Max Farley is a one night only kind of guy. He is clear with his one-night stands not to expect anything more. So when a gorgeous Russian dancer, Valentin Bychokov, catches his eye, Max is surprised to find himself so drawn to him. Valentin is the star of a show where Max is the sound engineer, and watching Valentin dance is mesmerizing. Max is warned away by a friend, however; apparently Valentin is connected to some men involved in Russian organized crime. But Max finds he can’t resist Valentin and even after the two have a hook up, Max wants more.
Valentin has learned long ago not to share too much of himself. He is trapped in a life that may have brought him success as a dancer, but leaves him virtually imprisoned in every other way. The only way Valentin manages to survive is to keep his emotions to himself. When he meets Max, Valentin finds himself really liking the man, but he also knows it is not safe for Max to get involved with him as Valentin’s keeper won’t take too kindly to Max’s interest.
The more time the men spend together, the more they manage to break down each other’s walls. The two are falling for each other, but there is no way for Valentin to break free from the control Dmitry has over him. Even worse, Dmitry has no plans to let go of what he sees as his. Now Max and Valentin must figure out if there is a way Valentin can escape Dmitry’s control and if there is a chance for them to be together, or if neither of them will ever be safe.
A Dance Too Far is my first book by H.L. Day and I definitely enjoyed the story. The highlight for me is the great character development and watching Max and Valentin grow over the course of the story. Both men are reserved with their emotions, for valid reasons, and neither do more than one-night-stands. I loved the bit of comeuppance Max gets when we first see him leaving last night’s lover wanting more, and then he finds himself in the same situation with Valentin. Day does a nice job making sure that Max never comes across like a jerk for his behavior with the other men, so it allows us to enjoy that bit of turnabout, while still feeling for him when he realizes how much he actually cares about Valentin. Both of these men are so controlled and reserved and slowly, as the story progresses, they open up to each other more and more until they really can share the love they have for one another openly.
I’d describe this one as light suspense as Valentin is trapped under the control of Dmitry, his benefactor of sorts, a man whose connections to the Russian mob mean he is not to be trifled with. As soon as Dmitry realizes that Valentin might actually have feelings for Max, both men are in danger. This isn’t necessarily a high intensity story, but Day brings out some nice urgency and a sense of desperation as the men try to figure out how they can keep one another safe and how they can possibly break free of Dmitry.
So I really enjoyed this story and my first experience with H.L. Day’s writing. I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for more by this author and can recommend A Dance Too Far to anyone who enjoys a contemporary romance with some great character development and light suspense.