Having never read anything by author Felicitas Ivey, I was very excited to grab a short story by her from the Dreamspinner Daily Dose. Dances and Cookies just swept me away and I must readily admit I will be pursuing this author’s work wholeheartedly in the future. If you are looking for heavy angst or drama then this is not the story for you. However, if you would love just a moment of sweet romance in it’s beginning stages and the idea that it is never too late to change your life for the better, than read on.
Paavo left an unfulfilling job that did nothing more than leave him feeling empty and jaded. Taking other people’s money was not for him and so he left New York for the peaceful streets of Vermont and a small college town where he opened a bakery/coffee shop. Five years later, Paavo is making a go of it and tutoring college students on the odd night after the shop is closed. One of those students is twenty-one year old Xue.
Xue is a bit of a disgrace to his family due to the fact that he is gay. His uncle has funded his college with the understanding that Xue will return the favor by keeping the books for his business. Both men, despite their age difference (Paavo is 37), are strongly attracted to each other and one evening after passing his finals, Xue calls in the bet he made with Paavo should he do well in his courses. That one dance, which is Xue’s prize, unleashes strong emotions and a fierce determination on Xue’s part to become Paavo’s lover.
From beginning to end this was a simple love story. With no regrets or hesitation, the author wrote both strong emotions and deep passion for her characters. Back stories were given on both men, but that was not the focus of this short tale. Rather the author chose to focus on the idea that it’s never too late to make a change in your life and take a risk on yourself. Paavo does so and when he is confronted with a figure from his past, he realizes that the choices he made were truly the right ones for him. Then, as he gives in to the love he has felt growing for Xue over the past year, everything falls into place and he learns that love is possible.
Dances and Cookies is a lighthearted romance with two interesting characters that just made me smile. It is the perfect way to spend an hour with two lovely men who are so well suited for each other.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.