Tate O’Connor has only been in New York City a year, struggling and auditioning, before he lands a part as an ensemble dancer in a hot up and coming show. Rehearsals are brutal, though he enjoys the hard work. But it’s made all the better when he realizes Broadway star, Mike Chang, is cast as the principle lead. Mike is beautiful and talented, and Tate definitely has a crush.
As Tate gets more responsibility, he ends up working closely with Mike and the two strike up a bit of friendship. But Tate knows Mike is way out of his league, and he has trouble seeing past his own securities. Steering clear of Mike seems the best option for everyone. But when Tate’s choices start taking their toll, a long overdue conversation may just be the answer to an HEA.
Okay, so I definitely had some trouble with this short read. For all that Tate was a sweet guy, and definitely carried the story, the plot itself, not to mention some of the characterizations and the choppy pacing, were harder for me to enjoy.
Tate tells us the story, and it’s his story. About how he’s finally landed his first show, how he works hard and does well, and all the bits about how a Broadway show work. I liked Tate a great deal, and I liked how he was both confident and insecure. He’s young, and that plays into it. Coupled with the fact that it is his first show, and he has every right to be nervous and unsure. I liked the way he grew into his role in the show, stepping up to also be dance captain, and how he took his responsibilities—both in the show and in real life—seriously. His insecurities read as real, and that definitely worked for the story, as well as his desire to run instead of talking to Mike. All of these things read true to his character. But as much as I liked the MC, most of the rest of the story lacked for me.
Mike was a rather two-dimensional character. We didn’t get to see him nearly enough on page, and barely got to know him. His name and his story threw me off a bit, and anyone who has seen Glee or High School Musical will know why. While he was adorable for what we saw, I needed so much more to connect to him, and therefore, Tate’s connection to him seemed superficial at best. The romance was barely developed, and most of the story was them apart, with a few bits at the end to tell us, not show us, that things were going well. There was a spark of chemistry between Tate and Mike in the beginning, but it never caught fire. So this part definitely didn’t work for me.
The secondary characters were better developed than Mike, and that was a problem, as Mike should have had a bigger role in his own love story. On top of that, they were pretty stereotypical. The female best friends who knew what was really going on and had sound advice, the condescending, entitled jerk of a bad guy…I couldn’t care much about any of them because there was nothing about them that stood out. Then there was the pacing, which left much to be desired. The majority of the story is Tate telling us about what is going on in his life, and flimsy insecurity as well as miscommunication carried the plot. One conversation would have solved weeks of separation, and while I can understand why Tate maybe wouldn’t have made the first move, the conflict just wasn’t enough to sustain the story.
So yeah, there were parts I liked about this story, but they were overshadowed by what didn’t work as well for me. This story is one I’ll only recommend to die hard theater fans, who don’t mind the romance having only a supporting role.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.