First Position – Melissa Brayden

First Position – Melissa BraydenHands up – I have no interest in the world of ballet, and having been to the Royal Opera House in London a few times I have to fess up and say it spoilt the excellent music… don’t shoot me i much prefer the opera. But Melissa Brayden writes exceedingly good books, so for her I put aside my prejudice and am extremely glad I did.

We have all heard stories of how tough the world of ballet is, both in terms of cutthroat competition and an excruciating physical regime. Ms Braydon brings that world to life in this thoughtful and extremely well researched story of how 2 extremely talented women have used their skills in completely different ways.

Anastasia is literally ‘frozen’; so absorbed in becoming the principle of the New York City Ballet she has no life, no friends and no emotional connection to the dance. She is the ultimate technician. Natalie has rebelled against the constrictions of the classical world and uses her expressive dance to bring emotion to the stage. When the two are forced together they must learn from each others strengths or fail, something completely unthinkable to both women.

This is a story of high achievers, deeply driven women whose essence is the dance they create. Fiery opposites, they spark and grate against each other, in a colourful and temperamental display.

Melissa BraydenMelissa Brayden always entertains, but this is another level of characterization and storyline. The development of the main characters across the gamut of emotions is palpable. Each suffers elation and pain, fiery passion and devastating disappointment. We viably see these women grow from the passion they bring to each other, positive and negative, at work and at home. Seriously hot passion at times, another step change from Ms Braydon compared to her earlier works

This is thoughtful and compassionate, serious yet entertaining, and altogether extremely well done. It takes a lot to stand out in the volume of romances being published, but this is definitely one of the best Traditional Romances of the year.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • First published 2016
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 16, 2016)
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