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Dance Away With Me
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Category: Contemporary Romance
Tags: Small Town, Artist
Published August 2020
I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing Susan Elizabeth Phillips books until I read this one. It’s no wonder this woman is considered one of the romance book writing greats. She makes writing romance seem so effortlessly easy because her books just flow.
Now first things first – if you’ve been a Susan Elizabeth Phillips fan you’ve probably read her Chicago Stars series. That series is full of amazing characters, wonderful story lines and her signature humor that you can’t get enough of.
Dance Away With Me is also full of amazing characters and has a great story line though it’s not a romantic comedy so just know that going in so you aren’t disappointed or expecting something that isn’t.
That being said, while I love the humor Phillips typically includes in her books, Dance Away With Me may well be my new favorite of her books.
This book just grabbed me from the start and never let go. She weaved in grief, loss, prejudice, ignorance, fear, hope, love and so many other themes and emotions into this story in such a beautiful way.
Tess has moved to the wild woods of Tennessee because she’s angry. She’s angry that her husband died and left her and she’s so consumed by her grief and anger that she simply wants to disappear from her old life.
Living in her cabin she meets a famous street artist who has also escaped to the woods in hopes of finding new artistic inspiration, survivalists living in the wild and small-town folk who aren’t keen on outsiders.
I can’t speak much to the story for fear of giving away spoilers but I found it so captivating and moving. At first Tess seems so lost and beat down by life but she really is this strong, confident woman as the story unfolds. It’s that strength that Ian is attracted to even if she could no longer see it in herself.
I also really loved the brief look into polarity of relationships – the masculine/feminine dynamic of a sexual relationship which I haven’t seen in many romance books. It was subtle but a great addition to this romance.
This is one of my favorite books of 2020 and well worth a read.
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