Anastasia Mikhelson knows it’s her time with the New York City Ballet. After working her way up the ranks and spending five years as a soloist, she’s waiting to find out if the coveted role of principal dancer is finally hers. Getting the job is bittersweet, however, because it comes with the feedback that she needs to add feeling to her technically flawless dancing.
Years after walking away from the School of American Ballet, Natalie Frederico is full of raw talent, getting her joy from putting together independent shows that mix dance with other media. When the New York City Ballet makes an offer she can’t refuse, Natalie finds herself face to face with her old schoolmate, Ana, who isn’t any friendlier now than she was all those years ago.
The more time they spend together, the more Natalie sees that Ana may not be the ice queen everyone says she is, and instead has given up a social life to focus on her career. As they prepare for the company’s new show, they come to know each other better, but is it possible they could be more than rivals and coworkers?
There’s something very fun about an opposites-attract story, especially when it’s done as well as First Position. Natalie is all fire and passion and Ana is all skill and drive, but each helps the other to grow in ways that make them stronger as individuals and interesting as a couple. Their character arcs were one of the greatest strengths of this book because they were fully explored and led to a satisfying conclusion.
The Writing Style
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Melissa Brayden’s books or that Kiss the Girl is one of my favourite romances. There are things I’ve come to expect from her writing style, plot construction, and characters. But Natalie is not your typical Brayden heroine and First Position doesn’t have the banter I grew to know and love in the Soho Loft series, and I couldn’t be happier. I was delighted that Melissa Brayden blew all of my expectations out of the water and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us because she’s clearly stepped up her writing game (including with her sex scenes, which wow, were they ever next-level hot).
Everything? It’s written well, with good pacing, an engaging plot, and characters I loved watching grow. I was also happy to see the leads from Waiting in the Wings again and the minor cameo from Brooklyn and Jessica from Kiss the Girl.
I don’t know if I love First Position quite as much as Kiss the Girl (and if not, it’s damn close), but I think this is Melissa Brayden’s best book yet. If you like excellent romance, pick this one up right away.
Excerpt from First Position by Melissa Brayden
“You really hate that door, don’t you? Want some help?”
Ana made an after-you gesture and stepped aside in frustration. Natalie removed the key from the lock, and with very little force slid it easily back into the keyhole and turned it gingerly to the left until they heard a quiet click. “See? Just needed a softer touch. This door doesn’t hate you. You should try being its friend. There might be a larger metaphor there.” And with that, Natalie headed off down the hallway, hips swaying slightly.
“Wait. How did you do that?” Ana called after her.
“I’ve been told I have really good hands,” Natalie called without looking back.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626396029
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Note: I received a free review copy of First Position by Melissa Brayden. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.