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The Romance Dance -- Allie Burton

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The Romance Dance
A Castle Ridge Small Town Romance Book 1

A slow sashay to desire.

After being abandoned by his fiancée and his fans because of a disfiguring accident, former classical pianist Reed O’Donnell returns home to hide. He’s pieced his life back together becoming a landlord and remodel construction specialist, but shies away from a social life.

Ex-ballerina Quinn Petrov moved to Castle Ridge and invested her money to start a dance studio with plans to put down roots. She wants to get involved in the community to promote her business and make real friends, not the acquaintances she’d made in New York. When she meets her secretive and sexy landlord, she’s intrigued but he always seems to be hiding behind a mask.

Reed can’t stop the attraction he feels toward his new tenant, but she’s beautiful and outgoing, while he is not. When his younger brother begs him to help impress Quinn, Reed can’t say no. Using the musical language of love, he woos Quinn for his brother, but when his own mask slips will he reveal his secrets?

In this modern take of Cyrano de Bergerac meets Beauty and the Beast, Quinn and Reed dance their way into each other’s hearts.

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Reviews

starstarstarstarstar5 STARS “Wow!!! This was a beautiful and intriguing story! Reed was a composer in New York when he had an accident that left him scarred. Quinn is a retired ballerina trying to make her dreams come true. They fall for each other, Quinn helps Reed see himself past the scars. She helps him live again. The love shown was really romantic and true. Kudos to the author! 5 Stars” Jennifer

starstarstarstarstar5 STARS “amazing. oh man... he is such a sweet man.. and when he becomes disfigured his life does a complete 180 and he loses so much but he is still so amazing and hot and sweet.. i really enjoyed this story…” Kaila

starstarstarstarstar5 STARS “Great love story. After the pain and heartache both the characters find love. The story is just so perfect with the characters and their flaws and issues.” Elaine

starstarstarstar4 STARS “The Romance Dance was a wonderful novel. I love the story line in this book. It's so believable and real. The story is filled with heartache and loss, but it also has all of the sweet moments of falling in love. I highly recommend this book.” Hannah

starstarstarstarstar 5 STARS “I enjoyed this book .  It was hard to put down. The chemistry between Reed and Quinn in great.  As the first book in this series I can't wait for the next one. The relationships between the people in the book makes them feel like people you know.” Adriane

starstarstarstar4 STARS “A sweet love story involving loss and heartache. I really enjoyed reading. Very steady and I liked the characters. A few surprises along the way.” Terri

Excerpt

She lay on her back and scooted farther under the sink. The warmth from her body slid along his skin, sending tingles of attraction to his loins. Her long leg lay next to his damaged one. Perfection next to destruction. He was a grotesque monster next to her doll-like body.

“What do you need me to do?” The soft lilt at the end of her question sent a shiver up his spine.

“Point the light at this joint.” He handed her the flashlight and the beam swung around. He’d have to show her the joint. Reluctantly, he took her hand and guided it into position. Locked together, her delicate hand hid the scars on his. He didn’t appear so hideous.

“Is this good?” Again, the sexy lilt playing to his lust.

“That’s what she said.” His brother Dax chimed in, and pounded on the top of the sink. “Ba-dum-bum.”

Fever flushed through Reed at his brother’s lame joke. He hadn’t heard his brother come in. He dropped the wrench again.

The tool fell and smacked Quinn on the forehead.

“Ouch.” She held her other hand at the spot.

“Oh, shit. I’m sorry. Are you okay?” He stroked her forehead where the angry bruise formed. “Dax! What’re you doing messing around? I wanted your help, not a comedian.”

“I’m fine.” Lifting her arm, she rubbed her forehead. Her upper arm smashed against her breasts, making them jiggle and pushing them up higher in the low-cut camisole.

His cock noticed, hardening into a bigger shaft. He tightened his muscles, trying to control the anger surging inside him. As well as other things. He didn’t want this attraction, and he certainly didn’t deserve a woman so beautiful. And he’d hurt her. “I’m sorry. My idiot brother surprised me.”

“You asked me to come. What’s going on down there?” His brother peered under the sink. “Is this a new, kinky way to—”

“Dax, dammit.” Reed shoved himself out from underneath the sink. Reaching back around, he held his hands out for Quinn. She placed her slim hands in his. Like a monster, his ugly, scarred hand swallowed her tiny one. The earlier image of her hand making his look better slipped away. He had too much ugliness to cover up.

He helped Quinn out. “Thanks.”

“You called me.” Dax took her elbows and helped her to her feet. A knight helping an injured princess being held captive by a monster. His sexy smirk enhanced his handsome face. “Who is this beautiful—” His gaze traveled the length of her body. “—and wet woman?”

Reed stiffened and clenched his hands into fists. His little brother shouldn’t be ogling her. Not with her perky breasts sticking out of the soft silk material, not with the way the wet cloth clung to her slight curves and hugged her hips. He grabbed Quinn’s wet robe and held it in front, covering most of her. “Here.”

Her relaxed, answering grin showed she wasn’t concerned with how much of her body was displayed. As a dancer, she was probably used to people staring at her. “I’m Quinn Petrov.”

His brother’s charm was already working. Annoyance pulsed at Reed’s temples.

Besides their green eyes, it was hard to tell Dax was his brother. Dax had longer, blond hair while Reed’s was dark and curly. Dax’s lanky and able body was the opposite of Reed’s thick trunk exterior and his limp. Dax’s fun attitude toward life contrasted with Reed’s darker views.

“Bro, why didn’t you tell me about your new woman?” His brother gave an exaggerated wink, trying to embarrass Reed.

If Dax stayed in town longer than his ski patrol shift, he’d know who Quinn was. “She’s not my woman.” He sounded grouchy and short, and he hated himself for it. This woman didn’t matter to him. Not what skimpy clothes she wore, or who she dated. “She’s my tenant.”

“Interesting.” His brother’s eyebrows rose and lowered in a more-than-interested action.

“I should get changed.” Quinn’s soft smile had his insides twisting. “Nice meeting you, Dax.”

“I’ll be seeing you around.” The suggestiveness said more than his words.

The twisting inside Reed’s gut pulled tighter, watching Quinn’s wet backside sway out of the bathroom. He couldn’t pull his gaze away from the mesmerizing move.

“Getting out of bed was worth it for the view.” His brother’s face took on a wolfish expression. “I want to be a landlord, if I can have hot tenants like her.”

“Stick to blowing avalanches up.” He wanted to blow up. At his brother, at Quinn, at the situation. He never should’ve called Dax. “Help me finish fixing the leak.”

Dax crouched down by the sink and picked up the flashlight. “So what’s going on between you two?”

“Nothing.” Reed climbed back under the sink, with a caulk gun in hand.

Why would his brother think he’d have anything going on with a woman as beautiful as Quinn? He hadn’t dated anyone since his fiancée. He only socialized with his family, rarely talked to anyone else except his construction clients.

“It’s the middle of the night.” Using a suggestive tone, his brother pointed the light at the pipe connection. “You’re dressed in only shorts. She’s in a sexy nightie.”

He strangled the caulk gun like he wanted to strangle his brother. “Shut up, Dax. Nothing is going on between Quinn and I.”

Dax wiggled his eyebrows. “Then, you won’t mind if I ask her out.”