Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lead and Follow by Katie Porter (Club Devant book 1) A REVIEW BY GUEST REVIEWER ~ BARBARA HILL-KIDD

This book was recommended to me by a friend because she knows that I was involved with ballroom dancing(I did compete in Pro/Am in the 90’s and had a little success) and she thought I would enjoy it.  I did a little cringe because I usually don’t enjoy fiction involving this subject because I find so many errors.  YES, I know it is fiction but sometimes I just can’t get past the parts that were far from true.  I am very happy to say that this book is well written and well researched plus the sex scenes (m/f,m/m and m/f/m) are HOT. 
Lizzie Maynes and Dima Turgenev are 3-Time World Latin Dance Champions, roommates, best friends and in their late twenties.  Lizzie has recently returned to their New York apartment and is acting out.  The couple is unsure of their dance future and their own feelings for one another.  Dima feels responsible for causing Lizzie’s injury although injuries happen, falls happen it is the way of a dancer’s life.  After Lizzie’s injury and recuperation, Dima became a headliner at Club Devant.  He is thriving, able to break-free of the strict rules of competitive dancing and let his artistic side loose.  Lizzie believes that Club Devant is little better than a burlesque club and that Dima is lowering himself performing there.  Lizzie believes that the partnership should prepare to make a run at a 4th Title.  Dima does not want to, he hopes that if Lizzie will attend a show that she will see the freedom that he is enjoying that she will agree to join him.
The night that Lizzie finally decides to attend Dima’s show she is so affected that she seduces a hunky bartender in Dima’s dressing room so that he walks in on the act.  Dima watches and then exits.  Lizzie soon decides that they should have a threesome.  Paul, the easy-going Texan, agrees and Dima introduces him to man on man sex. 
Paul soon senses that Dima and Lizzie have true feelings for one another and that his role is a bit of a buffer between them as they attempt to find a way to communicate their feelings to one another.   There are many scenes in which our dancers cannot seem to communicate their thoughts or feelings.  Lizzie soon begins working with the choreographer at Club Devant secretly in preparation to take over the role as Dima’s partner in hopes of connecting to the good parts of their life.  There is a happy ending to the story.

I will admit that I found the characters a bit frustrating at times, Lizzie and Dima have been together since they were thirteen.  In the dance world this is common where teen partners are raised as brother/sister and then they are portrayed as lovers and some marry but few happily.  I found Lizzie to be immature, out of control and seemingly difficult to be with.  Dima is portrayed as a closed off soul. Damaged by his parents descent into alcoholism and he is a control freak.  After all of the years together, I just found it very difficult that they could not vocalize their fears/feelings and concerns.  Paul is so easy going that I felt sorry that he was pulled into the maelstrom of the partners life.  Yes, he did benefit from the sexual lessons and he turned out to be the most even-headed of the group. 
This is a very well written book with clearly written characters.  The sex scenes are hot and they are expanded which I really enjoyed.  I would recommend the book even if you have no interest in ballroom because it is well written.

(3 Orgasms and I am torn between 2 and 3 stars- I think my downgrading to 2 is due to my frustration with the inability to communicate but I think someone who isn’t into the dance world would give it 3)

 3 Orgasms Read (Very Good)


  1. Barbara, I'm with you...having spent quite a bit of time in the ballroom dance world over the last year I was pleasantly surprised how well researched this book seemed to be. I loved it as well. Glad to know someone else who knows that lifestyle did as well!

  2. Great review, Barbara! Katie's cover is hot!