(#1 Fenbrook Academy)
Published: June 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Darrell is a multi-millionaire designer at 25. But past traumas have pushed him into isolation and the intense pressure of his work has brought him to the edge of burnout. Seeking inspiration, he sees Natasha dance and hires her as his muse.
As she dances for him, the two become entwined in a passionate but troubled relationship. He starts to see the pain inside her and helps her gradually lower her defenses...but Darrell has demons of his own. Can two broken people save each other? Or will the darkness they’re hiding consume them both?
This New Adult Romance is recommended for 17+ due to mature themes, sexual situations and language.
**** 4 Stars
Dance For Me is Helena Newbury's debut novel and it tackles some really heavy topics. Natasha is a talented ballet dancer at the prestigious Fenbrook Academy in New York but she is battling to keep a guilty secret from her past to herself. She punishes herself everyday for what she has done and her dancing is one of the only things that keeps her in control of both her body & her mind. Unfortunately her big audition, the one she has always dreamed off doesn't go quite to plan when a mysterious man crashes into the room whilst she is performing.
That mysterious man is Darrell a millionaire designer who is looking for inspiration for his latest project, inspiration that he thinks he will find in watching ballerinas. Darrell has his own demons from his past that he is fighting to put behind him & he is instantly drawn to Natasha as soon as he sees her dance. He is so drawn to her that he offers to pay her so that she will dance for him in the privacy of his workshop in order to inspire him with his latest design project. A project that he is determined to keep under wraps from Natasha.
As the attraction between the pair becomes more intense and they become closer both of their pasts look set to derail their blossoming relationship.
I'm not sure if it is the right thing to say that I enjoy this type of book - 2 damaged souls finding each other whilst trying to avoid the tragedy of their past but this book was a good read. As a mother of a daughter who has self harmed I thought that Helena Newbury tackled the issue really well and it gave me a better insight into how my daughter might have been feeling.
I was drawn to the 2 main characters and cared about what had happened to them and what happened to their future. Willing them to both overcome their demons in order that they could find a future together. Dance For Me was both absorbing and captivating and I loved the setting and the way the secondary characters become involved in the story.
The heat level was just right for me and I was glad that it didn't overshadow the relationship and storylines of both Natasha & Darrell.
Overall a great read, both powerful and at times heartbreaking - a fantastic start to the Fenbrook Academy series.