Review: Shall We Dance? (Book #1: The Dance With Me Series) by Shelley Shepard Gray

48361060. sy475 At twenty-seven, Shannon Murphy has just discovered that she has two sisters she never knew. Now, through Shannon’s loving persistence, the three of them are moving in together above her dance studio in Bridgeport. Shannon is excited to make a home with her sisters and to grow her budding business. Then she meets her newest client—he has all the right muscles, a perfect smile, and a lot of attitude. Will Shannon be able to keep things professional with this charming stranger? 

Dylan Lange has a lot on his mind. He’s just been assigned a new partner at his job with the Bridgeport Police, and while he’s busy striving to protect and serve his town, he’s also trying to keep his baby sister out of harm’s way while she heals from her own trauma. And on top of everything else, he’s gone and lost a bet with his buddies, forcing him to take dance lessons. But when he walks into the dance studio to meet his instructor, a young and beautiful brunette with a sweet southern drawl is the last person he expected to find.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing          Rating: 4/5 stars

Shannon Murphy is embarking on a tremendous new journey, a chapter in her life she never expected, but is, nevertheless, extremely excited about.  Her two sisters, whom she only recently discovered are moving in with her and she’s opening her own dance studio.  Given enough time to think about it all, Shannon may just crack from the nerves, but there’s no more time to think about it and it’s time for the adventure to begin!

Within moments of meeting her sisters Shannon is certain she made the right choice when she invited them to the move to the sleepy little town of Bridgeport.  One is a tall, nerdy, gorgeous model and the other tough, no nonsense police officer.  Their skills and interests are varied, but they have three very important things in common, they want to know one another, build a life together, and not even one of them can cook.  In addition to her new roommates, Shannon also has a new business to run.  As a former competitive dancer, Shannon is beyond her competition days, but not nearly over her dancing days.  With a variety of class and private lessons, Shannon is thrilled to be dancing for pleasure rather than points. 

Dylan Lange isn’t a big fan of losing, especially when the result is having to take dance lessons to satisfy the terms of the lost bet.  Dylan has no intention of working any harder than he must in order to settle his bet, and then he meets Shannon Murphy.  Shannon is fiery and beautiful and dedicated to dance and has no interest in teaching someone who doesn’t want to learn.  What’s more, she isn’t afraid to kick Dylan out and that intrigues him.  After an attitude adjustment and an introduction do-over, Dylan is not only ready to get down to business but to become better acquainted with Shannon Murphy.

In betwixt and between dancing lessons, life moves along and much of that life for Dylan includes looking after his sister who is still recovering from a brutal assault several years ago.  Though the interceding years have been very hard, Dylan’s sister is finally coming through and finding herself again.  To that end, she meets Shannon and her sisters and within a hot minute she becomes a member of the group.  What’s more, once the sisters discover the stellar cooking abilities of Dylan’s sister, she becomes a valued and beloved member of the group. 

As so often happens in life, just as everything seems to be going well, the bottom falls out.  In this case, the bottom falls out for Dylan and his sister.  Just as she was getting her life back, the past comes screaming back causing her to somewhat regress and her brother to absolutely lose his mind.  As events play out, Shannon and Dylan draw closer to one another, Shannon and her sisters draw closer to Dylan’s sister, and Dylan’s sister proves to everyone, including herself that she won’t be ruled by her past not fear.

The Bottom Line:  I am always, always going to be drawn to books about dancing and dancers and this one sure did deliver.  Shall We Dance is a true super-sweet romance with all the feels thrown in for good measure.  At its core, this book is all about love, support, friendship, loyalty, and what it takes to be a family.  This is a super easy read filled with fine characters, a good plot, and loads of room for more books to come.  I’m all in on this one and look forward to the next installment.

Pre-order for the January 2020 release:  Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Audible


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