Cobalt (Coby to his friends, even though he hates it) Winslow is a former principal ballet dancer with a company in New York. Unfortunately, his cheating, on again/off again boyfriend gave him HIV. Not only that, as Cobalt became weaker, Cal took over his principal role! Cal periodically comes to Cobalt’s place for a quick booty call, and he’s just not very nice to him at all. After Cal has breezed through like a hurricane, Cobalt’s friends flock around him to help clean up the damage.
Cobalt does teach at a dance studio in Toronto with his oldest and dearest friends Peridot and Conrad. It’s very fulfilling to him, and he can at least be among dancers and help develop their talent. Cobalt thinks he’s lost his ability to dance, but others can see he still has the heart for it.
One of the people who sees that heart is Malory Preston (or just Preston to most everyone). He’s an old friend of Cobalt’s brother Azure (and how much do I love those names?), and he’s Azure’s driver. Azure feels bad about not keeping contact with Cobalt, even though he’s always kept an eye out for him. He even has Preston watch over Cobalt and drive him wherever he needs to go. Cobalt resents this, even though he does depend on Preston more than he’d like. Preston has loved Cobalt since they were young. He’s seen him through Cobalt’s volatile relationship with Cal and every other terrible thing that happens in Cobalt’s life.
One night, something happens, and Preston really comes through for Cobalt and soon after, Cal shows up and ruins everything. It’s actually a real mess and ends violently, and to me, that’s when the story really takes off.
I loved this book. I loved these characters. I love this series. I love this author. Do you see where this is going? Let me tell you, the Dance, Love, Love series is not fluffy. It’s not all wine and roses. It’s raw and gritty. The characters are damaged, but they help each other heal in the long run. I think Like Heaven on Earth is my favorite of the three books. Cobalt is very nearly broken. He’s lost everything except his dog and his house. He wants to push his friends and brother away, and he certainly doesn’t want Preston hanging around seeing him in this condition. This is why I simply adored Preston. He was just not going to let Cobalt slip away. At times, he was strong enough for both of them.
I wish I could convey every single nuance of Like Heaven on Earth to you. The story makes my heart feel huge, and it makes my mind feel fuzzy. My heart broke for Cobalt and Preston. Then, the pieces of that broken heart began to mend…only to break again. At first, I didn’t think there was enough duct tape in the world to put it back together, but damn if Preston didn’t come along with that tape, and I felt like a whole person again. Cobalt did something so amazing and made me so proud. He proved he wasn’t defined by his HIV status, or by Calvin, or even by Preston. He was his own person…flaws and all, and I believe he began to love himself.
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t talk about the sex, so I’m going to give you just a few words. Cobalt and Preston are electric! Each man has their own particular need, and they fulfill those needs for each other. It was hot. It was primal, and most of all, it was tender and loving.
I suppose Like Heaven on Earth could be read as a stand alone, but honestly, I think you’d be better off starting at the beginning with Like No One Is Watching, move onto Like You’ve Never Been Hurt, and then read this one. The characters cross over through the stories, and even though there is plenty of exposition, you’d be so much better off if you understood those characters and got to know them as well.
I can’t recommend this book, and this whole series enough. It’s absolutely wonderful, and I will definitely be reading any future installments (Fingers crossed for Azure?) as soon as they’re available. Jaime Samms is a talented writer. I’ve read other books she’s written and I’ve never been disappointed. Please read this!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.