Review: Private Dancer by West Thornhill

Private DancerRating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Totally Bound
Length: Novella


Troy Marlowe is on his own. He left the home of his mother and stepfather to live his life openly. His grandmother, who always accepted him, left him her house and college money. To keep some savings, Troy works as a dancer in a private men’s club. He now has two admirers. One wants to keep him safe, one is an obsessive stalker.

Deacon Landry owns his own security business that he runs with his best friend. While running a security background check on Troy, Deacon falls for Troy instantly after seeing his photo. Learning that Troy is only 18, Deacon watches him dance and shadows him home to keep him safe until he can figure out how to make Troy a part of his life. Finally, he arranges a private dance with Troy and the chemistry is electric.

But, there is an obsessive stalker invading Troy’s life. When a series of deaths where the victims all resemble Troy has the investigators landing at Deacon’s door, the trust and relationship Troy and Deacon are trying to build could be shattered and Troy finds himself in a whole lot of danger.

Private Dancer opens with a homicide scene of the third male prostitute that has been violently murdered recently. All of the victims look alike and we then meet Troy. Troy is likable right away as he is going to college full time and working as a stripper and dancer in an exclusive club. He’s just a young guy trying to keep his head above it all. The first part of the story works really well as we get a feel for Troy and Deacon. When they finally meet face to face, the scene is explosive and their chemistry is tangible. The chemistry between Troy and Deacon is one of the best aspects of the story.

We meet a lot of characters very early on and get a lot of their backgrounds up front. I mean a lot of characters. We learn about the security guards at the club, Troy’s boss, Troy’s co-worker Cary, Deacon’s partner, Deacon’s assistant Nicki and her sister, and we learn all of Nicki’s background and she is not even an on page character. We also meet the two investigators from the FBI who are leading the murder investigation. There is a short side story involving Cary that we are drawn into, but then are not privy to the resolution. It is a lot of character information in a short amount of time and it is not all relevant to the story. Then, toward the end, there is an addition of one more character close to Troy and there is not enough time for development even though he is potentially more relevant.

This is a story that I really enjoyed as I was reading it and then the wrap up left holes. The development of Troy and Deacon’s relationship is quick, but they just clicked and are hot together. The mystery of who is stalking Troy is well written and is not immediately transparent. But, as the story line of the stalker progresses, not all of it is believable. I first questioned whether it is possible to sleep so deeply that a stalker can come into your home, jerk off in your bedroom, leave lip prints on your butt, and you never wake up. As the stalker story line progresses and leads to the reveal, questions certainly arose when we learn he is a repeat offender with known mental health issues, and charges were not pressed against him after violently attacking and shooting someone. And when Troy winds up in real danger, the way the stalker is dealt with and allowed to remain free for a time so his reactions could be observed is harder to believe.

I really liked the angle of the relationship between Troy and Deacon. Their descriptions of Deacon being 6’7” and being so much bigger than Troy allows for a lot of fun visuals and I enjoyed their time together. Ultimately, with the way the story played out, I would have liked to have seen more of them together as there were some well written, intimate scenes between them as they connected and began their relationship. The stalker story line, which is a main plot line, is not as believable as we reach the end of the journey.

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