Dance All Night by Alexis Daria. NYLA. 2018.
I loved this holiday dance romance! Although it’s book 2.5 in the Dance Off series, it works well as a stand alone, so if you haven’t tried the series, don’t worry about jumping in with this lovely contemporary m/f romance novella!
The story kicks off with a deliciously hot New Years kiss, then skips ahead to December of the next year, when neither MC is able to get the other out of their mind. The hero decides to woo the wary heroine who doesn’t like Christmas and doesn’t trust that she’s not just a stop on the road before the next adventure, by taking her on three dates. On those dates, he hopes that by sharing his love of Christmas he will help her find the Christmas spirit and convince her to trust that he wants more than a fling and will actually stick around. If she believes him, she will let him know on New Years Eve with another kiss.
I loved the premise and set-up for this story, it’s a classic set of tropes, and perfect for a holiday novella. Daria delivers on tropetastic goodness in so many ways, and this story has wonderful pacing, complex nuanced characterization, MCs I fell hard for, and an approach to holiday romance that I really appreciated. It was all about what Christmas meant to each of them as specific people, and the traditions they created together, and I especially appreciated the cultural details depicted in Nik’s perspective on Christmas.
The heroine has some trust issues and definitely has her reasons for not liking Christmas, but while the stakes are high for both MCs emotionally, this is a really low-angst romance for the most part. I appreciated that about it. It is definitely high heat, in a really fabulous way. The MCs have smoking hot chemistry and the sex scenes are intensely hot. Bonus points for the use of sex toys in a way that really kicked it up a few notches.
I adored all the dance moments so much! This is incredibly satisfying as a dance themed romance–the entire series is–and I loved all the ways dance got interwoven into the story. Both MCs are professional dancers and it was lovely to read about that level of dancing together, the ways they connected while they were dancing, the way he thought about what kind of dance was appropriate for which date moment.
I also really loved the way Nik courts her in this story, how much he cares about her consent throughout the story, how thoughtful he is about wanting to give her experiences he thinks she would enjoy and also use their dates to reveal himself. He made me believe that he would be good to her and good for her, and that he really saw her, and that made me root for them so hard as a couple.
I highly recommend this as a Christmas/New Years romance, and as a dance romance, as well as a great entry into the Dance Off series. It’s one of the best holiday romances I’ve read this year!
- Black heroine
- Immigrant hero
- Puerto Rican woman author
Content Warnings (in white, highlight to read)
Sex on the page.
- Source of the book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley.
- I have had some contact with the author on Twitter
Get this book
Pre-order this book at Barnes and Noble
Pre-order this book on Amazon
Add this book on Goodreads
Other Relevant Reviews and Posts
- Review of Take the Lead, book 1 in this series
- Review of Dance with Me, book 2 in this series
- Review of His Perfect Partner, another holiday dance romance
- Review of Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together, another holiday dance romance
- Review of Certain Requirements, another dance romance
- Review of A Mistletoe Affair, another holiday romance
- Review of Merry Inkmas, another holiday romance
- My 2017 list of Top Holiday Romances