Saturday, 24 March 2018

Review of 'The Winner: A ballroom dance novel' by Erin Bomboy

Review of 'The Winner: A ballroom dance novel' by Erin Bomboy

The most prestigious ballroom dance competition in the United States.
Two dancers need to win.
Only one can.

Nina Fortunova wasn't supposed to end up almost thirty, divorced, with her dreams of winning shattered. She teams up with Jorge Gonzalez, a hunky and hard-working Latin dancer, to reinvent the flashy Smooth style.

When the Chairman of the Judges offers to throw the competition in their favor, Nina must decide how far she will go to win, even if it means losing Jorge.

Carly Martindale is doing everything she's been taught not to do--placing her happiness first by dancing with Trey Devereux, the former champion who's returned to competition for mysterious reasons.

Carly falls deeply in love with Trey, but beneath his good looks and Southern manners lay a tortured soul. She allows him to control her every move at great risk to her emotional health. How far will Carly go, so Trey and she can win?

Co-workers, then friends, and now arch competitors, Nina and Carly faceoff to determine who will be the winner--in love and in dancing.

Bright, emotive, and told through dual narrators, The Winner examines the costs associated with winning, the internalization of parental ambition, and the effect of gendered roles on and off the dance floor.

The Winner is a literary romance that's perfect for readers who love Dancing with the Stars, Strictly Come Dancing, So You Think You Can Dance, and the classic elegance of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Start reading TODAY the novel that readers call "beautifully written," "a great read," fantastic," "a roller coaster," and "a true winner."

 My review

I had already enjoyed another novel by author, Erin Bomboy so couldn't wait to read this second novel. I wasn't disappointed. Despite being a complete non-dancer and knowing nothing at all about the dancing world, the author has the ability to sweep you into the story regardless.

The story is told between the two characters, Nina and Carly. It took a bit of time to get the hang of the POV turn-taking between chapters, which - at first - made me long to skip chapters to get back to the character I was more familiar with, however within a few chapters I'd got to grips with this  (and became equally fond of each character) so settled into this well-written and page-turner of a novel.

Nina and Carly are a bit chalk and cheese with the stages they are in their life but both equally determined with their dancing. The author was able to intertwine the passion of dancing through these two strong characters and you really feel how much it means to them. I especially loved the character of Trey and was swept up into the romance of it all.

The author has fantastic descriptive writing which enables you to visualise the dancing almost as if you are there.You really, as the reader, get caught up in the emotions of the story and feel every move that the girls do. Very enjoyable reading. A perfect novel for the dance lover or anyone wanting a great read.

About the author...

Erin Bomboy trained as a classical ballet dancer before spending a decade as a professional ballroom dancer. She works as a writer, editor, and teacher in the dance field in New York City where she lives with her husband and daughter. In her free time, Erin enjoys bacon, books, cats, and wine.

Author Interview

Why did you choose to have dual narrators?
I wanted to give readers a taste of what it's like to be a judge. When Carly and Nina faceoff, who should win? More importantly, WHY do you think one should win over the other? Is that decision based on what you know about their dancing or what you know about them as people? To me, the best type of reading is when I get in touch with my values.

What could readers take away from The Winner?
I wrote The Winner to function as a multi-level meditation on winning. There's the obvious takeaway that's encapsulated in the tagline: "Step in to step out." You can't win if you don't take the chance of losing. Then, there's what may be the most interesting thing I try to say about winning. Winning matters when it matters to other people, specifically future dancers. Forging a dance legacy is tricky since the idiom exists in the present tense. Inspiring another generation of dancers, to me, is the epitome of winning since your legacy is carried in their bodies.

Who's your favorite character?
I love them all, but I have a special fondness for Trey Devereux. I imagined him as a Louis XIV type who finds himself adrift in and damaged by the modern world.

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