I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Dancing in the Rain from NetGalley and Loveswept. I absolutely loved this one! Except for a rather over-the-top, mushy epilogue, Dancing in the Rain was delightfully grown-up, the characters as real as you and me despite the fame and fortune that surround them. This latest standalone from Kelly Jamieson will leave you in tears even as it leaves you full of hope. Not to mention its got a “secret baby with a twist” story-line.
Drew Sellers’ life is in pieces after a knee injury forces him into early retirement from the National Hockey League. Like many professional athletes, Drew has no idea what to do now that he isn’t playing hockey. Peyton Watt’s career is exactly where she wants it to be, but her life is changing in a tragic way that she has no control over. Drew and Peyton meet in unusual circumstances after Drew finds out that he fathered a daughter 12 years ago-with Peyton’s sister. As their worlds collide amidst tragedy and grief, Drew and Peyton discover that life is never what you expect it to be and this is what makes DitR such a wonderful book.
Drew never expected to be just shy of 30 and forced to retire. With his playing days over, and (in his mind) no other skills, he spends his days drinking, screwing, and spoiling for fights. When he finds out that he has a daughter, he’s set down a path that forces him to reevaluate his self-worth. Meeting that daughter leads him to a place where he has to examine his selfishness and recognize his ability to love. Drew’s journey was heartfelt even when I wanted to slap him, but at no time did it ring falsely.
Peyton, however, is living the life she’s always wanted. With her parents dead, her only family is her sister and niece, something she’s just fine with as she has no desire to sacrifice her career for family. Life has something different in store for her when her sister’s illness brings her back to Chicago, leaving her job in jeopardy. Peyton’s love for her sister and niece is palpable and despite her focus on her career she never leaves the reader in doubt that her family comes first. I think Peyton may be one of my favorite heroines this year. She’s strong and driven professionally, but balances that out perfectly with a feminine softness that is very appealing. Her journey felt just as real as Drew’s.
Together, Peyton and Drew are a dynamic couple worth reading about. They bring out the best in each other and lead each other to happiness neither thought they’d find. There’s definitely some tissue-worthy moments in Dancing in the Rain, so be prepared!
5 Stars for Dancing in the Rain. Heat level: 3
Dancing in the Rain is a standalone novel and was published by LoveSwept in April 2017.