For hard hitting reporter, MacKenzie Macallister, the theft of the painting Golden Dancer can only have been perpetuated by billionaire, Daniel Terrebone. Proving that seems to elude him, though, and it’s a case that’s gotten under his skin. But a golden dancer of another kind soon becomes a pleasant distraction. Ballet superstar Trelain Medveyev is in town for a performance and Mac is sent to interview him. Normally he wouldn’t be a good fit for an entertainment piece, but Mac’s parents were in the ballet and he’s more than familiar with the world of dancing. And he’s in absolute awe of Trelain.
The interview leads to a flirtatious dinner that leaves Mac questioning his sexuality and desperate to see Trelain again. But then Daniel Terrebone sweeps Trelain off his feet and Mac finds himself struggling to find a place in Trelain’s world, while contending with the dubious Terrebone. As the men circle one another and define the nature of their evolving relationship, Mac and Daniel must have a reckoning before they lose Trelain forever.
Golden Dancer had an interesting premise, but became too dependent on sex to forward the narrative and overall weak character development.
I usually enjoy a romantic ménage but Mac, Trelain, and Daniel are rather flat and tired characters. I wouldn’t say they’re completely one dimensional, but nor were they fully realized. They felt half finished and lacking in real depth. Their romance seemed rushed and based almost completely on sex. The first three-fourths of the book is basically one sex scene after another with a bit of dialogue on the side. It reads as uneven and awkward, as if the sex is really the only thing any of them have in common. Given how much of the book is devoted to their threesome, they needed to feel more realistic and complete as individuals and as a trio.
The ultimate reveal behind the Golden Dancer painting is probably the strongest part of the book and unfolds with a menacing twist. That said, it does seem like a weaker version of the Woman in Gold, a famous painting at the center of a historical legal suit in Europe. Despite this, the resolution was solid, though the secondary drama involving Trelain felt extraneous (I won’t say more to avoid spoilers).
Golden Dancer didn’t really work for me. The plot involving stolen art and the reasoning for it was interesting, but the romance was a bust. None of the characters read as vibrant enough to be realistic and they didn’t work well together. Other readers may feel differently, but I’d recommend giving this one a pass.