Cover Image: How to Dance

How to Dance

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

3 ⭐️

The book cover is undeniably adorable, adding an enticing element to the overall charm of the story. Although I generally lean towards first-person narratives, the choice of dual POVs and third-person storytelling in this novel appears to strike an excellent balance, offering a comprehensive understanding of the characters' inner worlds while maintaining a broader perspective on their unfolding romance.

The plot itself sounds captivating, as it follows the magnetic journey of Nick Freeman, a determined karaoke performer battling cerebral palsy, and Hayley Burke, a passionate dancer seeking fulfillment. Their encounter sparks an undeniable connection, leading them to explore the beauty of dance and the depths of their emotions together.

I'm particularly intrigued by the exploration of themes such as self-discovery, human connection, and the transformative power of passion. As Nick and Hayley navigate their way from friendship to a deeper bond, the story promises to be heartwarming and engaging.

Overall, this debut romance by Jason B. Dutton sounds like a delightful and enchanting read, appealing to fans of romance and those who appreciate stories about personal growth and overcoming obstacles in the pursuit of love. The novel's potential to tug at the heartstrings and leave a lasting impression makes it a promising addition to any reading list. Happy reading to all who embark on this swoon-filled journey!

Was this review helpful?

<b> Thank you to Jason B Dutton, Alcove Press and Netgalley for this ARC. </b>

Nick is a great listener, a loyal friend, and a charismatic karaoke singer. But, Nick is also a man with a cynical outlook on life. He believes that his vocal skills, quick wit, and general likeability distract from his cerebral palsy. He just wants to be seen and desired for who he is and not in the context of his disability. In contrast, Hayley is a vivacious, dedicated friend and expressive dancer. She feels that what makes life worth living is the give and take in a relationship. However, she is drowning while trying to make others happy, and balance her passion and her emotional and mental health needs. When Hayley notices Nick watching her dance with her boyfriend she urges him to dance too —and is mortified when she realizes Nick can only walk with the help of a walker. As they eventually build a tentative friendship Nick struggles to fight his attraction to Hayley, telling himself over and over that a dancer like her would never want to be with a man who could not truly dance with her. But as Hayleys long-term relationship falls apart she helps him understand that dancing isn't just about physical movement and he helps her see that she doesn't have to "do" anything to be worthy of love and devotion.
"How to Dance" is a worthy read as it weaves together the realities of life with the beauty of fictitious romance.

3.5/5 Stars rouned up to 4.

Things I didn't love about the novel:
- story arc lacked a sense or urgency or central conflict (beyond the MC's interal negativity towards themselves). It was a more realistic approach to how friends-to-lovers stories unfold - I just enjoy a more urgency/conflict.
- I wish we would have seen or heard about Nick's parents/family. Hayleys parents are prominent figures, and we even hear about Nick's best friends family but nothing about his family.
- It's a closed door novel. I love a good closed door novel but I feel like so much emphasis is put on Nick's sex life throughout that it would have been interesting to see how he teaches Hayley to "dance" with him given his unique physiology while she teaches him to dance metaphorically.

Note: A link to my goodreads review was also published in the storyline of @bedsport.books Instagram account. A review of the book will be published on Instagram closer to publication date.

Was this review helpful?

This novel was an absolute jewel! It's even more amazing that this is the author's debut novel.

A touching novel about two people learning to trust each other and dance. Hayley is a professional dancer who has just moved into town. She and her dance partner / longtime boyfriend Kevin go to a local bar, the Squeaky Lion, and perform a joyous swing dance. At the end of the dance, she catches Nick's gaze and he has a strong, immediate reaction. Nick is there for his weekly karaoke night - he's a beloved regular. When Hayley urges him to try a few moves, Nick declines - and Hayley is stricken when she realizes that he can only walk with the use of a walker. Nick and Hayley begin a friendship as Kevin is dancing solo while Hayley waits tables at the bar as she awaits the fall season to join the dance troupe. Both Hayley and Nick have a skewed view of themselves - Nick has blinders about how others see him due to his cerebral palsy and Hayley thinks that she ends up hurting those who get close to her. As the story progresses, they each learn to dance - with each other, with life. They each have their bumps and scars, but eventually learn to trust each other.

I was very impressed with the accurate portrayal of a MC with a disability. Nick is not a saint. He is not an inspiration just because he's living his life - he's an inspiration because he's a decent person who has an ability to make others comfortable. I was reminded of my daughter (who fought cancer for almost 4 years and spent the last year of her life in a wheelchair because she was paralyzed) who said she was just trying to live - as well as she could, for as long as she could - and she didn't think it was about being brave, she just didn't have another choice. Nick was like that - this was his life and he just wanted to be seen, as a person, not as a disability.

A HUGE thank you to NetGalley and Alcove Press for this ARC!

Quotes I liked:

You're looking for your joy in the wrong place.

You've got to earn the ending, rock star. All the bad stuff makes the good stuff sweeter.

Everything else is on the other side of that door. All those expectations are out there in the dark, okay? It's just you and me in here, and you don't have to do anything or be anything for anybody. I've got you, Hayley. I've got you.

He wanted Hayley to chose him when she could've chosen anyone else.

I can always choose where to look. I don't always look in the right place, but there's always beauty and there's always pain, and it's always up to me...I put that picture there because sometimes the path's going to be hard no matter what I do.

Sometimes it's about how other people interpret your dance.

He was trying to dance in a world that wasn't built for him.

I absolutely refuse to treat you like anything less than the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Getting through the hard stuff makes you stronger...Not just individually. If you do it right, it fuses you together.

Was this review helpful?

This was such a wonderful debut book for Jason B Dutton. I love all books that center around dance. (And music, and food) I loved the way it was written, the story, the characters, just everything. Can’t wait to see what else comes from this author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aclove Press. ~I was given this book and made no commitments to leave my opinions, favorable or otherwise~

Was this review helpful?

There are so many reasons why I loved this book - not sure where I should start.
First, it was written by a man, and other than Nicholas Sparks, I never would’ve thought I’d like it.
Second, the cover grabbed my attention and made me eager to learn more.
But most of all, I love the fact that the main character has a disability!

Please don’t think I’m crazy, but I am always on the lookout for books with special characters. I fell in love as soon as I read the description on this book. I connected to this story and couldn’t put it down because cerebral palsy is a big part of my life. Not only am I a special education teacher, but my brother has cerebral palsy. A couple of years ago he started dating a lady from church and they actually got married in May. Nick’s story gave me insight into how my brother has felt for the past 50+ years. He had actually given up on ever finding someone that could look past his inabilities to see the real him. I am definitely recommending this book to others and I’m going to purchase a copy for my sister-in-law. I saw my own daughter in Rosie, in the way she was blind to his differences.

To the author, thank you! Thank you for your insight and your honesty!

Was this review helpful?

Every one in a while, a book comes along that makes you push all of your responsibilities to the back burner while you devour the story between the pages.

That’s exactly the type of book How To Dance is.

Nick and Hayley are the type of characters you yearn to read about, the type of characters you want to succeed from page one- two deeply flawed individuals who overcome odds placed in from of them whether that be a physical disability or ongoing mental health struggles.

When I tell you that I’m a spicy romance girl, I mean I’m a SPICY romance girl. Yet How To Dance keep me enthralled throughout the story with nothing more than a kiss appearing between the pages.

I laughed, I definitely cried while relating to both MCs on a deep level, and I am absolutely sure that I need to be best friends with Rosie.

A phenomenal debut, I cannot wait to see what comes next from Jason B Dutton.

Was this review helpful?

This book is an excellent read for someone looking for an emotionally involved book with great representation. Hayley is a professional dancer whose life is feeling suffocating. Nick is a teacher who is drawn to music, but due to his cerebral palsy doesn’t feel equipped to dance. Through their witty banter, the two dance with their words well before their bodies. Watching them both work through their own insecurities and fall for each other had me tearing up, giggling like a school girl, and feeling swoony.

This is Jason B. Dutton’s debut novel, and what a wonderful debut it was!

Was this review helpful?

Quick, relaxing, sweet summer romance read perfect for a few hours of alone time in the back yard just soaking in the heat.

Was this review helpful?

3.75 Stars. Clean Romance, Dual POV, Third Person.

"Do I help?"
"Help with what Sweetheart?"
"Do I help you look at the sky?"
"You are the sky"

This was such a beautiful, emotional story, following two people that needed to learn to love themselves and trust in each other. The connection between Hayley and Nick was so believable, right from the beginning.

This is Jason Dutton's debut novel, and I hope he plans on writing more.

Thank you to Netgalley and Alcove Press for sending me an advanced copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

This is Jason B. Dutton's debut novel. It is a touching, true, emotional, and tender story. Nick's character will steal your heart.
An absolute must-read!

Was this review helpful?

Beyond excited to read and acquire this beautiful book. Will be sharing a full review and thoughts very very soon, but initial I just wanted to say how interested I was to acquire his for our branch location. I absolutely love the storyline. Books that pertain to dance always seem to grab my attention but hearing one about someone dealing with a medical disorder and not letting that hinder the passion of dance is an absolutely beautiful concept. I’m so excited to see how this story plays out and I know our readers will feel the same way. As someone who has been dealing with medical issues as well over the course of my life I have done absolutely Everything in my power to lead as normal as a life as possible and not let it stop me from pursuing my passions. It’s nice to have a book filled with characters that feel the same.

Was this review helpful?