no different.  I loved the premise of 3 sisters reconnecting and the fact that a lot of this story took place in a dance studio was a bonus!!!  I loved each of the characters and they all brought life to the story.  I really enjoy her storytelling and I look forward to each book she writes.
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It’s a crazy premise, but great story. Circumstances couldn’t be more high stakes and it makes it all the more savory for the readers. Delightful, emotional undertones shine through each page. 5/5 stars for a job well done.
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Shannon is a dance teacher who recently connected with her  two adult sisters.  Shannon is sweet funny and just like a best friend.  Dylan is police office that lost a bet. He is taking dance lessons from Shannon. Dylan has also taken his sister Jennifer under his wing.  Jennifer went through a very traumatic event.  Jennifer is recovering and trying to get back on her feet  one day at a time. Dylan and Shannon have wonderful connection. They have great chemistry.  This is a romance but it also has suspense.  This book reads like a Hallmark movie.  It is very character driven.  I loved all the characters. I loved the dance quotes that begin each chapter.  "Dance is how we convey our feelings without words".  This book  a is perfect start to this series.  I am really excited to read Traci's story.  This is first book I have read by Shelley Shepard I would totally recommend this book.  I am looking forward to reading all of her books.
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