Dance With Me by Hayden Braeburn

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Champion ballroom dancer Katerina Nemecek pushed the love of her life away when he offered to save her studio from foreclosure. She loved him despite the secrecy surrounding their relationship, but she refused to take advantage of him or his wealth.

Mason Everett wants nothing more than to share his life, his family, and his fortune with Kat, but keeping her a secret was the only way he could keep her safe. He’d rather hide her away than chance losing her.

When Kat and Mason’s relationship finally goes public, it sets in motion a plan to keep them apart. Can they survive the firestorm to dance together forever?

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Where do I start in a review I’m so conflicted about? Dance With Me is Braeburn’s debut novel and while I found the story line to have lots of potential I just can’t say I loved it and thought the execution needed something more.

The book opens with the knowledge that Kat and Mason have been seeing each other nearly a year but have recently broken up due to a fight over whether Mason should help Kat save her beloved dance studio that is in foreclosure. Mason is from an extremely wealthy family and has plenty of funds to help Kat out but her pride won’t allow her to accept his help. Especially when he offers while still naked in her bed. Kat justifiably feels like the hooker in the deal and since Mason has neglected to bring their relationship to light after almost a year, they break up.

When Mason shows up a few weeks later to bring the foreclosure paperwork to Kat they immediately make up in light of the revelation that Mason was simply trying to shield Kat from his crazy ex, Priscilla  and wasn’t ashamed of her in any way. Priscilla has carried a torch for Mason since high school and has managed to run off every girl he’s dated since. She has steadily become unstable and when news hits her of Mason proposing to Kat she has a psychotic break.

Framing Kat for drug possession and kidnapping Mason with the intent to rape him are all in a days work for Priscilla and her spoiled psychotic mind.  The chick definitely had a screw loose and while I wasn’t necessarily scared of her, I thought she had a well wrote personality.

The story line had great promise and I thought overall it was decently done, though it was easy to tell this was a debut novel. The biggest issue I had were the constant perspective changes. Everyone and their grandma had perspective in this book and as a reader I found it overwhelming and annoying. I don’t want or need to know what every single secondary character is thinking. There were times perspective changed with zero warning and even in the same paragraph. I have to wonder who edited this and didn’t catch that. It was simply too much. Way overdone.

I took issue with Mason as well. I had a hard time with him being so easily subdued by Priscilla. Drugs or not I wanted him to put up more of a fight then he did. She sticks him in his office, in the ass no less, and instead of putting up a fight…anything….he meekly leaves with her. No no no. I want my male characters to fight back. The woman weighed 100 lbs wet…knock her over…do something…ANYTHING. Then there was the whole man rape thing which felt way to much. Mason was so traumatized that he then proceeded to talk about how she almost raped him so she could have his babies constantly for a few chapters after the attack. You know…real life, ok. Book men? Man up.

I should also mention that the big abduction/chase scene, which you would normally put at the end of the book, happened at around 60% in. Which meant after the big event you still had 20% or so of the book where Mason is flipping out after almost getting raped, and there is commentary about how everything went down from the view of 10 or so people, a lot of talking about what happened to Priscilla….ect ect. I could have done with way less of that. I want the story to lead up to the climax at the end and then tidy everything up in the last 10% or so. It felt like a whole lot of filler that’s didn’t need to be there.

While I loved the premise of Dance With Me I thought the actual story was lacking and in need of a fresh set of eyes before publication.

I give Dance With Me by Hayden Braeburn 2.75 stars

2 Comments

  1. Great Review. Really well thought out. Since it is a self-pub the editor was probably the writer. At least one self-pub service charges for an editor but I haven’t seen much evidence of that editor editing.
    Any writer thinking to self-pub; especially a debut, needs to have an editor. The editor can not be friends or family. An editor is like a surgeon cutting out a tumor, ruthless instincts are needed. Non-friend/family beta readers are helpful too.
    Many a good story is ruined by poor or non-existent editing.

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