Dance Away With Me by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is this year’s summer read that begs to be finished as soon it begins. The story begins in a small mountain town with Tess, who moves away to work through her grief from the untimely passing of her husband, Trav.
As Tess begins to get used to her new home, she befriends her closest neighbours; the very pregnant and friendly Bianca and her less than friendly partner Ian. As Tess gets comfortable in this small town she begins working at a local cafe/general store and she grows closer to Bianca. She continues to wonder about the enigmatic Ian and his reputation as a renowned street artist. During an ice storm that shuts the town and local roads down, Bianca goes into labour at home and unfortunately dies in childbirth leaving Tess to promise she will take care of the baby. While Ian is grief stricken, he leaves the newly born Wren in Tess’s care and withdraws emotionally from the world. Without realizing it, Tess is drawn away from her grief of Trav and finds solace and love with her new infant charge. As Ian struggles in an artistic stump, he begins to find the inspiration he was lacking at home and has his own transformational journey.
As the two begin to embrace parenthood (so to speak) together over little Wren, they begin to understand each other more, beginning a slow and sensual dance towards romance. Together they navigate the town’s gossip while speculations about Bianca’s death run rampant, and they navigate the community itself.
While Susan Elizabeth Phillips embraces the typical romance novel footprint, she keeps the Dance Away With Me flowing quickly, and her writing style leaves this book impossible to put down. The reader can’t help but be intrigued and excited about this pseudo-family. A must read for anyone looking to escape between the covers of a good book while surrounded by blankets, or to dream the day away on a sunny beach.
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